DOS utility BIOS Reporter dredges system information from the BIOS Data Area
March 6, 2006
The following program was written in WASM, the Wolfware Assember, by Eric Tauck. It's a now-free assembler few people know about, and it works well... More on it, and other assemblers, elsewhere.
BIOS Reporter is not a new program - I wrote it in 1995. For years, it was bundled with editions of Scott Mueller's Upgrading and Repairing PCs (the authoratative reference on this subject, currently in its 17th edition). Amazingly, some still find it useful, whether because they're still reading this data area using some programming language or other, or because they're learning assembler ...
BIOS Reporter actively reports much of the extensive, low-level system information available in the BIOS data area; in DOS, it can be run as a pop-up TSR to report changes to BIOS values while a second program is running. Allows printing. Freeware.
The source code neatly shows how BIOS Reporter probes the BIOS data area for the wealth of system information contained within, and nicely models DOS TSR programming. Note that it is copyrighted - feel free to examine it and play with it, but please do not lift portions of this code directly into a program of your own.
Quaint? Sure. A curiosity, perhaps. And a great example of how much can be accomplished with a very small amount of code - all of the above accomplished in 13 kB. Compare that with the bloated stuff we write today!
Download the program from http://freeware.ars-informatica.ca/dosutil.htm