Microsoft open sources GWBASIC

Fred Cisin cisin at
Sat May 23 22:29:28 CDT 2020

On Sat, 23 May 2020, Boris Gimbarzevsky wrote:
> Thanks for that really detailed review of microprocessor history! A post to 
> save.

But, read carefully the corrections that others made!
Such as Noel pointing out that I was mistaken in assuming that there was a 
direct progression in 4004 -> 8008 -> 8080,
and Liam's discussion of the Commodore BASIC.
I never had a Commodore 64.  But, I had an MSD drive for a C64 connected 
to an IEEE-488 board in a PC.

> After your detailed discussion of the bizarre variety of early Intel 
> microprocessors I now recall why I refused to have anything to do with PC's 
> in late 1980's.

Well, there were advantages and disadvantages.
The Motorola approach produced a better product.
BUT, it meant that software was delayed for new products.  It took a while 
before the good third party software showed up for the Mac.

OTOH, the Intel processors were a series of little steps, so it was 
usually almost trivial to upgrade code to a new series of processors.  It 
took Micropro less than a week to port their 8080 CP/M Wordstar to the 
8088 PC.  It then took them much longer than that to prepare new manuals.
Some internal structures had patches on top of patches.  Such as 
Segment:Offset memory addressing, and figuring out that the PC FDC could 
not do a DMA that straddled a physical (not Segment:Offset) 64K boundary, 
although Int13h didn't realize it and have a suitable error message - some 
later versions of DOS had occasional mysterious problems with FORMAT that 
were easily solved by adding or removing TSRs to move the location of its 

> I've never liked M$ software as it seems whenever they produce a good 
> product, they dump it and come up with something far worse and stop 
> supporting the old one.

"Oh, but it is DANGEROUS to use a product past its [arbitrary, marketing 
chosen] SELL-BY date."

>> All of my knowledge of the following is third hand, and probably mostly 
>> WRONG.  If you are lucky, maybe some of the folk here who actually KNOW 
>> this stuff will step in and give the right information.
>> Sequence is only approximate.

And, the REAL history is much more interesting AND WEIRDER than the 
fictional variants.

Grumpy Ol' Fred     		cisin at

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