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Operating Systems

Gary Kildall, Father of the PC OS, Finally Gets His Due 99

theodp writes: "GeekWire reports that Gary Kildall, the creator of the landmark personal computer operating system CP/M, will be recognized posthumously by the IEEE for that contribution, in addition to his invention of BIOS, with a rare IEEE Milestone plaque. Kildall, who passed away in 1994 at the age of 52, has been called the man who could have been Bill Gates. But according to Kildall's son, his dad wasn't actually interested in being what Bill Gates became: 'He was a real inventor,' said Scott Kildall. 'He was much more interested in creating new ideas and bringing them to the world, rather than being the one that was bringing them to market and leveraging a huge amount of profits. He was such a kind human being. He was always sharing his ideas, and would sit down with people and show flowcharts of what he was thinking. I think if he were around for the open-source movement, he would be such a huge proponent of it.' Techies of a certain age will also remember Gary's work as a co-host of Computer Chronicles."
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Gary Kildall, Father of the PC OS, Finally Gets His Due

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  • by hessian ( 467078 ) on Friday April 25, 2014 @05:06PM (#46844407) Homepage Journal

    Democracy, markets and social groups all recognize one factor: popularity.

    When popularity rules, engineering comes second. What matters is making a product that many people think they need.

    Gates isn't even a huge offender here. He accomplished something great: he made a company to standardize computing.

    Thanks to him, we have standard hardware, file formats, disk drives, etc. enabling a lot of things including Linux.

  • by DadLeopard ( 1290796 ) on Friday April 25, 2014 @05:45PM (#46844699)
    The GEM Graphic environment manager, would have been the world standard, well expect for the "Look and Feel" Lawsuit that Apple brought against it when it was released for the IBM PC and Clones. After the settlement it was so neutered as to be fairly useless! It was a dream to use in it's full implementation on the Atari 1040ST. Drag and drop and a windowed environment way before Microsoft got around to it!
  • by sg_oneill ( 159032 ) on Friday April 25, 2014 @05:50PM (#46844729)

    Yeah, I think its wrong to put him in the Jobs, or Gates category. Jobs and Gates where merely better than average technical people but with phenomenal business skills. Kildall was only a better than average businessman but with phenomenal technical skills.

    In a sense he was more a Wozniak character, well meaning, technically brilliant, and for a while at least betting on the right horse.

    And by all accounts, a genuinely decent person.

  • by JabberWokky ( 19442 ) <> on Friday April 25, 2014 @06:41PM (#46845053) Homepage Journal

    To tie them all together, I used a computer for many years that was designed by Woz, marketed by Jobs, with a expanded processor and memory made by Gates' company to run Kildall's OS (and a few others). An Apple ][+ with the Microsoft Z-80 SoftCard card, running CP/M. And I'm sure I wasn't the only one. A world capable of inventing, manufacturing, and garnering capital and sales to see that innovation become available to people requires all of them.

    I know I'd rather have lunch with the likes of Wozniak and Kildall, however. Add Ritchie and Kernighan, and that would be one heck of a table.

Did you hear that two rabbits escaped from the zoo and so far they have only recaptured 116 of them?