• Subject: Re: Bill Gate$.
  • From: dhandy@xxxxxxxxxxx (Douglas Handy)
  • Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 17:20:11 -0500

Bill,

>Product was actually built on a emulator running on a DEC PDP
>machine. When no one else had anything (No machine to write on), Gates was
>ready with a product when the product shipped.  

The legend I heard way back when, was that Bill and Paul (Allen) wrote
a chip emulator for the PDP so they could test their software prior to
getting the real chip (since it wasn't released yet).  Then, while
traveling on a plane to go demo the software at the chip manufacturer,
he realized his emulator would act different than the real chip at
first power-on, and he needed a different boot process.  The story was
that he wrote it out by hand, in assembler, while on the plane.

At the plant, he keyed it in, and it worked the first time, allowing
the code they had developed on the PDP to run on the chip.

Or so the story goes.  Urban legend?  Probably; but it makes a good
story.

Doug

PS - Of course, the story also says that most of what they demo'd was
lifted from CP/M.  But that is beside the point...
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