Comparable BIOS Component in Mac?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Japan, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. Japan
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    macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2004
    Hey everyone,

    I have a quite banal question concerning the inside of a Mac and hope you can help me out. Although I am an experienced Mac user for many years myself I couldn't answer this question when asked. Is there a comparable device inside a Mac that acts as the BIOS in a PC? If not, what is the reason the Mac doesn't need one? (I have been told before that such a thing is not needed.)

    Thanks for any answer that will help me not to embarass myself again :p

  2. wrldwzrd89
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    macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    The closest equivalent to the PC BIOS in Macs is Open Firmware. You can access it from a "New World" Mac by holding down Command+Option+O+F at startup. If it worked, you'll see an odd-looking command prompt like screen that doesn't look at all like Terminal. In here, you can make low-level hardware changes, such as resetting the NVRAM (reset-nvram), resetting everything (reset-all), continuing normal startup (mac-boot) or rebooting the Mac (reboot). The name in parentheses is the command you type at the Open Firmware prompt to achieve the described effect.
  3. robbieduncan
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    Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    Open Firmware is much cooler than a BIOS!

    It can be programmed to do some cool things like this.

    Note that it mentions some of the cool things you can do in OF. A machine booted into OF can be telneted into for example (try that with a PC BIOS)!

    Edit to add : Intro to Open Firmware

    This is even cooler. Skip to part II
  4. MacsRgr8
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    macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
  5. snkTab
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    macrumors 6502a


    Nov 13, 2004
    Cincinnati, OH
    that is so cool. although I can't fathom the implications
  6. Sun Baked
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    macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    #6 -- list of the mirrors

    There is a manual on programming in OF, you can do some stuff that is quite interesting while in there.

    Somewhere around is the .pdf manual to buy, could find where it is. Not free though.

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