How compatible were "MS-DOS Compatible" machines?
trixter at oldskool.org
Wed Jan 30 12:57:51 CST 2008
scheefj at netscape.net wrote:
> In the early 8088/86 days, manufacturers like DEC, HP, TI and Zenith
> thought they could compete with IBM by being "better" in some way.
> Zenith had 640x400 graphics and did the Tandy 2000.
As did the AT&T PC 6300/Olivetti M24. It CGA but with a 400-line
monitor and 32K instead of 16K display RAM. It could do 640x400 in 2
colors. Once nice side-effect of having that much RAM is that it
unintentionally gave CGA 2 true video pages -- but since having only one
page normally was an exploitable trick, such games that used the trick
didn't display properly on the 6300.
A later "Display Enhancement Board" (DEB) upped that to 16 colors with
palette capabilities, and also allowed the onboard CGA to mix with the
DEB graphics, allowing mixing graphics with text. I never once saw
commercial software exploit this :-(
> So to the original question -- the three requirements will limit the
> program to "true compatibles", meaning a hardware clone. The most
> incompatible MS-DOS machine ever, the Seattle Gazelle, uses a serial
> terminal so the only "sound" available would be the terminal bell.
Thanks for the advice.
Jim Leonard (trixter at oldskool.org) http://www.oldskool.org/
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