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Has anyone used a Cromemco Dazzler as a regular video output

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  • corey986
    What I mean is as a terminal for a basic program with an ASCII keyboard. I just picked one up (its in the mail) and due to lack of slots will need to remove
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 7, 2013
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      What I mean is as a "terminal" for a basic program with an ASCII keyboard.

      I just picked one up (its in the mail) and due to lack of slots will need to remove my SSM video card and use the Dazzler on its own (after I mod it as per the manual for single slot use).

      I assume I will need a set a libraries in ram/ram and a patch to basic since the dazzler I don't think has a character generator. I'm just hoping that someone had written the libraries and has the patch figured out already. I haven't heavily gone through the dazzler manual yet because I have to either print it out or put it on my iPad, trying to read it on my iPhone isn't the easiest task.

      Thanks,
      Corey
    • mfeberhard
      The Dazzler has abysmally low resolution - in its highest-resolution mode, it produces an image that is 128 pixels X 128 pixels. Assuming a very chunky 5X7
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 7, 2013
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        The Dazzler has abysmally low resolution - in its highest-resolution mode, it produces an image that is 128 pixels X 128 pixels. Assuming a very chunky 5X7 font, with 1 blank pixel between characters, that would work out to 25 chrs x 16 rows. not a great display...

        Further, the video output stage of the Dazzler is a poor design - its frequencies and other timing are only approximately NTSC, and it wanders with temperature. The result is rather poor pixel definition. I doubt you could produce a readable 5X7 font... You probably need 7X11 for anything readable, even with a really good monitor. That would give you 10 rows of 16 characters...

        Have you considered using a terminal on a serial port for your console?

        -Martin

        --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, corey986 <no_reply@...> wrote:
        >
        > What I mean is as a "terminal" for a basic program with an ASCII keyboard.
        >
        > I just picked one up (its in the mail) and due to lack of slots will need to remove my SSM video card and use the Dazzler on its own (after I mod it as per the manual for single slot use).
        >
        > I assume I will need a set a libraries in ram/ram and a patch to basic since the dazzler I don't think has a character generator. I'm just hoping that someone had written the libraries and has the patch figured out already. I haven't heavily gone through the dazzler manual yet because I have to either print it out or put it on my iPad, trying to read it on my iPhone isn't the easiest task.
        >
        > Thanks,
        > Corey
        >
      • corey986
        Thanks, Actually as you recommended I was going to use my Sol-20 as a terminal for now but eventually I wanted my altair to be standalone . I already have
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 7, 2013
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          Thanks,

          Actually as you recommended I was going to use my Sol-20 as a "terminal" for now but eventually I wanted my altair to be "standalone". I already have a nice serial #2 George Risk keyboard in a blue altair case waiting and I got the SSM video card libraries compiled and the "MITS basic 4.x" patch done. The dazzler was just a deal I couldn't pass up. So I grabbed it and figured I'd think of what to do later. Maybe I'll put it in the Sol and leave the altair as is. This way I can play color games like spacewar and use the same monitor as the Sol with a switch.

          Decisions,
          Decisions...

          Cheers,
          Corey
          --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "mfeberhard" <eberhard@...> wrote:
          >
          > The Dazzler has abysmally low resolution - in its highest-resolution mode, it produces an image that is 128 pixels X 128 pixels. Assuming a very chunky 5X7 font, with 1 blank pixel between characters, that would work out to 25 chrs x 16 rows. not a great display...
          >
          > Further, the video output stage of the Dazzler is a poor design - its frequencies and other timing are only approximately NTSC, and it wanders with temperature. The result is rather poor pixel definition. I doubt you could produce a readable 5X7 font... You probably need 7X11 for anything readable, even with a really good monitor. That would give you 10 rows of 16 characters...
          >
          > Have you considered using a terminal on a serial port for your console?
          >
          > -Martin
          >
          > --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, corey986 <no_reply@> wrote:
          > >
          > > What I mean is as a "terminal" for a basic program with an ASCII keyboard.
          > >
          > > I just picked one up (its in the mail) and due to lack of slots will need to remove my SSM video card and use the Dazzler on its own (after I mod it as per the manual for single slot use).
          > >
          > > I assume I will need a set a libraries in ram/ram and a patch to basic since the dazzler I don't think has a character generator. I'm just hoping that someone had written the libraries and has the patch figured out already. I haven't heavily gone through the dazzler manual yet because I have to either print it out or put it on my iPad, trying to read it on my iPhone isn't the easiest task.
          > >
          > > Thanks,
          > > Corey
          > >
          >
        • mfeberhard
          Well, you could do what I ve done with my Dazzler board... It s in a Cromemco Z-1 computer, together with their D+7A I/O and a pair of their JS-1 joysticks.
          Message 4 of 4 , Apr 7, 2013
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            Well, you could do what I've done with my Dazzler board... It's in a Cromemco Z-1 computer, together with their D+7A I/O and a pair of their JS-1 joysticks. This machine is completed with a Cromemco PFD disk system, with a Persci 277 drive inside. Nice and clean early all-Cromemco machine, running CDOS.

            Then I found a gorgeous 1975-ish "space age" color TV and a vintage TV modulator box for the Dazzler display.

            The conversation with the wife is not so bad... "Honey, I was thinking of getting another computer..."

            :-)

            Martin

            --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, corey986 <no_reply@...> wrote:
            >
            > Thanks,
            >
            > Actually as you recommended I was going to use my Sol-20 as a "terminal" for now but eventually I wanted my altair to be "standalone". I already have a nice serial #2 George Risk keyboard in a blue altair case waiting and I got the SSM video card libraries compiled and the "MITS basic 4.x" patch done. The dazzler was just a deal I couldn't pass up. So I grabbed it and figured I'd think of what to do later. Maybe I'll put it in the Sol and leave the altair as is. This way I can play color games like spacewar and use the same monitor as the Sol with a switch.
            >
            > Decisions,
            > Decisions...
            >
            > Cheers,
            > Corey
            > --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "mfeberhard" <eberhard@> wrote:
            > >
            > > The Dazzler has abysmally low resolution - in its highest-resolution mode, it produces an image that is 128 pixels X 128 pixels. Assuming a very chunky 5X7 font, with 1 blank pixel between characters, that would work out to 25 chrs x 16 rows. not a great display...
            > >
            > > Further, the video output stage of the Dazzler is a poor design - its frequencies and other timing are only approximately NTSC, and it wanders with temperature. The result is rather poor pixel definition. I doubt you could produce a readable 5X7 font... You probably need 7X11 for anything readable, even with a really good monitor. That would give you 10 rows of 16 characters...
            > >
            > > Have you considered using a terminal on a serial port for your console?
            > >
            > > -Martin
            > >
            > > --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, corey986 <no_reply@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > What I mean is as a "terminal" for a basic program with an ASCII keyboard.
            > > >
            > > > I just picked one up (its in the mail) and due to lack of slots will need to remove my SSM video card and use the Dazzler on its own (after I mod it as per the manual for single slot use).
            > > >
            > > > I assume I will need a set a libraries in ram/ram and a patch to basic since the dazzler I don't think has a character generator. I'm just hoping that someone had written the libraries and has the patch figured out already. I haven't heavily gone through the dazzler manual yet because I have to either print it out or put it on my iPad, trying to read it on my iPhone isn't the easiest task.
            > > >
            > > > Thanks,
            > > > Corey
            > > >
            > >
            >
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