8088 MPH

"This is the real composite output of a true IBM CGA card and 4.77MHz 8088 PC. This demo breaks all emulators."

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19 Responses:

  1. I presume you saw Trixter's recent video-on-an-8088 stunt? 30fps on such an ancient machine is pretty impressive.

  2. Johnathan Titor, Sr. says:

    Great. I knew I shouldn't have thrown away my old AT when I bought my first 486. Now I feel like a chump.

  3. Rena says:

    someday the demoscene will be truly revolutionized, when someone releases a demo with text in a font that's actually readable. :V

  4. flodadolf says:

    I had a CGA XT in 1987, and sold/upgraded it by 1992.

    By 1998, I was already nostalgic, and scavenged an awesome XT with integral 10base2 and dual 5.25" floppies (no HDD). I fed it MS-DOS and a packet driver and a TSR FTP server, and it was amusing for me beside my modern Linux box.

    Sometimes, I parked it by the bed for late-night IRC sessions: It was good at that.

    But this demo? OMFG. I cut my teeth on cyan, magenta, white, and black. This thing is showing 256 colors, or claims to.

    Which brings me to my final, and main point:

    I call bullshit. This isn't possible with CGA: IIRC, it was a pallet of 4 colors from a possible 16: A natural 256 isn't fucking happening, no matter the trick (again, IIRC).

    Having lived with CGA for more than small years and admired my cheapskate/efficient C64 friends, I now regret tossing my collection of old (and huge) CGA cards with NTSC RCA outputs, because I still have an actively-working desktop machine with an ISA slot which otherwise could properly demonstrate this demo...to be recorded on the USB dongle that I do still have.

    But that's not going to happen.

    So what does this video show me, then? That we missed twenty years of awesome? The music is correct, mostly aside from the ending credits (polyphony!), but graphics are unbelievable.

    I want to see a hand-held video shot with a run-of-the-mill multiple-megapixel cell phone camera, not an easily-faked screengrab on a modern smarthone.

    Is that too much to establish trust?

    • Injector says:

      They're claiming the ending music was possible because of the less complicated graphics freeing up CPU cycles.

    • Ask and ye shall receive! I am reenigne, one of the creators of 8088mph. Trixter made https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4dtJbb6Eow last week. It's not the final version (some effects and graphics are missing) but the 1024 colour mode and 4-channel PC speaker music are there. This video was never meant to be public - it was just in case all our real machines broke on the way to the party and we had no other way to verify the authenticity. As it was, the demoparty organizers were able to observe the final demo running on the real hardware. The final binary is also available at ftp://ftp.oldskool.org/pub/misc/8088MPH.ZIP so others with the real hardware can verify that it really works. Technical details will be released in the next few days.

      • Technical information on the 1K colour mode now up at http://www.reenigne.org/blog/1k-colours-on-cga-how-its-done/ .

        • グレェ says:

          Fascinating write up!

          I had wondered how you pulled that off, and Trixter's write up didn't go into details. It reads like a downright painful exercise compared to the 1985 Amiga's HAM mode (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hold-And-Modify) which allowed for simultaneous display of 4096 colours over an RGB display, but I am profoundly impressed at what you managed to crank out of the original IBM PC.

          I also love that it apparently doesn't work properly in current emulators, most of the best code as they say, cannot be emulated. ;)

          I don't wear hats, so I can't take one off, but you have much admiration and respect!

    • Not Frank says:

      It's long gone, but back when I toyed with similar hardware and it was semi-state of the art I had a book explaining, among other things, various tricks to get more colors out of CGA than the HW supports. A fair number of the tricks involved exploiting artifacts that showed up when you output to composite.

      Having watched the start of Andrew Jenner's linked video, it looks like they're exploiting the one that IIRC involves too-close pixels in CGA's high-res monochrome graphics mode.

    • phoenix says:

      I call bullshit. This isn't possible with CGA: IIRC, it was a pallet of 4 colors from a possible 16: A natural 256 isn't fucking happening, no matter the trick (again, IIRC).

      Hahahah.. welcome to the demoscene. You're about to get educated. CGA cards had an NTSC composite video out, which produced roughly 160x200x16 colors, but with visual artifacts, especially from 80x25 text mode. This demo exploits that (I'll let the coders reveal the rest later). It may be trickery, but not cheating.

    • andr00 says:

      Keith Bare touches on the composite luma bleed this uses (I guess!) half an hour into his NVScene talk about graphics through the ages - here: https://youtu.be/D6DCEeJzZso?list=PLinYzfwRMKVSGJXIx2bZuazw9FZBQCHD6&t=1956

      But I don't blame you for doubting. If I had seen this on the screen coming out of Dad's 8088, I would have shit.

  5. Kyle Huff says:

    All the beeping and gronking noises made me want to hang myself.
    I'll have to fire up Second Reality to purge it.

  6. jqsmith says:

    Saw the youtube for this demo last week. Would like to try it on a real PC. Unzipped the file. Noticed the subdirectory dskimage. Is this image required and if so how is it used? Or do I just load all the root files on a floppy and run it? Is there a way to tell the demo to only run with smaller RAM. My PC only has 512K. Thanks for any help. Would like to see it run.

    • Scali says:

      The disk image is not required, it just contains all the files as we ran it on the actual disk for Revision.
      You could just place the files on any disk, even a harddisk, and run the demo like that, by starting '8088mph.exe'.

      512K is probably not enough for the Kefrens bars effect, in which case it will just skip that part. I think everything else will still work.

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