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Top HAT an alternative to Dual Bios.Edit

I have top hat and was looking for some info. None here though.

Anyone know of this subject please give us your two cents.


When I click on the link "IBMBIO.COM", I get this:

High security alert!!!
You are not permitted to download the file "IBMBIO.COM".


why would you need that?

BIOS not Exclusive to and functionality pre-dates IBM PCEdit

I removed the initial text saying that BIOS is exclusive to IBM/Intel computers. The BIOS function is to bootstrap the hardware and optionally test functionality prior to an operating system being launched. It is a part of all computer systems not just IBM PC's which simply have the most configurable and user accessible BIOS functions.

Apple ][, Early Sun, and other RISC systems have hard coded routines stored on field replaceable chips to perform these functions some of which predate or were concurrently created with IBM's version, which seems to be heavily preferred in this entry contrary to the goals of the computing sub group. The generic function with implementation specific entries is what this topic should cover. The Full entry states that the BIOS functionality pre-dated IBM's use for the PC . The Synopsis should not contradict that information. RowanHawkins 22:44, 2 May 2018 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rjhawkin (talkcontribs)

Saying that the "BIOS function is to bootstrap the hardware and optionally test functionality prior to an operating system being launched" implies that that is its primary purpose but it is not. The part (currently) in the article saying "the BIOS provided a hardware abstraction layer" is close to the primary purpose of the BIOS. The BIOS has functions that can be called by the operating system or by applications to do basic I/O. The part that most of this article describes is called the Power-On Self-Test (POST). I am not sure whether the POST is officially considered part of the BIOS.

As for systems having code in permanent memory to cause the system to boot from external storage, sure, that has been how computers worked since 1964 and I assume a decade before that. The IBM System/360 released in 1964 had a "bootstrap process (a process called Initial Program Load or IPL)". The question is, were anything like that called a Basic Input/Output System? And note that as I said, the main purpose of the BIOS is not to perform and initial program load, it is to provide functions for use after the system has initiated. Sam Tomato (talk) 22:44, 11 December 2018 (UTC)

I learned much of this stuff well before the PC came out. I don't have evidence, so I'm not editing the article, but I can concur that this article is both too specific to the PC and somewhat inaccurate.
  • BIOS used to stand for "Basic Input/Output Subroutines". It was only that, a collection of subroutines to provide "hardware abstraction" before that term was widely used.
    • A self test function may also have existed. A boot loader may also have existed. These are not, strictly, BIOS functions, but are likely to reside in the same ROM.
    • A program known as a monitor usually also existed, allowing a user to load code and data into RAM, manually byte by byte or from an external storage device. This, too, would share the ROM with the BIOS. A monitor may be omitted if a boot loader is present, though having at least one of these is mandatory for all intents and purposes (unless application code is also in ROM).

So, to call the the I/O subroutines, the POST, and boot loader collectively the BIOS is ignoring a great deal of history in favor of PC centrism. Joe Avins (talk) 20:15, 1 March 2019 (UTC)

Outdated generalizationsEdit

This (uncited) second paragraph of the User Interface section makes some pretty sweeping generalizations that strike me as pretty out of date.

A modern Wintel-compatible computer provides a setup routine essentially unchanged in nature from the ROM-resident BIOS setup utilities of the late 1990s; the user can configure hardware options using the keyboard and video display. Also, when errors occur at boot time, a modern BIOS usually displays user-friendly error messages, often presented as pop-up boxes in a TUI style, and offers to enter the BIOS setup utility or to ignore the error and proceed if possible. Instead of battery-backed RAM, the modern Wintel machine may store the BIOS configuration settings in flash ROM, perhaps the same flash ROM that holds the BIOS itself.

While it's true that some systems, maybe even many systems, still provide a text- or character-art-based interface reminiscent of the Award/Phoenix BIOS utilities of decades ago, I've also seen other systems that could not be more of a departure. There are UEFI setup interfaces out there that bear more resemblance to Windows (well... Windows 95, maybe) than to the traditional BIOS screen, including a full GUI and mouse support. Sweeping generalizations like these have a way of showing their age and/or their ignorance. -- FeRDNYC (talk) 05:50, 15 February 2020 (UTC)

Reverse engineering IBM PC BIOSEdit

IBM published the full assembler source code for the PC/AT BIOS in their "Technical Reference Personal Computer AT" (1984). I don't understand why BIOS programmers would have needed to reverse engineer it, if indeed they did. (talk) 21:51, 14 May 2020 (UTC)

Copying it directly would probably be a copyright violation. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 22:07, 14 May 2020 (UTC)
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