How good was the monochrome display?

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Re: How good was the monochrome display?

Postby EvilFranky » Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:58 pm

Silly_Pony wrote:
Steven Seagal wrote:I'm reading an old mag. They basically say that the 1040ST was usable as a pro machine thanks to the stable monitor (colours don't count), and the Amiga was a toy because its impressive high resolutions ruined your eyes with flicker after 3 minutes. What's the point? The Amiga was usable only in low-rez, as a game machine.

I wonder if Atari didn't go the wrong way with its STE as a mini-Amiga game machine. They should have played on their pro strengths and compete with Mac/PC instead of trying to compete with a toy.


Both the Atari and the Amiga had high res monochrome monitors. The Amiga's actually goes up to 1024x1024, 4 shades of gray. I'm not sure if this was interlaced or not, but if it was, that still gives you 1024x512. Fiddle with overscan, suddenly TT HIGH isn't looking so spectacular anymore.


4 grey shades is NOT monochrome. Your the only one that mentions the TT, which can do 1280x960 in mono.

Silly_Pony wrote:No, before you ask, this doesn't require ECS. Any amiga can do it.


No body is asking because no body cares.

Silly_Pony wrote:It's also worth pointing out that the Amiga's gui was designed entirely around tall pixels. You didn't get the fun house mirror effect ST med res gives you.


Why is it worth pointing out? The Amiga's GUI and the ST's mono mode have nothing to do with the ST's medium mode.

Silly_Pony wrote:The default resolution (640x256) was higher than an ST in mid res, wasn't all stretched out and weird looking, didn't have a big border on it, and overscan could be adjusted to give you 724x281 of screen space. That, and unlike the Atari, it wasn't limited to 4 colours in this mode.

Then once you're on an ECS machine you can go ahead and use the square pixel, non interlaced modes. The nice thing about ECS is that it's a plug in upgrade for A500/2000 and has been hacked into 1000s before. You can't boost your launch era 520ST to an E no matter what.


Again, what does this have to do with the topic?

You've been here a week and I already think you are an Amiga troll in disguise. No one has disputed anything about the Amiga's abilities other than it possibly doesn't have a dedicated high res mono mode @ 70hz.

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Re: How good was the monochrome display?

Postby wongck » Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:16 pm

Silly_Pony wrote:Dunno how much the 2024 monitor actually cost, but you can't dismiss it on price. It still existed.


what sort of adapters do you need for those hedley monitors?
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Re: How good was the monochrome display?

Postby wongck » Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:33 pm

Silly_Pony wrote:Both the Atari and the Amiga had high res monochrome monitors. The Amiga's actually goes up to 1024x1024, 4 shades of gray. I'm not sure if this was interlaced or not, but if it was, that still gives you 1024x512. Fiddle with overscan, suddenly TT HIGH isn't looking so spectacular anymore.

It does 1 frames for every 4 frames transmitted by the Amiga. So frame rates are much slower than a TV, and so it appear not smooth.... flickers, jerking ... whatever you want to call it.
:lol: :lol: I guess you can sort of using a strobe light to counter it.... like a disco around that era ( disco in 1989?? 8O ). Would be spectacular!
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Re: How good was the monochrome display?

Postby DarkLord » Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:55 pm

nativ wrote:I guess if the STe or Mega Ste had been 16*640*480 or 800*600*2 bit early for a 1024*768*2

Timeworks looked superb on a mono display!

I had some use on a Hercules graphics adaptor on the PCee. the ST was better.

Be nice to have seen more mono games!

/nativ


Agreed, but there were a surprising number released. There's a list here:

http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/96 ... -st-games/
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Re: How good was the monochrome display?

Postby DarkLord » Sat Jul 09, 2011 6:01 pm

Had an Amiga 1000, 2000, and a couple of 1200's. Nice machines, and all that.

Always thought the SC1224 was sharper than the 1084s I had, and the Atari
mono monitor was much better for high-end productivity work.

I played around with the Miggy's higher rez stuff - gave me a headache. (and I
think there was subliminal messages in between flickering frames).... :D
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Re: How good was the monochrome display?

Postby Mal7921 » Sat Jul 09, 2011 6:30 pm

Hmm, the Amiga's high resolution modes, where do I begin...

To use anything that made the Amiga's really look good you needed a few things. First of these was the 2024 "Long persistence" monitor, which had a special phospherous layer that glowed a little longer to reduce flicker in high resolution or high colour HAM modes. Without it you brain and eyes explode with the seizure inducing flicker.

Yes all Amiga's can do high resolutions, however the ECS and later chipsets handled it better and you still needed a 2024 to reduce flicker. Had the screen resolutions been designed to run at higher refresh rates, yes you would still need a special monitor but it would have been cheaper to produce.

The monitors for reducing flicker were pretty bad at displaying animation as the screen would be updating while the previous scan was still "glowing", needless to say there were not many around outside of artistic establishments.

However with some cleaver programming, flicker was reduced without the need for these monitors, though the resolutions were not so high.

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Re: How good was the monochrome display?

Postby Shredder11 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:56 pm

The thing is, if I really did not like my monitor I would have got rid of it long before now and I do use it from time to time; it still has the best monochrome display of all my monitors. Infact I have used this monitor more than twelve hours a day straight, without turning it off except to go to bed after a long Cubase session. I did this for a few years and yet it still looks sharp and clear! Compare this with the numerous PC CRT monitors that I have used in the same way, and they have all become fuzzy and painful on the eyes and eventually going pop and dying. So I wonder if there is anything different about the Atari SM124 that made it better than the PC ones?

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Re: How good was the monochrome display?

Postby Dal » Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:26 pm

As was said earlier, the sm124 only had the one gun. With RGB, any or all of the 3 guns can become misaligned over time, hence the fuzzyness. If the gun in the sm124 becomes misaligned, the picture might shift a bit (not that you would notice).
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Re: How good was the monochrome display?

Postby bid » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:21 pm

Dal wrote:I could never afford or justify a mono monitor for my at when I was younger but being in and out of studios a lot, I saw a few being used for Cubase and Notator. I really looked like a completely different machine. Flicker free, sharp and felt a bit nippier and pro. It's all subjective of course but I doubt anyone would disagree.

I've now made a VGA cable for my MSTE to run it in hi red on an LCD tv and it's made a world of difference.


Hi, I would not mind making up a ST hi to mono VGA cable myself. I have the bits I think. Whats the best method?

Agreed that the ST seems to run faster in Mono. I notice this on the TT most. The TT in ST Mono, is much faster on screen redraw, and general tasks. The ST too, seems to redraw fast in mono, and is great.

I was the same. I got and saw my 1st mono monitor only late last year, when I chanced upon the Mega ST4 in a customers of mines back office, which he used for CAD, connected to a huge pen plotter, and 40MB hard drive. Nice piece of kit at the time. I stuck the lot in the back of my car, much not to the amusement of my girlfriend who was with me at the time!

The mono is great. But much better on the LCD. And my final setup will be one LCD, and like the LCD TV's Dal mentioned, they often have several AV inputs on the back. So switching is easy. Need to make a ST to mono VGA adaptor tho. I have a RGB to VGA for colour, and this works ok. But no mono.

I used med res, with the mono emulator SERBRA for many years. Or programmes like Gadjits BreakThru2 which works great in Med Res, and I really recommend this overlooked sequencer. Very innovative, fast, and nice interface. Especially for note editing, using their innovative 'diamond drag' system. I would be interested in a review of Breakthru 2 from Mal, if he has seen or used it. I will be using it, until I can decide between Cubase or Notator. Also has a sample playback, which I used to use with the 4MB STe and the phono ports on the rear. The STE sounded great at the time, especially through a nice stereo system! :D
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Re: How good was the monochrome display?

Postby majere » Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:30 pm

A TFT monitor can be connected to show TT High resolution? :?:
Is there any adapter to do it?
It would bee expectacular! 8)
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Re: How good was the monochrome display?

Postby bid » Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:22 pm

majere wrote:A TFT monitor can be connected to show TT High resolution? :?:
Is there any adapter to do it?
It would bee expectacular! 8)


Good point. Is there an ECL to VGA conversion method going abouts that anyone knows of??
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Re: How good was the monochrome display?

Postby Shredder11 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:30 pm

I agree that ST Mono + Monitor + Cubase = a mighty fine system that even now feels powerful.

Talking of CAD as bid was, I have got another CAD package as part of a bundle I got a few weeks ago. It is a retail boxed and as far as I know, a fully complete MichTron Master CAD and the user manual with glossy front, is just short of three hundred pages long! Might work well on the TT who knows.

http://www.atarimagazines.com/st-log/issue28/84_1_REVIEW_MASTERCAD.php ***

http://www.atarimania.com/utility-atari-st-master-cad_27279.html *** Seeing as I have the disks, I will upload them to atarimania.com ***

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Re: How good was the monochrome display?

Postby Dal » Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:20 pm

Might be nice to get the manual scanned also?
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Re: How good was the monochrome display?

Postby bid » Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:22 pm

Shredder11 wrote: I have got another CAD package as part of a bundle I got a few weeks ago. It is a retail boxed and as far as I know, a fully complete MichTron Master CAD and the user manual with glossy front, is just short of three hundred pages long! Might work well on the TT who knows.


Wow. Lol. Never seen or heard of this one!!! Thats a monster CAD! lol :lol: very cool find.

Yeah, I use SolidWorks 3D CAD now http://www.solidworks.com which I have to admit is amazingly powerful. But this MichTron Master CAD looks many many years ahead of its time!! Its like SolidWorks for the ST ... In 1987!!! :lol: Good lord!! Amazing. Yes I will sadly take this out for a run on the TT.

MichTron Master CAD (Atari ST 1987)

Image

SolidWorks (IBM PC 2010)

Image

I dont imagine there are many other users? (joke lol). But might have to hook up to the plotter and knock off some output. Seriously, I use a Quad Core i5 to do this with 4GB Ram and an expensive Quadro FX580 commercial grade graphics card. This is 1987 vintage CAD, and seriously it looks familiar to me!! lol :lol: Quite simply stunning. Shame it was buggy, but these things are. I have 4 service packs a year for SolidWorks, as the calculations and program is hugely complex. Can do Finite Element Analysis etc. This software is its daddy. I might have to have a go with this and do some demos. This is very impressive, especially putting this in an 8mhz cpu in 1987!

Your going to upload this right?! 8)
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Re: How good was the monochrome display?

Postby Shredder11 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:22 pm

Of course I will upload it and fingers crossed the disks work. As for the manual, yes I probably will use my camera to photograph each page and then edit etc; that will be a whole days non-stop work at least.

Here are two similar plotters mentioned in the user manual, except these are 'A' variants if that matters? Hewlett Packard Color Pro 7550 and 7580 are the ones in the Master CAD user manual:

Image

Image

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Re: How good was the monochrome display?

Postby bid » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:42 pm

Shredder11 wrote:Of course I will upload it and fingers crossed the disks work.

Here are two similar plotters mentioned in the user manual, except these are 'A' variants if that matters?


Cool, my plotter for the Atari is currently in the garage!! Actually, luckily its only A3, and made of plastic. Perhaps I exaggerated a bit!! :oops:

But, its a very cool pen plotter and the MST4 has the software loaded to drive it. Gonna make a video, so us saddo's can watch it! lol :lol:

Of course, its going to plot out some 3d text or words that make us feel all warm and fuzzy and retro. Actually, it looks like quite a useful machine, and I might even plot some real drawings on it, as I only have a crappy A4 Lexmark printer. This also came with some quite decent A3 plotter paper, ideal for technical drawings. Might need some new pens on it though. Prob can get some off eBay no doubt.

All this talking about Atari, is really making me get behind on my real work now!!! :lol:
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Re: How good was the monochrome display?

Postby Shredder11 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:11 pm

Okay just to wet your appetite before I finally do the user manaul.... I tried it in STeem but it crashed the emulator or bombed, but it worked fine with SainT. I already had SainT in STFM TOS 1.04 mode and so I left it at that, and it worked anyway.
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Re: How good was the monochrome display?

Postby Shredder11 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:14 pm

Got it working in STeem now. It must be the 4MB RAM setting it did not like as 2MB works fine and with TOS 2.06 UK. It runs in medium colour or high monochrome, but not in low colour.

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Re: How good was the monochrome display?

Postby wongck » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:48 pm

How about The Antic Cyber Graphics Software Cyber Studio which begin life on the ST and now grown up to be Autodesk 3D studio & 3ds max ?
Link right at the bottom of AF Wiki.
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Re: How good was the monochrome display?

Postby nativ » Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:15 am

Hi,

There were a few CAD packages GFA Draft amongst several others.

I have a copy of 'Music Technology' with Breakthru demo on the coverdisk. maybe a review inside been a while. . . 1991/2 I think! lol nice feature the 4channel Mod stuff matched up Atari with OctaMed!

You do get some phosphor burn on the old mono's but they were quite good. I recall the 10" Hitachi Solid State Tv that I used pre colour TV's being affordable, it had a dial to tune! :) really nice picture though!

Also I have a special purpose Atari ST to Plotter adaptor complete with manual.


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Re: How good was the monochrome display?

Postby Dal » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:02 am

If the CAD package can output HPGL, then you should be able to drive any plotter (even modern ones).

@Shredder: if you want that manual scanned and cleaned up properly, send it down. I'm a systems consultant for Océ (now part of Canon). We manufacture production printers, scanners and software for doing all this stuff. I can have it scanned, cleaned up and back out as a pdf in about half an hour tops.
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