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Demos that supported hercules?

category: offtopic [glöplog]
There was a little discussion of this on IRC, and I remembered something. Maybe somebody can shed a little light.

Back in the olden PC days (486 or earlier), there were the hercules cards that supported higher res (mono?) output. And I remember being told that dual screen was possible on a PC with both a regular VGA and a hercules card.

Now, I remember, very very vaguely, being told that some particular demo ran in VGA, but would show additional output on a second screen if there was a hercules card. Or maybe it just showed stuff on 1 screen but supported the hercules and showed different stuff in that case.

Or maybe I'm dreaming all this :) Anyone have a clue what it might have been?
added on the 2013-06-23 00:31:38 by psonice psonice
The nearest thing I can think of is some DOS games using MDA displays for a secondary output see this thread:

Not sure about any demos though!
According to this one


there are at least three demos behaving that way.

Haven't tested it, though :-)
added on the 2013-06-23 09:35:02 by friol friol
BTW, I wonder if someone has updated the list of demo hidden parts. That one stops at 2003...
added on the 2013-06-23 09:41:17 by friol friol
i recall hearing some rumors about something like that, but it's so long ago i cant remember what demo it could've been
added on the 2013-06-23 10:27:41 by nosfe nosfe
"Stars" by Nooon (ASM '95)
If you have a dual-monitor system (Hercules+VGA), the
Hercules display will show a Nibbles-type game which you can play.
(- Cool-Hands)

cool stuff, didn't know that.. well if your demo's too boring you'll have to entertain your viewer otherwise ;P
added on the 2013-06-23 12:30:46 by v3nom v3nom
I faintly remember having written Hercules output for the Smash Designs demo system back then... Event Horizon and Sleepless (DOS version) should support brilliantly dithered MDA goodness :)
added on the 2013-06-23 14:48:36 by kb_ kb_
Awesome, thanks for the replies, and great to know I wasn't dreaming this :D

v3nom: I'm pretty sure it must have been Stars that was discussed, since it was that era and I'm pretty sure we watched that demo. That's probably what started the discussion.

Does anyone have a PC with VGA, Hercules and a pair of displays and a video camera to record it? :D There's probably zero chance most of us will get to see it otherwise.
added on the 2013-06-23 18:43:41 by psonice psonice
Stars uses MDA, not Hercules (they are not the same, people! MDA is text-only, Hercules is MDA-compatible, but adds a bitmapped graphics mode).

I have an old Pentium with an MDA card and a secondary display, which I used for SoftICE back in the dark ages. I have actually played the Nibbles easter-egg on that machine.
Sadly the PSU died on that thing, and it uses an AT (as opposed to ATX) PSU, which is near-impossible to get these days.
If anyone wants to donate a PSU, I can record a video.
added on the 2013-06-23 19:26:19 by Scali Scali
I saw an AT PSU at my old job and clearly remember grabbing it, for use as a backup Amiga power supply. I remember putting it in my loft. But that was at my old house. Hmm, is it up there in this house or was it binned? I'll look next time I'm up there :)
added on the 2013-06-23 20:32:47 by psonice psonice
Scali: If you're seriously interested... I had a stash of AT-computers at work just recently. I saved them for spare parts for my DOS/GUS-machine, I can check later this week if I still have them. But then there's a logistics problem as well I guess.
added on the 2013-06-25 00:27:01 by Psychad Psychad
Scali: If you saved the bad PSU you can just rewire it. The pinouts can be easily found online.

Either that or the main filtering caps finally exploded, might be an easy and obvious fix.
added on the 2013-06-25 01:01:19 by Maraakate Maraakate
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added on the 2013-06-25 10:11:57 by Tigrou Tigrou
Scali: Update - I still have them.
added on the 2013-06-27 14:05:39 by Psychad Psychad
Latest version of Corruption supports MDA but it looks like pure ass. Probably not what the OP was looking for, but thought I'd mention it since the code is newer than what's on pouet.
added on the 2013-07-01 06:15:11 by trixter trixter
There are probably many more demos that support Hercules than listed in Rod/Mandula's secret.txt, which I am hosting since his page disappeared. My homepage moved to http://mathematicon.org/darwin. Maybe there were a few other systems than IBM PC-compatibles that used Hercules... I always wanted one myself since the late '90s, but on POSIX-based OSes, which I use now, the drivers are sort of old, and dual-head video cards are probably better. Once I stepped through some cube rotation code I wrote in a Kdevelop in X/KDE, and it seemed as useful as debugging on a Hercules card may have been... it would have been nice to be able to have seen one, or how people debug on those, or some demos that use them. If you have ever seen a monochrome monitor, you know the images are much sharper, because there is only one physical dot per pixel on the screen, rather than each physical dot area having three (red, green, blue.)
added on the 2013-07-15 07:21:55 by darwin darwin


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