Browse Prior Art Database

Automatic Loading of User Selected Fonts During Power On Self Test

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000114641D
Original Publication Date: 1995-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-29
Document File: 2 page(s) / 104K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Deckys, D: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

As part of the requirement for PS/2* systems to meet ISO compliancy, it is necessary to provide a new set of ISO compliant fonts. The user has the option of selecting which set of fonts is used to display text (standard non-ISO or ISO). It is undesirable and cumbersome to use the video BIOS user alpha load function to load the ISO fonts. A method is needed to automatically load the selected fonts during Power On Self Test (POST).

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Automatic Loading of User Selected Fonts During Power On Self Test

      As part of the requirement for PS/2* systems to meet ISO
compliancy, it is necessary to provide a new set of ISO compliant
fonts.  The user has the option of selecting which set of fonts is
used to display text (standard non-ISO or ISO).  It is undesirable
and cumbersome to use the video BIOS user alpha load function to load
the ISO fonts.  A method is needed to automatically load the selected
fonts during Power On Self Test (POST).

      The new ISO fonts are different than the standard non-ISO fonts
in the fact that they meet ISO 9241 part 3 standards for character
height, stroke width, width-to height ratio, and format.  The new ISO
fonts are meant to be displayed on newer ISO complaint monitors.  ISO
compliant monitors are different than the standard non-ISO monitors
in the fact that they meet ISO 9241 part 3 standards for temporal
instability (i.e., flicker).  The IBM* 95xx* type monitors are ISO
compliant monitors capable of VGA mode 640x480 at 75Hz vertical
refresh rate.  On an ISO compliant monitor the ISO fonts look
considerably better than the standard non-ISO fonts.  However, on an
older non-ISO display the ISO fonts are hard to read because the
horizontal lines have significantly greater intensity than vertical
lines.  The new ISO fonts are single stroke based, and the
differences in intensity render it almost totally unreadable.

      If it were possible for POST to detect which type of monitor is
attached to the system and automatically choose the correct font, the
problem would be solved.  But differences in monitor manufacturers
and the age of a monitor contribute to making the decision between
using ISO or non-ISO fonts even more complex.  The situation is even
further complicated by the fact that many OEM monitor manufacturers
are producing ISO displays with the old 8514 IDs.  POST would
interpret this as a non-ISO display and then default to the non-ISO
font and prevent the system from achieving ISO compliancy.

      To ship a system with a font that is as unreadable as the ISO
could be on a non-ISO monitor would create an initial public exposure
of IBM losing quality.  Even allowing the user to deselect the ISO
font will still expose the problem; although, making the old non-ISO
font the default, and allowing the selection of the ISO font is
acceptable (with a warning that the ISO font looks best when
displayed on an ISO monitor.) In conclusion, the user is ultimately
given the choice, through the Setup utility, of which font is to be
displayed.  The system ships with the non-ISO font as the default.

      During the POST of the PS/2, POST uses the video BIOS mode set
function...