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Bigeye #26: 1999 CPU, 1989 Video Card

Created on June 17, 2020
Indexed on September 16, 2022 at 05:22 PM

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If it is possible, it must be done. A VGA card from 1989 is operating in a computer with 1999-esque specifications.

The 440BX chipset was the host to some of the last consumer-targeted motherboards to have ISA ports. They could still use nearly all of the ISA cards out there, except for the really chunky ones that physically insist on being plugged into an 8-bit slot. For that reason, I knew I had to try a really old ISA video card in there.

Apart from reciting my lines correctly, I had a lot of trouble with this segment. Getting WinQuake to work with this card really depends on chance; sometimes it'll work, other times it won't. WinQuake will also complain about the display being set to 16 colors, but the bare metal VGA standard actually supports 256 colors, and has since the very first VGA cards came around in 1987. It's just that it only does so in a 320x200 resolution (well, 320x400 and some other resolutions should work also, as standard VGA cards came with more than just a single 64KB segment addressed by 320x200). As such, it is very much possible for WinQuake and other VGA-compatible Windows games to work on here. It just requires some prodding.

Music used: Unreal Tournament - Into the darkness

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Available in this collection: Bigeye


Blue Horizon (real) - September 16, 2022 at 10:01 PM

During the voice chat when Kugee recorded this segment, I suggested that for the script he added in the "95 windows during a blizzard" part. I think it was initially going to be called a snowstorm before going with the aforementioned, since that sounded catchier.

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