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Founded by Mark Pelczarski, Polarware started out as Penguin Software, the company existed from 1978 until 1987 and eventually became part of another publishing company (probably Merit Studios, Inc.).

The company was named "Penguin" from 1981 until about 1986 when legal issues arose with the large book publisher, Penguin Books. Thus the name was changed to Polarware.

The Apple II computer was the first personal computer that had color graphics. Their first programs were for drawing, manipulating, and animating graphics on the Apple II, and they were quite popular. The company pioneered much of the field of computer graphics. For a while, a good majority of educational software and games released for the Apple II opened with the "graphics by Penguin Software" acknowledgement. Their software even resides in the archives of the Smithsonian's Museum of American History.

(Source: http://www.magictree.com/polarware/polarware.htm)

Also Known As

  • Penguin Software, Inc. (from 1978 to 1986)


Who put the penguin in Penguin Software? Its initial product, the "Magic Paintbrush" graphics application, was sold by a company named "MP Software", with ambiguity over whether MP stood for Magic Paintbrush, Mark Pelczarski, or... Magnificent Penguin? The latter remark was a joke made in a column in SoftSide magazine, but other people ran with it and Mark formally adopted the whimsical company name that would later cause him so much trouble with the book publishing company.

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