Subject: Re: Successful FSBs
From: Robin 'Roblimo' Miller <>
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 16:52:32 -0500

>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

IBM sued Compaq and lost because Compaq was hyper-careful about doing a 
"clean room" implementation. IBM sued an eariler BIOS copier and won; 
they hadn't been so careful. I don't remember all the details now; this 
was back in 1983 and 1984.

>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

Not since IBM lost that suit. There was an Apple vs. someone BIOS suit 
in 1986 ( IIRC - may have been 85). Apple had copyrighted the BIOS -- 
and won.

- Robin