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Epson Equity Ie Found

Ezra Bailey-Kelly

Experienced Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2013
Messages
55
Well I Just found A computer I can find almost nothing about except that it exists It is a Epson Equity Ie I noticed a Post made by Kaypro a few years back but I can't really find anything else it seems Kaypro hasn't been on VCF for a few years so I can't ask him about it, anyone know anything about it?

Thanks, Ezra
 

barythrin

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2005
Messages
6,256
Location
Texas
That really is surprising that it uses ps/2. That makes it extremely easy to test and play with :) My Epson Equity has the AT plug and I don't recall if I had figured out which AT keyboard it could use (PC or AT). I vaguely remember some jumpers and warnings scaring me off from randomly trying things as I was worried about damaging the keyboard circuit.

In short though it's a PC compatible/IBM clone. If it's an Ie it apparently might do mcga which is a bit of a hard to find feature for some games and presumably other graphical applications.
 

vwestlife

Veteran Member
Joined
May 2, 2008
Messages
5,122
Location
central NJ
Did MCGA actually cost less to manufacture than VGA (i.e. less video RAM), or was it just a way to force customers to pay more for a higher-spec model or an add-in card if they wanted VGA?
 

RWallmow

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
1,791
Location
Anoka, MN USA
Did MCGA actually cost less to manufacture than VGA (i.e. less video RAM), or was it just a way to force customers to pay more for a higher-spec model or an add-in card if they wanted VGA?

I don't think it was either. Just very short lived and not well adopted before VGA was spec'ed out, VGA was really an improvement on MCGA tech.
 

Great Hierophant

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2006
Messages
1,915
Location
Massachusetts, USA
I do not believe it would have cost much more to make a VGA adapter over an MCGA adapter. The price increase from 64K to 256K would not have been extreme, they wouldn't even have to redesign the board. The extra logic for VGA probably wouldn't have cost too much more, especially as IBM was able to consolidate the video controller all onto one chip (not counting the DAC or the VGA BIOS).

For a fair portion of the MCGA & VGA's life, only the MCGA portions were used by a lot of software.
 

vwestlife

Veteran Member
Joined
May 2, 2008
Messages
5,122
Location
central NJ
I don't think it was either. Just very short lived and not well adopted before VGA was spec'ed out, VGA was really an improvement on MCGA tech.

MCGA did not precede VGA. Both MCGA and VGA were introduced simultaneously, with the launch of the IBM PS/2 series in April 1987.

For a fair portion of the MCGA & VGA's life, only the MCGA portions were used by a lot of software.

DOS games did make heavy use of the MCGA 320x200 256-color mode, because for most games color depth was more important than resolution, and 320x200 was common with CGA, EGA, and Tandy, so they could use the same graphics for all versions, just scaling up or down the color depth as necessary.

But MCGA only gives you monochrome (2 colors) at 640x480, so it's not good for Windows 3.x or other GUIs -- although you could make a fair point that since all known MCGA systems were XT-class 8086 machines, they really weren't powerful enough to make good use of Windows anyway.
 

VileR

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
546
Location
Israel
DOS games did make heavy use of the MCGA 320x200 256-color mode, because for most games color depth was more important than resolution, and 320x200 was common with CGA, EGA, and Tandy, so they could use the same graphics for all versions, just scaling up or down the color depth as necessary.
True, though MCGA only has a single video page in this mode, and many games eventually required more than that, even if the resolution and color depth were the same.

What baffles me most about MCGA is the complete lack of EGA compatibility, since the memory limitation doesn't account for that - 64KB is what IBM shipped its EGA with, after all. Only makes sense if it was really crippled by design for pricing purposes.
 
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