IBM ROM BASIC or lack thereof

From: Lawrence Walker <>
Date: Fri Oct 5 18:56:12 2001

> Yes, providing a default ROM monitor program would be useful and
> simple to implement.
> The Otrona Attache would go into terminal mode if it couldn't
> boot the OS. It also provided a set of diagnostic routines
> that could be run from terminal mode.
 Zenith had a similar monitor program. Just hit ctrl,alt,inst IIRC. I like the
PS/2s with thier MCA set-up disks for the same reason.

> I agree with you that error messages should be more informative.
> One problem is that they often just tell you the last of a series of
> errors. "No ROM Basic" accurately describes the last "error," but it
> might be more useful to the user to also know that the system got to
> that point because it couldn't boot from disk.
> - Bob
> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> Sent: Wednesday, October 03, 2001 5:43 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: IBM ROM BASIC or lack thereof
> <snip>
> I wish more manufacturers would put a program in the boot ROM that allows
> reading and writing to memory, running (machine code) programs and
> preferably also reading/writing I/O ports (if they're not memory mapped).
> It makes debugging the machine a lot easier if it can't boot a disk (or
> if you don't have a bootable disk for the machine, at least you can do
> something with it.
> Tiny (or otherwise) BASIC allows one to do this. So does Forth. Or just a
> little machine code monitor. With ROM space being so cheap these days
> you'd have thought they could find room for something like this...
> -tony

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