IBM ROM BASIC or lack thereof

From: Russ Blakeman <>
Date: Sun Sep 30 10:10:04 2001

Without the BASIC interpreter we ended up with GW-BASIC, which had some good
points but other bad points. I had a Sanyo MBC-555-2 then and it was a
bigger mess even than the other clones as it had bitmapped CGA, strange
memory mapping, a non-standard BIOS (you had to get Sanyo's own DOS or an
aftermarket enhancement, not PC-DOS or MS-DOS off the shelf). I learned a
lot from that POS though.

-> -----Original Message-----
-> From:
-> []On Behalf Of Hans B Pufal
-> Sent: Sunday, September 30, 2001 8:56 AM
-> To:
-> Subject: Re: IBM ROM BASIC or lack thereof
-> 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.
-> Correct. The main BIOS source code was published in the IBM tech ref
-> manuals. The BASIC was not and AFAIK no clone maker ever included a
-> BASIC interpreter in the ROM. I don't think anyone missed it. DOS
-> always included an advanced BASIC interpreter which was available to all.
-> > That pretty much led to IBM losing a lot in the PC market.
-> Unclear. They certainly lost market share, but it can be argued that
-> without the clone market the whole personal computer market would have
-> been much smaller and diverse and arguably better.
-> -- HBP
Received on Sun Sep 30 2001 - 10:10:04 BST

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