Author Archives: Michal Necasek

About That Warranty…

Readers have been wondering what kind of valuable warranty users of Microsoft’s Quick Pascal 1.0 (and other products) might be voiding by running it on top of DR DOS 3.3x or 3.40. I don’t have the original Quick Pascal 1.0 … Continue reading

Posted in Digital Research, Microsoft, PC history, Undocumented | 16 Comments

How to Void Your Valuable Warranty

Try installing Quick Pascal 1.0 on DR DOS 3.40: What is going on there? It’s a long story… In 1988, Microsoft became increasingly worried by a new upstart OS from an old rival, DR DOS. Over the years, Digital Research … Continue reading

Posted in Digital Research, DOS, Microsoft | 30 Comments

There’s Another Possibility

Four years ago we pondered why on Earth a DOS floppy boot sector might start with 69h, supposedly a “direct jump” opcode. Which is the IMUL instruction on 80186 and later, and not documented on 8086. In the meantime, it … Continue reading

Posted in DOS, Floppies | 46 Comments

AMD64 APM Archive Online

Thanks to Konstantin Belousov, the OS/2 Museum AMD64 APM (Architecture Programmer’s Manual) is now available online. Big thanks to blog readers who recently supplied several missing revisions of the documents. This is a nearly complete archive of all published AMD64 … Continue reading

Posted in AMD, AMD64, Documentation | Leave a comment

Undocumented 8086 Opcodes, Part I

This is a guest post by Raúl Gutiérrez Sanz This multi-part document is about undocumented 8086 processor opcodes and their behavior. Most of the document will likely apply to the 8088 processor as well, but this has not been verified. … Continue reading

Posted in 8086/8088, Intel, Undocumented | 7 Comments

How Fast Again?

Or, Yet Another Wikipedia Mystery Looking for something on the Wikipedia USB page, a detail caught my eye. In the version history section, both the table and the text claim that the original 1996 USB 1.0 specification defined 1.5 Mbps … Continue reading

Posted in Documentation, USB | 31 Comments

AMD64 Manual Vol. 3 Rev. 3.24 Anyone?

AMD tricked me. After not updating anything for months, they updated the AMD64 documentation and not only that, they updated Volume 3 (instruction reference) twice within a few weeks. First to revision 3.24 in November, then 3.25 in December. I … Continue reading

Posted in AMD, Documentation | 3 Comments

How Apple Created Hackintosh, Part II

There is every indication that throughout the early 2000s, Apple internally built and ran all of OS X on x86 PCs (it’s also something Steve Jobs himself mentioned in 2005). Otherwise why would Apple have x86 drivers for AC’97 audio … Continue reading

Posted in Apple, Intel, OS X, PC history, Pre-release | 10 Comments

HTT Means Hyper-Threading, Right?

In a logical, ordered world, the HTT bit in CPUID would indicate a processor with Hyper-Threading Technology enabled. But of course the world with Intel inside is anything but logical. The actual meaning of the HTT bit changed several times … Continue reading

Posted in Documentation, Intel, Pentium 4 | 13 Comments

How Apple Created Hackintosh, Part I

At a developer conference in June 2005, Apple announced that OS X will transition from PowerPC to Intel processors. The first Intel Macs (sometimes nicknamed “Mactels”) were introduced several months later, in January 2006. The announcement generated significant interest in … Continue reading

Posted in Apple, Intel, PC history, Pre-release | 10 Comments