mac comps

Ken Dyke ken_i_m at
Fri Oct 18 08:12:58 PDT 2002

On Fri, 2002-10-18 at 05:58, Ian Molton wrote:
> On Fri, 18 Oct 2002 10:42:43 +0000 (UTC)
> Antony at (Antony Stone) wrote:
> > I think the point people are trying to make here is that up until the
> > time of the IBM PC - what has come to be known as the x86 architecture
> > - there *was* no commodity manufacturer, and the appearance of one was
> > not guaranteed.

And the rest of Antony's post describes well the situation.

> There were dozens of commidity manufacturers - Acorn had the BBC, for
> example, specifically designed to be a budget machine, but still had all
> the frills.
> Im fairly sure a standard would have been reached even without X86
> taking over. In fact, most of the machines of the day shared in common
> similar designs. There were hundreds of 6502, z8x etc. based machines,
> all using similar IO chips.

There was the S100 bus which many parts were made for.  It was pretty
much the one to use if building your own system.  But there was still a
great deal of incompatibility.

The bus of the IBM PC was the central open feature.  This enabled card
manufactures to make memory boards, disk controllers, I/O cards, etc
that would work with each other.

At that point in time (i.e. when the PC was introduced) software was
still pretty much a non-issue.  The computer journal, Byte, came with
source code listings as did many other periodicals.  Pure microcomputer
software companies were still in start up mode and not getting much
traction because of all the different systems.  The PC was a real boon
to software developers.  This is when Peachtree et al really made a
names for themselves.

On a related note, a major driving factor behind the popular adoption of
the PC and MS-DOS despite the learning curve was that Apple wanted too
much money for their new systems.  So, on an individual basis, business
elected to go with the cheap PC and the learning curve of MS-DOS rather
than pay all that money for an Apple.

I am seeing the same dynamic structure today.  Individually, businesses
are electing to go with cheap Linux inspite of the learning curve rather
then to continue paying ever soaring Windows platform costs.

Two years ago MS did not recognize open source publicly.  A year ago,
they would lob a FUD bomb at it about once a month.  Six months ago,
Ballmer was launching FUD about open source about once a week or so. 
Now, it is multiple times a week and has openly declared "Free Software
as Enemy No. 1" (

I think, therefore, ken_i_m
Chief Gadgeteer,
Elegant Innovations
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