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Xebec

16 color 80 columns , and resolution vs serial port speeds for modem/terminal programs

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Hey there,

 

Just two technical questions for the ST ;

 

Were there any 80 column terminal/modem programs that supported 16 color ANSI on the ST?   maybe via 640x200 and some kind of color changing tricks?   

 

Also, did screen resolution affect the stability of the serial port at higher baud rates (19200 or above) on the ST?   I know on the Amiga desktop resolution * color count -- lower was better for ensuring higher serial port speed stability.   I'm curious if that was just due to the multitasking nature of the OS or something else going on ..

 

Thanks!

John 

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6 minutes ago, Xebec said:

Were there any 80 column terminal/modem programs that supported 16 color ANSI on the ST?   maybe via 640x200 and some kind of color changing tricks?   

It would be tough,  I'm sure there's a limit to the number of palette swaps you can do per line, and if there's a lot of colors on the line, you might not be able to get the color that you need when you need it.

 

Maybe a smart terminal could load the line first, calculate the best color-change strategy and then render it?

 

Another possibility is to make the term program in low-res 16 color mode with 4x8 characters

9 minutes ago, Xebec said:

Also, did screen resolution affect the stability of the serial port at higher baud rates (19200 or above) on the ST?   I know on the Amiga desktop resolution * color count -- lower was better for ensuring higher serial port speed stability.   I'm curious if that was just due to the multitasking nature of the OS or something else going on ..

I've never seen instability, but most ST models were limited to 19200 without hardware modification.

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Color/palette changing during line loads CPU heavily, and then SW will work much slower, or just will not work at all. It is worse in medium than low res.

Really don't see why 16 colors for this ?

Amiga works slower with more  colors, higher res. - then CPU must wait more for RAM access, because RAM bandwith is not enough for video and CPU at full speed.

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1 hour ago, Xebec said:

Hey there,

 

Just two technical questions for the ST ;

 

Were there any 80 column terminal/modem programs that supported 16 color ANSI on the ST?   maybe via 640x200 and some kind of color changing tricks?   

 

Also, did screen resolution affect the stability of the serial port at higher baud rates (19200 or above) on the ST?   I know on the Amiga desktop resolution * color count -- lower was better for ensuring higher serial port speed stability.   I'm curious if that was just due to the multitasking nature of the OS or something else going on ..

 

Thanks!

John 

 

There are some soft on the Atari 8bit which uses 4 pixel (4x8) fonts to reach 80 column mode.

The same method could be implemented on the ST. In ST Low mode we could have 80x25 in 16 colors.

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I remember trying out ANSITerm but felt at the time that using graphics to draw text was much slower than GEM's text routines (nevermind I was using a pokey 2400 modem) so I stuck with using the four colors I customized for STalker.

 

There's also Taz, which I wish I knew about then, that used color cycling in medium resolution.  That's more apporiate for the ANSI based BBS's than the dial up ISP's that used VT-100 emulation.

 

https://sites.google.com/site/stessential/communications/taz

 

 

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I think you can achieve fairly good results for ANSI using either

TAZ, ANSITerm or Freeze Dried Terminal...

 

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On 2/11/2021 at 9:18 AM, Xebec said:

Hey there,

 

Just two technical questions for the ST ;

 

Were there any 80 column terminal/modem programs that supported 16 color ANSI on the ST?   maybe via 640x200 and some kind of color changing tricks?   

 

Also, did screen resolution affect the stability of the serial port at higher baud rates (19200 or above) on the ST?   I know on the Amiga desktop resolution * color count -- lower was better for ensuring higher serial port speed stability.   I'm curious if that was just due to the multitasking nature of the OS or something else going on ..

 

Thanks!

John 

 

That just goes to show that the Amiga should've had a next-gen SIO port in it and not allowed Commodore to insist upon using those crummy CIA chips in their system. Should'a had a PIA. And a Fajita Pita for good measure... 

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19 hours ago, Lynxpro said:

 

That just goes to show that the Amiga should've had a next-gen SIO port in it and not allowed Commodore to insist upon using those crummy CIA chips in their system. Should'a had a PIA. And a Fajita Pita for good measure... 

Lol - I always wondered if the Amiga designers thought about continuing something like the SIO / a universal serial port for all of the reasons it was awesome on the Atari 8bit and later in USB...  

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2 hours ago, Xebec said:

Lol - I always wondered if the Amiga designers thought about continuing something like the SIO / a universal serial port for all of the reasons it was awesome on the Atari 8bit and later in USB...  


Nega-TiVo. Joe Decuir was asked that very question over in one of the Atari Facebook groups and he said "no". Surprisingly. But then again, as he contended, even the Atari 800D - the rare developer's version of the Atari 800 - had 2 MC6850s for their own serial ports separate from SIO.  But it was a surprise since Mr. Decuir has patents related to USB 2.0 and Firewire. He's not a fan of USB 1.x.

Edited by Lynxpro
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12 hours ago, Lynxpro said:


Nega-TiVo. Joe Decuir was asked that very question over in one of the Atari Facebook groups and he said "no". Surprisingly. But then again, as he contended, even the Atari 800D - the rare developer's version of the Atari 800 - had 2 MC6850s for their own serial ports separate from SIO.  But it was a surprise since Mr. Decuir has patents related to USB 2.0 and Firewire. He's not a fan of USB 1.x.

Very interesting - I had a feeling it wasn't even considered.  I guess they never thought back then the speed would amount to anything useful vs. the awesome speed and low latency of slots.   IMO the user experience of even SIO is better than having disks, printers, casettes, and modems each on unique cables vs. just daisy chaining with a universal cable.   

 

Do you know what his main objections were to USB 1.x?   2.0 obviously adds speed, but also new connector types, USB OTG, and a battery charging spec.  

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On 2/18/2021 at 8:00 PM, Xebec said:

Lol - I always wondered if the Amiga designers thought about continuing something like the SIO / a universal serial port for all of the reasons it was awesome on the Atari 8bit and later in USB...  

No way!  That would have meant having to buy a seperate interface box just to use standard printers & modems like on the Atari 8-bit, which weren't available anymore.  It was one of the reasons why I got a ST to use for college in the early 90's.

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1 hour ago, MrMaddog said:

No way!  That would have meant having to buy a seperate interface box just to use standard printers & modems like on the Atari 8-bit, which weren't available anymore.  It was one of the reasons why I got a ST to use for college in the early 90's.

That is a very fair post..  the 8bit accessories were extra expensive for the user convenience..   too bad Wifi and Fujinet weren't available in the 80s ;-)

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On 2/19/2021 at 7:37 AM, Xebec said:

Very interesting - I had a feeling it wasn't even considered.  I guess they never thought back then the speed would amount to anything useful vs. the awesome speed and low latency of slots.   IMO the user experience of even SIO is better than having disks, printers, casettes, and modems each on unique cables vs. just daisy chaining with a universal cable.   

 

Do you know what his main objections were to USB 1.x?   2.0 obviously adds speed, but also new connector types, USB OTG, and a battery charging spec.  

 

He wasn't involved with the design of USB 1.x. And it was slow. He has patents on USB 2.0 and FireWire.

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On 2/21/2021 at 4:42 AM, MrMaddog said:

No way!  That would have meant having to buy a seperate interface box just to use standard printers & modems like on the Atari 8-bit, which weren't available anymore.  It was one of the reasons why I got a ST to use for college in the early 90's.

 

The Amiga and the Atari ST debuted in 1985. Those "separate interface box(es)" for the Atari 8-bit line were most certainly still available brand new in 1985 and extending all the way to 1992.

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15 hours ago, Lynxpro said:

 

The Amiga and the Atari ST debuted in 1985. Those "separate interface box(es)" for the Atari 8-bit line were most certainly still available brand new in 1985 and extending all the way to 1992.

850 Interfaces were hard to find even in the later 80's and ICD stopped making their version when Atari ended all 8-bit support.  That left CSS's The Black Box as the remaining interface box during the 90's...so even if you found a mail order place that still had them they were still rare.

 

Plus, unless the printer and/or modem was made by Atari, you still had the added expensive of buying an interface box to even use them.  That's what made PC's and other 16-bit machines more appealing to those looking for an upgrade.

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1 hour ago, MrMaddog said:

850 Interfaces were hard to find even in the later 80's and ICD stopped making their version when Atari ended all 8-bit support.  That left CSS's The Black Box as the remaining interface box during the 90's...so even if you found a mail order place that still had them they were still rare.

 

Plus, unless the printer and/or modem was made by Atari, you still had the added expensive of buying an interface box to even use them.  That's what made PC's and other 16-bit machines more appealing to those looking for an upgrade.

 

And again, ICD's replacement solution for Atari's 850 was still available in 1992 when Atari Corp stopped supporting the Atari 8-bit computers...

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