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Reply 40 of 77, by Jo22

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wierd_w wrote on 2024-04-16, 10:41:
My point, was that such monitor use was "Somewhat common" in HOME settings with PCs (at least in the US), in the early to mid 80 […]
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My point, was that such monitor use was "Somewhat common" in HOME settings with PCs (at least in the US), in the early to mid 80s, with CGA.

CGA had composite output as a stock option, specifically for use with a television. A commodore monitor was cleaner/sharper than your average consumer television, due to better tolerances and sync behavior, as well as a better shadowmask in most circumstances.

If we want to talk about "Oddware" though, (which the EGA wonder kinda is...) the PCjr had something that was "A close cousin" of EGA, *AND* composite out (as an option, with a customized/proprietary plug for the "Basically EGA" paired monitor.)

(image lifted from oldcomputers.net, due to being http and not https. Otherwise I would hotlink)
ibm-pcjr-back.jpg

Thanks, I think I understand now. 🙂👍

I've just recently found an interesting link about a PCJr and a light pen, btw..

http://boginjr.com/electronics/old/ibm4860/

wierd_w wrote on 2024-04-16, 10:41:

CGA had composite output as a stock option, specifically for use with a television. A commodore monitor was cleaner/sharper than your average consumer television, due to better tolerances and sync behavior, as well as a better shadowmask in most circumstances.

Makes sense. In my country, though, before SCART TVs had flooded the market in late 80s, ordinary TVs merely had an antenna connector.

That didn't stop radio amateurs, electronic hobbyists and businesses, though.
They converted ordinary TVs, b/w models often, to composite monitors. Aka AV monitors or VBS monitors.
They merely had to bypassed the tuner on the b/w TVs, essentially.

This was trivial with TVs that had an internal 12v PSU which they derived all required voltages from (most plastic TVs).

That's why CGA was good as a cheap video standard, I believe. It didn't have good graphics, but it could be used with ordinary monitors and cheap TVs.

If I'm not mistaken, the original IBM CGA board had a header meant for an RF modulator even (which could be re-purposed for driving a portable's internal CRT, as welll).

All in all, I think, CGA was good enough for running GW-BASIC, some booter games or to make inputs on a rubber/foil keyboard in a filthy factory which had some industrial application being running on special equipment with a tiny composite CRT being enclosed in a steel chassis.

While professional PC users on a clean, tidy workplace had opted for original IBM MDA monitors instead (via MDA or HGC video board). 😉

Anyway, I think CGA was nice as a lowest-common denominator.
Both hardware wise (normal monitors) and software wise (has PC BIOS support).

I just wished that AT&T's 400 line mode had made it.
If it had been more popular, it would have been a real Hercules alternative with built-in CGA software compatibility.

The aspect ratio would have been nicer for working with GUIs, even.
640x400 pels were closer to 4:3 than Hercules' weird 720x348 pels resolution.

Edit: That being said, those simple green monitors or amber monitors with an RCA/Cinch connector weren't bad, at all.
They had very fine pictures (no CRT mask in the way), just like colour monitors had via RGBI.

So monochrome CGA via composite was as good as it gets. Using RGBI on a monochrome monitor wouldn't have made a difference here.
In the monochrome world, VBS was perfectly fine, I think.

The difference between "Color" NTSC and "Black and White" NTSC, is the addition of a "Color burst" signal in the "Back porch" of the vblank before the scanline. This was done so that color broadcasts can still be displayed (correctly) on BW sets. The BW sets just ignore the colorburst, because it is in the vblank part of the scanline.

Yes, good point. 🙂👍

The monochrome version of NTSC was RS-170 (RS-170A). Here in Europe the matching counterpart was CCIR, I think.

Edit: Also interesting were the NTSC artifact colours, which we in Europe never saw because of PAL. 🙁

So the relationship between composite monitor and gaming wasn't there.
(Fun fact: A few of my fellow citizens still wonder why CGA graphics "have those lines in it". They're seemingly not aware of artifact colours, at all.
They think these stripes are a part of a game's artwork and probably question the sanity of their developers. Or think it was dithering done poorly.)

All in all, our composite experience (with CGA) was high-res/monochrome, rather.
Whereas in the states, it was the exact opposite: low-res/colour.

So the only way to get colour out of CGA, at the time, was to a) get the DE-9 port working on an RGB monitor b) use an original IBM CGA card with a transcoder box (NTSC to PAL).
The 50/60 Hz issue had to be fixed on the monitor side.

It was a bit like with the Apple II, I think.
The Apple II did generate composite colour in a similar way, using NTSC.
For the PAL models, to make colours work, a special transcoder circuit had to be integrated on the Apple motherboard.

Also interesting was the situation in former USSR back then.
Their PC clones had been using CGA video, too, albeit with 50 Hz and monochrome output (AFAIK).
The Poisk-1 is an interesting PC, I think, which had a synthetic CGA implementation.

Anyway, speaking under correction here. I find these things to be fascinating, but I don't mean to educate anyone.
I'm rather thinking out loud here. A few things I mentioned may not be fully correct, either.
As I said earlier, both Amiga an XT era was a bit before my time..

Edit: I've forgot about c) some IBM compatible PCs sold in Europe/Germany had shipped with a matching colour monitor.
For example, the Amstrad/Schneider PC1512 and PC1640 could do display standard CGA (and beyond) in colour, of course!

My point simply was that specialized CGA/EGA monitors were not so common, maybe.

Because, whenever I check the internet or magazines, I couldn't find much information.:

The Amiga/Commodore monitors with their proprietary digital RGBI and RGB ports excepted.
In our modern days, retro gamers from all around the globe seem to import IBM 5153 displays from north America, rather.

Edit: I forgot. So-called multisync monitors (universal monitor) with various inputs had been around, as well.
They were expensive, but could be used with various computers with various timings and resolutions.
They had been in use with Super EGA cards, for example.
My Schneider Tower AT 286, made in 1988, has that EGA chip (GC-201) that can do 800x600 pels and requires such a monitor to be fully usable.

Software wise and electronics wise, CGA compatibility had been available all day long.
Except for Composite CGA, maybe, using the artifact colours.

The Commodore and Atari PCs were sort of an exception, since both companies had an background in both video games and home computers.
They had access to all sorts of US-specific video technology and could import ICs and monitors no problem.

Computers being made/developed in my country or Europe didn't have US standards in mind so much, though.
The solutions were more, um, insular. Just think of Siemens PC-D, the c't-86 kit or the Sirius 1 or the BBC Master 512..

Edit: My apologies for the poor writing and the neber ending edits. I've got trouble to concentrate on something right now.
I wished I could have said things with much less writing here.

PS: There's one thing that makes me wonder, though.
If we had poor access to CGA/EGA monitors in the 80s, then how did the employees in our computer magazines take screenshots for their game reviews in colour (standard, no artifact colours) ?

Isn't that a bit contradicting with my current hypothesis ?

Did they use PC1512s or PC1640s before they had access to PCs with VGA monitors?
Or did they all run PC-Ditto on their Atari STs to take (digital) screenshots? 😂

I wished I had an answer. It would be cool to have old photos, showing the workplace of employees at video game magazines..

Or from international developers which had made PC games back then.
Knowing their former equipment would cast some light into certain things.

Edit: Found an '87 editorial picture of once famous Power Play magazine.
That cool dude in the upper right has a Schneider/Amstrad PC on his desk, it seems. If it's an PC1640, then it could do the latest EGA graphics.
The matching article that uses the picture is here.

Edit: There's a TTL colour monitor, the Highscreen Highscreen KP548..
It looks like a re-baged Commodore 1084s and was being advertised as an IBM compatible RGBI monitor on a side note, but primarily being advertised as a COMMODORE AMIGA monitor.
Highscreen was a brand of Vobis, I believe.

Last edited by Jo22 on 2024-04-16, 15:46. Edited 1 time in total.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 41 of 77, by wierd_w

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The IBM EGA monitor was 'sufficiently popular' in the USA, that I remember the owner of the m0m&pop I worked for had 'A WALL' , floor to ceiling, shelved with nothing but those monitors in his flea market booth.

Most EGA equipped XTs and authentic ATs, came with an actual EGA monitor, even second-hand. (Which all of these were, by the early to mid 90s)

The CGA era was another beast entirely. Lots of composite monitors on CGA equipped systems, from my experience. It WAS however, regarded as 'ghetto' to do that.

That said, the internal display in the Compaq portable, and portable II, was monochrome cga, over (crippled) composite. It can be upgraded to monochrome EGA with the EGA Wonder, which has the appropriate 3 wire header to connect the internal monitor to.

Reply 42 of 77, by Shagittarius

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wierd_w wrote on 2024-04-16, 10:41:
My point, was that such monitor use was "Somewhat common" in HOME settings with PCs (at least in the US), in the early to mid 80 […]
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My point, was that such monitor use was "Somewhat common" in HOME settings with PCs (at least in the US), in the early to mid 80s, with CGA.

CGA had composite output as a stock option, specifically for use with a television. A commodore monitor was cleaner/sharper than your average consumer television, due to better tolerances and sync behavior, as well as a better shadowmask in most circumstances.

If we want to talk about "Oddware" though, (which the EGA wonder kinda is...) the PCjr had something that was "A close cousin" of EGA, *AND* composite out (as an option, with a customized/proprietary plug for the "Basically EGA" paired monitor.)

(image lifted from oldcomputers.net, due to being http and not https. Otherwise I would hotlink)
ibm-pcjr-back.jpg

The Amiga's composite out was only black and white, unless you bought another device to assist in composite color output. I never knew anyone who ran their amiga through composite, everyone had an analog RGB connection.

Reply 43 of 77, by wierd_w

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Shagittarius wrote on 2024-04-16, 15:16:
wierd_w wrote on 2024-04-16, 10:41:
My point, was that such monitor use was "Somewhat common" in HOME settings with PCs (at least in the US), in the early to mid 80 […]
Show full quote

My point, was that such monitor use was "Somewhat common" in HOME settings with PCs (at least in the US), in the early to mid 80s, with CGA.

CGA had composite output as a stock option, specifically for use with a television. A commodore monitor was cleaner/sharper than your average consumer television, due to better tolerances and sync behavior, as well as a better shadowmask in most circumstances.

If we want to talk about "Oddware" though, (which the EGA wonder kinda is...) the PCjr had something that was "A close cousin" of EGA, *AND* composite out (as an option, with a customized/proprietary plug for the "Basically EGA" paired monitor.)

(image lifted from oldcomputers.net, due to being http and not https. Otherwise I would hotlink)
ibm-pcjr-back.jpg

The Amiga's composite out was only black and white, unless you bought another device to assist in composite color output. I never knew anyone who ran their amiga through composite, everyone had an analog RGB connection.

Commodore monitor > Commodore Amiga.

They had an extensive line of color composite monitors.

https://gona.mactar.hu/Commodore/monitor/Comm … del_number.html

Reply 44 of 77, by Shagittarius

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wierd_w wrote on 2024-04-16, 20:07:
Commodore monitor > Commodore Amiga. […]
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Shagittarius wrote on 2024-04-16, 15:16:
wierd_w wrote on 2024-04-16, 10:41:
My point, was that such monitor use was "Somewhat common" in HOME settings with PCs (at least in the US), in the early to mid 80 […]
Show full quote

My point, was that such monitor use was "Somewhat common" in HOME settings with PCs (at least in the US), in the early to mid 80s, with CGA.

CGA had composite output as a stock option, specifically for use with a television. A commodore monitor was cleaner/sharper than your average consumer television, due to better tolerances and sync behavior, as well as a better shadowmask in most circumstances.

If we want to talk about "Oddware" though, (which the EGA wonder kinda is...) the PCjr had something that was "A close cousin" of EGA, *AND* composite out (as an option, with a customized/proprietary plug for the "Basically EGA" paired monitor.)

(image lifted from oldcomputers.net, due to being http and not https. Otherwise I would hotlink)
ibm-pcjr-back.jpg

The Amiga's composite out was only black and white, unless you bought another device to assist in composite color output. I never knew anyone who ran their amiga through composite, everyone had an analog RGB connection.

Commodore monitor > Commodore Amiga.

They had an extensive line of color composite monitors.

https://gona.mactar.hu/Commodore/monitor/Comm … del_number.html

The Amiga's output from the RCA port is only Black and White no matter what you plug it into.

Reply 45 of 77, by wierd_w

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Shagittarius wrote on 2024-04-16, 20:36:
wierd_w wrote on 2024-04-16, 20:07:
Commodore monitor > Commodore Amiga. […]
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Shagittarius wrote on 2024-04-16, 15:16:

The Amiga's composite out was only black and white, unless you bought another device to assist in composite color output. I never knew anyone who ran their amiga through composite, everyone had an analog RGB connection.

Commodore monitor > Commodore Amiga.

They had an extensive line of color composite monitors.

https://gona.mactar.hu/Commodore/monitor/Comm … del_number.html

The Amiga's output from the RCA port is only Black and White no matter what you plug it into.

And if you note, I said PCs with CGA, not Amigas.

😁

Reply 46 of 77, by fxgogo

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I remember my dad buying a Unisys 286 with EGA around the time that we had an Atari ST. I was surprised at how chunky the graphics looked compared to the smooth display of the ST on a Philips 8833. I did not know it at the time, that was down to progressive versus an interlaced display.

When I bought an Amiga 500 a couple of years later to do 3D animation, I even got used to that interlace flicker in hires modes.

Most of my friends with PC’s at the time were on XT boxes with monochrome displays, but in a couple of years, they were on 386 machines with VGA.

Funnily enough, I now have some nostalgia towards EGA.

Reply 47 of 77, by wierd_w

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I remember actually HAVING a system with EGA, and not having quite sufficient budget for a new video card.

I have always had to do "Computer on installment" rolling upgrade plans (due to having always been basically poor), and so I had an early 486 with an EGA card in it (which was a holdover from a 286 I had before then.)

Fun fact!! If you do an in-place upgrade of win3.1 to win95, IT WILL KEEP AND USE the 3.1 EGA video driver! By default, win95 DOES NOT have an EGA video driver, and will not present you with such an option. BUT, it will totally use win3.1's driver in this circumstance, and display 16 color mode. (well... "A" 16 color mode, that is... It is certainly NOT 640x480! 🤣!)

I am kind of nostalgic for that horrible kludgy experience. It gave me no end of both troubles, and amusement.

(Funny video of some Russian person purposefully installing the win3.1 EGA driver on win95b. Video of use (with annoying music) after about 2 minutes.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywkwcpEcp7o

Reply 48 of 77, by BitWrangler

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Well now I gotta try an upgrade from 3.1 with the hercules mono driver 🤣

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 49 of 77, by Jo22

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fxgogo wrote on 2024-04-17, 08:06:

I remember my dad buying a Unisys 286 with EGA around the time that we had an Atari ST. I was surprised at how chunky the graphics looked compared to the smooth display of the ST on a Philips 8833. I did not know it at the time, that was down to progressive versus an interlaced display.

The Atari ST is a good point! 😃
Depending on the monitor being used, it was on par with a PC with EGA and Hercules (and Macintosh -> "Jackintosh" nickname).

Especially the Schneider PC1512 or the Schneider PC1640 with its EGA was similarly popular, I think.
It also had GEM Desktop, as well. So they both were doing well on same desk.

This makes me wonder why EGA had been more successful in the states, maybe.
Because here in Europe (western part, I mean) the home computer scene was still very life and sound.

There was no pressure to own an XT or AT with EGA graphics, as it had been the case in the states.

Anyone into PC games had the choice to play the latest games on an Atari ST, Amiga or C64 (yikes).

Maybe that's why our PC owners got along eith boring business PCs.
They had separate computers for playing games.

It's just a thought, of course. Again, this was before my time.

Edit: The Macintosh seems to have been quite popular in the states, as well.
In the place I live, the Atari ST had filled this role, I suppose.

Some Atari ST users here had used Macintosh emulators, I believe, to run System and Mac applications.

On the other hand, I remember that one telephone book software from early 90s that my father had laying around in his cupboard.
It shipped on two 3,5" DD disks, one labeled "IBM PC, the other one with "Macintosh".

So Macintoshs kinda "existed" in my place, but more in a corporate environment than among home users. Edit: They were exceptionally popular in Desktop Publishing (DTP), of course.

Because, I've never seen them in any computer shop or super market. Ever.
If these Macintoshs were around at the time, they had hidden very well.

Still, it's nice that communications software like CompuServe information Manager, T-Online or AOL had have a Macintosh version, too, at least.

That's about the most I heard about Macintosh back then. Edit: Correction. Video CD, Photo CD, TrueType and QuickTime were Macintosh related, too.
Another exception was Glider, that awesome little game for both Windows 3.1 and Macintosh..

fxgogo wrote on 2024-04-17, 08:06:

When I bought an Amiga 500 a couple of years later to do 3D animation, I even got used to that interlace flicker in hires modes.

A green monitor could have helped here.
It usually has low persistent phosphor, so the after glow will reduce flickering.
So it's a good thing the Amigas had mono composite out, as well.

Another solution would have been to get a flicker-fixer/scan-doubler.
Idealy, it's a video card that takes Amiga's digital video and converts it into analog, VGA compatible signals.
That's what business/professional users had used, I suppose.

Because it needs SRAM, it couldn'thave been dirt cheap, of course. Still less expensive than a PC bridgeboard, though, which many Amiga users had the money for. 😉

fxgogo wrote on 2024-04-17, 08:06:

Most of my friends with PC’s at the time were on XT boxes with monochrome displays, but in a couple of years, they were on 386 machines with VGA.

That's pretty much the experience my dad had at the time.
He says he mainly remembers seeing green monitor and amber monitors at workplaces back then (before VGA was around).
There were a few colour graphics, too, but they were a minority.
Edit: There also had been fancy "paper white" CRTs..

fxgogo wrote on 2024-04-17, 08:06:

Funnily enough, I now have some nostalgia towards EGA.

But that's a good thing, isn't it? 🙂

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Last edited by Jo22 on 2024-04-17, 15:17. Edited 4 times in total.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 50 of 77, by BitWrangler

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fxgogo wrote on 2024-04-17, 08:06:

When I bought an Amiga 500 a couple of years later to do 3D animation, I even got used to that interlace flicker in hires modes.

The more colours you had, the less the interlace flicker seemed to be noticeable, like on an average desktop it was horrible unless you had a photo for a background.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 51 of 77, by Grzyb

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BitWrangler wrote on 2024-04-17, 14:47:

Well now I gotta try an upgrade from 3.1 with the hercules mono driver 🤣

Yes, it does work.
But it doesn't make sense, of course - 348 pixels vertically is not enough for certain system windows.

Nie tylko, jak widzicie, w tym trudność, że nie zdołacie wejść na moją górę, lecz i w tym, że ja do was cały zejść nie mogę, gdyż schodząc, gubię po drodze to, co miałem donieść.

Reply 52 of 77, by kixs

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Amiga - better graphics because of worse monitors?

You can always make a comparison via emulation. Test the same game in DOSBOX and WinUAE at 1:1 scaling and with no image enhancements.

Requests are also possible... /msg kixs

Reply 53 of 77, by Jo22

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kixs wrote on 2024-04-17, 18:47:

Amiga - better graphics because of worse monitors?

You can always make a comparison via emulation. Test the same game in DOSBOX and WinUAE at 1:1 scaling and with no image enhancements.

Good point! As far as I'm is concerned, I already did. 😀
The shareware/advertisement games I tried so far look almost same on OCS Amiga and VGA.

My original point -or rather, thougth experiment- was that Amiga users had used same monitor all time (1084 etc),
whereas PC users with VGA monitors had lived through different "eras". And that filtering part of the monitor concerned me.

The early VGA monitors, like IBM's '87 era MCGA monitor - the Model 8512, had a CRT tube similar to that of the popular Commodore 1084.
It had 0.4mm dot pitch and was quite blurry. Early VGA compatible monitors were euqally blurry.
By comparison, the Commodore 1702 had 0.6mm dot pitch - ideal for C64 or watching VHS.. 😉

The blurriness of the IBM VGA/MCGA monitor wasn't even an accident, maybe. MCGA was low-res, 320x200 256c.
Only on an entry class monitor, photographies looked photo realistic and natural.
- I think there was a picture of a flower being shown at one point.

So it was a compromise, essentially. Between good text quality and photo quality.

But by mid-90s, the VGA monitors had changed. MCGA no longer was a thing, VGA/SVGA in 640x480 and up got popular.
New VGA monitors no longer were 14" models that had primitive knobs, but now a fancy OSD and DDC capability.

They no longer were DOS era monitors, but Windows (Windows 95) era monitor, so to say.
Their dot pitch was 0.2mm, a level of detail which previously merely CAD monitors in the 1980s had to offer.

Unfortunately, that's about the kind of VGA monitors that most of us own these days.
Authentic, period-correct monitors are hard to get by these days. For us PC owners, at least.

The Amiga community still has access to Commodore 1084 monitors and its many clones.
They never went through these changes, so to say. Their experience is as authentic, as it had been way back in 1985..

And that's a bit of a dilemma, when we're comparing Amiga vs PC, I think.
Modern PC monitors are too good, they reveal all the noise that should be hidden.
The Amiga doesn't suffer because of such good monitors, by contrast, it uses a TV grade monitor.

Amiga games look still perfectly fine on that "standard setup",
hereas certain VGA games might have been visually superior in 1990 on contemporary PC hardware - but may no longer are.
- Because the ancient VGA monitors of the past are gone, so a fair comparison is hard to do.

In retrospect, this makes Amiga games look nicer, maybe,
even if the actual colour depth is lower or if heavy dithering had been used to simulate extra colours.

Anyway, I'm not saying that one platform was better than another.
I just mean to say that the Amiga had (has) the advantage of a standard monitor, which did some filtering.
So the experience on developers hardware and the user hardware was almost same.

Last edited by Jo22 on 2024-04-17, 19:52. Edited 1 time in total.

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In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 54 of 77, by BitWrangler

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So here's a view from an April 1990 issue of Micro (Computer) Mart in the UK, on the current and recent past monitors and standards...

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Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 55 of 77, by Jo22

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BitWrangler wrote on 2024-04-17, 19:51:

So here's a view from an April 1990 issue of Micro (Computer) Mart in the UK, on the current and recent past monitors and standards...

Thanks, I agree with all the things said in that article! 😀
That PCW was an electronic typewriter/office PC with a paper-white VGA monitor.
The previous generation had used those exotic 3" floppies and CP/M (Schneider Joyce/Amstrad PCW8256).
LCD and plasma screens were often being used in portable computers, too.
I remember, at about the time, the first pocket TVs with colour LCD became common.
Casio or Roadstar models were being popular in my place.
Their screens were still a bit fuzzy, though. Not full PAL resolution, yet. Still cool, though!

Edit: Early LCD monitor (1990)..: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJvqnpMT8RM

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 56 of 77, by Jo22

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wierd_w wrote on 2024-04-16, 13:23:

The IBM EGA monitor was 'sufficiently popular' in the USA, that I remember the owner of the m0m&pop I worked for had 'A WALL' , floor to ceiling, shelved with nothing but those monitors in his flea market booth.

Most EGA equipped XTs and authentic ATs, came with an actual EGA monitor, even second-hand. (Which all of these were, by the early to mid 90s)

Glad to hear, so EGA eventually got the attention it deserved. 🙂👍

I assume that's because the IBM PC platform had been kind of equally popular among home and workplace?

We over here had many home computer users, still, in the days that EGA was gaining software support:
Atari ST and Amiga were in common use up until early 90s, I believe.

Anyway, I wished/I hope the situation with EGA secretly was a bit similar over here where I live.
Maybe EGA had been semi-popular in a business environment, at least, not sure.
(The popular Amstrad PC1640 had supported EGA, at least).

Because EGA and VGA are like siblings, kind of.
It's a good thing if EGA had been supported at the time.

Unfortunately, it's hard to find information abour how things were in my location, or the rest of Europe (or Australia).

In retrospect, I'm really glad that EGA was around so early. Even if that was mainly on paper (small EGA user base, initially).

Because otherwise, we VGA users wouldn't have had access to such nicely coloured classics from the 80s.

Without EGA, we would been stuck to either CGA or Hercules graphics when playing classic games.
Or Tandy 1000 graphics, if only our VGA cards had an emulation-mode for it.

wierd_w wrote on 2024-04-16, 13:23:

The CGA era was another beast entirely. Lots of composite monitors on CGA equipped systems, from my experience. It WAS however, regarded as 'ghetto' to do that.

I see. I think I understand what you mean here.
Also thank you for using that therm here, I understand that it's not easy to do these days anymore since it has gotten some kind of a stigma to it (I've once naively had used it to describe a radio cassette recorder in a
comment section of an US news site and my comment disappeared immediately).
Yet same time, that word describes the meaning/the feeling so very well here. It's on spot, so to say. So I'm grateful for your explanation.

By the way, here in Germany, something similar happened in the C64 days, by the way.
Some home users had bought a computer, but didn't consider the necessity of a matching monitor (or software).

So in order not to have to buy an extra monitor, these home computer users had re-purposed grandma's TV set from the past decades.

Just image a vintage black/white TV set in a wooden chassis (with lion feets) next to a C64. As a computer monitor! On a table/desk! 😰
(Image an ancient Blaupunkt, Saba or Loewe TV next to a C64..)

Sure, it worked, but it was equally "ghetto". That's how it felt to my generation, at least. Video quality over RF modulator wasn't good, either.
It caused eye strain when reading/writing lots of text over longer time.

Playing text adventures that way wasn't very fun,I assume. It was okay for playing Turrican or Summer Games/Winter Games, however.

There are pictures on the internet in which such TV sets next to a C64 or VIC20 can be seen.

The ZX81 was often being used with a TV, too, but most serious ZX81 users did the composite video mod (bypassing the RF modulator by cutting two wires and wiring video pin directly to RCA jack).

Edited. 2x.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 57 of 77, by appiah4

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Shagittarius wrote on 2024-04-16, 20:36:
wierd_w wrote on 2024-04-16, 20:07:
Commodore monitor > Commodore Amiga. […]
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Shagittarius wrote on 2024-04-16, 15:16:

The Amiga's composite out was only black and white, unless you bought another device to assist in composite color output. I never knew anyone who ran their amiga through composite, everyone had an analog RGB connection.

Commodore monitor > Commodore Amiga.

They had an extensive line of color composite monitors.

https://gona.mactar.hu/Commodore/monitor/Comm … del_number.html

The Amiga's output from the RCA port is only Black and White no matter what you plug it into.

A1000 has color composite out.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 58 of 77, by Shagittarius

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appiah4 wrote on 2024-04-19, 07:30:
Shagittarius wrote on 2024-04-16, 20:36:
wierd_w wrote on 2024-04-16, 20:07:

Commodore monitor > Commodore Amiga.

They had an extensive line of color composite monitors.

https://gona.mactar.hu/Commodore/monitor/Comm … del_number.html

The Amiga's output from the RCA port is only Black and White no matter what you plug it into.

A1000 has color composite out.

I did not know this. I did a little research and it seems not all 1000s have color composite, there is a lot of discussion about this. However I did find something else I didn't know which is the 600 and 1200 had color composite out.

If you had an Amiga monitor though there was no reason to run composite video, anything you would have seen would have been rgb out on those from an amiga.

Reply 59 of 77, by appiah4

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Shagittarius wrote on 2024-04-19, 13:57:
appiah4 wrote on 2024-04-19, 07:30:
Shagittarius wrote on 2024-04-16, 20:36:

The Amiga's output from the RCA port is only Black and White no matter what you plug it into.

A1000 has color composite out.

I did not know this. I did a little research and it seems not all 1000s have color composite, there is a lot of discussion about this. However I did find something else I didn't know which is the 600 and 1200 had color composite out.

If you had an Amiga monitor though there was no reason to run composite video, anything you would have seen would have been rgb out on those from an amiga.

It kind of mattered if you did not own a monitor though, color composite was still lightyears better than color RF.. That said, for an A500 you needed the A520 regardless, which also has color composite out. It was a strange design decision for the A500/2000 that I will never understand. I suppose it was probably done to allow using monochrome monitors at high resolutions. I mean, the A500 has particularly sharp Composite output even though it is B&W. I would think it would look very crisp and sharp in 640x400 interlaced mode on such a monitor, so you could do coding or word processing with it. The issue is, neither the A500 nor the A2000 were marketed as such machines...

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.