In this episode we take a look at a tiny 256 Byte intro that I originally coded for the Outline 2023 demo party. However as I couldn’t attend the party in person, it wasn’t used in the competition. So instead I walk you through the code here and explain how to fit Conway’s Game of Life into 256 bytes and also have some MIDI music, for lack of better words!
After viewing our CGA Redux livestream a friendly tinkerer named Arek contacted me if I was interested in a homebrew Hercules Graphics Card PCB that he designed. Naturally I said yes and assembled the card, playing beta tester for his design. It will probably be open sourced eventually, but is not yet available. So instead I give you a little tour of the card and what it can do!
If you want to do graphics programming at some point or other you will have to draw or at least compute straight lines. Those can be use for many things: simple 2D primitives, 3D wireframe graphics, UI elements, or linear motion of sprites and objects. There is a very fast algorithm developed originally by the mathematician Jack E. Bresenham. Its main advantage is that it is very simple and does not require any floating point arithmetics. Which is a good thing on old and slow DOS machines. Let’s investigate this algorithm and code up a nice screensaver!
Back in the 1980s and early 1990s IBM PCs didn’t have the capabilities to announce their hardware to the operating system or application programs. Instead programs would try to ask the user or auto detect the hardware like installed graphics card. Today we learn about how to distinguish between VGA, EGA, CGA and even MDA and Hercules Graphics!