Subject: RE: Successful FSBs
From: "Larry M. Augustin" <>
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 13:35:22 -0800

I'm not sure that I would say that there were no legal barriers.

Yes, the IBM PC Technical Reference Manual included schematics and BIOS
listings.  However, the material was copyright IBM.  I don't think you
could just copy those schematics or BIOS listings and use them.

IIRC, Compaq made a big deal out of doing a clean room BIOS
implementation.  They had to create a BIOS interface specification, and
then have a team that had never seen those listings create a new BIOS
with the same interface.  Publishing the listings might have made it
harder for people to copy it.  It must have been hard at the time to
find programmers familiar with the 8088, 8259, 8237, etc. who were not

One thing that is interesting is that the BIOS listings themselves did
not contain any copyright or other license notice.  None.  When was the
last time you saw a source code listing with no copyright or license


Larry M. Augustin,
Tel: +1.650.966.1759, Fax: +1.650.966.1753

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rich Bodo []
> Sent: Thursday, October 31, 2002 9:24 AM
> To: Forrest J. Cavalier III
> Cc:
> Subject: Re: Successful FSBs
> > Even the IBM PC technical repair manuals had the notices of
> > proprietary information and warnings against misuse.
> The tech repair manuals that our family got had the schematics and the
> BIOS printouts.  There were no legal barriers to building a clone that
> I know of.  It was open enough.
> -Rich
> Rich Bodo | | 650-964-4678