computer graphics in the 1950s

Eric Smith eric at
Fri Oct 17 13:50:34 CDT 2008

Bryan Pope wrote:
> The Star Wars vector arcade game from 1983 is just beautiful IMHO.. :-)
> Absolutely no jaggies at all!
That's true of many (but not all) the B&W vector games, such as 
Battlezone and Red Baron, but not of the color vector games.  In the 
color vector games, the CRT itself introduces pixelization, because of 
the holes in the shadow mask and the discrete phosphor dots.  The 
resolution isn't really all that great.

There was a color vector display technology that didn't use a shadow 
mask or phosphor dots, but it was very uncommon.  It used two layers of 
phosphor with different activation energies, and the high-voltage supply 
was actually switched between two voltages.  The lower voltage only 
activated one phosphor, but the higer voltage activated both, so two 
different colors were available.  This was used in the DEC VR20 monitor, 
of which few units were believed to have been sold.

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