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#86535 03/08/13 05:57 PM
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I would like to use MESS to demonstrate some old computers, and would like (for boring political reasons) to old use systems which I am legally allowed to use.

Is there a list (like with MAME) of the bioses/OSes which have been released into the public domain, or for free use?

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Off the top of my head, for computers I can only think of the ZX Spectrum. If you include consoles, that includes the NES and others that don't have a bios (using PD software), and the Vectrex.

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You can use QMC2+Shideravan System Template to see between system which don't use ROMS.
After that, just use PD software and be happy wink


"A user interface is like a joke. If you have to explain it, it's not that good."
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"A user interface is like a joke. If you have to explain it, it's not that good."
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Supposedly Texas Instruments TI-99/4A BIOS ROMs and Texas Instruments cartridges can be granted permission to distribute for personal use, though not permission for commercial use and definitely not extending to the third-parties that also made software for the TI-99/4A.

I finally found the permission granted to one such person I've remembered for years (attn: mizapf, Justin) though I also remember seeing an older permission:
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/ti99-4a/message/4682?var=1

Other TI-99/4A emulator authors supposedly with permission:
Classic99:
http://www.harmlesslion.com/cgi-bin/onesoft.cgi?10
http://www.harmlesslion.com/hlsup/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=111

PC99:
http://www.cadd99.com (sells them!)

Also, they have granted permission to distribute TI99/8 ROMs
https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!msg/comp.sys.ti/SQ0CkVK9IOw/cxW8sz8YaAUJ

Also, 99er.net has permission to distribute scans of TI-99/4A manuals: http://www.99er.net/files/TIpermission.pdf

However, in the past they've sent C&D's regarding calculator ROMs.
http://www.geocities.ws/joelt49/calc/calc.txt

Still, if you're opening a ROM site to distribute Texas Instruments TI-99/4A ROMs, you have to contact them and ask for permission - you can't take someone else's permission (Classic99's, PC99's) as your own.

---

For other ROMs in general, you may also like:
http://blog.makezine.com/2008/12/27/retro-gaming-emulators-that-include/

There is no massive list of PD/free ROMs/BIOSes/firmware and software/cartridge images/etc. but it would be nice if there were...

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Amstrad granted the right for emu authors to distribute CPC roms with emulators.

Last edited by remax; 03/09/13 10:11 AM.
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Dick Smith has stated that they have no interest in Super-80 roms, so you can use those. The homebrew Super-80 roms were programmed by me, and I declare them to be public domain.

Also I'd be surprised if anyone cared about old Soviet computers, you should be safe with them.

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Given that the Soviet computers were technically owned by the USSR (the reason why the creator of Tetris never earned money off the Game Boy and NES games), and given that the USSR is no more, then yes.

To summarise so far:
Amstrad CPC
Dick Smith Super-80
Sinclair ZX Spectrum
Texas Instruments TI-99/4A
Soviet computers (eg. Radio-86RK and Partner-01.01)

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NES and a2600 do not use a bios. the CPU just reads the data contained in the carts.
Hence you can legally run their emulation, as long as you stick to PD software.

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This would be a perfect topic for a wiki page smile

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