foone Profile picture
12 Jan, 23 tweets, 6 min read
so I found an amusing program that does something that seem obvious but I haven't seen anything else do it...
Using a CGA-equipped PC as a title generator!
because in the 80s it was hard to make titles for amateur videos. video titlers were stand alone units which were expensive... but if you have an IBM PC (or clone) with a CGA card (or clone) it can output composite video, which your VCR probably has an input for.
So why not generate titles on your PC?
just have the PC display the titles, then you dub them onto the tape
So this is Home Video Producer, by Turning Point Software.
Amusingly the title screen is in regular RGB-CGA...
but as soon as you get into the menu, it goes composite.
You can adjust each frame, giving them text (in multiple fonts), backgrounds, different colors, and transition effects, like Baby's First Powerpoint
it's also got a bunch of template, which you can fill out to get a pre-made title card (or set of cards)
I had to put my name as Foone Floppydisk Turing because this DOS program from the late-80s doesn't support emoji.
it's got an interesting "frame" metaphor. You'd think each one would be like a powerpoint slide, but no, they're explicitly stacked on each other.
So one frame will just be "display the baby background"
then the next frame is "add the first name"
speaking of metaphors, the way the UI works is slightly odd
So you can select the frames, or the info under the frame (which control things like delays and effects), and you'd think you'd press enter and get a menu, right?
and yes, you do, but that's not where all of the per-frame menu options are.
After hovering over a menu item (with the cursor, there's no mouse support) you can then go up HERE, to Frame Tools Menu.
which gives you a sort of context menu for the frame. it's weird.
that's the only one that's frame-specific. the other ones are strip, movie, and program.
"strips" are apparently what it calls multiple frames with the same background.
and movies are where you have the file save/load options, preview, and template loading options
the templates are:
prepare yourself for the ultimate christmas experience
anyway the software is available on WinWorld if you want to produce your 1988 VHS tapes with it:…
To be clear, this isn't like a real titler, letting you put text overlays on your videos.
The PC has no genlock, and no way to do a video pass-thru
this just lets you insert completely opaque title cards into VHS tapes by recording over your videos with the output of your CGA card

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More from @Foone

13 Jan
fun fact: for a brief period in the early 2000s, Microsoft tried to increase the number of users who would register their software by employing hypnosis Image
This is actually the registration card that came with this odd piece of microsoft hardware. It's a set-top box from 2001 which displays JPEGs on your TV, off floppy disks. Image
I guess the idea is that it let you use a big living room TV to look at photos, instead of a small PC CRT? Image
Read 61 tweets
13 Jan
shout out to ebay who periodically decides my search on "minisport" isn't getting enough results, so it decides I must have spelled it wrong, and corrects it to "mini sport", then suggests "men sport", and I get emails like this: Image
anyway I went in and fixed the search to have quotes in it.
ebay will fiddle with your searches unless you quote it, but sometimes it may take months before that has a noticeable effect
Read 5 tweets
13 Jan
Here's a CPT Phoenix Jr Terminal on ebay.
And wow, it's... weird!
Check out that portrait CRT, and angled keyboard! Image
It seems they tried to make the keyboard symmetric for... reasons, but the left numpad isn't a numpad, it's just got a bunch of custom keys, like TASK and PARA and LINE/SKIP/OUT/ADJ.
I imagine that was designed for customizing for the specific terminal task in mind? Image
Real Monitors Have Curves Image
Read 28 tweets
13 Jan
fun fact: the 25th amendment has two sections which allow the vice president to take over from the current president: section 3 and section 4.

They've only been invoked three times, though one is debatable. In all three cases, it involved the president's butt.
Section 4 is the one everyone is talking about recently.
It's the one that lets the vice president take over because they've judged the president to be "unable to discharge the powers and duties of [their] office"
It has never been used, though there have been a couple cases where it was considered. Two with Reagan and two with Trump.
Read 27 tweets
12 Jan
Today's pickup: A GW-12887-1! This is a replacement for the DS-12887 chip, with a replaceable battery instead of one embedded in plastic. Image
The reason? This thread's rack-mounted PC:
Read 36 tweets
12 Jan
So the last part of the Datachecker that I haven't even done a basic overview of is this huge thing, which I've been calling "the analog box". Spoiler alert: that name is inaccurate Image
This was mounted right behind the front panel, between the two hard drives. Image
It turns out each one has a separate on/off switch. Image
Read 30 tweets

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