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8bit Friendly ISA VGA cards

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    #31
    Originally posted by Kazblox View Post
    Confirmed cards with no absolute compatibility for the Olivetti M24 in any way; SpeedStar 24X, Paradise VGA 16, ATI VGA Wonder XL, and the later ISA Dolch PitViper models. Even if the machine can POST and boot, you can indicate whether the video card is actually found if there is a beep after all the startup tests have succeeded.
    You might be able to get the VGA Wonder XL to work actually. If you put it in another computer that it works in, there's a configuration utility on the original driver disk that sets the bit width of the IO and ROM BIOS of the card. I wonder if that would help, it did with my model 25. It saves that data into NVRAM on the card.
    IBM PS/2 Model 25, NEC V30 8MHz, 640KB RAM, ATI VGA Wonder XL, 2GB SSD, Ethernet, DR DOS 6/GeOS, Xircom PE3 Ethernet

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      #32
      Trident TVGA8900* and TVGA9000* cards will not work in the original IBM PC, the original IBM XT, and some clones. This is because these cards rely on ALE signal to latch the memory address, and the IBM PC/XT boards have a bad habit of pulsing ALE signal during DMA cycles (including memory refresh cycles), while DMA provides the address on the ISA bus. The issue, and the workaround are documented in this thread.

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        #33
        Originally posted by ghostwriter View Post
        I just tried an ATI MACH32 16 bit on my Tandy 1000 TX and it seems to work fine.
        I just tried a Mach32 in my Tandy 1000 TX, and it... also seems to work fine. Wow, cool. Thanks for the tip.
        Cruise by Diskman Presents: filled with geektastic classic gaming goodness!

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          #34
          Originally posted by sergey View Post
          Trident TVGA8900* and TVGA9000* cards will not work in the original IBM PC, the original IBM XT, and some clones. This is because these cards rely on ALE signal to latch the memory address, and the IBM PC/XT boards have a bad habit of pulsing ALE signal during DMA cycles (including memory refresh cycles), while DMA provides the address on the ISA bus. The issue, and the workaround are documented in this thread.
          And, the simple workaround is to disconnect ALE signal going from the ISA bus to TVGA chip (e.g. cut the trace on the Trident VGA board), and connect it to the +5V power supply.

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            #35
            While troubleshooting some XT-IDE issues, I discovered that a Everex EV628 Viewpoint works like a charm.
            General Failure Reading Drive C -
            Abort, Retry, Ignore?

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              #36
              I have a 8088 PC (XT clone) and a Trident 8900C.

              I get video, but always get 'Keyboard error' and my AT keyboard stops working.

              When I plug back in the Paradise CGA card they keyboard works once more.

              Was just curious if anyone else has experienced this, or had any suggestions. Thanks!

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                #37
                I also get keyboard error. What is the solution?

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                  #38
                  Seeking Assistance with Paradise VGA card

                  I am seeking some help with a search to attain documentation or user recommendation for a Western Digital Paradise VGA 8-bit card and accompanying software found on line. The card has 256kB RAM and PVGA1A chip. I am using the card as replacement for the P4 card of an AT&T 6300 machine with standard 640 KB RAM. The P4 still works however the monochrome monitor bit the dust long ago. The P4 card has been disabled by use of the removal of the 74LS00 chip and shorting of the pins as described in the AT&T service manual. Right now, with the PVGA1A switch settings are OFF, I can see in color CGA, however, I am seeking VGA, if possible. Switch settings SW1-1 and SW1-2 allow for PS/2, which suggest VGA capability. However, I have yet to try them. There are four config files are listed ISAA201.CFG, ISAA201A.CFG, ISAA20FG, and ITCC0210.CFG. I would assume the ISAA201.CFG or ISAA201A.CFG is applicable to my PVGA1A card for the config.sys file. The executables are PARADISE.EXE, VESA.EXE, VESA1A1B.EXE, VESA1C.EXE, VESA1D.EXE, and VESAX.EXE. I have tried both PARADISE.EXE and VESA.EXE. Both put some commands in RAM. The assistance being sot would address the four config files, six executables and any switches associated with them along with which of the config files are associated with these executables.

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                    #39
                    I'm somewhat confused by your results: You have a VGA (PVGA1A chipset) card installed, connect to a VGA monitor, but you're only able to init and see CGA modes? What happens when you run a program that supports 256-color VGA graphics?

                    All of the *.cfg files have nothing to do with config.sys; I'm not sure what they are. The .EXE files are various VESA support TSRs, and PARADISE.EXE allows you to test and configure the card including forcibly set strict CGA compatibility -- however doing so *limits* you to CGA, so don't run that if you're trying to run VGA programs. You should only force the card into CGA-only compatibility if you're trying to run a program from before roughly 1986 and the graphics/display isn't working right.

                    A picture of the card would help identify it.

                    If you don't have a program that you know supports 256-color graphics, run DEBUG and type the following, hitting ENTER after every line:

                    Code:
                    a
                    mov ax,0013
                    int 10
                    ret
                    (hit enter twice here)
                    g
                    This should clear the screen to a VGA mode, and then in lower-res 40-column text, you should see debug print "Program terminated normally (0000)". If the screen does not clear, then something is wrong.
                    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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                      #40
                      Since this thread has returned from the dead I'll toss in a compatibility test result: I have three OAK OTI077 ISA VGA cards that I've tested will work in a Tandy 1000 HX motherboard using a Plus to ISA slot adapter:



                      The only thing that doesn't work is the VGAMODE program OAK uses to set backwards compatibility modes (CGA/Hercules), which hangs the machine if you try to select one of those options. (Setting VGA screen modes like the extended text modes works fine, it's only the things that try to force register compatibility with non-VGA cards that blow up.) I suspect this is a Tandy-specific quirk but I don't have a generic XT to confirm. Anyway, this suggests these might be usable cards for other Tandy 1000 machines, if a VGA Tandy 1000 floats your boat.

                      (You do need to use the "vgafix" program on the TVdog archive to tweak the BIOS data area for all software that tries to autodetect VGA cards to work properly, but that apparently applies to most cards. Also, full disclosure, I had a V20 installed, so I can't vouch 100% that these will work with an 808

                      I also have two more of these cards that *don't* work, but maybe that's a subject for another thread.

                      (EDIT: Actually, maybe those other two do work... I'll do that other thread.)
                      Last edited by Eudimorphodon; August 16, 2020, 01:28 PM.
                      My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs Also: Blogspot

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                        #41
                        <I'm somewhat confused by your results: You have a VGA (PVGA1A chipset) card installed, connect to a VGA monitor, but you're only able to init and see CGA modes? What happens when you run a program that supports 256-color VGA graphics?>

                        First, thank you for responding; I have two programs, one is the MSD tool which is the Microsoft Diagnostic Version 3, program that checks everything and gives you a synopsis of what it found. For the video card, the MSD states the video card is a CGA card as seen by IMG_3084 (62872). In addition, I have a program that I believe was written in the early 1990s by WizardWare. The set of programs consists of 12-360 KB floppies to display VGA responses on the screen. For example, Mandelbrot & Julia Set Generator is the first diskette. The response is, when triggered, Out of Range and freezes the machine. These two tests are telling me the card is not VGA or configured as such. On the other hand, if I run Xtree Gold for more than 25 rows; the card will handle that successfully.

                        IMG_3059.jpgIMG_3084.jpg

                        A picture of the card would help identify it. Attached is image IMG_3059 ( 62871), which shows the 8-bit VGA card written in the inquiry.

                        The assembly code does give a response of the lower-res showing "Program terminated normally." No address as was shown in your example, however.

                        So your saying that neighbor the config or the executable will do anything for me. So what can be done to get VGA or do I already have VGA and don't realize it?

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                          #42
                          I think you fully do have VGA (I can see it on your monitor!), but the motherboard DIP switches and possibly the video card DIP switches are set to CGA and so the system is confused. AT&T ROM BIOS 1.43 is required to set the 6300 to "other video adapter". Is your 6300 showing ROM BIOS 1.43 on startup? If so, checking the AT&T 6300 reference, setting DIPSW-1 SW5 and SW6 to ON might solve your issue.

                          If the debug test worked, then your WizardWare programs are defective and/or buggy, or they are getting confused with the system reporting it has a CGA card installed. The fact that you can see anything at all on your monitor means you do have a VGA card and it's definitely working.
                          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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                            #43
                            If the switches are set as Trixter suggests above and it's still not detecting correctly I wonder if it'd be worth trying the "VGAFIX" program:

                            ftp://ftp.oldskool.org/pub/tvdog/tan...ies/vgafix.zip

                            Tandy 1000s don't update the BIOS data era correctly to reflect the presence of VGA which makes detection dicey, I wonder if it might work on your 6300.
                            My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs Also: Blogspot

                            Comment


                              #44
                              Looking at the source for VGAFIX, I recommend trying running this if MSD still shows "CGA" after you verify ROM BIOS 1.43 and setting the DIP switches.
                              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


                                #45
                                Again thank you for your feedback. Sorry, I have been busy responding to your suggestions. I had already upgraded the AT&T 6300 bios from 1.21 to 1.43 before the install of the video card. In addition, the dip switches were configured before the install of the Paradise PVGA1A card and execution of the MSD program. I have a 5.25-inch floppy that may house the programs: sys and executables for the PVGA!A card. However, I believe the floppy is a 1.2 MB HD type. I have an HD floppy drive, but my quad-core machine doesn't recognize it. The HP WX8600 is too new for that type of floppy drive. Right now my posture is to accept what I have because it works.

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