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Discussion on: What are you "old enough to remember" in software development?

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Vincent Milum Jr

When the "console", "terminal" or "command prompt" was really just this thing called "DOS"

And it had QBasic. And QBasic was a godsend for learning how the computer actually worked!

Speaking of learning how things worked... Drawing graphics in QBasic? You interacted directly with the video card. There were no drivers. You would have to manually setup which VGA mode you wanted, such as 320x240 pixel with 16 colors. And then very single dot had to be manually plotted on the screen! There were a few libraries for drawing primitives, but these literally did the same thing, CPU based drawing to a generic frame buffer.

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Thomas H Jones II

But did you ever have to engage int he joy that was "shape tables"?

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Dian Fay

Having to choose between 640x480 with 16 colors or 320x200 with 256 was agonizing back in the day!

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Thomas H Jones II

But damn the plaids were great. :p

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Vincent Milum Jr

Color, or resolution... PICK ONE!

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Erik Pischel

Color! Plus 320x200x256 was easy to address because every pixel was a byte in an array.

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Vincent Milum Jr

MOSTLY YES! But there was also some odd-ball hardware that was 16-bit transfers instead of 8-bit. So to draw a single pixel, you had to read two bytes, replace one, then write two bytes back. HOWEVER though, this also meant that just raw performance of painting was twice as fast, as you could draw two pixels in a single operation, if you already knew what both were going to be! (like copying frame buffer for example)

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Phil Ashby

For those who get a kick out of wrangling old hardware to do things it was never designed to.. this back in 2015 blew me away when I found it: int10h.org/blog/2015/04/cga-in-102...