Innovation ?(was: !Re: Nuke Redmond!)

From: Sipke de Wal <>
Date: Sat Apr 8 05:16:52 2000

This thread was about innovation. And it is a thread about
innovation on the ClassicComp list were most of the
audience is more or less knowlegable about such matters.
I'd say then innovation then should also regard the innards of the
the software we discuss not only the userinterface.

The problem is deeper still. Most people in this industy are rather
addicted to something that's called BACKWARDS COMPATIBILTY.
This simply because it makes our lives a little easier when an new piece
of hardware hits the market, to be damned for all eternity because we
have to live with the concequences of our addictions.

I think the fact that MS-DOS 1.0 & CP/M are pretty much the same
was also a boon for corporations like Borland and Microprose
(Wordstar) because they could easely adapt their software to the
MS-DOS platform. Innovation is somtimes nothing more than
BIG-BLUE entering the market with a new hardware product
with already senile software. Had they done a real good think,
they could have come up with something from the
Palo Alto Rechearch Corp. (XEROX) that has been giving
a lot of innovations away for free. ;-)

A lot of real innovation is driven by new cheap hardware devices
and other gizmos that have to be integrated into the system software
Usually this starts out with a kludge like an addon driver. Only later
on will it be fully incoroprated in the system. (IE: look at the mouse)

Now what constitutes true innovative operatingsystem software ?
EPOC 2.0 ?

MS-DOS, CP/M, UNIX, LINUX/freeBSD, VMS they are all
at least one or two decades old.

Never the less it's fun to play with. :-)

----- Original Message -----
From: Richard Erlacher <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, April 08, 2000 5:16 AM
Subject: Re: !Re: Nuke Redmond!

> I know what he means, Allison. Unlike those who earn their money writing
> code for the OS's we use, I see writing code as overhead most of the time.
> I've written a few hundred K-lines of mostly assembler, but am taking the
> position of a user, with which position I can easily identify, and as such
> don't see the similarities in the two OS' because I'm using an application
> which handles the interface to the OS for me and lets me focus on useful
> work.
> I'm not saying programming isn't useful work, but rather that most people
> not directly engaged in generating software consider it overhead or "not
> job" and therefore uninteresting. The secretary using the word processor
> isn't interested in or aware of the how's of opening a file. He/she just
> wants it done. One who sees from that perspective sees the glaring
> differences between CP/M and MS-DOS, yet doesn't see the similarities to
> which reference has been made, whether they're real or not.
> Since MUCH fewer than 1% of the people who use MS products are engagedin
> activity which would make them aware of the differences and similarities
> between MS-DOS and CP/M if they knew both OS' I'd have to say the
> are really never going to be part of a legal argument. Most judges, after
> all, don't write their own programs.
> Dick
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: allisonp <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Friday, April 07, 2000 7:04 PM
> Subject: Re: !Re: Nuke Redmond!
> > >> the same, with a few notable exceptions where the concept don't match
> > >> (MS-DOS for example does not have an IOBYTE).
> > >
> > >What of those things internal would you have had them leave out in
> to
> > >be more different from CP/M, which was a VERY popular OS at the time,
> > >without removing its functionality. Since the features to which you
> refer
> > >are internal, I assume you have precice citations of common source
> > >right? They're certainly not obvious to me in my role as a fairly
> frequent
> > >user.
> >
> >
> > The features he refers to are the calls to the BDOS to do things like
> > File_OPEN,
> > FILE_CLOSE, FILE DELETE..... and so on.
> >
> > >Since there is only one segment in CP/M, I guess you've got 'em there.
> Of
> > >course it really doesn't matter what the location is, does it? I guess
> any
> > >OS that load a register and then calls a specific location is a copy of
> > >CP/M, right?
> >
> >
> > Not really, CPM loaded to a specific segment but apps could use any and
> all
> > to the then 8086 1mb limit.
> >
> > >> You can also terminate a program by calling location 0000h (again,
> a
> > >> COM program). In CP/M this causes a warm reset (similar
> functionality).
> > >>
> > >It's like saying a FORD is a copy of a Dusenberg because they both use
> > >wheels.
> >
> >
> > This was a feature unique to CPM and DOS as many others loc(0) was
> > either reset (hard), ROM, unused or reserved.
> >
> > >The mapping of one register set into the other is not an accident. Ask
> > >Intel about that! I'm told that CP/M-86 is considerably more than a
> > >translation of CP/M-80. Now you suggest that the roots of MS-DOS are
> > >entirely in CP/M? They may have common roots, as they reflect the then
> >
> >
> > CPM-86 was not entirely 8080 code lofted, that would never ru without
> help.
> > Also there was a loader change implemented, boot loads a file system
> > loader that finds cpm.sys. This was not the 8080 way.
> >
> > As far as register usage, that is an artifact of PLM used to write the
> > V1.3/1.4
> > and later versions of CPM80. With that convention established it was
> > to keep applications that called the BDOS compatable.
> >
> > >I've heard that, too. Does that mean that anyone who writes a program
> > do
> > >what he's seen another program do is making a copy? You're not even
> > he
> > >actually saw and read the source code. How many programmers do you
> > >who'd simply copy someone else's work in a case like this? Everybody
> wants
> > >to leave his own mark.
> >
> >
> > DOS 1.0 had COPYRIGHT Digital Research INC inside! There was a quiet
> > copyright battle that forced DOS 2.0 (buggiest thing in the world!).
> > is not
> > fiction and it was documented.
> >
> > >Buying something that shortens your burden is kind-of like buying an
> > >integrated circuit rather than making the thing yourself starting with
> > >wheelbarrow of sand. The fact that Microsoft knew that IBM had gone to
> > >Kildall probably told them what they wanted was sort-f like CP/M.
> >
> >
> > They didn't care only that there would be apps for it to run like
> Visicalc!
> >
> > Allison
> >
Received on Sat Apr 08 2000 - 05:16:52 BST

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