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Compaq Contura Aero Frequently Asked Questions
Section - 2.1.5.4 800x600x16 VGA mode

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As of yet there is no driver avaliable that provides this mode for an 
external monitor, but there is a healthy amount of speculation out there that 
it is possible. The aero's built in screen does not have the physical 
capacity for such a mode.              - Philip

[Q] The on-line documentation states that there is a video driver available for
the Aero which will support 800x600x16 windows video on an external monitor on
the Aero subnotebooks. This video mode would require ... (800x600)pixels x .5
bytes/pixel= 240k video ram (4 bits required per pixel for 16 color depth).

The Aero has 256k of video RAM. This should be doable according to the math. It
is also mentioned in the on-line docs under the section which deals with
"External VGA Monitor connection", but Compaq tech support has disavowed any
knowledge of this driver. When I point their tech support to the mention of it
in the on-line docs, they just say it must have been a mistake. I think they
just did not get it out the door, and no one has pressed them enough to get it
shipped.

Compaq tech support also could not provide the video chip manufacturer, or chip
number, and the tech had no idea what chip it was other than telling me his
docs just said "SLSI video ". I believe that the chip is a Tseng Labs ET4000,
which is capable of 800x600 support.

[A] I have a couple of reasons to think that 800x600x16 WOULD be possible, at
least in theory.

      Back when I owned a 286 desktop machine, I had a Trident video card with
     256K of graphics memory. I was able to do 800x600 graphics in 16 colors.
     In fact, I had Windows drivers (at the time, Windows 3.0 would work on a
     286 in real or standard mode, just not 386 enhanced mode) which would run
     the display at 800x600x16.
      In Fractint (DOS version), I remember that there were several video modes
     supported which entailed reprogramming the video hardware; if a VGA
     chipset is register-compatible with the IBM VGA spec, then in theory those
     chips can be reprogrammed to display 800x600x16, whether or not the chips
     can natively handle that resolution! Such tweaked modes worked fine on my
     286 system, although the aspect ratio was a little "off" (i.e., the screen
     was squashed a bit). Naturally, the native Trident 800x600x16 mode looked
     better.

As I said, I was able to get 800x600x16 video on my 256K Trident card. Whether
this will work on the Aero's external display remains to be seen -- the VGA
chip in the Aero might not handle things the same way as the Trident chip(s).

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Top Document: Compaq Contura Aero Frequently Asked Questions
Previous Document: 2.1.5.3 What if my screen is unevenly backlit?
Next Document: 2.1.5.5 Special supported 256 color VGA modes

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Send corrections/additions to the FAQ Maintainer:
Philip Wilk <PWilk-aerofaq@ZenSpider.com>





Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:12 PM