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The Cheap Video Cookbook Paperback – May, 1978


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Longman Higher Education; 1st edition (May 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0672215241
  • ISBN-13: 978-0672215247
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,194,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book was the follow-on to Lancaster's book on the TV Terminal, which was the first book to describe an affordable way of building your own video terminal.

The Cheap Video Cookbook picked up where the author's TV Typewriter Cookbook ended. In 1978, this was a super low-cost way to get words, pictures, and op-code out of a computer and onto on ordinary TV set with minimum modifications to both. You will find complete do-it-yourself nuts and bolts construction details with thoroughly documented and debugged support software.

Inside are details on the seven IC circuit called the TVT 6 5/6. You could build this for as little as $20 in 1978, and then software and module program it for virtually any alphanumeric format known at the time, including a scrolling 24 lines by 80 characters; or for virtually any graphics format of that day including a 256 × 256 mode and four-color graphics modes - hefty stuff for the 1970's. Those seven ICs gave cursor, loading, and editing capabilities, and did everything within the limited bandwidth ability of an ordinary TV set of that era. The system ran on most any 6500 or 6800 system, and could be adapted to other microcomputers.

It is absolutely laughable to think this was the state of the art in video display systems 30 years ago, but it is very well written and documented. Since you can get a used copy so cheaply it might be worth it for electronics history buffs. I still have my copy, which I actually used to build a video display controller back in the early 80's. It really is a pretty good source for showing absolute beginners the electronics nuts-and-bolts of what goes on in a video display system. Nobody builds individual systems any more, so consider it a well-written book on a lost art.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anon Ymous on February 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book tells you how to get fast graphical and alphanumerical displays working with almost any existing microcomputer platform, for a small price, and without much hardware modifications.

From what I understand so far, Cheap Video utilizes your microcomputer's ability to jump to subroutines to activate a special "scan microinstruction" PROM, which then runs a bunch of 1-clock cycle instructions (Like LD Y,A0). This addresses another PROM, or RAM, that contains the graphical data you want to display on the screen. It's a great book to have for anyone interested in messing with old computer's hardware to do neat stuff.
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