mac comps

Antony Stone Antony at
Thu Oct 17 15:59:49 PDT 2002

On Thursday 17 October 2002 11:46 pm, Ian Molton wrote:

> On Thu, 17 Oct 2002 22:28:14 +0000 (UTC)
> ken_i_m at (Ken Dyke) wrote:
> > > > > Hehe. IBM kept the PC architecture in tight fists.
> > > > >
> > > > > someone else cloned it.
> > > >
> > > > So why didn't IBM sue ?
> > >
> > > incompetance?
> >
> > Ian, you need to revisit your history.  The PC was intended from the
> > beginning to be an open architecture system.
> Are you sure about that?
> As I recall, the BIOS stuff was kept under wraps, and the early IBM-like
> architectures 'clones' the BIOS, earning the name PC-clones.

I agree with Ken.   I recall the IBM PC as being an Open Specification (not 
the internal circuit designs, but certainly all the functional specs as far 
as interfacing with software and expansion cards etc was concerned), 
originally so as to get other companies writing compatible software, and 
building compatible interface cards.

The internals of the IBM Bios were secret too, but the functions it provided 
weren't, hence companies like Award and Phoenix came along and created the 
same functions in their own Bioses without actually copying the IBM code.

Some companies such as Compaq shot themselves in the foot by trying to 
produce "better than IBM" IBM-clones, and they learned the hard way that the 
market didn't want better functionality, it wanted compatibility.

Microsoft was perfectly happy all along because it didn't care who built the 
hardware so long as it ran their programs.



What is this talk of software 'release' ?
Our software evolves and matures until it becomes capable of escape,
leaving a bloody trail of designers and quality assurance people in its wake.
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