View Full Version : Date ranging IBM 5150 and 5160 computers.

September 20th, 2014, 10:51 AM
I don't remember where I saw this, but I know there is a small set of commands written in PC BASIC that will tell the date of the computer's BIOS. Besides this, and the tag on the speaker, is there any other way to determine when a particular 5150/5160 was manufactured? I doubt this very much because there is no logic circuitry in the expansion, but is there something similar for the IBM 5161 expansion unit?

As always.. Thanks much.

September 20th, 2014, 11:28 AM
Doesn't the BIOS give you a date when you dump it?

Dave Farquhar
September 20th, 2014, 11:32 AM
I don't think there's a reliable way to determine date of manufacture through software, but you can look on the chips to get a good estimate. Virtually any chip on the motherboard will have a 4-digit date code on it, consisting of the year and the week of manufacture. So a chip with a code of 8512 was made in the 12th week of 1985. You can also look for a date code on other components, like connectors. Not all have them but some do.

Under normal circumstances, the dates on all the chips in a given machine will be within a few weeks of each other, so you can pretty firmly nail down the year, and probably even which quarter the machine was made.

September 20th, 2014, 11:46 AM
Doesn't the BIOS give you a date when you dump it?

I know... I'm still learning, and have a lot more learning to do. How do you "dump" the bios? If I'm not mistaken, that's what the PC BASIC does. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

September 20th, 2014, 12:05 PM
There's a debug command to determine the bios date. A quick internet search will find it.