On Tue, 10 Dec 2002, Peter Lister wrote:
Umm... OK - definition problem, I think. Everything needs firmware for hardware initialisation, maybe other housekeeping and booting the main OS: after that the main OS takes over. But that firmware isn't a "BIOS"
- aka Basic Input Output System, which is what DOS originally need to
run at all, and MS OSes need at least to boot. A BIOS, as I have always understood it (and how any halfway knowledgeable people I speak to have treated it), is precisely that firmware needed even after the main OS has taken over, but BIOS has come to mean "all firmware" in many people's minds.
Exactly correct. The idea of a BIOS goes back to CP/M, and back then an OS could not do I/O -- it asked the BIOS to do I/O. The BIOS also insulated the OS -- which only ran in a few K -- from the vagaries of all the hardware.
[[ I am pretty sure the term BIOS was invented by Gary Kildall, although there is no question that systems were built that had a BIOS-like ROM]]
So LinuxBIOS is not a BIOS in the traditional sense. But most people nowadays are not aware of this history and probably don't even care to know it. For most PC users, the BIOS is the thing that turns on the machine, sets up hardware, and starts the OS -- nothing more.
I call LinuxBIOS a BIOS because this distinction just isn't that important any more.