chapter 2

Basic Concepts

Of the hundreds of personal computer products on the market today, only a handful are especially suited for graphic displays. Moreover, each computer has a unique way of handling graphics (remember there is no standard). For example, in the popular PET 2001 computer there is a set of 64 special graphics characters that can be used to draw and plot with. On the other hand, the Apple II computer has no graphics characters but a rich variety of graphics statements that allow you to control any dot in a 280-by-193 screen matrix.

Which is right for you? The answer depends on what your eventual goals are for the computer, how much money you wish to spend, how much effort you can make in learning, etc. In this section we will examine the distinguishing features of the graphics computers of today and we will see how to tell them apart and what makes them tick. We will also look at the elementary hardware techniques for generating a graphics display. A profile of graphics computer products on the market today will be presented. In addition we will examine the various graphics accessories that one can buy today. So let's get started.

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