Talk:Blit (computer terminal)

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Inappropriate vandalism deleted. Ian Cairns 09:47, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

As opposed to appropriate vandalism? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by DAGwyn (talkcontribs) 20:49, November 9, 2006 (UTC).

Escape sequences[edit]

The article previously said:

Similar to the VT100 it had an addressable cursor and supported escape sequences.

An editor remove this sentence, claiming in the edit comment that this is not true, that the blit booted as a dumb terminal without escape sequences - and that he knows it because he wrote the software. This contradicts my experience with the DMD 5620 (and later 630 and 730) - which undoubtedly booted with ANSI escape sequences and cursor addressing enabled. Moreover, after mux (aka "layers") was started you didn't have cursor addressing any more in the individual windows, so a "5620 emulator" could be loaded in a window to give it behavior like the stand-alone 5620 terminal, with its escape sequences and cursor addressing. Is it possible that the 5620 differed from the original blit in this regard? If so, this should be explained, because the article currently claims to be about both 5620 and blit. Nyh (talk) 09:44, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

It is misleading to describe the Blit family in terms of a character-oriented terminal. The Blit family is at heart a bitmap graphics device, and any "ASCII terminal" behavior is imposed by software running in the Blit. The commercial versions powered up running a full-screen terminal emulator in ROM firmware, and that emulator did support a lot of ANSI X3.64 escape sequences and control codes. The early version of the 5620 didn't have a windowing system in its firmware; it had to be boot-downloaded from the host. The more evolved 630 & 730 usually used the same terminal emulator for each window as for the stand-alone power-up mode. Many of us downloaded replacement terminal emulators for the shell windows for all these models. There was a HP terminal emulator, a Tektronix 401x emulator, and such terminal programs as Dave Prosser's "myx", which had sam-like mouse operations (modeled after Rob Pike's "mux"). The 630 & 730 built-in terminal emulation also supported mouse editing, but not quite as slick. — DAGwyn (talk) 12:49, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
Your statement that "The commercial versions powered up running a full-screen terminal emulator in ROM firmware, and that emulator did support a lot of ANSI X3.64 escape sequences and control codes." is exactly the statement that was originally in the article - the 5620 looked when it was turned on, before you logged in to the remote Unix machine and ran "mux", like the other cursor-addressable-with-escape-sequences terminal. It did not turn on as a "dumb terminal", as the current article states. Perhaps the original research blit did (I don't know if that is true) but the 5620 certainly didn't. Nyh (talk) 15:10, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
I think the article claimed that for the Blit, not for later members of the "Blit family". I think the original Blit probably did have only a very primitive stand-alone terminal emulation in its firmware, with the expectation that that mode would be used only long enough to get logged into the host and the windowing system download initiated. I never used an original Blit, just the commercial models. The "commercial"-qualified sentence could be added, but it doesn't seem like an important point since that's not the usage mode these terminals were intended for. (Although some of our users were happy enough just to have a "tall screen ANSI terminal".) — DAGwyn (talk) 08:26, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Firmware/technical manuals available?[edit]

Are firmware and technical manual available somewhere? Plugging those into MESS should be easy. shattered (talk) 18:18, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

The DMD5620 "blueprints", terminal firmware sources, and applications sources are all available, and can be found through some of the links cited in the article. Less is available for the 630MTG, and nearly nothing for the added features of the 730. However, simulation might not be as easy as you seem to think, since you'd have to implement an interpreter for the WE32000 instruction set. -- DAGwyn 2015-10-13 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:01, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
There's work in progress on 3B2 and DMD5620 simulation in SIMH -- sethm has done all the hard work of writing we32000 cpu core, and I am working on the 5620 part -- some screenshots are at VCFed forum. shattered (talk) 22:18, 15 May 2016 (UTC)


I used the Blit and later the DMD back in the day. There were several stand alone games you could load into the Blit. My favorite was Nuke the Smilies. Another was a clone of asteroids IIRC. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dpbaker57 (talkcontribs) 16:05, 10 June 2014 (UTC)