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Celebaelin
48470.  Tue Jan 31, 2006 5:17 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
Celebaelin wrote:
I must admit to only reading the first part of your post Tas, you started to turn into burble burble after the second paragraph


I don't want to come across as agressive or bitchy here, but I would suggest that, if you want people to believe the things you say, you should be prepared to back them up with something a little more concrete than half-remembered books you read over a decade ago. Also I would suggest that you do the other people on this forum the courtesy of at least reading the things that they write on the subject.

But for this comment I would be sufficiently content to leave it at that rather than see this degenerate further but I must, as absolutely my last comment in this thread, object to your use of the perfectly friendly and well humoured exchange between myself and Tas as a weapon in this. Tas, as can be seen from his reply, had a faultlessly good-natured attitude to my admission and your adoption of the position of self-appointed arbiter of what constitutes courtesy is, to my mind, somewhat inappropriate.

 
Gray
48475.  Tue Jan 31, 2006 5:32 am Reply with quote

Guys, come on, this is just an argument about arguing now, which isn't very quite interesting at all. Nobody knows what Bill did or didn't do at the start except for Bill, and he's hardly going to be any more trustworthy on the subject than his detractors.

Everyone involved had - and still has - their own interests to look after in the computing world, so they'll tell it from their angle to defend their own egos. We don't want to end up doing the same thing here. Egos are banned.

 
dr.bob
48489.  Tue Jan 31, 2006 5:56 am Reply with quote

OK, I think this debate has come to an end now. Personally I was simply trying to establish the facts of the case. Not simply rumours about what Bill did or didn't do at the start, but established facts about how he began his career. I'm sorry if it came across as an argument about arguing, but I always try to deal with the whole of someone's argument rather than appear to be picking some bits to form a straw man which I can knock down, whilst ignoring other bits which I can't deal with. Mostly 'cos it really annoys me when people do that to me.

I apologise unreservedly to Celebaelin for using his exchange with Tas to make a point. I really didn't want to come across as a self-appointed arbiter of anything. As I said, I was just seeking the truth which is, after all, what this site is all about, surely?

 
Tas
48520.  Tue Jan 31, 2006 9:02 am Reply with quote

Has taken no offence by any of this.

:-)

*Finds hard to take offence at the written word on a forum. Now, if it had been face-to-face...*

:-)

Tas

 
Quaintly Ignorant
48524.  Tue Jan 31, 2006 9:38 am Reply with quote

As long as we all agree that Billy-boy is the spawn of satan, all is right in the world.

 
Tas
48526.  Tue Jan 31, 2006 9:59 am Reply with quote

Absolutely!

:-)

Tas

 
dr.bob
48540.  Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:05 am Reply with quote

I think that's a bit unfair on Satan!

 
RobAnt
48549.  Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:36 am Reply with quote

Tas wrote:
I might be wrong, but BIOS (Which is Basic Input/Ouput System) and BASIC (a programming language, and referred to in the quote from the book) are two different things.

I am certain I will be corrected if I am wrong!

:-)

Tas


No, your right - BASIC = Beginners Allpurpose Symbolic Instruction Code - a programming language

BIOS = Basic Input Output System - the primary level instructions required for a computer to work in the first instance.

 
bobofel
48552.  Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:49 am Reply with quote

Basic is surprisingly easy to learn, I found, even for a computer-illiterate person like me. The main dificulty in programming is working what you are going to try to say.

 
RobAnt
48556.  Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:55 am Reply with quote

Quaintly Ignorant wrote:
As long as we all agree that Billy-boy is the spawn of satan, all is right in the world.


Ahh - now here's where I have to take issue ...............

 
RobAnt
48558.  Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:06 pm Reply with quote

My, undoubtedly faulty recollection of the period, is that Bill's claim to fame is that he and his business partners (ahem) acquired an operating system for the specific purpose of driving the IBM Personal Computer.

He very clevely acquired it at one price, and sold the rights to use it (not the rights to own it, note) to IBM.

This was called "DOS" (maybe eventually), and remains the basic underpinning, and many of its commands can still be used in a command window in a modern Microsoft Windows Operating System.

DOS = Disk Operating System

Now, my understanding is, that every Personal Computer (ie IBM Clone) still contains in one of the (BIOS or CMOS probably) chips, a piece of code still OWNED by Microsoft, for which royalties must be paid (so even a Linux system has to address a Microsoft provided service somewhere in the design).

My personal take on the business of Microsoft is that they were smart. They have built operating systems and applications for an open design system, which by choice of the users have become definitive.

There was absolutely no particular reason why the IBM PC should have become so popular that it outsted every other design - other than that IBM relinquished their rights to the copyright and patent on the original designs and made it completely open.

There were some attempts to improve the main data bus employed in the design, and designers in recent times have clubbed together to ensure they've been adopted by all, or most, manufacturers. There was at least one aborted attempt design attempt by IBM to reclaim important elements of the design rights, but that didn't last longer than a few years (I forget the actual specification now - I'm sure it'll come to me later), and only IBM adopated it, really.

Other businesses certainly had the opportunity, but they all jumped on the IBM Clone bandwagon - which kept Microsoft right to the front of things.

So if you want to blame anyone for Microsoft's (ergo Bill Gates) success, may I hand you IBM, on a plate. Bill & his MS partners COULD have just sat down there and then, not done another thing, and earned royalties on every motherboard every made, and that in itself would have made their fortunes.

 
Quaintly Ignorant
48605.  Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:57 pm Reply with quote

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CP/M

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altair_8800#Altair_BASIC

 
dr.bob
48701.  Wed Feb 01, 2006 5:51 am Reply with quote

RobAnt wrote:
Now, my understanding is, that every Personal Computer (ie IBM Clone) still contains in one of the (BIOS or CMOS probably) chips, a piece of code still OWNED by Microsoft, for which royalties must be paid (so even a Linux system has to address a Microsoft provided service somewhere in the design).


I was not aware of that. I was under the impression that the BIOS was written solely by the motherboard manufacturer.

RobAnt wrote:
My personal take on the business of Microsoft is that they were smart. There was absolutely no particular reason why the IBM PC should have become so popular


True enough, Microsoft got lucky that the IBM PC took off in the way that it did. However, once it had, they then protected their market share by introducing anti-competitive "per processor" licences.

What this meant was that, for a computer hardware manufacturer to be licensed to sell Microsoft's operating system (from DOS to Windows), they had to pay a royalty to Microsoft for every PC that they sold, regardless of whether or not they actually shipped it with a Microsoft operating system. So, even if they were selling a PC with Linux installed, they still had to pay money to Microsoft in return for nothing at all.

Naturally, if they refused to sign this deal, then Microsoft just wouldn't allow them to sell any Microsoft operating system on their machines. Given the dominant market position that MS had attained, this was not an option for any serious manufacturer.

(details here: http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f0100/0102.htm look for "per processor license")

RobAnt wrote:
So if you want to blame anyone for Microsoft's (ergo Bill Gates) success, may I hand you IBM, on a plate. Bill & his MS partners COULD have just sat down there and then, not done another thing, and earned royalties on every motherboard every made, and that in itself would have made their fortunes.


That's pretty much what they did do, hence the very large fortunes amassed.

Not to worry, though. 30 years ago IBM were the absolute dominant force in computing and nobody could ever imagine that they were going anywhere. These days their influence is considerably lessened and Microsoft have taken their place. Doesn't mean it'll last forever, though. Who knows, in a few more years maybe Google will have become the next big evil :)

 
eggshaped
48720.  Wed Feb 01, 2006 7:15 am Reply with quote

Or QI Ltd.

:o)

 
bobofel
48759.  Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:00 am Reply with quote

yeah they are so evil :P

 

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