• Subject: RE: Bill Gate$.
  • From: Scott Mildenberger <Smildenber@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 07:39:16 -0700

I believe it was Paul Allen that wrote the boot process on the plane while
going to demo their Basic.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: dhandy@isgroup.net [SMTP:dhandy@isgroup.net]
> Sent: Thursday, November 11, 1999 3:20 PM
> To:   MIDRANGE-L@midrange.com
> Subject:      Re: Bill Gate$.
> 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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