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Thread: Whats this??

  1. Default Whats this??

    Hello i was watching this tv show from 1992

    https://youtu.be/cr2s1Eiu0s0

    but it has some lady using computers but what type are they and what software is being used? Thanks

  2. #2

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    The best shot I could find of her actually using the system was at 8:20, and it looks to me like an ordinary 5170 AT with what is probably a PGC, based on the appearance of the CRT and the image display characteristics. It's possible the AT (given its processing abilities relative to '92) was an administrative terminal rather than the main graphics system, but given the probable PGC, perhaps not. Early on there's a wide shot with a PS/2 8560 or 8580 visible. The show implies the software is probably a PRPQ.

  3. #3

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    The monitor has grey knobs so it's not a 5153 because they have black knobs so that's a 5154 EGA monitor at a bare minimum. EGA did support up to 640x350 in some video modes so it's plausible that that might be EGA.

    http://minuszerodegrees.net/video/bios_video_modes.htm
    Once upon a time, the internet sucked because it came through the phone. Now the phone sucks because it comes through the internet.

  4. #4

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    I thought of that, but you'd only get 16 greys at best from EGA, and you wouldn't get that on a standard 5154. So I'm pretty sure (but not 100% positive) it's not a 5154.

  5. #5
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    A 5175 Professional Graphics Display monitor looks the same as a 5154 doesn't it? In fact aren't they almost exactly the same monitor inside?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwathen View Post
    A 5175 Professional Graphics Display monitor looks the same as a 5154 doesn't it? In fact aren't they almost exactly the same monitor inside?
    They are indeed almost externally identical, but the 5175 is an analog monitor almost-but-not-quite compatible with VGA. (It runs at 640x480 at the same scan rates, but I think it uses composite sync. Apparently adapters did exist.) I kind of wonder if that's a 5175 plugged into some other kind of graphics card because the PGA wasn't really optimized for paint-type programs.
    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs

  7. #7

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    It's theoretically possible, but would be odd given IBM's involvement. I did a desultory search to see if any public records pertaining to the project are online, as happens sometimes, but didn't come up with anything. So probably we're going to have to live for now in a world where we can only guess.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear View Post
    It's theoretically possible, but would be odd given IBM's involvement.
    I don't think IBM would object to using a product they didn't make if it was something that filled a niche they didn't have an alternative. What makes this a little tricky is that some of the equipment in that video is clearly newer than a 5175 (the PGC was discontinued when the PS/2 line came out), and in that era there were better-than-EGA third-party options out there that could drive the 5175.

    The real reason for thinking it might be something else is simply the fact that software support for the PGC was absolutely dreadful and the card was, by design, really bad at raster graphics, but, who knows. If it's running some completely custom thing that IBM wrote for it that might explain why she's stuck using the AT and PGC when there's newer equipment sitting there at hand.
    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs

  9. #9

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    I don't know any details about this project, but perhaps the AT was upgraded over the years. Matrox as well as others built PGC compatible cards. They were supersets of PGC. Perhaps there was a requirement to maintain comparability with PGC instead of VGA due to software or non technical reasons. If the project required a CAD/high-end video card, IBM with its MCA, would have far fewer options.

    PS: What is it with that description of the guy? It gets a bit specific, lines up cigarette butts in rows? It sounds more like a novel. LOL
    Last edited by mR_Slug; May 6th, 2020 at 12:50 PM.

  10. #10

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    Don't forget that this system had been in use and delivering results for some time already, by the time this television segment was produced and aired.

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