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Chris2005
October 8th, 2005, 11:34 AM
These were contributed by Bill Degnan on the MARCH yahoo group:

What was the first (80x86 based) puter to have DOS IN ROM?

-My wild guess was the Zenith Minisport.

What was the last (80x86 based) computer to have BASIC IN ROM?

-I suggested the IBM PS/1

and I added:

What non-IBM (80x86 based) computers, if any, had BASIC IN ROM?

Don't reckon I know!

of course, acceptable answers have to be 80x86 based, if I didn't make that abundantly clear. Not likely there are ROMed versions of BASIC other then Microshaft's, but if you know of one, BY ALL MEANS LET US KNOW!!

Terry Yager
October 8th, 2005, 06:00 PM
I don't know if it was the first, but the Tandy 1000HX had DOS-in-ROM a few years before the MiniSport came out. The Zenith was rather a latecomer, around '88, '89, sum'n like that. Even the Tandy 1100-series laptops were earlier than the MiniSport.

I'll have to throw a set of batteries into my Poqet PC (1987) to be sure, but IIRC, it has GW-BASIC on it's boot-ROM, along with DOS 3.3, although I'm not sure if that counts since the ROM in this case is actually a disk-image, not a part of the main memory map as in the IBM PC.

I think even the latest x86-based IBMs still have the BASIC ROMs.

--T

Terry Yager
October 8th, 2005, 06:37 PM
I'm looking at the October 1989 issue of REMark* Magazine, and the MiniSport is featured on the cover, if that helps date it. I could be wrong about the date of the T1100-series tho. I'm also looking at the manual for the Panasonic CF-150, and it's copyrighted 1989 also, so let's call that one a tie.
(But the HX was still a couple years earlier, around '86 or so).

And yes, the Poqet has GW-BASIC on ROM-disk, FWIW.

--T

Mad-Mike
October 9th, 2005, 08:21 AM
These were contributed by Bill Degnan on the MARCH yahoo group:

What was the first (80x86 based) puter to have DOS IN ROM?

-My wild guess was the Zenith Minisport.

What was the last (80x86 based) computer to have BASIC IN ROM?

-I suggested the IBM PS/1

and I added:

What non-IBM (80x86 based) computers, if any, had BASIC IN ROM?

Don't reckon I know!

of course, acceptable answers have to be 80x86 based, if I didn't make that abundantly clear. Not likely there are ROMed versions of BASIC other then Microshaft's, but if you know of one, BY ALL MEANS LET US KNOW!!

1.) IBM PC 5150
2.) IBM PS/2 Model 90 series
3.) MPC IBM Clone, Eagle PC's (I think), and a number of White Box clones

of course, I'm guessing on the last 2

Terry Yager
October 9th, 2005, 08:48 AM
Way off, Mad...

1) The 5150 loads DOS from disk.
2) Could be.
3) The Columbia has a ROM-based monitor program, but loads GW from disk. I've never had the privilege of playing with an Eagle, so I don't know.

--T

Chris2005
October 10th, 2005, 10:54 AM
I don't think the Eagles PC has BASIC in rom. I have one, don't recall it booting into it. I never even cracked it open, so it's due for a looksy.
I don't know about the Columbia's though. Can anyone confirm or deny?

Chris2005
October 10th, 2005, 10:57 AM
"I think even the latest x86-based IBMs still have the BASIC ROMs. "

I would think no. They started supplying Qbasic around '90 (a guess). I should research that before stating anything though. I know Windows 95 came with it, and that would rule out having BASIC in rom. Remember, BASIC was in ROM, BASICA was ancillary and loaded from disk. BASIC doesn't have that much functionality w/o BASICA.

carlsson
October 10th, 2005, 01:58 PM
A few years ago, a motherboard manufacturer (Asus? Abit? Something on "A" at least) put a glass tube on their latest motherboard. It was said to improve sound output or so, but mostly it was considered a gimmick and maybe play on nostalgic feelings.

Why doesn't someone include, or even better, put a separate ROM chip on new motherboards to get a ROM Basic? It doesn't have to be Microsoft's or IBM's own if licensing is an issue. It'd be enough if it was a compatible Basic. Wouldn't that be a bit cool?

Chris2005
October 10th, 2005, 02:48 PM
I doubt there would be any call for such a feature on modern computers. There's so little interest in programming by the general populace, and any "hacker" type probably wouldn't be writing programs in interpreted BASIC anyway. That system is long dated, by most standards. Once the BASIC roms disappeared, Windoze and maybe even DOS had Qbasic bundled, which may still have been interpreted, as opposed to a compiled language, but even that has disappeared I think. I know it may never had been loaded by default if you installed any version of windows on a pc, but can anyone verify if Qbasic is at all included with Win2K or XP? I think it may actually have come with NT 4.0, and I'm sure with 95/98.
As far as adding a boot rom to a board after the fact, there won't be any extra sockets to add it to, and in fact computer boards these days exclusively use surface mount components, which are soldered to the boards (hmm now that I ask myself maybe flash roms are socketed). What you would have to do is "add" the boot code to an existing chip, but that means you would need the space (on the chip) to do it.
ROM based languages are largely a thing of the past in today's environments. The facilities needed to create any worthwhile code are much to large to be firmware based. Some of that might still exist in embedded systems (single board computers). Interpreters are useful in robotic systems still.

Terry Yager
October 10th, 2005, 04:00 PM
Here's a page that makes the PS/2 95-series the last of the ROM BASIC machines, and gives some hints as to how to access it:

http://www.walshcomptech.com/ohlandl/config/ROM_Basic.html

I'm still trying to find that information in my PC Programmer's Bible (1993 Edition).

--T

Chris2005
October 10th, 2005, 04:46 PM
according to this:
http://members.aol.com/suprdave/classiccmp/2121a82.htm
the PS/1 had DOS in ROM, so perhaps I was wrong. We'd need to check though, because this is highly unlikely ;)

Chris2005
October 10th, 2005, 05:08 PM
"What is really strange is that IBM kept this ROM BASIC relationship all the way through most of the PS/2 systems! The portable 486 PS/2 system (IBM P75 Portable) I was using until recently came standard with a built-in SCSI adapter and currently has a 4G SCSI drive installed. Yet this system still has the ROM BASIC wasting 32K of space! I liken this to humans having an appendix. The ROM BASIC in the IBM systems is a sort of vestigial organ--a leftover that had some use in prehistoric ancestors, but that has no function today."
I lost the link :(. I think it was from "Upgrading and Repairing PC's"

And by the way, the "P75 portable" isn't a pentium. Evidently it's a 486DX-33. The name is certainly confusing.

Terry Yager
October 10th, 2005, 06:16 PM
according to this:
http://members.aol.com/suprdave/classiccmp/2121a82.htm
the PS/1 had DOS in ROM, so perhaps I was wrong. We'd need to check though, because this is highly unlikely ;)

Wow! I've owned a few of the '286 version of the PS/1, but they all booted from the hard drive. I didn't even know they had built-in DOS. Still, I think they were later than the Tandy HX, so I'm still sticking with that as my guess.

--T

Chris2005
October 10th, 2005, 06:34 PM
dude, I wasn't at all suggesting they were the first to have DOS in rom. Since they had it though, it's unlikely they had a BASIC interpreter in rom also. I didn't see anything saying they specifically (or did). Remember, that was my guess as to the last puter to have rom BASIC.
I'm guessing there was something earlier then the HX though. Just a feeling...

Terry Yager
October 10th, 2005, 07:46 PM
The one we all seem to have forgotten (unforgivable in my case, since I have one) is the H/P 110 "Nomad" portable, which came with ROM-DOS as early as 1984. Another early ROM-DOS-based portable, also from 1984-ish, was the Gavilan.

Other portables available in 1984 with DOS built-in include the GRiD Compass, the Dulmont Magnum, and mebbe even the Sharp PC-5000, which Erik dates to 1983:

http://www.vintage-computer.com/sharppc5000.shtml

I have dug up another rather obscure computer, the AmbiSet from AMBI Corp, but it would probably be defined as a smart phone by today's standards. Here's a couple links to articles that contain a little more detail:

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0CMN/is_n9_v21/ai_569368

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0CMN/is_n10_v21/ai_586618

...although I can't really say which one was the first.

--T

Terry Yager
October 10th, 2005, 08:13 PM
This article has the GRiD Compass being designed in 1979, but it doesn't say when it actually came to market:

http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bllaptop.htm

--T

EDIT: Wikipedia has the GRiD being released in 1982:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notebook_computer

They consider it the first "true laptop" but I disagree, since the Epson HX-20 hit the stores in 1981.

--T

Mad-Mike
October 11th, 2005, 02:14 PM
Way off, Mad...

1) The 5150 loads DOS from disk.
2) Could be.
3) The Columbia has a ROM-based monitor program, but loads GW from disk. I've never had the privilege of playing with an Eagle, so I don't know.

--T

Ah yes, I see, I missed the ROM at the end of the first question.

The only computer I know of with DOS in ROM would be the Tandy 1000 series after the 1000 SX styled machines, like the 286 and 386 based 1000's.

As for BASIC, I just remembered, I think that Compaq MAY have had BASIC in ROM, as I have a disk with compaq advanced BASIC on it, and I tried to run it on my XT clone, and it had a fit because it could not find the program on the machine as it was not a Compaq (as I was running MS-DOS 6.22 instead of the PC-DOS 3.30 that the XT clone had on it when I started, which had provisions for accessing BASIC in ROM).

billdeg
October 18th, 2005, 08:00 PM
Can anyone find anything older than:

Sharp PC 5000, 1983 DOS 2.? in ROM

Hewlett-Packard HP 110, May 1984, MS-DOS 2.11 in ROM

-Bill