Category Archives: WordStar

The A20-Gate: It Wasn’t WordStar

Although WordStar was long suspected to be the reason (or at least one of the major reasons) for implementing the A20 gate hardware on the PC/AT and all the associated problems later on, it is now all but certain that … Continue reading

Posted in 286, IBM, Microsoft, PC history, WordStar | 36 Comments

WordStar Again

While trying to work on my DOS 5.0 article, I looked at DOS 5.0 build 224 from June 1990, which is the oldest surviving beta of DOS 5.0. And the README contains the following intriguing text, which reminded me of … Continue reading

Posted in DOS, PC history, WordStar | 74 Comments

Another witness against WordStar

Previous posts examined the question why IBM implemented the A20 hardware in the PC/AT, causing endless headaches to future PC hardware and software developers. WordStar emerged as a possible culprit, but no one would quite point the finger at it. … Continue reading

Posted in DOS, PC history, WordStar | 15 Comments

WordStar needs address wraparound?

The CP/M compatible interface in DOS was initially documented, later forgotten, and then re-discovered every once in a while. In 1989, John Switzer described parts of the CALL 5 system call interface mechanism in a slightly hysterical article as a “back … Continue reading

Posted in DOS, PC architecture, WordStar | 11 Comments