02/25/16 Throwback Thursday - Old School Fonts - Bed Burrito

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02/25/16 Throwback Thursday – Old School Fonts

Who doesn’t love fonts? From IBM PC Bios To PS/2 they were all great.

You can find all these great fonts and more here!

Check out some of these golden goodies below:

EGA (and VGA), 14-line

EGA text mode uses a 8×14 font by default (VGA has this one as well). There’s also a 9×14 variant, similar to the MDA charset (with the same trick controlling the 9th pixel column), but not identical: the data comes from the 8×14 font, with certain characters replaced by wider versions. On EGA, the 9×14 font is used exclusively in MDA emulation mode, but VGA text modes may use it more freely.



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PS/2 (ISA models)

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3270 PC (IBM 5271)

3270 PC (IBM 5271) has some rather exotic video hardware, but it also provides a basic 80×25 text mode with a distinct 9×14 font. Unlike most PC hardware fonts, this one is sans-serif, and the stored bitmap characters are truly 9 pixels wide (rather than using just 8 and cloning/blanking the ninth).

3270 PC (IBM 5271)

3270 PC (IBM 5271)

PS/2 (ISA models)

Certain PS/2 models (at least the ISA-based models 30 and 35) include additional fonts in ROM, besides the usual 8×16 MCGA font. They’re all 8×16 with thin 1-pixel strokes: one serif font (somewhat ‘Courier’-like) and three rather nondescript sans-serif ones. These were possibly intended to improve legibility in 40-column mode, which turns the normal (‘thick’) MCGA character set into an ugly mess.

PS/2 (ISA models)

PS/2 (ISA models)

 

AT&T PC6300

PS/2 (ISA models)

PS/2 (ISA models)

AT&T PC6300

The rebadged Olivetti M24, with its enhanced CGA-compatible video, introduced 400-line text and graphics modes for increased resolution. These supported a 8×16 character set, which was similar to the IBM MDA font, but with more of a slab serif style on the uppercase letters, and more consistent metrics for the lowercase and accented Latin characters. This is the text mode version – in the 640×400 graphics mode, the only difference is a more rounded ‘h’ (identical to the IBM MDA one). The 8×8 BIOS font, on the other hand, was exactly the same as IBM’s.

AT&T PC6300

AT&T PC6300

Kaypro 2000

One of the first PC compatible laptops. The text-mode font was pretty much the same as the IBM CGA, but the BIOS (i.e. graphics mode) one is different with thin strokes, wide characters and sort of a ‘techno’ look. Interestingly the built-in LCD came in two form factors, so along with the variable horizontal resolution (320/640) the dimensions of the character cell could vary a lot.

Kaypro 2000

Kaypro 2000

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