IBM ROM BASIC or lack thereof

From: Sellam Ismail <>
Date: Mon Oct 1 13:24:40 2001

On Sun, 30 Sep 2001, Russ Blakeman wrote:

> If memory serves the one real thing that cloners couldn't duplicate, maybe
> due to copyright, was the ROM BASIC but that they'd duplicated everything
> else including the BIOS or a very good part of it. That pretty much led to
> IBM losing a lot in the PC market.

It should be pointed out that MS owned the copyright to BASIC, which is
probably why it wasn't included on clones. They would have had to obtain
a license from MS.

> Now why they kept the BASIC on ROM even into the PS/2 line is beyond
> me. It served no real purpose that late in life when most people had
> moved on to C++ and Pascal and it was rare to find someone that used
> BASIC or BASICA - especially since the cassette port was gone as of
> the XT 5160.

Too bad it isn't still there. It was a simple way for people (especially
kids) to be introduced to programming.

Sellam Ismail Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger
Received on Mon Oct 01 2001 - 13:24:40 BST

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