The Legacy of Gary Kildall

Every PC owner owes Gary Kildall a debt of gratitude. Bill Gates and Microsoft owe him more than anyone else. Gary was the first person to interface a disk system to a microcomputer and create an operating system for it. He changed what had previously been a circuit designed for process control applications into a fully functional computer. Microcomputers now did tasks previously done only on minicomputers and mainframes. The world changed dramatically because of his work.

This video is part of the collection: Computer Chronicles.

A profile on computer pioneer Gary Kildall and the important contributions he made to the PC industry including the true story on how IBM ended up using MS-DOS rather than CP/M. Kildall developed CP/M, the first personal computer operating system. He was also a co-host on the early Computer Chronicles series. Includes comments by Gordon Eubanks, Symantec; Tom Rolander, DRI; Tim Bajarin, Creative Strategies; Lee Lorenzen, DRI; Jacqui Morby, TA Associates; Alan Cooper, CP/M applications developer. Originally broadcast in 1995.

On July 23, 1996, Caldera Inc. acquired the entire assets of Digital Research Inc. from Novell Inc. and on July 24, 1996 filed an Antitrust Lawsuit against Microsoft Corporation. The Final Version of this suit was ultimately settled in Caldera’s favor in January 2000 prior to going to trial in Utah. Hopefully, some justice will finally be achieved. Gary never wanted to file suit against Microsoft because he always believed that in the end excellence in programming would win in the marketplace.

On July 11, 1994, Gary Kildall passed away following a blow to his head at the Franklin Street Bar & Grill in Monterey, California on July 8, 1994. At the time of his death, Gary was 52. He was born in 1942, a few years before the first electronic computer even existed, and his software made possible PC computing as we know it at the turn of the 20th century. He is survived by a son, Scott, and a daughter, Kristin. His former wife, Dorothy McEwen (Kildall), with whom Gary co-founded Digital Research, Inc. in 1974, passed away on January 31, 2005.

See also: The Legacy of Gary Kildall: The CP/M IEEE Milestone Dedication

Sources:

Digital Research

Archive.org

Atarimuseum

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