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Module 1 Section 6 61IBM Clones - Introduction Clones Computers which are identical to the IBM PC in every important respect Companies such as Tandy and Hewlett-Packard produced computers which their software was compatible with the IBM PC but their hardware wasnt This meant that the plug-in cards were not compatible with the new computers Companies manufacturing these cards could not support all of the different computer architectures It quickly became clear to computer manufacturers that to be successful the key was not to be similar to IBM machines but to be identical 62Reverse Engineering Reverse engineering the process of taking a completed piece of technology and replicating its function without directly copying the code that makes it work This is a means of achieving the same functionality without breaking copyright It is called reverse engineering because it reverses the conventional engineering process which starts with disparate components and constructs a functional piece of technology from them With reverse engineering the starting point is the completed piece of technology in this case IBMs BIOS What the technology does is not protected by copyright but how it does it is protected Thus to reverse engineer IBMs BIOS a company had to replicate its function without directly copying the code that made the BIOS perform the way it did To do this they had to 1First find Virgins engineers who could prove they had not had contact with IBMs BIOS and thus could not be accused of directly copying the code 2New virgins were then required to build a BIOS which matched the specification given 3At the end of such a process you have a device which performs exactly as the original device without ever having directly copied the means of doing it Companies that reverse engineered IBMs BIOS successfully Compaq it was the first company
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