Have you heard of MCGA?

In the world of PC graphics, the initial values ​​followed the various video cards of the day. There was MDA, which was known through the original text-based DOS prompts, CGA, then EGA, and non-IBM Hercules. Finally in 1987 IBM developed the VGA, or Video Graphics Array Standard, for their PS / 2 line computers, which became the basis on which all subsequent PC graphics cards, including digital output, were built. It is then interesting to read an account from [Dave Farquhar] Debuting with PS / 2, MCGA, or multicolor graphics array is another now-forgotten video standard. It was created as an entry-level graphics system to compete with today’s more multimedia-based home computers such as the Commodore Amiga and the Atari ST.

Offering 320 × 200 graphics in 256 colors but with only two colors at 640 × 480, it’s hard to see how it could be an effective competitor to Amiga’s 4096-color HAM mode, but it does give it the ability to run an RGB monitor. VGA-like socket. The story goes that IBM intended it to provide an upgrade incentive for PS / 2 customers to purchase more powerful models with VGA, but in the event a host of third party VGA-compatible cards emerged and allowed more traditional ISA computers from third parties. To hold a competitive edge and finally sideline the PS / 2 line completely.

We called the time at VGA in 2016, and it’s fair to say that it has disappeared from PC hardware even though most of its technology is still hidden. While it’s a pleasure to watch, while the hacked-together display interface remains an invincible, efforts like this 7400-based VGA card continue to fascinate us.

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