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What where the benefits of quadratic surface rendering used by Nvidia's NV1 over triangle based rendering?

What where the benefits of quadratic surface rendering used by Nvidia's NV1 graphic chip over triangle based rendering? And what was the reason why Nvidia followed this approach?
Coder's user avatar
  • 1,009
2 votes
0 answers
67 views

HP TSB program stored format

The internal representation for a HP TSB Access program is detailed in the 'Sources and Listings' Documentation ref 22687-90020. This describes (pages 5-28 & 5-29) how string variables, simple ...
hptsb's user avatar
  • 41
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is the technical definition of "clone" that makes the K1810VM88 (К1810ВМ88) not a clone of the 8088?

The Clueless Engineer YouTube channel posted a video yesterday exploring a Soviet K1810VM88 CPU he got from Ukraine. Apparently he originally used the wording in the video title that the K1810VM88 was ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 6,626
6 votes
0 answers
204 views

Northern Telecom SL-1 PBX Programming Language

My first job in 1981 was programing the Northern Telecom/ BNR SL-1 PBX. It had been licensed in the UK by GEC (the UK company, not the US one) from Northern Telecom, and I added some UK specific ...
masonas's user avatar
  • 61
10 votes
2 answers
413 views

1984 accounting software running in VirtualBox fails to print property to an LPT passthrough, but other software seems fine

My family still runs their business with an accounting package from 1984. The computer running it is old enough to drink. I’m trying to move it to a virtual machine. I’ve purchased a System 76 ...
Chad's user avatar
  • 101
-4 votes
1 answer
218 views

Does DOS run Crysis? [closed]

There certainly exist machines that can run both DOS and Crysis, but both at the same time? I had something like the HX DOS extender in mind and mesa3d can be compiled for DOS and Windows. There seem ...
user1095108's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

Did VMS ever acquire filesystem cross-links?

Both Unix and Windows, quite early, acquired cross-links in their filesystems, such that the filesystems are not trees, but general directed graphs. I'm curious about whether this was an inevitable ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 60.2k
26 votes
6 answers
7k views

What did corporations use for long-distance networks in the 1980s?

Although ARPANET was invented in 1969, the Internet as publicly available infrastructure didn't really become available until 1989. But people were certainly using computers as communication tools in ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 60.2k
3 votes
1 answer
181 views

Did any big-iron systems implement offloaded database IO tasks?

I think I might have a false-memory, but I remember reading about some big iron system (1970s to the 1980s, I suppose) that set database benchmark records because it delegated bulk OLTP DML and ...
Dai's user avatar
  • 813
-1 votes
0 answers
168 views

Anybody remember 386Max? [closed]

Originally called 386-to-the-Max, it was an amazing DOS extension and protected mode memory manager. It gave you access to the high memory area (top segment) and loaded drivers into the HMA instead of ...
Miss_Understands's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
142 views

Was an Amiga 'Enhancer' software package ever released for Kickstart/Workbench 1.1?

When the original Amiga 1000 was released, it shipped with version 1.0 of Kickstart and Workbench. However, it wasn't long before Commodore released version 1.1 and computers started shipping with ...
Geo...'s user avatar
  • 10.2k
3 votes
1 answer
207 views

How is the Commodore BASIC RND function seeded, depending on the argument?

In AppleSoft, RND with a negative number performs a seed on the generator with that number. So, as I understand it X=RND(-1) is the equivalent of RANDOMIZE 1:X=RND(1): If aexpr is positive, returns a ...
Maury Markowitz's user avatar
18 votes
3 answers
6k views

Which OS first implemented hibernation?

According to the relevant Wikipedia article, [h]ibernation was first implemented in 1992 and patented by Compaq Computer Corporation in Houston, Texas. This appears to refer specifically to hardware- ...
Leo B.'s user avatar
  • 18.8k
4 votes
3 answers
182 views

ProDOS BASIC.SYSTEM overwrites RNDL ($4E) - how to get random numbers

I am writing an application that uses random numbers. The plan is to use RNDL/RNDH ($4E) to initialize a pseudo-random number generator. Unfortunately, I keep getting the same sequence. Tonight, I ...
A2Geek's user avatar
  • 43
16 votes
6 answers
12k views

Why didn't PC games eschew MS-DOS and deal with BIOS directly?

Given the memory referencing limits of MS-DOS for compatibility purposes, why didn't games produced for the 286+ processors eschew MS-DOS and talk directly with the BIOS or IO hardware, instead of all ...
Chorlton2080's user avatar
31 votes
2 answers
5k views

Did any MS-DOS program ever use the System Request interrupt?

As I remember, the SysRq key generated a special, unique interrupt (not an ordinary keyboard interrupt). It was supposed to let the user interrupt any process in a multitasking situation and return ...
Miss_Understands's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
152 views

What aspects of microprocessor ISAs have been patented?

A key objective of RISC-V was that every aspect of the ISA must be based on an expired patent. It was felt that this is the only truly reliable defense against patent lawsuits. It is surprising that ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 60.2k
11 votes
5 answers
6k views

How did 16-bit MS-DOS programs use a large (> 64KB) stack?

The "large" memory model of x86 allowed a program to have multiple code segments and multiple data segment, using far calls to jump across code segments, and far pointers to access data from ...
airman's user avatar
  • 1,350
21 votes
5 answers
4k views

How can I reverse-engineer the game Wizardry (1981) for PC, based on UCSD Pascal?

I am looking at the files included with the 1981 game Wizardry. The particular version I have is from a 1998 re-release, but I do not know if the binary is still the original 1981 release. My ...
typedeaf's user avatar
  • 313
0 votes
1 answer
114 views

How to set up a (physical) parallel port so that it connects to a Zip drive? (emulated Windows 98) [closed]

I have a legacy Zip 100 drive. Of course it will not run under Windows 11. So, I installed emulated Windows 98 via PCem. I also bought a PCIe parallel port card (AX99100), as USB-to-parallel adapters ...
Bernd K's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
394 views

Memory gap in Commodore PET

Most largish programs written for the Commodore PET have a bunch of rem statements somewhere around the 8K or 16K area. The normal comment is something to do with a hole in memory. I remember PET ...
cup's user avatar
  • 2,515
3 votes
2 answers
274 views

Did anyone use quarter-bad RAM chips?

There was a time in the early 80s when 64k RAM chips had a significant defect rate, such that half-bad ones could be obtained at a discount. Some computer manufacturers such as Sinclair and Tandy took ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 60.2k
12 votes
7 answers
4k views

Did any games or other programs combine disk formats on one side of a disk?

On a typical floppy-based system, the act of reading a sector consists of the following steps: Moving the head to the appropriate track. Waiting until a certain "start of sector header" ...
supercat's user avatar
  • 35.7k
3 votes
2 answers
350 views

Can anyone tell me more about flippy games?

I remember having a number of Mastertronic tape games for the Amstrad CPC 464 that could be used on a Spectrum too by using the other side of the tape. These were called flippys I believe. Was this ...
Robbie Dee's user avatar
-5 votes
1 answer
132 views

Who was responsible for the Apple business practice of taking back old hardware when selling the new stuff?

I have been told and I have read that old Apple computers like the Lisa are pretty hard to come by. The Lisa was a bit over-priced, had limited software and just was generally outclassed by the ...
Neil Meyer's user avatar
  • 6,135
5 votes
1 answer
262 views

Where to find the Cray arithmetic library?

Given a Cray simulator and a pre-installed UniCOS HD image, attempting to compile Steven Pemberton's ENQUIRE (literally, the second thing to try after "Hello, Cray") fails with CC-1153 cc: ...
Leo B.'s user avatar
  • 18.8k
12 votes
11 answers
5k views

Did any 8-bit device ever merge a CPU core?

Looking at https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/Commodore-64-1541-Floppy-Drive-04.jpg I started thinking the following: There are too many chips in that drive. It is crying out for a ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 60.2k
9 votes
0 answers
217 views

Were there Any Applications Making Explicit Use of the MDA's Colour Capabilities?

The first series of MDA adaptors for the IBM PC had the ability to show colours according to the attribute byte, much like the CGA does in text mode, but I don't remember any PC application that ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 218k
14 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why does PC video memory base address change depending on video mode?

It is rather well-known that, with VGA-compatible PC video adapters, in black-and-white text modes video memory is available at linear address 0xB0000, in colour text mode at address 0xB8000, while in ...
user3840170's user avatar
  • 22.8k
4 votes
2 answers
898 views

How does port-mapped I/O in older 8086 computers work? [closed]

Similarly to my last question, I am writing an emulator for my custom CPU with it's own ISA that is largely modeled off of early 16 bit x86 processers. From my understanding, Port Mapped I/O (PMIO) ...
Vinny's user avatar
  • 41
3 votes
1 answer
328 views

Questions about IBM PC PSU P8 key pin and change to +5V for AT

According to the IBM PC/XT Technical Reference page 3-6, pin 2 of plug P8 is a "key." (Note that this is the pin specifically; this is separate from the keying of the shroud, which is ...
cjs's user avatar
  • 25k
24 votes
5 answers
17k views

When did Nintendo switch from assembly to a higher programming language?

I am only talking about games developed by Nintendo itself. I know that NES Super Mario Bros. was written in assembly. (Here is an SE answer saying the same.) They must have switched to a higher ...
zomega's user avatar
  • 5,352
1 vote
0 answers
162 views

Looking for game about searching for alien artifact

I think I was playing the game on pc in the mid 90ties. I believe the story was, that an alien artifact was crashed on a remote tropical island, and was about to cause an end to the world. Having been ...
stefan's user avatar
  • 119
1 vote
1 answer
206 views

Synchronising FOR - NEXT routines in C64 basic [closed]

I am writing a program which has an ASCII background, animating character moving to random locations, and finally adding music It's my first ever C64 attempt and I want to finish it in BASIC before ...
Journeyman1234's user avatar
14 votes
7 answers
5k views

Which CPUs have implemented trap on signed integer overflow?

All mainstream microprocessors from the 4004 on, have implemented signed integer arithmetic with twos complement and silent wraparound on overflow (by which I mean that the CPU itself will not trap, ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 60.2k
1 vote
1 answer
140 views

When was the PDP-11/50 released?

I've seen varying dates for the PDP-11/50 release, ranging from "sometime in 1975" to "June 1976, at the same time as the PDP-11/55." What was the actual date of release?
cjs's user avatar
  • 25k
5 votes
1 answer
550 views

Did the i186 use interrupt 6 for invalid opcodes?

I don't recall where from but at some point I was under the impression that the Intel 186 processor used interrupt 6 for invalid opcodes. However, there's the HP 95LX that uses a NEC V20. NEC V20/V30 ...
ecm's user avatar
  • 923
2 votes
1 answer
193 views

What is likely cause for sudden auto-rebooting of Apple II+ with Disk II?

I have the Apple ][+ with 64 KB RAM: 48 KB on the motherboard plus 16 KB on the Language Card, in Slot 0. Slot 6 has disk controller for two Apple-manufactured Drive ][ floppy drives. The display is ...
JTyler2's user avatar
  • 93
5 votes
1 answer
158 views

How Can Apple II DOS 3.3 Floppy Disks be Restored after Formatting with INIT?

I have files on around 50 5.25" floppy disks. Most are in the Apple II (or ][ Plus), DOS 3.3 formats. I have the Apple ][+ with 64K RAM (48K on MBd plus 16K on the Language Card in Slot 0), and ...
JTyler2's user avatar
  • 93
20 votes
2 answers
2k views

Did 486 SMP systems provide Total Store Ordering?

Cache-coherent SMP (symmetric, or shared-memory, multi processing) systems can provide various grades of memory ordering guarantees, the stronger ones being more expensive but making it easier to ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 60.2k
27 votes
4 answers
8k views

First use of an OS in gaming consoles?

Early gaming consoles were quite simple machines (from today's point of view). So simple in fact that often the games were the initial "entry point" for the CPU on boot and the games had to ...
DarkDust's user avatar
  • 1,490
23 votes
3 answers
4k views

Did any x86 CPU optionally trap unaligned access?

x86 CPUs have always supported unaligned load/store. Early RISC CPUs didn't. So imagine writing portable code on a 386. It seems to work fine, but how do you know you haven't accidentally misaligned ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 60.2k
0 votes
1 answer
176 views

Apple II color monitor displays everything in green

I have an AppleColor composite monitor (A2M6020) that only shows green-scale. The color toggle switch on the front doesn’t change anything. I have plugged the monitor into multiple devices with the ...
help's user avatar
  • 39
6 votes
0 answers
185 views

How many commercial Spectrum ROM cartridges were released?

According to this site, Sinclair released a total of ten titles on cartridge: all games that were popular on cassette, and all in 1983, the year the Interface 2 was released. I know the cartridges ...
Pastychomper thanks Monica's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
668 views

What do the pins D0-D7 on the Intel 8080 exactly signify?

I am currently trying to create a FPGA styled simulator of the 8080 in C. I have a couple of questions regarding the D0-D7 pins. As far as I can see the D0-D7 lines are used in order to store data (a ...
cdunku's user avatar
  • 31
9 votes
0 answers
244 views

Why must the Amiga 1020 disk drive be powered-on before and powered-off after the Amiga computer?

The Amiga 1020 was a 5.25" disk drive for use with the Amiga computer. Anecdotally, I suspect they are somewhat rarer these days because they were a less popular choice for a second drive back in ...
Geo...'s user avatar
  • 10.2k
5 votes
0 answers
88 views

What documentation was provided with the Amiga 1020 disk drive?

The Amiga 1020 was a 5.25" disk drive for use with the Amiga computer. Anecdotally, I suspect they are somewhat rarer these days because they were a less popular choice for a second drive back ...
Geo...'s user avatar
  • 10.2k
15 votes
2 answers
813 views

Has the “entry” keyword ever been implemented in C?

I posted this question on StackOverflow, but someone commented and advised me to publish it here. Here the terms K&R1 and K&R2 refer to a book written by the C creators about the language. K&...
Chi_Iroh's user avatar
  • 253
11 votes
1 answer
519 views

Origin of what seems to be a Front-Panel

Reorganizing my desk - more exact the piles below - I once again came across this mystery front-panel. I can't remember what it was from nor who owns the ||/ logo present on chips and board(*1). ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 218k
2 votes
2 answers
399 views

Device access APIs in Windows 9x

What were the programming interfaces used to access "raw" devices on Windows 95~ME? Specifically GPUs, but I'm also curious about other device types in general. For example, on modern Linux (...
grawity's user avatar
  • 435

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