Who was first?

From: Tom Jennings <tomj_at_wps.com>
Date: Mon Jan 26 13:41:25 2004

On Sun, 2004-01-25 at 20:23, Fred Cisin wrote:
> On Sun, 25 Jan 2004, Tom Jennings wrote:
> > I AM NO EXPERT on this, but I'd like to point out that the meaning of
> > "compatible" was far more slippery then than now. AFAIK the Phoenix BIOS
> > was the first true compatible (eg. the number of incompatibilities was
> > very, very small).

> I agree that NOTHING was 100% compatible!
> But, I don't understand what your point is,...

That 1982 claims of "compatible" are utterly different than the same
claim today or even 1992. I don't mean nit-picky microscopic differences
(a broad grey zone I admit :-) but will-it-run-95%-out-of-the-box-IBM PC
software. Few did in 84.

> The usual video for the Compaq portables was CGA (connected
> with a mid-board connector to the internal B&W monitor)
> IIRC, it responded pretty much identically to the IBM CGA,
> in terms of INT10h, and to direct video writes to segment B800h.
> In what ways was its video interface (except for the extra
> internal connector) different?

Unfortunately I cannot think of a hard example, I was going by my
general recollection of incompatiblity in a number of areas, compaq vs.
IBM. It is possible that my recollection is faulty, but we were in the
compatibility business then so my incompatibility-recollections may be
amplified by that.

(It was also the beginning of the end of uPs for me; product development
is sooooo dull to me.)

Also, PSA's BIOS was *for sale*, allowing other manufacturers to get
into the game, so they were sideway-competing with Compaq (we visited
Compaq in TX some time in that period and saw some early laptop, I long
forget the details).

Seigmar Schmidt, a consultant who worked for PSA a lot, and whom I
worked with, did a lot of good work for PSA, and was all around a very
smart and pleasant person to work with. Random googles don't show as
much on him as her deserves.
Received on Mon Jan 26 2004 - 13:41:25 GMT

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