The VGA ROM font has to be the most recognizable text-mode character set, whether you spent the 1990s as an ANSI artist or as a POS cashier. Naturally it's all bitmap, but I've seen a few attempts to shape it into a truly scalable font, with a 'smart' contoured outline that would theoretically look good at any size. For instance, there's Nouveau IBM (previously used for titles on this blog) or Codepage Mono.
This one here takes a different approach, derived partially from the xBRZ scaler. That gives it more of a 'rounded' look, but even so (IMO, YMMV, etc.) the perceptual form of the glyphs is closer to the original than other attempts. The font was already pretty much finished last year, when I put it up on VOGONS as a 'beta' release, but there wasn't much to add to it... so here it is for your arguable enjoyment.
Two variants are included, 'True' and 'False': 'True' is aspect-corrected to match the appearance of a good old 4:3 VGA monitor. The default VGA text mode has a resolution of 720x400, and at 4:3 this produces pixels that are far from square: (400/3)/(720/4) = 0.740740.... For simplicity's sake I rounded that to 0.75, meaning that the character cell is really 3/4 the width of a 'naïve' square-pixel representation.
The 'False'-aspect variant does keep to the square-pixel assumption. Which isn't true to the original look, but some may like that appearance or even be used to it. At a text size of 16px, it has the effect of sticking to the 1:1 pixel representation but with an added anti-aliasing (depending on the font renderer).
Each of those two variants also comes in two encodings:
- The unmarked file covers a wide selection of characters, mostly based on various code-pages from DOS (including Greek, Hebrew, Cyrillic and many Latin scripts): this is the same as the 'PxPlus' extensions from the Ultimate Oldskool PC Font Pack.
- The "437" version contains only the characters from the original IBM PC codepage CP437 ("US-Latin"), and is detected by Windows as an "OEM/DOS" font. Suitable for your favorite .NFO viewer or any other situation where you need this character set.
The full selection of glyphs is this: