PC cassette interface and ROM BASIC (was Re: OT, but info needed: RAM uprade)

From: David Wollmann <dwollmann_at_ibmhelp.com>
Date: Mon Dec 28 15:04:00 1998

On 28 Dec 1998, Eric Smith wrote:

> > and to keep the now-useless ROM-BASIC in there.
> Are you sure it's useless?
> If you use IBM's disk BASIC or BASICA, you're actually using ROM BASIC.
> Try running BASICA on a clone sometime. It won't work. That's why
> MS-DOS for other platforms usually included GWBASIC.
> On the other hand, you can argue that it is useless, since most IBM
> customers don't use BASICA. Or QBASIC for that matter. Anyone using
> BASIC these days is likely to be using Visual BASIC.
> So why didn't IBM remove the ROM BASIC? Simple. Because it wouldn't
> save them any money. There's a certain minimum cost for a masked ROM,
> and going to smaller ones (if you can even get them) doesn't lower your cost.

ROM BASIC is a very important feature on the machines with CMOS. If the CMOS
reg's get hosed and the machine can't find anything to boot from, you can
usually fix the problem from BASIC instead of having to open the case and move
a jumper or disconnect the CMOS battery (and I don't think you can disconnect
the CMOS battery on the PS/2s with the Dallas clock chip).

David Wollmann
DST / DST Data Conversion
ICQ: 10742063
AIM: FathomS36
Received on Mon Dec 28 1998 - 15:04:00 GMT

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