Olympiad: IBM Prototype Fonts Unearthed

Olympiad: IBM Prototype Fonts Unearthed

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My Ultimate Oldschool PC Font Pack got some pretty cool responses, and one of them contained something quite unexpected: a set of files transferred from twenty-five 5.25" floppies, containing internal snapshots of font development done at IBM around 1984. These prototype fonts were designed specifically for a project codenamed Olympiad.  Familiar?  Probably not, but it came to light a couple years later as the IBM 6150 AKA the RT PC, a RISC workstation and grandaddy of the PowerPC architecture. ...
So-called "IBM" Freeware Games from the Early '80s

So-called "IBM" Freeware Games from the Early '80s

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(...and the Cryptic Code Conundrum) This is a question I've already raised in the usual suspect places, but without much success, so here it is again on the off chance that anybody knows anything. Going through compilations of very early BBS-fodder for the IBM PC (shareware, freeware, public domain), I frequently see this bunch of games and programs that seem to have a few things in common: ...
The Ultimate Oldschool PC Font Pack (v1.0)

The Ultimate Oldschool PC Font Pack (v1.0)

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Character(-set) Assassination: a Monospace Odyssey At long last, it's done - the world's biggest collection of classic text mode fonts, system fonts and BIOS fonts from DOS-era IBM PCs and compatibles.  You get: Pixel-perfect reproductions of the original raster fonts! TrueType (TTF) and bitmap (FON) remakes for 81 character sets! Multi-lingual Unicode enhancements of the more popular fonts (and some less-popular ones)! Multi-platform compatibility! Get it HERE The Ultimate Oldschool PC Font Pack started out with the idea of paying tribute to ancient PCs and their bitmapped, pre-GUI typography (if you can call it that). ...
Windows (and ClearType) vs. Truetype Fonts with Embedded Bitmaps

Windows (and ClearType) vs. Truetype Fonts with Embedded Bitmaps

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Round 1: FIGHT! While I was working on the TrueType versions of the BigBlue Terminal font (and on my upcoming pack of oldschool PC font remakes), a stubborn annoyance cropped up in the form of ClearType.  Microsoft's subpixel text rasterizer (optimized for flat-panel displays) doesn't play nice at all with TrueType pixelfonts -- that is, scalable fonts, whose outlines are designed to snap to the pixel grid at a particular size. ...
BigBlue Terminal: An Oldschool Fixed-Width Pixel Font

BigBlue Terminal: An Oldschool Fixed-Width Pixel Font

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BigBlue Terminal is a monospaced pixel font, designed for use in fixed-width textual environments (consoles/terminals, text/code/hex editors and so on).  It follows the metrics and dimensions of Windows' old Terminal font (at the 9pt/12px size), but the appearance is closer to the classic IBM PC text mode character sets. At 8x12 pixels, Terminal is nicely compact and useful, but also kind of ugly.  Instead, BigBlue Terminal is closely based on IBM's 8x14 EGA/VGA charset -- I just like it better. ...
Getting Optimal Apple ][ Screenshots w/NTSC Emulation

Getting Optimal Apple ][ Screenshots w/NTSC Emulation

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A while ago over at MobyGames, AppleWin NTSC was recommended (okay, by me) for obtaining Apple ][ shots.  However, it's a bit of a pain to use, since the built-in screenshot function doesn't work.  Also the NTSC output is still not *quite* ideal (there's some ghosting/ringing going on, and black/white areas are somewhat 'noisy'). Thankfully Michaelangel007 has provided a newer build which addresses both of these issues.  The full discussion is on github, but here's a quick-start guide to make your lives easier and your screenshots better: ...
101 Monochrome Mazes: Why Not Color?

101 Monochrome Mazes: Why Not Color?

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[ Note: this post is here to supplement a discussion on MobyGames, because it's simply easier to present the info in this format.  Plus, it'll stay accessible in case someone needs a source for the trivia later on, because nobody expects the Spanish Mobyite Inquisition. ;-) ] One Hundred and One Monochrome Mazes was a 1983 IBM release, part of its 'Personally Developed Software' line of PC titles created by outside authors. ...
8088 MPH Final: Old vs. New CGA (and Other Gory Details)

8088 MPH Final: Old vs. New CGA (and Other Gory Details)

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At long last, the final version of 8088 MPH is out.  There's a very nice rundown of the fixes and changes in Scali's blog post; much of the visible (i.e., graphical) portion of those changes involved making the demo compatible with all IBM CGA cards. The party version targeted the earlier, pre-1983 revision of the IBM CGA card (or as we've come to call it, "old" CGA).  This was partly because we had better data for this model: reenigne owns such a card, and he had been working on some of these tweaks long before we decided to make a demo about it. ...