has anyone ever utilized a fossil driver?

Jay West jwest at classiccmp.org
Sat Nov 18 19:32:10 CST 2006


You wrote...
> Do they really allow a pseudo-compatible to utilize
> vanilla DOS telecom programs?

Eh, not sure that's quite the right way to look at it, but in the final 
analysis, yes.

In the early days of PC's, the bios services to talk to the communications 
port were painful and unreliable, especially at then higher speeds. Not 
always standard either, so comms/bbs programs could have trouble running on 
a given platform at all, or even if so - not well.

So the "Fossil" driver was created. It was a serial port driver that spoke 
directly to the underlying hardware (8250 registers) on one side, and 
presented an efficient standard API to the other side. So it was really 
created for performance reasons, but it had an additional effect of allowing 
coms programs to run on hardware that the fossil driver supported and the 
coms program didn't (as long as the coms program supported the fossil API).

Jay West 





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