digital equipment corporation · maynard, massachusetts
Pre Frame Buffer Graphics at VCF East 12 (2017)

The Vintage Computer Federation hosted the Vintage Computer Festival East 2017.

This years display was various graphics techniques used before frame buffer driven raster graphics became the primary method used for graphics displays. 29 people had their picture printed in ASCII art.

I had a camera which output composite video which the PDP-8 digitized with help of a sample and hold board I built. It took a couple seconds to digitize the video. The PDP-8 then printed it on a line printer using overstruck characters to simulate gray scale. The PDP-8 could digitize 640x480. The printer only had 132 columns so printout was around 132x176 pixel resolution printed portrait style.

Had a Tektronix 4014 storage tube graphics terminal. This has high resolution of around 4000x3000 addressable though the line width was larger than addressable resolution. I cycled through various demo graphics on it.

Had a Calcomp plotter which I plotted various demo plots. Also had VC8E point plot in PDP-8 with vector monitor but didn't take and pictures of it in operation.

The following picture links also have descriptions of what is shown in the pictures.

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My Exhibit (115K)
Plotter plotting copy of Calcomp art picture (106K)
Person with their ASCII art picture ( 97K)
Back display (116K)

See history information that was displayed behind the exhibit

I also did a talk on the PDP-8. See the slides or video on YouTube

Other sites with pictures of the event.
Mike Loewen
Herb Johnson
Dan Roganti
Bill Degnan
Adam Michlin

Feel free to contact me, David Gesswein djg@pdp8online.com with any questions, comments on the web site, or if you have related equipment, documentation, software etc. you are willing to part with.  I am interested in anything PDP-8 related, computers, peripherals used with them, DEC or third party, or documentation. 

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