IBM-PC Technical Reference Manuals (was: "Real Computers")

From: Tony Duell <>
Date: Sun Feb 23 13:59:03 2003

> Fred Cisin (XenoSoft) wrote:
> > The "PC Technical Reference Manual" was cheap, and contained
> > complete schematics and source code for the BIOS. Third party
> There was a technical reference manual for PC-DOS as well as the
> technical reference manual for the hardware... I got both of them when
> IBM was still selling the original PeeCees, but they were, for some
> odd reason, difficult to obtain even back then (e.g., various people

I had a totally different experience.

Long after the PC was discontinued, I tried to order these manuals. I
managed to find the IBM 'form numbers' for them.

I 'phoned the first number for IBM in the telephone directory and said

'I would like the phone number for the department that sells manuals for
personal computers'
'I can put you through to thrm'
'Hello, I would like to find out if some old IBM manuals are still
available, and if so, how much do they cost. I have the form numbers'
'OK, please give me the form numbers'
<did so, heard keyboard-noises>
'They are all out of print, but we still have stocks. The prices are
<list of prices>, they would have to be orderd from the States and would
take 4-6 weeks to come'
'Fine. Do you take credit cards'
'I would like to order all the manuals I asked about. My address is
<address>, my credit card number is <if you think I'd post that on a
public mailing list...>'
'You should receive them in 4-6 weeks. Thank you for your order'

And I did. All the manuals I'd asked for. No problems at all.

> at IBM denied that they existed... and if you really wanted to have
> fun with IBM's biz'droids, you could telephone IBM and ask them what
> "wet bulb temperature," as specified in the machine's

I do not expect the person I deal with to order manuals or parts to have
any clue about what's in the manuals, or what the parts really are.
Provided they can take a list of part numbers, give me a price the 1-line
description from their stock control computer (so I don't accidentally
get a motherboard when I want a techref because I've got the wrong part
number) and get them sent to me, that's all I expect.

Received on Sun Feb 23 2003 - 13:59:03 GMT

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