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"Halt and Catch Fire"... Anyone planning on watching?

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by Peter000, May 11, 2014.

  1. Dago Red

    Dago Red Member

    Oct 22, 2002
    Parsippany, NJ
    The IBM PC/XT also used the 8088 processor until 1986 when the IBM PC/XT Model 286 was released with an 80286 processor and 80287 coprocessor.

    I also found an interesting book written by the founder of Phoenix Technologies back in 1989 which talks about the birth of the IBM clone.

    From the book which can be found here:
    So the methodology dictated in the show appears to be accurate.
  2. jsmeeker

    jsmeeker Vegas Boy TCF Club

    Apr 2, 2001
    I seem to recall generic PC clones (and maybe even brand name ones??) that used the Phoenix BIOS. Cool to hear a little bit about the backstory on how that came about.
  3. MikeAndrews

    MikeAndrews Registered abuser

    That's exactly the process that was required to be legal but the show isn't illustrating it correctly.

    Other than no disassembly being required as above, in the real process Gordon would never be allowed to even know about Blondie who was going to write the BIOS to meet his specs. No way they stand in the same room.

    That was why the company's lawyer asked her those questions about what she has done and what she knew.

    BTW, in spite of doing this perfectly IBM will sue them into the next galaxy. IBM lost.
  4. jautor

    jautor Also wants a pony

    Jul 1, 2001
    Houston, TX
    IBM's entry into the 80386 space was with their PS/2 line in 1987, which introduced the (heavily protected / patented) MicroChannel Architecture (MCA) bus. It was IBM's licensing terms ($$) that got the "Gang of Nine" PC companies together to form the EISA consortium (and the bus design - the Extended Industry Standard Architecture) to compete with IBM. That was the split that ended IBM's "control" over the PC architecture, as MCA was rarely adopted outside of IBM, and EISA-based systems took over the high-end PC / server space. EISA was followed by an industry-designed PCI bus in the mid-90's...

  5. mattack

    mattack New Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    I know someone else already said it, but I remember at the West Coast Computer Faire, I went in the early-mid 1980s, and one of the freebies was goldfish jars of LEDs for people to take a handful of.. and I'm fairly certain there were ones besides red.
  6. ej42137

    ej42137 Active Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Los Angeles
    You're not remembering it completely accurately. The IBM PS/2 line used the proprietary Micro Channel bus. The EISA bus was an industry extension to the ISA bus used by everyone except IBM.

    Also, of the PS/2 models introduced, the 30 was an 8086, the 50 and 60 were 80286 and only the two 80 models were 80386 based designs.
  7. kdmorse

    kdmorse Active Member

    Jan 29, 2001
    Germantown, MD
    Actually the PS/2 Models 35 and 40 was 80386 based, and used an EISA bus. And at the very least the 55's and 70's were 80386 based as well (MCA)

    (Unless we're drawing lines between the 80386, the 80386SX+80387SX coprocessor combination, and the 80386DXs)

    (The PS/2 Model 25s and 30s were EISA as well. though not in any way 386 based).
  8. betts4

    betts4 I am Spartacus!

    Okay so I have some questions -

    Why did cameron and gordon have to be in seperate rooms?

    At the end when Joe said the whole thing about portablity - was this the beginning of a thought about laptops?

    And the IBM blue book - was that something Gordon and Joe did in the garage and shouldn't have done or did IBM give that to them and say if you open this your done.
  9. betts4

    betts4 I am Spartacus!

    For what's it's worth - I don't know much at all about the hardware or code or software development, but I am enjoying the interplay of the characters.
  10. MikeAndrews

    MikeAndrews Registered abuser

    Oh, yeah. Now I remember why there was no 386 "IBM PC" even though there were millions of "clones." The Model 25 and up where the PS/2.

    As you say, with the patented MCA bus IBM prevented any PS/2 clones. They also prevented any 2nd party MCA peripherals.

    I worked at US Robotics, which did sink tons of money in licensing and manufacturing MCA bus modem. They had a warehouse full of them....and fired the executive who did the market research and advocated that making PS/2 modems was a great idea.
  11. MikeAndrews

    MikeAndrews Registered abuser

    I haven't even watched yet and can tell you. Gordon was "contaminated" by having seen the actual IBM BIOS and source code. That's why I say that those two could never be in the same room, or city, for that matter.

    The original Compaq PC was a luggable "portable" like the Osborne 1 with a built-in 9" (7"?) CRT (think television) monitor and was the first portable PC compatible, although the idea was certainly obvious. Compaq didn't make desktop PCs until a few years later.

    Luggable being that the Osborne 1 was ~27 pounds and IIRC the Compaq was about the same. Imagine that today when we we have 2 pound laptops and 12 ounce tablets.
  12. cheesesteak

    cheesesteak Meh.

    Jul 24, 2003
    15 mins from Philly
    Beard guy is so boring and then they gave him a brown and yellow kitchen to make him even more boring.
  13. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

    Back then kitchens were brown, yellow or olive green.
  14. DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give em Hell, Devils

    Apr 16, 2003
    Because Gordon was involved in extracting the BIOS info directly from the IBM equipment, so if he was involved in creating Cardiff's BIOS, IBM would be able to claim copyright infringement. But if they can claim that Cameron created a new BIOS without ever seeing the extracted IBM BIOS, then they have a defense to an infringement claim.

    This was long before laptops. This was when you had a machine that was basically the size of a suitcase and the front folded open to reveal a keyboard and a tiny little monochrome screen.


    That was the results of the reverse engineering that Joe and Gordon did. So in order for Cardiff to claim that Cameron made her BIOS on her own, she can't look at that code.
  15. MikeAndrews

    MikeAndrews Registered abuser

    *cough* Coppertone, Harvest Gold, or Avocado,
  16. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

    That's what I said. Brown, yellow or olive green. :p
  17. JLucPicard

    JLucPicard New Member TCF Club

    Ok, I pretty much just scrolled through the last dozen or so posts without reading them, but I read enough to know that I'm just going to go on and enjoy the show and not bother to read any of the threads. I pretty much figured for this show the threads would be a lot of 'this isn't right, that isn't right' about the technical stuff, and I'm just not interested in any of that.

    I may stop into a thread if something crazy happens just to see what the buzz is, but aside from that I'll just stick to the show.
  18. Worf

    Worf Active Member

    Sep 15, 2000
    Blue LEDs are a 90's invention. White LEDs are a late 90's, early nauties.

    The 80s have red, yellow and green LEDs. Though, the "green" was a rather sickly yellow-green color - the greens improved through the late 80s and the really nice deep greens were early 90s. I remember playing with a bunch of these LEDs back then. (And the original IBM PC was released in 1981, so reverse engineering happened far later).

    Back in the 70s, red LEDs were standard. But the 80s had red, yellow and green, and even Radio Shack were selling them in those colors. Basically we've been marching down the wavelengths (up the frequency) - the first LEDs were IR/Red, then we had yellows, sickly green ones, then nice green ones, followed by blue ones, violet and ultra-violets. Once we had Blue/UV, we got whites - first through RGB arrays, then later through phosphor.

    Oh yeah, the other thing is, the late 90s and nauties have been spent making LEDs more efficient and brighter - in the beginning, LEDs were only good for indicators and they could easily wash out in sunlight (i.e., dim!), but their brightness improved through the years to where we can light our homes with single LEDs.
  19. jautor

    jautor Also wants a pony

    Jul 1, 2001
    Houston, TX
    None of the PS/2's at that time were EISA. The 25 (and the 30?) were "ISA" only - same as the PC/AT - which made them the odd stepchild without the new MCA bus of the rest of the PS/2 line. IBM didn't add EISA slots until they threw in the towel on MCA in the mid-90's. And by then PCI was about to take over anyway.
  20. Bierboy

    Bierboy Seasoned gas passer

    Jun 12, 2004
    Quad Sillies
    This.....soooo much this....

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