Friday, December 18, 2015

BigBlue Terminal: an oldschool fixed-width pixel font

BigBlue Terminal is a monospaced pixel font, designed for use in fixed-width textual environments (consoles/terminals, text/code/hex editors and so on).  It follows the metrics and dimensions of Windows' old Terminal font (at the 9pt/12px size), but the appearance is closer to the classic IBM PC text mode character sets.

At 8x12 pixels, Terminal is nicely compact and useful, but also kind of ugly.  Instead, BigBlue Terminal is closely based on IBM's 8x14 EGA/VGA charset -- I just like it better.  Basically, that font has been squeezed and modified to fit into a 8x12-pixel cell.  For the extended 'Plus' version, many additional Unicode characters have been added to support international scripts and symbol sets.

The font comes in three variants,
  • BigBlue TerminalPlus: TrueType font, multi-language Unicode character set
  • BigBlue Terminal 437TT: TrueType font, codepage 437 (DOS/OEM-US)
  • BigBlue Terminal 437BM: Windows bitmap font (.FON), codepage 437 (DOS/OEM-US)
Grab the whole thing here.  And, since we're all appropriately oldschool here, the archive also includes a bonus DOS version!

See README.TXT for the boring technical stuff.  I'm releasing this under the CC Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license (and yes, 'attribution' means attribution -- you're not free to pass this work off as your own).