Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Suit may revise chapter on tech history: Origins of MS-DOS

The article itself isn’t what’s interesting here (well, it’s interesting, but on a different level)  – it’s the last three paragraphs that summarize the relevant portions of the book “They Made America”:

Describing the development of CP/M, [Harold] Evans wrote that "[Gary] Kildall created the bedrock and subsoil out of which the PC software industry would grow."

"Entirely out of his own head, without the backing of a research lab or anyone, he wrote the first language for a microcomputer operating system ... before there was even a microcomputer," Evans wrote.

Huh?  Obviously, the author never read “Fire in the Valley”, or just chose to ignore Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and the entire Apple computer company, who had a working microcomputer (which I cut my programming teeth on back in the day) well before IBM ever decided to make the PC.

I remember when a personal computer – a normal desktop machine – had less memory in it than the smallest flash cards you can buy.  My first computer, and Apple //c, had 128Kb (yes, that’s kilobytes) or memory, which was double the RAM of the other Apple ][ models.  Nowadays we’re building embedded systems that run on 1Gb CF cards with half a gig or RAM, and my 64Mb Pocket PC can use 512Mb SD cards no bigger than my thumbnail.  I’m not sure what to be more depressed over – that I can carry more computing power in my pocket than I had twenty years ago, or that I’m not even 40 yet and already talking nostalgic about “the good ole days”…

Suit may revise chapter on tech history: Origins of MS-DOS

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