36

We used to have to write our own video playback system, so each game did it differently. I worked on Microcosm for the SegaCD and if I recall we used a 16 colour palette for the video playback and had to create our own compression and decompression tools to keep the overall data bandwidth below 150KiB/sec. Later games used tricks like changing the palette ...


28

According to Google Scholar, Huffman’s 1952 paper had 326 citations by 1979, which given the volume of publication at the time means it was well-known, as far as can be determined now. Most compression-related papers published around that time refer to Huffman’s paper, either because they use Huffman coding in some way, or to explain why they don’t! Given ...


28

What's lacking is mostly raw number-crunching ability. The MP3 format is relatively lightweight, and can be implemented using only fixed-point math (no FPU required), but it still takes a fair amount of computation to turn compressed frequency-domain data into uncompressed time-domain data that can be fed to a DAC. This IEEE article quotes a minimum ...


24

Well, in fact, a closely related question has been asked (and answered) few years ago: What is the history of data compression tools on personal computers? From that question, and its answer, it transpires that several implementations of Huffman algorithms were in use by the early 1980s. Specifically, Unix "pack" command implements a standard Huffman ...


17

Playback of compressed digital video is handled entirely in software on the Sega CD which is why FMV games on it play with the video taking less than the full screen and at relatively low frames per second. It doesn't contain any dedicated decoding hardware. It does contain a faster processor (12.5MHz 16-bit Motorola 68000, 5MHz faster than the base Sega) ...


13

If you actually look at how the Z-Machine compresses texts, it does the following (from memory, it's been a while): There's a list of frequently appearing words (like "the", "and") which are directly encoded by an index. It uses "shift" codes like in the teletypes to switch between different modes. This makes it simple to write a fast decoding routine that ...


13

TL;DR; Yes and yes, but. CD-ROM Mode 2 offers all 2336 bytes of a CD-ROM block for user data. By default all CD-ROM drives can read Mode 2 disks as well Mode 2 CD-ROM have been produced, but it never really took off. Mode 2 is not raw, but still incorporates basic error correction. Background: CD-ROM has error correction so that in the event of a ...


12

Mp3 is primarily a lossy compression format for audio. It must be decompressed, and the process needs a lot of CPU time (as for retro computers.) Modern computers both have speeds good two orders of magnitude higher, and CPUs with specialized "multimedia" instructions that streamline operations like fast cosine transform. A trivial operation like "flip a ...


9

It appears that there are several versions of both DoubleSpace and DriveSpace. Information about each version as I find get it will be posted in this answer. DoubleSpace DoubleSpace uses MRCI, which uses "a variant of Lempel-Ziv encoding".[2] A non-technical explanation of the DoubleSpace compression algorithm: DoubleSpace first identifies the repeated ...


9

The story is told in this 1988 usenet post by Paul Homchick: Some time went by and it was a CP/M world, and diskettes were bigger. In 1981 Richard Greenlaw released SQ and USQ, based on Huffman encoding and written in BDS C. This was the first popular compression technique. Greenlaw gave away the binaries and source code. <...> By 1983 it ...


6

I think your premise is a bit off. Compression (lossy or otherwise) makes media much more susceptible to errors, not less. If you flip one bit in an uncompressed image, the probable result is that one pixel of the output is incorrect. If you flip one bit in a compressed image, the probable result is something like this. If you flip one bit in a video file ...


5

In 1971 I took an information theory freshman seminar at MIT which included Huffman coding. Huffman coding was well known and casually taught as something that was widely used, but as it was one of several topics, we didn't go deeply into existing applications.


5

(This is not really a great question, as it's asking for speculation about knowledgeand decisions of people long ago, something rarely supportable by referencee) It might be helpful to look into several factors to be included. Huffman coding was of course well known. Basic Huffman coding relies on variable length data words, something hard to handle on 8 ...


5

MS-DOS 6.0 and 6.20 shipped with DoubleSpace. MS-DOS 6.21 removed it due to the Stac lawsuit, and MS-DOS 6.22 replaced it with DriveSpace with an incompatible algorithm and format. Soon after MS-DOS 6.22 was released, MS signed a settlement with Stac and Windows 95 shipped with an unified driver that supported both. And yes, they decided to default to ...


4

Like others already answered: old CPUs does not have enough MIPS, and/or they are lacking instructions that would helped in MP3 decoding algorithm (remember that MP3 is standardized in 1995.). Nice example of 1992. computer that can play MP3 out-of-box is e.g. Atari Falcon030 from 1992. Despite slow main CPU, MC 68030 at 16MHz, Atari Falcon also have ...


4

Early 68k processors implemented a multi-cycle multiply instruction (70 cycles per MULx), so the inverse MDCT would likely be the limiting factor in terms of raw CPU time.


2

I haven’t tried VirtualBox for this, but DOSBox runs the installer fine: copy all the files on the installation disks to a single installation directory, e.g. ELINST (in a temporary directory) — you’ll end up with ELFISH.PKD, INFO.EXE, INSTALL.EXE, INSTALL.PRG, and READ.ME, along with a DATA subdirectory containing 122 files; start DOSBox in ELINST’s parent ...


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