Spectrum 512

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Note for French readers: The French manual of Spectrum 512 was scanned and is available at www.microstalgia.fr.st



Hi there! The only thing we have to report in this release is a bit of a problem with early versions of the Supra hard disk formatting software. If you used a Supra formatting program prior to version 2.61, due to vagaries in their format program, your disk I/O will probably not work with SPECTRUM 512.

Solution: Contact Supra, get their latest formatter, backup your hard disk, and reformat.

Or: Run Spectrum 512 from a floppy.

DIGITIZED IMAGES FOR SPECTRUM 512 (or... more good things to come)

It's nice to be able to use 512 colors in a painting program. But when it comes to color digitizing it's not only nice -- if you want to achieve that real 3-D quality in your picture, it's a must. The painter does not have to meticulously copy every color of a real-life object. In fact, he/she can use completely unnatural colors to create vivid super-real images (even more intense then real-life!).

A digitizer, however, is just a machine; it has no artist's instinct. The only way for it to produce a good picture is to copy the original colors as closely as possible. If you have only 16 colors to cover the whole 8x8x8-bit (16 million hue) color space, this is almost impossible to achieve. Typically, you'll get the main colors of the original image, but the subtle (harmonic) shades that create the impression of depth, roundness of objects, etc., will be lost.

At this moment (9/8/87) TRIO Engineering is working in coordination with Digital Vision on a program that will make it possible to produce 512-color images with the ComputerEyes video digitizer. The program will use dithering (color mixing) to increase the effective number of colors to about 25,000 (wheres the current Amiga HAM mode conversion only creates about 3,500 colors). It will display the image captured with the video camera or VCR, allow it to be adjusted for proper brightness, contrast and color balance and then saved on disk in SPECTRUM 512 format. It will also preprocess raw video data to achieve overall picture quality comparable to that of hand-drawn Spectrum pictures. Picture files produced by this program could then be loaded into Spectrum itself for editing, composition, etc., enriching the world of Spectrum with real-life images.

Antic Software and TRIO Engineering also intend to work with other digitizer manufacturers for the Atari ST to interface their hardware with SPECTRUM 512. As new technologies become available, we will make sure that, if possible, they will be compatible with our format.

For now, stay tuned to SIG*Atari on CompuServe for more information about this. And if you want a massive library of incredibly realistic photo-digitized Spectrum pictures that we've had especially digitized on the Amiga, check out Download Library 12 (DL12) in that same Atari forum (type GO ATARI16 on CompuServe). There are dozens of 3,500-color Spectrum pics there that we've been digitizing with Digiview on the Amiga.

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