[OpenBIOS] Intel holding back information

Niklas Ekström t97nek at student.tdb.uu.se
Sat Aug 7 15:06:34 CEST 1999

On Fri, 6 Aug 1999, Ron Tsur wrote:
> I would not be subscribing to this mailing list if I would not share 
> your interest in open source and free OpenBIOS.  I don't think that you
> are stupid, but your attitude sucks, because you attack the very people
> that are trying to help you.

Yes you're right. I've gotten really frustrated talking to braindead
Intel reps (most of them atleast), who just points me in some other
direction. So the last thing I needed to hear was "have you tried
developer.intel.com?". Anyway, I'm sorry about that, it wasn't you I was
barking at. (However, I do ask that people read through the question
before answering it, so they don't answer the wrong question...)

> If you read my letter carefully, you will see that I offered you some real
> help.  I can probably get the documents you need at any time.  However, I
> cannot distribute them legally without the owners (Intel) consent.

Yesterday I got a mail from a guy at my local Intel distributor, where he
explains why Intel didn't give away the specs (atleast what he thinks). He
said that the reason is probably that if Intel gives out the specs, they
also have to give support and because of that they don't want to give it
out to just anyone. But he also said that if I could prove that Intel
would sell more chips (probably >5k/year, the guy said), they would almost
certainly give out the specs. However, I'd says it's highly unlikely that
people (atleast that many) would buy an Intel machine just to run this
BIOS on it...

Maybe if I can convince them that I, or anyone I give the specs to, will
not require support for it?

> Now, comes my question.  Why do you need Intel's BIOS specs.  If you are
> working on a truly OPEN software product, isn't it better to take the
> "cleanroom" approach?

Ofcourse that is an alternative, but then I would have to get the
information that is available in the BIOS specs from some other place (or
possible reverse engineer or just guess etc) and I feel that it would be
unnessecary difficult, compared to just having all information in one
specification. Ofcourse I wouldn't change my BIOS design because of
something that I read in the BIOS spec.

> Thanks for listening,

Thank you for helping! :)

/ Niklas

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