the stigmata of IBM feces

From: Scott Stevens <>
Date: Fri Feb 4 21:45:29 2005

On Fri, 04 Feb 2005 22:26:56 -0500
Roger Merchberger <> wrote:

> Rumor has it that Tony Duell may have mentioned these words:
> >[snippage]
> >
> >As a hardware hacker ...
> >
> >I dislike the PC because of all thr totally stupid design decisions
> >in it(many of which seem to have been done to save a $0.10 IC and
> >cause headaches for users (not just hackers) for evermore). It
> >appears that if there were 2 ways of doing something, they picked the
> >wrong one.
> If the CoCo didn't run such a kick-butt processor (6809) and a
> kick-butt OS (OS-9) I'd feel the same way about it...
> ... Granted, you can't *technically* blame RatShack over that -- they
> only copied Motorola's reference design!
> >As regards larger IBMs, It appears that they were never properly
> >docuemented (outside IBM, that is), and are stuffed with custom
> >silicon. The thread on the AS400 confirms this view -- the fact that
> >for the CISC machiens even the native instruction set was not
> >published. And of course there werr not full schematics available.
> I just stumbled across some boards I'd stowed from some older IBM
> cash-register machines -- I can figure out some of the major chips
> (EPROMS, RAM, some of the CPUs, etc.) but other than that, they're
> pointless to me and I'm getting ready to dump 'em; no good to me if I
> can't even part 'em out to make something kewl...

IBM is/was so big, and for a long time was so horizontally integrated
that they made ALL their own stuff and/or had anything third-party house
marked for them. This goes all the way down to resistors and capacitors
on their boards.

I think one day people will sort it all out. There will eventually be
people wishing we'd saved all the weird IBM stuff.

I'm just happy having an IBM System 360 Ash Tray (promotional item from
my father) and a few other things. I think any collector should want,
for instance, an IBM THINK sign for the desk or shelf.
Received on Fri Feb 04 2005 - 21:45:29 GMT

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