Who was first?

From: Tom Jennings <tomj_at_wps.com>
Date: Sun Jan 25 02:06:38 2004

On Sat, 2004-01-24 at 09:09, Ernest wrote:

> I'm guessing that Phoenix was first, and Laser followed their example
> when it decided to clone Apple's ROM codes. Is this correct? Did Phoenix
> set an example for the whole industry?

I worked for Phoenix precisely at that time, and in fact turned down the
work (I had done all their "portable BIOS" stuff that preceded it) and
moved to San Francisco.

What they did was to find "virgins", programmers who had never seen the
IBM PC Tech Ref, nor even had written 808x code! They found some TI 9900
programmers (who wrote appropriately odd-looking code, I hear :-)

Someone pored over the Tech Ref and created an "interface specification"
from it. eg call points, charset tables, irq vectors, etc. This spec was
given to the programmers who wrote the code, and another bunch that

THe REAL issue was legal -- plausible deniability. Absolutly and utterly
NO CHEATING was done and they could prove it in court. It wasnt' jsut
that PSA was worried about suit, but their customers would be reluctant
to buy it without such an assurance.

I believe the project started in 1983. Preliminary work could have been
Received on Sun Jan 25 2004 - 02:06:38 GMT

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