From: Frank Peelo (fpeelo at domain eircom.net)
Date: Thu 28 Jun 2001 - 15:17:54 IST
> > I seem to remember that the only part of the original IBM PC which
> > had knowledge of was the BIOS.
> That's not correct. When you bought an original IBM PC there was a
> source listing of the BIOS in one of the supplied manuals.
I remember that too! And of course the manual also very sensibly said
not to use it, because it was subject to change, use the documented
Int xx API instead. So I wonder why it was published? Also IIRC the
circuit diagrams were in there, but I guess that was normal, the
Apple ][ manuals had diagrams too. Maybe computer manufacturers back
then had problems selling stuff if they didn't publish information
> > Our friends in Compaq then reverse engineered the BIOS, helping to
> > out-pouring of clones all aver the place.
> Of course Compaq had to then produce their own BIOS, written by
> who could testify that they had never looked at the IBM listing. I'm
> as to whether they could have written the design docs. for the BIOS
> looked at the IBM listing or would that not a big enough Chinese
AIUI there would be one group which knew the BIOS, writing spec
documents which could be shown in court not to contain any copyrighted
stuff, and another group who could swear to not knowing the BIOS, who
could work on these docs. Presumably the testers would belong to the
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