Monday, August 13, 2007 3:25 PM
Once upon a time.... the tangled web of the story of CP/M-86, 86-DOS and PCDOS/MSDOS
Nearly twenty years ago I started a small company which was, at first, called MetaTech and then, after the threat of a lawsuit, changed to MT MicroSYSTEMS to build Pascal compilers. The company was what we now would call a MicroISV and, if the Internet had been available, certainly would have been an Independent Innovation company. In those days floppy disks + Xerox'ed manuals in a ziploc bag were the only distribution method available for software... no one was even using boxes yet! (Note: This is not a I-had-to-walk-to-school-in-the-snow-uphill-both-ways story :) )
A few years later, just before IBM launched the PC, MT MicroSYSTEMS had become successful enough to become an acquisition target for what was then the 800 lb. gorilla in the software business, Digital Research, Inc. The company was sold and I went on to become the Director of R&D for DRI until September 1984.
All this background is to provide some context about why I still care about the "Gary Kildall went flying" story and the discussion which is now going on over on Robert Scoble's blog entry about his interviews with Tom Rolander, early Digital Research employee and author of MP/M, eventual Vice President of Operating Systems at DRI and more.
I won't duplicate what I wrote in my comment on Scoble's blog entry but suffice it to say if you care about the history of the software business, the interviews with Tom are not only good stuff but first-hand straight information from someone who was there, in person!