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This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

This forum has been around in this format for over 15 years. These rules and guidelines help us maintain a healthy and active community, and we moderate the forum to keep things on track. Please familiarize yourself with these rules and guidelines.


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There are several hundred people who actively participate here. People come from all different backgrounds and will have different ways of seeing things. You will not agree with everything you read here. Back-and-forth discussions are fine but do not cross the line into rude or disrespectful behavior.

Conduct yourself as you would at any other place where people come together in person to discuss their hobby. If you wouldn't say something to somebody in person, then you probably should not be writing it here.

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To put things in engineering terms, we value a high signal to noise ratio. Coming here should not be a waste of time.
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"PM Sent!" messages (or, how to use the Private Message system)

This forum has a private message feature that we want people to use for messages that are not of general interest to other members.

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Here are some obvious examples of when you should not reply to a thread and use the PM system instead:
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Why do we have this policy? Sending a "PM Sent!" type message basically wastes everybody else's time by making them having to scroll past a post in a thread that looks to be updated, when the update is not meaningful. And the person you are sending the PM to will be notified by the forum software that they have a message waiting for them. Look up at the top near the right edge where it says 'Notifications' ... if you have a PM waiting, it will tell you there.

Copyright and other legal issues

We are here to discuss vintage computing, so discussing software, books, and other intellectual property that is on-topic is fine. We don't want people using these forums to discuss or enable copyright violations or other things that are against the law; whether you agree with the law or not is irrelevant. Do not use our resources for something that is legally or morally questionable.

Our discussions here generally fall under "fair use." Telling people how to pirate a software title is an example of something that is not allowable here.


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If you are unsure you may consider sending a private message to a moderator instead.


New user moderation

New users are directly moderated so that we can weed spammers out early. This means that for your first 10 posts you will have some delay before they are seen. We understand this can be disruptive to the flow of conversation and we try to keep up with our new user moderation duties to avoid undue inconvenience. Please do not make duplicate posts, extra posts to bump your post count, or ask the moderators to expedite this process; 10 moderated posts will go by quickly.

New users also have a smaller personal message inbox limit and are rate limited when sending PMs to other users.


Other suggestions
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Choosing the best video standard for your old PC (MDA/CGA/EGA/VGA)

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    #16
    I dunno... I sold around ten of them in the last several years. So they can't be that rare. And they weren't expensive either. Do you have firsthand information to refute that?
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

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      #17
      Multisync meaning they will sync to SVGA+ and down to 15kHz?? Those are scarce as hens teeth around here

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        #18
        Originally posted by Stone View Post
        I dunno... I sold around ten of them in the last several years. So they can't be that rare. And they weren't expensive either. Do you have firsthand information to refute that?
        Did you sell them for $0? People are literally giving away VGA monitors.

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          #19
          Originally posted by Windows XP View Post
          If you don't know what to choose, choose EGA. It can display 16 out of 64 colors at once, and you get a resolution of 640x350.
          That's a weird conclusion, to me. I'd pick VGA, where possible -- it's easily available and works with modern displays. If going for period authenticity, probably CGA or MDA -- EGA had the shortest reign of any of them.

          I'd mention that MDA resolution is 720x350 pixels, although of course it's only addressable as 80x25 text, unless you get the Hercules-compatible version. I remember the first time I ever saw an MDA screen -- coming from a world of CGA-like resolutions, it was stunning. (But then, VGA text mode is even a little better, at 720x400 pixels.)

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            #20
            Originally posted by wmcbrine View Post
            That's a weird conclusion, to me. I'd pick VGA, where possible
            I'd second that it's a pretty weird conclusion to come to. VGA is almost perfectly register-backwards-compatible with EGA so, to put a fine point on it, anything EGA can do VGA can do better. Because CGA is capable of some stupid pet tricks that aren't directly replicable on EGA or newer (composite color, the various "ASCII from Hell" pseudo-graphics mode, etc) there are legitimate reasons to still want an actual hardware CGA instead of relying on VGA emulation for running some software, but I just don't see it with EGA.

            (I'm sure there must be *some* software out there that runs on EGA but not VGA, but I don't know that I've ever actually encountered any.)

            The one place where an EGA card is kind of interesting is the edge case of using it to drive a CGA monitor (which are still rare now but at least more common than EGA monitors) in the 200 line 16 color modes. A 286 or early 386-class machine so configured is basically the generic alternative to a late-model Tandy 1000 in terms of graphical capabilities.

            Some early VGA cards came with utilities that could switch them into register-compatible CGA and Hercules modes. (My first VGA card was an OAK unit that included this.) You still can't run composite color software but it would run some of those compatibility holdouts like Round42 with the help of that utility. Hercules software looked a little weird on that card because it displayed it in a "squished" aspect ratio using the 720x400 VGA mode but it likewise worked fine.
            My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs Also: Blogspot

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              #21
              Originally posted by SpidersWeb View Post
              Yes it has been done before. It does work, but with CGA you'll be missing yellow without extra circuitry, and you need a VGA display that'll sync down to 15Khz, most don't..
              I told you, use a NEC Multisync... Even the more modern ones, NEC Multisync TFT 19x0sxi/nxp (x=8 or 9) and similar ones are fine for 15 kHz video. Many of them are documented to be fine in ATARI ST and Commodore Amiga community for their PAL/NTSC color modes. So video frequency isn't the problem. Only convert digital to analoge RGB...
              <album>

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                #22
                Originally posted by Windows XP View Post
                If you don't know what to choose, choose EGA. It can display 16 out of 64 colors at once, and you get a resolution of 640x350.
                That is terrible advice, since EGA monitors are the rarest in our hobby. CGA and MDA monitors are somewhat more common, but VGA means you can still hook it up to modern monitors (sometimes needing a VGA to HDMI converter, but those are cheap). So if the user is so green that they "don't know what to choose", start with VGA.
                Offering a bounty for:
                - A working Sanyo MBC-775 or Logabax 1600
                - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

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                  #23
                  Originally posted by Trixter View Post
                  That is terrible advice, since EGA monitors are the rarest in our hobby. CGA and MDA monitors are somewhat more common, but VGA means you can still hook it up to modern monitors (sometimes needing a VGA to HDMI converter, but those are cheap). So if the user is so green that they "don't know what to choose", start with VGA.
                  or is it lowkey genius advice, since it forces you to get the most obscure thing and achieve instant retro clout?

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                    #24
                    I think PGA and TIGA outrank EGA in obscurity

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                      #25
                      Originally posted by maxtherabbit View Post
                      or is it lowkey genius advice, since it forces you to get the most obscure thing and achieve instant retro clout?
                      There's no such thing as retro clout, unless you spend months repairing something broken, without documentation, that has historical significance. (Some of the NASA lunar restorations going on come to mind.) Besides, one man's treasure (Packard Bell) is another man's trash (Packard Bell).

                      Originally posted by Plasma View Post
                      I think PGA and TIGA outrank EGA in obscurity
                      True. I think TARGA boards fall into that as well (there were many of them in the field, but damned if I can find one now that is going to show me these 256x200 16-bit pix on an NTSC monitor...)
                      Offering a bounty for:
                      - A working Sanyo MBC-775 or Logabax 1600
                      - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
                        I prefer VGA on mine--I don't need to keep extra monitors around.
                        As an extra argument: all my computers have been connected to a 16-input KVM switch. For the XT machines I use this XT2AT keyboard converter. So I only need one keyboard and one monitor. But I do have an MDA and CGA monitor plus a XT keyboard around for just in case.
                        With kind regards / met vriendelijke groet, Ruud Baltissen

                        www.baltissen.org

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                          #27
                          Originally posted by Trixter View Post
                          There's no such thing as retro clout
                          what? Guess I'll just throw all this junk in the trash then if I can't clout up

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                            #28
                            Originally posted by Eudimorphodon View Post
                            (I'm sure there must be *some* software out there that runs on EGA but not VGA, but I don't know that I've ever actually encountered any.)
                            There's FantasyLand... but probably not much more than that. Maybe there's something out there that relied on EGA's very-little-used vsync interrupt, which most VGA chipsets had disabled by default, or didn't even implement.
                            The only real incompatibility was that the same modes had different vertical refresh rates on EGA and VGA, but it wasn't a problem in practice since there was very little that relied on it.

                            On the software side, one of the EGA's big shortcomings was that so many of its registers were write-only. Which proved to be a thorn in the side of early multi-tasking/windowing environments, since saving and restoring a task's video state became a gigantic headache (and running it in a window a near-impossibility). From that standpoint EGA was a bit "brain-dead" in the way that the 286 was argued to be.

                            One other annoyance was that the full set of 64 colors was only available in the 640x350 mode, because IBM's monitor design meant that all 200-line modes were assumed to output a CGA-type signal (RGBI only). A few of the clone chipsets could work around that, but only on multisync monitors apparently.
                            Last edited by VileR; February 6, 2020, 02:16 AM.
                            int10h.org :: :: :: blog

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