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First post, by North_Computers

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I have an ATI Graphics Solutions (Rev. 3, I believe) card in my Commodore PC. I need the utilities and the drivers. Can anyone point me to a working FTP server with those files? Or any other source?

Reply 3 of 12, by Benedikt

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In case you need any information on how to program for that thing, check out the Commodore PC10 PC20 Advanced Graphics Adapter manual. That is apparently how Commodore marketed the ATI Graphics Solution in its systems despite not even rebadging it. The manual contains relatively detailed technical information.

Other than that, I can offer a minimalist bitmap viewer I wrote. It takes a 4bpp 16-color windows bitmap with 640 by 200 pixels and displays it in the card's 640x200x16 mode, ignoring the palette.
Please note, however, that this is proof-of-concept code that skips virtually all sanity checks.

I also ported Planet X3 to that mode, this summer, but that port has not been officially published, yet.

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Reply 4 of 12, by Scali

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In later machines at least (PC10/20-II and III), Commodore used Paradise PVC2 or PVC4.
They are very similar (both support Hercules, CGA and Plantronics), but not identical.

http://scalibq.wordpress.com/just-keeping-it- … ro-programming/

Reply 5 of 12, by North_Computers

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Scali wrote:

In later machines at least (PC10/20-II and III), Commodore used Paradise PVC2 or PVC4.
They are very similar (both support Hercules, CGA and Plantronics), but not identical.

In fact, my machine is a PC10-III. I should have a careful look at my card, as I just assumed I have the ATI Graphics Solutions.

Would you perchance have a link to the same kind of utilities/drivers, for these PCV2 or PVC4 cards?

Reply 6 of 12, by North_Computers

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Benedikt wrote:

In case you need any information on how to program for that thing, check out the Commodore PC10 PC20 Advanced Graphics Adapter manual. That is apparently how Commodore marketed the ATI Graphics Solution in its systems despite not even rebadging it. The manual contains relatively detailed technical information.

Thanks, I do have the correct manual (in hardcopy).

Benedikt wrote:

Other than that, I can offer a minimalist bitmap viewer I wrote. It takes a 4bpp 16-color windows bitmap with 640 by 200 pixels and displays it in the card's 640x200x16 mode, ignoring the palette.
Please note, however, that this is proof-of-concept code that skips virtually all sanity checks.

I also ported Planet X3 to that mode, this summer, but that port has not been officially published, yet.

That's awesome!

Are you... related to the 8 Bit Guy?

Reply 7 of 12, by Benedikt

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North_Computers wrote:

Thanks, I do have the correct manual (in hardcopy).

And I made my own hard copy.

North_Computers wrote:

Are you... related to the 8 Bit Guy?

No, I just went on his nerves long enough to get my hands on the source code and then doubled the number of supported video modes.

The high-res Tandy mode in the VGA engine came first, then the grayscale CGA mode, the Plantronics ColorPlus mode and the Hercules mode in the CGA engine, then the medium-res EGA port and finally the ATI GS port.
Furthermore, there are some unfinished experimental modes that also reuse existing engines, e.g. an accelerated VGA mode in the EGA engine and medium-res Tandy support in the ATI GS engine.

North_Computers wrote:

In fact, my machine is a PC10-III. I should have a careful look at my card, as I just assumed I have the ATI Graphics Solutions.

Would you perchance have a link to the same kind of utilities/drivers, for these PCV2 or PVC4 cards?

In that case, I don't think the 640x200 16-color mode will work (although you can try if you dare). The PVC4 in that machine does evidently support the Plantronics ColorPlus modes, though.

Reply 8 of 12, by Scali

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North_Computers wrote:

Would you perchance have a link to the same kind of utilities/drivers, for these PCV2 or PVC4 cards?

No, I never was able to track down any software or documentation on the PVC4 specifically.
However, I did find a Technical Manual for the PC10-III:
http://www.zimmers.net/anonftp/pub/cbm-pc/sch … al%20Manual.pdf

It documents the video modes on page 32. It lists the Plantronics modes, including 640x200 in 4 of 16 colours, but not a full 16 colour mode.

http://scalibq.wordpress.com/just-keeping-it- … ro-programming/

Reply 9 of 12, by North_Computers

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Scali wrote:
No, I never was able to track down any software or documentation on the PVC4 specifically. However, I did find a Technical Manua […]
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North_Computers wrote:

Would you perchance have a link to the same kind of utilities/drivers, for these PCV2 or PVC4 cards?

No, I never was able to track down any software or documentation on the PVC4 specifically.
However, I did find a Technical Manual for the PC10-III:
http://www.zimmers.net/anonftp/pub/cbm-pc/sch … al%20Manual.pdf

It documents the video modes on page 32. It lists the Plantronics modes, including 640x200 in 4 of 16 colours, but not a full 16 colour mode.

I finally arrived home after a very busy and hard day at work, had dinner and looked at my PC 10 - III, and discovered that it's in fact a PC 10 - II. I'm an idiot. Still, I downloaded the technical manual for the III, just in case. But the card really is an ATI Graphics Solutions.

Reply 10 of 12, by Scali

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North_Computers wrote:

But the card really is an ATI Graphics Solutions.

Yea, Commodore rebranded it to Advanced Graphics Adapter, but they are indeed ATi GS: http://www.retromaniek.pl/wp-content/uploads/ … ics_Adapter.pdf

http://scalibq.wordpress.com/just-keeping-it- … ro-programming/

Reply 11 of 12, by North_Computers

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Benedikt wrote:
North_Computers wrote:

Are you... related to the 8 Bit Guy?

No, I just went on his nerves long enough to get my hands on the source code and then doubled the number of supported video modes.

Will I be able to play Planet X3 on my Commodore PC-10 II (yeah, it's a II, not a III, my brain had a hiccup, I guess) anytime soon? Do you accept donations - how is your effort being rewarded?

Reply 12 of 12, by Benedikt

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North_Computers wrote:

Will I be able to play Planet X3 on my Commodore PC-10 II (yeah, it's a II, not a III, my brain had a hiccup, I guess) anytime soon? Do you accept donations - how is your effort being rewarded?

So far, my work has been rewarded with having a version that runs on my hardware. I surely wouldn't turn down donations, though. (Why would I?!)
Provided that you have the game, you should be able to play it on that machine, right now, using one of the other supported modes.
Only the dedicated ATI GS port for the 640x200x16 mode has not been officially published, yet, but since all the other executables are freely available for download, as well – without the game assets, obviously –, we can surely arrange something.
There's a screenshot in the ATI Graphics Solution thread.