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Thread: Multi-Language Hercules

  1. #1

    Default Multi-Language Hercules

    Anyone ever seen this before? (Not mine)



    Kinda interesting (but not $100-and-no-software interesting.) Looks like the add-on card just switches the font ROM.

  2. #2
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    Never seen one like this, but I believe that your guess is spot-on. Of course, the Herc Graphics Plus card has RAM for downloadable fonts, so this thing probably wasn't in production for too long.

  3. #3

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    "comes with French, English, Spanish and something else"
    But... aren't French, English, Spanish covered by the standard CP437 character set?

    Anyway, back in the era, I could use such a thing.
    While the original HGC was widely cloned, there were hardly any clones of HGC+, so it was pretty common to reprogram the EPROM to install national characters on all those clones.

  4. #4

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    It is quite interesting. I never knew there were HGC compatible cards with more than two charsets.
    I happen to own this one:
    _ND38895ex2.jpg
    I added the jumper JP1 and the resistor R6, which were originally unpopulated, and also replaced the original EPROM by a flash with 2 charsets.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by rado View Post
    I added the jumper JP1 and the resistor R6, which were originally unpopulated, and also replaced the original EPROM by a flash with 2 charsets.
    The charset is selected by the jumper, right? Can't do it via software?

    That would be similar to those common "Herculeses" with Winbond W86855AF - one character generator ROM is integrated within the W86855AF, second one can be optionally installed in a socket, and they are switched by a jumper.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xacalite View Post
    The charset is selected by the jumper, right? Can't do it via software?

    That would be similar to those common "Herculeses" with Winbond W86855AF - one character generator ROM is integrated within the W86855AF, second one can be optionally installed in a socket, and they are switched by a jumper.
    Yes. This card has both charsets in the flash memory, and the jumper selects which page to use, but I've also seen some TD3088 cards without an external ROM.

  7. #7
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    Doesn't the original IBM MDA have a 3 charset ROM? One set is the 14 line one and the other two are 8x8 variations. I never checked to see what the Herc uses, but I wouldn't be surprised if more than one font was tucked into it.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    Doesn't the original IBM MDA have a 3 charset ROM? One set is the 14 line one and the other two are 8x8 variations. I never checked to see what the Herc uses, but I wouldn't be surprised if more than one font was tucked into it.
    I guess the same ROM was used for both MDA (8x14) and CGA (8x8 thick, 8x8 thin).
    No way to use MDA with 8x8, or CGA with 8x14.

  9. #9
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    Are you certain that the MDA 6845 can't be reprogrammed to use the 8x8? It's been awhile, but I think it might be possible. Of course you're still limited to 2K characters...albeit less readable.

    I suspect that 2 9x14 character sets might fit in the character generator ROM; you could control which was used by tying onto an unused bit in the printer port control register.

  10. #10

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    http://www.seasip.info/VintagePC/mda.html#hrm
    "Characters can only be up to 8 pixels high"
    Anyway, seems completely unusable.

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