manipulate digital information, CRTs manipulate analog information.
This means that somewhere, somehow the digital information
that your computer works with needs to be converted into
an analog signal that your monitor can work with. On PCs,
video cards perform this digital to analog conversion using
a Digital-to-Analog Converter (or DAC for short).
It's essential to understand that arcade
games manipulate digital information, and that CRTs manipulate
analog information. If you do not, you may find yourself
getting confused when arcade game developers start talking
in terms of pixels, resolutions, and frame rates, and when
CRT manufacturers start talking in terms of bandwidth, timings,
and refresh rates. Many people get lost when going from
the analog world to the digital world and vise versa. But
don't fret, it's not all that complicated. You just have
to keep in mind that they are two different worlds.
In the digital world, everything from the
analog world is systematically broken down into very small
components. Essentially, an infinite data set (analog) is
broken down into something finite (digital). An old color
photograph, for example, has an infinite number of colors.
It also displays an infinite number of shades of black and
white. Film, like CRTs, manipulate and display analog information.
This means that in order to edit an old color photograph
on your computer, it needs to be broken down into something
finite, something your computer can understand. In the digital
world images are broken down into pixels. They take analog
information such as an old color photograph and translate
(i.e. scan) it into a set of pixels. The more pixels you
use to translate an image into the digital world, the closer
it comes to an exact duplicate of the analog original. If
you used an infinite number of pixels to translate an image,
then it would be an exact duplicate, but, of course, computers
can't work with infinite numbers, so this isn't very useful.
It just means that more is generally better (as far as replication
accuracy is concerned).
In the analog world, everything from the
digital world is turned from a discrete number of components
into a continuous data set, or infinite number of components.
For example, in order to view a scanned photograph on your
computer monitor, your video card needs to convert the image's
pixels (digital) into a signal of volts per second (analog).
Naturally, this is done via your video card's Digital-to-Analog
So basically if you take an old photograph
and display it on your CRT monitor, it has to go from analog
(film) to digital (pixels) and then back to analog (CRT).
Don't stress out if your a little confused about all this,
just understand there are two different worlds out there,
the digital one (computers) and the analog one (CRTs). If
you understand that, then you're golden. I mention all this
because many modeline newbies get confused when the digital
and analog worlds collide. You just have to remember that
there are two different worlds out there, the digital one
and the analog one.
If you want to understand how images are
mainipulated in the digital world, then you need to understand
pixels, what they are, and how computers manipulate them
to display images.