Page 326 When the computer is first started the screen is cleared output is

Page 326 when the computer is first started the

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[Page 326] When the computer is first started, the screen is cleared, output is written into the video RAM starting at location c_start, and c_org is assigned the same value as c_start. Thus the first line appears on the top line of the screen. When output must go to a new line,
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either because the first line is full or because a newline character is detected by out_char, output is written into the location given by c_start plus 80. Eventually, all 25 lines are filled, and scrolling of the screen is required. Some programs, editors, for example, require scrolling in the downward direction too, when the cursor is on the top line and further movement upward within the text is required. There are two ways scrolling the screen can be managed. In software scrolling, the character to be displayed at position (0, 0) is always in the first location in video memory, word 0 relative to the position pointed to by c_start, and the video controller chip is commanded to display this location first by keeping the same address in c_org. When the screen is to be scrolled, the contents of relative location 80 in the video RAM, the beginning of the second line on the screen, is copied to relative location 0, word 81 is copied to relative location 1, and so on. The scan sequence is unchanged, putting the data at location 0 in the memory at screen position (0, 0) and the image on the screen appears to have moved up one line. The cost is that the CPU has moved 80 x 24 = 1920 words. In hardware scrolling, the data are not moved in the memory; instead the video controller chip is instructed to start the display at a different point, for instance, with the data at word 80. The bookkeeping is done by adding 80 to the contents of c_org, saving it for future reference, and writing this value into the correct register of the video controller chip. This requires either that the controller be smart enough to video RAM have more capacity than just the 80 x 2000 words necessary to store a single screen of display. Older display adapters generally have smaller memory but are able to wrap around and do hardware scrolling. Newer adapters generally have much more memory than needed to display a single screen of text, but the controllers are not able to wrap. Thus an adapter with 32,768 bytes of display memory can hold 204 complete lines of 160 bytes each, and can do hardware scrolling 179 times before the inability to wrap becomes a problem. But, eventually a memory copy operation will be needed to move the data for the last 24 lines back to location 0 in the video memory. Whichever method is used, a row of blanks is copied to the video RAM to ensure that the new line at the bottom of the screen is empty. When virtual consoles are enabled, the available memory within a video adapteris divided equally between the number of consoles desired by properly initializing the c_start and c_limit fields for each console. This has an effect on scrolling. On any adapter large enough to support virtual consoles, software scrolling takes place every so often, even though hardware scrolling is nominally in effect. The smaller the amount of
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