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Monochrome Display Driver

TandyMan100

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Jan 7, 2009
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I need a decent display driver for my greyscale VGA laptop running Windows 3.1. I would like to have high-quality greyscale instead of 16 shades of grey. :)
 

Lord Moz

Experienced Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
217
Location
Texas
You need to let us know what kind of video card the laptop has and how much memory the video card has. Standard VGA has 256KB and only supports 16 colors/shades of grey.
VGA does not need special drivers for greyscale, so you are not looking for a monochrome video driver (which would be black and white, and not greyscale anyway).

What you are looking for, essentially, is just the proper video drivers for your laptop's video card, but before anyone could give that, we would need to know what kind it is.
If you don't know the kind of VGA chip your laptop is using, someone here might know if you told us what kind of laptop you have (brand/model/revision).

From my experience, S3, Chips & Tech, and Headland Tech were some of the more common on integrated video systems back then, but I'm sure there are others.

Hope that helps a bit...
__
Trevor
 

vwestlife

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central NJ
Just use the standard color VGA driver. The translation from colors to shades of gray is done by the VGA hardware, so you do not specifically need a monochrome video driver. Also that way if you ever plug in an external monitor, it will show up in color.
 

TandyMan100

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yes, but it's still only 16 colors, and I was hoping that I could get more than that, possibly by only using greyscale colors. Alas, I have no disks for my laptop, and no documentation or drivers of any sort can be found on the internet, so this seems to be hopeless.
 

vwestlife

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yes, but it's still only 16 colors, and I was hoping that I could get more than that, possibly by only using greyscale colors. Alas, I have no disks for my laptop, and no documentation or drivers of any sort can be found on the internet, so this seems to be hopeless.

It may have 256-color capability at 640x480, but first you'll have to find what kind of video chipset it uses. Some DOS utilities like SYSCHK are pretty good at this.
 

Lord Moz

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Joined
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It may have 256-color capability at 640x480, but first you'll have to find what kind of video chipset it uses. Some DOS utilities like SYSCHK are pretty good at this.

Most greyscale LCDs of that vintage typically only displayed 64 shades of grey. If there were any 256 shade grey LCDs, I never saw them, and they must have been towards the very end of grey LCDs time.

64 shades of grey were usually used when emulating 8 bit color, and 256 shades of grey when displaying 24bit color. This being a '93 vintage machine, I wouldn't be betting on much past 256 color capability, if that. Windows has a stock 256 color driver... you could give that a whirl. Couldn't hurt anyway.

As suggested above, try some various systeminfo utils and see if you can determine the video chipset and amount of ram. That will go a long way towards finding your drivers.

Good luck.
__
Trevor
 

TandyMan100

Veteran Member
Joined
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Messages
632
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At my computer
Most greyscale LCDs of that vintage typically only displayed 64 shades of grey. If there were any 256 shade grey LCDs, I never saw them, and they must have been towards the very end of grey LCDs time.

64 shades of grey were usually used when emulating 8 bit color, and 256 shades of grey when displaying 24bit color. This being a '93 vintage machine, I wouldn't be betting on much past 256 color capability, if that. Windows has a stock 256 color driver... you could give that a whirl. Couldn't hurt anyway.

As suggested above, try some various systeminfo utils and see if you can determine the video chipset and amount of ram. That will go a long way towards finding your drivers.

Good luck.
__
Trevor
SYSCHK was awesome, worked a charm, and here is what I have: SVGA-compatible Paradise/Western Digital WD90c22. I can't find drivers ANYWHERE on Google or anything for this, so I'm gonna ask here and see if anyone has anything.

Stock 256 color driver? Where? I sure can't see it. Is it a seperate download? 'cause I can't get any more than 16 colors from any of the drivers that come with it.
 

Marrr

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Jan 1, 2009
Messages
198
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Poland
SYSCHK was awesome, worked a charm, and here is what I have: SVGA-compatible Paradise/Western Digital WD90c22. I can't find drivers ANYWHERE on Google or anything for this, so I'm gonna ask here and see if anyone has anything.
One of these should work:

ftp://garbo.uwasa.fi/windows/drivers/paradise.zip
Paradise SVGA drivers for Win3

ftp://garbo.uwasa.fi/windows/drivers/parawin3.zip
Paradise SVGA drivers for Win3 rel 2

ftp://garbo.uwasa.fi/windows/drivers/pvga1024.zip
PVGA (Paradise, Western Digital) drivers

ftp://garbo.uwasa.fi/windows/drivers/win30drv.zip
Paradise VGA drivers (incl. Fast VGA)

Stock 256 color driver? Where? I sure can't see it. Is it a seperate download? 'cause I can't get any more than 16 colors from any of the drivers that come with it.

No such thing in Windows 3.1, I think it was shipped with Windows 3.11.
 

Lord Moz

Experienced Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
217
Location
Texas
SYSCHK was awesome, worked a charm, and here is what I have: SVGA-compatible Paradise/Western Digital WD90c22. I can't find drivers ANYWHERE on Google or anything for this, so I'm gonna ask here and see if anyone has anything.

How much video ram did it show your card having? You will need at least 512KB to run 256 colors at 640x480.


No such thing in Windows 3.1, I think it was shipped with Windows 3.11.

I forgot to mention that. I never run 3.1, and always seem to end up installing WfW 3.11, so I tend to forget the other versions' limitations.
The Paradise cards are pretty common and fairly well supported. Give some of the drivers listed above a try. You should be able to get one of them to work.
__
Trevor
 

Marrr

Experienced Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
198
Location
Poland
BTW: those generic, non-accelerated, Super VGA 256 colors drivers for Windows 3.1 (I guess the same as those shipped with 3.11) were also available for download, a bit hard to find them now, but...
ftp://ftp.kew.com/pub/misc/svga.exe
Of course, if that laptop supports video acceleration, it's better to use dedicated drivers.
 

TandyMan100

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
632
Location
At my computer
One of these should work:

ftp://garbo.uwasa.fi/windows/drivers/paradise.zip
Paradise SVGA drivers for Win3

ftp://garbo.uwasa.fi/windows/drivers/parawin3.zip
Paradise SVGA drivers for Win3 rel 2

ftp://garbo.uwasa.fi/windows/drivers/pvga1024.zip
PVGA (Paradise, Western Digital) drivers

ftp://garbo.uwasa.fi/windows/drivers/win30drv.zip
Paradise VGA drivers (incl. Fast VGA)



No such thing in Windows 3.1, I think it was shipped with Windows 3.11.
I tried every one of those, but they all just got me garbled screen. I'll try the 'generic' driver you posted, but if that doesn't work I'm gonna give up on this.
 

Rickajho

Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
31
Location
Boston, MA
SYSCHK was awesome, worked a charm, and here is what I have: SVGA-compatible Paradise/Western Digital WD90c22. I can't find drivers ANYWHERE on Google or anything for this, so I'm gonna ask here and see if anyone has anything.

Stock 256 color driver? Where? I sure can't see it. Is it a seperate download? 'cause I can't get any more than 16 colors from any of the drivers that come with it.

16 levels of gray on that screen is the best you will get. I had an NEC UltraLite from the same era that used the WD90c22 chip set. Max resolution was 640 x 480 at 256 colors, 800 x 600 at 16 colors. 256k video RAM - that's all I had (and possibly all that chip was designed to address.)

But internally, your limitation is the display screen itself. From that era all they could do was 16 out of 64 levels of gray. AIRC there was no separate "grayscale" driver for the lap top display. You just used the 256 color driver, and picked the least annoying color set in control panel to get the best you could out of the display.

I am really surprised there is so little info or drivers out there for this era of WD stuff. Accelerator 24 and forward? At least some mention. But prior to that - I found one display ad circa 1991 and that's it. Not even in Wiki. Didn't WD sell it's graphics cards division to S3?
 
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