Back in 1987 Richard Wilton wrote the definitive video textbook for beginners and intermediates that thoroughly covered all the fundamental aspects of the PC's basic video system. It was truly a classic and titled "Programmer's Guide To PC & PS/2 Video Systems." It was published by the Microsoft Press for about $25. Its ISBN book number was 1-55165-103-9 and it went through so very many printings and its sequel by Richard Wilton that it became a classic. The thirteen chapters and three Appendices contents covered in 532 pages:

must study -->  1. IBM Video Hardware and Firmware
 "    "         2. Programming the Hardware
 "    "         3. Alphanumeric Modes
 "    "         4. Graphics Modes
 "    "         5. Pixel Programming
                6. Lines
                7. Circles and Ellipses
                8. Region Fill
                9. Graphics Text
               10. Alphanumeric Character Sets
               11. Bit Block and Animation
               12. Advanced Programming Techniques
               13. Graphics Subroutines in High-Level Languages
the best! -->  Appendix A: Video BIOS Summary & BIOS Data Addresses
               Appendix B: Printing the Screen
               Appendix c: Identifying Video Subsystems

The contents of this book are so relevant that I wore out two copies of this book while doing nearly ten years of IBM Touchscreen Information Systems assembly language programming.  Unfortunately it is now out of print, but if you have a friend who has a copy and will loan it to you, by all means read and study it.

There is another book still in print that has been considerably updated from the one discussed above. It is titled: "Programmer's Guide to the EGA, VGA and Super VGA Cards" by Richard F. Ferraro with a monster 1,632 pages. Its ISBN number of its third edition is ISBN 0-201-62490-7 and may be available from your local bookstore. If not, you may order it from our favorite bookseller in Cedar Creek, Texas, ABYSS BOOKs. Toll free phone number is: (888) 999-2665 = (888) WWW-BOOK. Ask for my special friend Maria who is a computer books expert. You will receive a significant discount from the book's $44.95 list price.

Here is the detailed advertising/boiler plate on Richard Ferraro's 3rd edition.

"...I've found this book useful when I've reached for it, and I've found myself reaching for it increasingly often, and that's the real test of any reference."
- Michael Abrash, Dr. Dobb's Journal. NOTE: Michael is a GENIUS programmer

"A gold mine of information...." - PC Resource>

"You will find this a valuable reference source....It takes the place of detailed technical manuals that explain the theory of programming these devices, but which are not designed to teach the practice."
- Online Today

"This book provides essential tools urgently needed by graphics programmers. Now, the full potential of the Super VGAs can be realized."
- Bo Ericsson, Cirrus Logic Board Member, VESA Standards Committee

Programmer's Guide to the EGA, VGA and Super VGA Cards, Third Edition, is the most outstanding guide to industry graphics standards for personal computers. This classic reference gives readers the knowledge and skills they need for successful graphics programming. It explains the PC graphics environments and graphics programming principles and details the features and operation of the Super VGA, VGA, XGA, 8514/A and EGA graphics standards. The core of the book teaches readers how to write programs that support and take advantage of all of these standards and the most popular chip sets and graphics boards supporting these standards. The book features a set of extensive, protected-mode compatible and optimized code examples in C and assembly language that illustrate techniques for programming text, font, graphics, and color features of the major industry chip sets.

This thoroughly revised third edition of the Programmer's Guide focuses on the Super VGA standard that now dominates the industry. The book details programming parameters and techniques for the latest graphics cards in both completely revised and wholly new chapters. The Programmer's Guide also features entirely new coverage of:


 1. Introduction to the Programmers guide

 2. The EGA, VGA, and Super VGA features

 3. Graphics Hardware and Software

 4. Types of Graphics Systems

 5. Principles of Computer Graphics
    Coordinate Systems
    Coordinate Transformations
    The Character
    The Point
    The Line
    The Circle
    The Image
    Color Theory

 6. Alphanumeric Processing
    EGA/VGA Character processing
    Character shape
    Character Attributes
    Display memory
    Alphanumeric Display modes
    The cursor
    Downloadable character sets

 7. Graphics processing
    Graphics attributes
    Display memory
    Graphics display modes
    Writing to display memory
    Reading from display memory
    Display memory timing

 8. Color Palette and Color Registers
    Converting Data to colors
    Color registers

 9. Reading the State of the EGA and VGA
    Reading the state of the adapter
    Reading the display registers
    Reading BIOS Tables from Memory
    Reading the state of the EGA and VGA Adapters
    Testing for Hardware

10. The EGA/VGA registers
    The General of External registers
    The sequencer registers
    The CRT Controller registers
    The graphics Controller registers
    The attribute controller registers
    Color registers

11. The EGA/VGA Bios

12. Programming examples
    List of standard VGA functions
    Naming conventions
    Controlling/reading status of the display
    Determining the state of the VGA Adapter
    Cursor control
    Drawing a point
    Drawing a line
    Drawing a Circle
    Drawing an Image
    Data decoding
    Clearing Display memory
    Downloading character fonts

13. The Super VGA
    Components of the Super VGA
    Super VGA BIOS
    The Super VGA Standards
    Controlling the Super VGA
    Memory adressing techniques
    Working with color
    Color Expansion
    Raster operations I Mixes
    Hardware cursor
    Line Drawing
    Linear Adressing
    Mapping I/O Registers into host memory adress space
    Off screen memory

14. Graphics Coprocessors
    Controlling the coprocessor
    Programming examples

15. Super VGA Code Basics
    Transfer data in a single bank
    Transfer data to Two Banks
    Transfer data to multiple banks
    Transfer windows
    Window in packed color-modes
    Window in 16-color modes
    Drawing single pixels
    Drawing a line
    Reading and Writing Vectors
    Switching display banks
    Color conversions
    Graphics Character display
    VESA related functions
    Useful macros

16. The adapter Interface (AI)
    Setup commands
    Control commands
    Query commands
    State Control commands
    Line commands
    Image BitBlt commands
    Area commands
    Marker commands
    Alphanumeric commands

17. The 8514/A used by IBM touchscreens
    Setup registers
    DAC Controlle registers
    CRT registers
    Interrupt and Conf. registers
    Memory conf. registers
    Command FIFO
    Graphics processor command registers
    Trajectory Control registers
    Scissors registers
    Data transfer registers
    Pixel Transfer ALU registers

18. The XGA also used by IBM touchscreens
    Detailed hardware description. 
    Code example for optimized 
    Programming this Graphics card

19. ATI Technologies

20. Chips & Technologies

21. Cirrus Logic

22. Video 7 Super VGA Chip Sets

23. IIT 

24. NCR 

25. OAK

26. S3 Incorporated

27. Trident Super VGA Chip sets

28. Tseng Labs Super VGA Chips

29. Paradise Super VGA Chips

30. Weitek
Read and study this book and you will become a considerably greater graphics guru and expert than I am.

Good luck.

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