> In 1986, my publisher claimed that they were
getting complaints that
> "XenoCopy won't work on a color display". Turns out that the
> was really that I used the system default text display of 0x07, 0x0f and
> So, I added colored boxes around the text, and in the title page.
> 5? years later, knew someone who got a used machine, and thought that it
> was a B&W display until she ran the "new" version of XenoCopy.
On Thu, 28 Aug 2014, Chuck Guzis wrote:
That was a problem. I selected a nice looking
combination of CGA colors
if I detected a color display--but you never knew when someone was
running a mono display from a CGA/EGA/VGA card, so I also added a "MONO"
switch to the command line, just in case--to select the
nothing/white/bright white color set.
Many programs detected video type and used lots of color if they saw CGA.
In cases of a B&W monitor on a CGA card (such as roomfuls in the college
computer lab), that was often horribly unusable.
And in machines with BOTH video cards, it failed to comply with what the
user had chosen to use. And rarely, a user had both cards, but monitor
connected to only one.
Since that program was text ONLY, I looked at the current mode. If the
mode was 7, then I used B&W at 0xB000. Mode 2 or 3 was 0xB800, but mode 2
meant that the user did not want color. AND, like Chuck, I added a
command line option.
Some outfit made a monochrome monitor with a color jug
in it, so you
could manually select what color you wanted your display to use. Seems
a bit silly today, but there you go. IIRC, if you were driving a
multisync like the Sony 1302 with an HCG/MDA display board, the default
was--green. I don't know if the monitor allowed for a change.
With a little bit of additional circuitry, . . .
wouldn't that be enough to enable the user to select whatever chartreuse
on lavender color scheme that they wanted for monochrome?
BTW, when I say "B&W", I am referring to the signal, not the phosphor
color. We used to have serious problems with the terminology.
At the college, for teaching programming (FORTRAN, COBOL, Pascal, BASIC,
8086 family assembly, etc.), we did not need graphics nor color (no "256
Color accounting"). But, hanging cheap aftermarket composite monitors
(such as Taxan) on CGA cards saved us enough money V IBM "Monochrome" on
IBM MDP, to enable us to have a substantial number of additional
computers. (aftermarket IBM Monochrome compatible monitors and
clones of the Hercules video card (a copy of the IBM MDP with pixel
control) were not yet available). For the price of an IBM monitor, we
could get TEN of the cheap but usable Taxans, in a random mix of green
But, when we went to buy the cheap B&W composite monitors, some vendors
would insist that "B&W" meant WHITE phosphor (at a higher price) and
that "MONOCHROME" meant MDP/Hercules compatible. What name can you use
when you don't give a shit about phosphor color, but want the cheapest
"composite" monitor, without full color?
And many of us began to use "Hercules" as a term that was more difficult
for people to deliberately misinterpret (not really an issue of
ambiguity) than "IBM Monochrome compatible".
We also tried to also have ONE CGA color, and one IBM MONOCHROME in each
room (some students and "teachers" INSISTED on using the color machines
for their B&W text processing). For example, later, the guy teaching a
"Unix Command Line" course DEMANDED VGA and color, and we eventually
populated one room with VGA cards driving "Hercules" monitors.
But using minimum machines in order to have ENOUGH machines did not go
over well with all.
When one of our lab rooms was re-assigned to the business department for
taching accounting classes, they DEMANDED color monitors on the VGA
cards, which resulted in putting half of the machines in the closet and
instituting a waiting list for use of the few remaining "acceptable"
And one of our administrators was pushing VERY HARD to trade in 50 of our
386 machines for 4 486 machines. Meanwhile, when the administrators
upgraded their word processors from 486 to Pentium, they would not give us
the 486 machines, because they were getting a trade-in credit of $100 each
Earlier, one of our administrators had the TRS80 model 3s upgraded to
model 4s, at a cost per machine that was only slightly higher than the
purchase price of a model 4.