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ANSI.SYS Escape Code Resolution, Mode 6 on Olivetti M24(SP)

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  • Casey
    replied
    Legend of the Red Dragon was fun.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chuck(G)
    replied
    Originally posted by VileR View Post
    Or NAPLPS, or Teletext.

    As mentioned, one legitimate use case of forcing 'well behaved' apps into graphics mode is for charset localization (on CGA), but somehow I doubt that was the motive.
    Or Videotex.

    As some of the third-party ANSI implementations demonstrate, there is a certain advantage to abstracting the display interface. Scrolling of a text display using normal Int 10h routines on a PC XT was very slow--you moved the entire screen in memory for each newline. On the other hand, if you simply changed the starting location for the display and allowed it to "wraparound", scrolling was very fast. The downside was that the memory location for any line changed every time the display scrolled. A driver could track that position transparently.

    Leave a comment:


  • Casey
    replied
    It was very useful in emulating terminals, and for screen manipulation. For example it included ways to move the cursor to a given (x,y) position.
    Some 3rd party versions buffered output for much faster screen writing. I may be wrong, but NANSI & FANSI come to mind. There was a "before" & "after" demo showing cursor manipulation ANSI animation, and improved screen writes. The difference was dramatic.

    Leave a comment:


  • VileR
    replied
    Or NAPLPS, or Teletext.

    As mentioned, one legitimate use case of forcing 'well behaved' apps into graphics mode is for charset localization (on CGA), but somehow I doubt that was the motive.

    Leave a comment:


  • Eudimorphodon
    replied
    It does seem exquisitely useless to include a code to switch to graphics mode if there are no codes for, I dunno, piping a bitmap of dimensions "x" into a region starting at a specified cursor location. I wonder if whoever implemented that in ANSI.SYS had a momentary fever dream of implementing something like DEC's ReGIS or Digital Research's GSX inside of it.

    Leave a comment:


  • VileR
    replied
    Gotta clarify for the OP: my reply in the previous page was strictly about those video-mode escape sequences. ANSI escape codes in general are eminently useful for lots of things (being one of those guys who used to trade BBS artwork for file access, I should know).

    After all these decades with an ANSI-less Windows command prompt, it was funny to see MS bringing ANSI support to cmd.exe, in a relatively recent Windows 10 update.
    Still holding out for native ZMODEM transfers... 2030, perhaps?

    Leave a comment:


  • Trixter
    replied
    I assure you, PC-TALK did not have ANSI built in, and we called BBSes that used ANSI codes. Just because ANSI ART wasn't a big thing in 1985 doesn't mean BBSes didn't use it for basic things like colors.

    Leave a comment:


  • 1ST1
    replied
    "You're also forgetting BBS culture."

    Yes, true. But not in the era of the early XTs. Using ANSI in BBS was later and those terminal programs had ANSI support build in, they did not rely on ansi.sys.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chuck(G)
    replied
    You're also forgetting BBS culture. Quite a number of them required that you use a terminal program that supported ANSI/VT100 protocol. With ANSI.SYS, a dumb terminal program could display the stuff. Back in the day, when you wanted to create a multi-user PC system, those secondary serial consoles usually supported ANSI as the obvious choice.

    I seem to remember that there were several "improved" ANSI.SYS programs over the stock one distributed with MSDOS, ZANSI and NANSI come to mind. They were also faster than the standard MS-DOS character interface based on INT 10H.

    Even today, when I'm writing code that interfaces a microcontroller via USB to a PC, I use ANSI escape sequences to produce good looking displays. Linux utilities such as minicom and screen support those codes as well as several Windows terminal programs such as REALTERM. Most telnet and ssh clients also support ANSI sequences.

    Leave a comment:


  • BillGee
    replied
    Originally posted by Trixter View Post
    Actually there's a 4th reason: Some programs used ANSI codes for I/O because the idea was that ANSI.SYS was an "API" you could use to "write once, support many".
    I had forgotten about that.

    Search the web for ansi art...

    Leave a comment:


  • Trixter
    replied
    Originally posted by freakedenough View Post
    Okay! What was the purpose/use of these ANSI modes? For BASIC apps only?
    For CPM programs ported to DOS, for color and positioning in terminal applications, and for MS-DOS compatible programs that were not necessarily IBM PC-compatible. (In the first few years, MS-DOS ran on more systems than just the IBM PC.)

    Actually there's a 4th reason: Some programs used ANSI codes for I/O because the idea was that ANSI.SYS was an "API" you could use to "write once, support many". In an ideal world, ANSI drivers could be written for anything, and/or better ones could come out at a later date and support more hardware, but the original program wouldn't have to be modified to run in such situations. In practice, this never really took off, since programs writing directly to textmode memory could run way faster than outputting ANSI codes.

    Leave a comment:


  • mbbrutman
    replied
    Originally posted by freakedenough View Post
    Okay! What eas the purpose/use of these ANSI modes? For BASIC apps only?
    ANSI color codes and cursor positioning make sense, but setting the graphics modes was just done for completeness, and it was a mistake.

    Once in one of the color modes you can't draw lines or really set colors, so there it just no point to doing it. Nothing that I know if uses the ANSI escape codes to move to a graphics mode because it's just pointless.

    Leave a comment:


  • 1ST1
    replied
    I tryed once ansi.sys on my M24, but it was tooo confusing, so I disabled it again. That was with Olivetti branded MS-DOS 5.

    Leave a comment:


  • krebizfan
    replied
    Zork was one of the few applications that used ANSI.SYS.

    Leave a comment:


  • BillGee
    replied
    Support for color is marginal at best with DOS.

    The most pressing use for ANSI.SYS was so that preference for foreground and background screen color can be set once and the system "remembers" it.

    Leave a comment:

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