You are watching ColdFusion TV.
This video is the second episode of a new series
based on my book New Thinking,
which is basically the grand history of science and technology
from the Industrial Revolution till today.
This story is about something I find pretty interesting.
It’s about Gary Kildall,
the man who should have been Bill Gates.
It’s an absolutely fascinating story.
I think that more people should know about it.
The year is 1977, and Apple had just become extremely successful
他们推出了第一台个人电脑 Apple II
with their first PC – the Apple II.
It was the first mass production personal computer
that you didn’t have to assemble yourself.
JB wanted to know why I’m doing better than all the other managers.
It’s no secret. I have an Apple.
Sure, there’s a big computer three flights down
but it won’t test my options, do my charts
or edit my reports like my Apple.
Move forwards like that
or you can move whole paragraphs around to any where you want them.
You can use the very same Apple to do a zillion other things.
You could say that the Apple is mightier than the pen.
Apple, the personal computer.
PC industry was already worth 1 billion dollars
just three years after it had begun.
For the first time, computers amplified productivity
and human intellect from within the home.
IBM who was in the corporate computer business of selling large mainframes
just saw the dollar signs.
This was the opportunity of all opportunities.
By 1980, IBM had turned their attention
to Apple success in the PC market
and realized that they were wrong about the PC.
It wasn’t just a hobbyist’s toy anymore,
it could actually be useful.
The problem for IBM is that they were a huge company.
They were bureaucratic and very slow when it came to decisions.
It was going to take years for them just to come up with a PC design.
So how were they going to compete in a timely manner?
The answer came in the form of a secret small team within the company.
This small team was assigned the task
to create a business orientated personal computer.
When they got to work, the decision was made
to use off-the-shelf parts to speed up the design process.
Using non-IBM parts is very unusual for the company.
With this method, instead of building a computer from scratch,
they managed to have a complete product within a year.
In 1980, IBM had the PC hardware cobbled together.
The only thing needed was software to run on them.
What IBM needed was an operating system.
An operating system is like a computer’s digital traffic cop.
It keeps track of how files are stored
and how the computer handles hardware,
比如鼠标器 屏幕 软盘驱动器等等
such as a mouse, screen, floppy disk drive and etc.
Basically it’s the basis that allows for a modern computer to run.
At this point, this is where the story starts heating up.
IBM was the biggest tech company of the time.
So any PC that they made would have an incredible impact on the world.
So what software was going to run on it?
This was the battle for one operating system that would rule them all.
The stakes are high.
Every decision here impacts the rest of all history.
And herein lies one of the saddest stories in computing history.
比尔·盖茨 vs 本该成为比尔·盖茨的人
Bill Gates vs The Man Who Should Have Been Bill Gates
While building their PC in 1980,
IBM approached Microsoft to build the operating system.
Before saying a word about the project,
IBM asked Bill Gates who was initially mistaken for the office intern
to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
Bill Gates had to keep IBM’s plan a secret
and he couldn’t tell a single soul.
When IBM told Gates what they were doing,
he remarked the Microsoft didn’t have an operating system.
The 25-year-old programmer would point IBM in the direction of Gary Kildall.
Gary was a meek and mild-mannered man.
But despite being unassuming,
he had already paved the way for operating systems in personal computers.
In 1971, Kildall had made a programming language
for Intel’s first CPU, the 4004.
But he quickly realized that there had to be a way to
control how the chip interacted with the rest of the computer system.
In 1972, he solved this problem with CP/M,
which stands for Control Program for Microcomputers.
This was the very first PC operating system.
Before CP/M, each computer had to have tailor-made software.
Imagine it like this –
It would be like having different types of fuel
for every single car model in existence.
With an operating system like CP/M,
a programmer only needed to write software just once
and CP/M would take care of the rest.
It was a way to run the very same software on different computers.
It just was a very natural thing to write.
It turns out a lot of people have a need for an operating system like that.
And so uh, it was a very natural thing.
I wrote it for my own use.
Despite this, Gary didn’t really have much interest in business matters,
and was just doing this as a hobby.
But his wife, Dorothy, convinced him to start a business
and start licensing his creation.
The result was a company called Digital Research.
By 1979, Digital Research became the industry standard for operating systems.
In essence, they were the Microsoft of the late 1970s
and Gary was equivalent to Bill Gates.
The Worst Day of Gary’s Life
So IBM had just approached Bill Gates and asked him
if he could make an operating system for their new PC.
And Bill Gates pointed them in the direction of Gary.
IBM 毫不浪费时间 听取了比尔的建议
So, keen to waste no time, IBM takes Bill’s advice
and pays a visit to Gary in Seattle.
Bill calls Gary on the phone to give him some warning
that someone is coming to visit.
Because of the non-disclosure agreement,
Gates couldn’t reveal exactly who was coming to visit.
比尔喊道 “好好对待他们 他们很重要”
Bill exclaimed, quote, treat them right, they’re important guys, endquote.
Unfortunately, Gary was a somewhat chilled out guy
and didn’t really get the full urgency of what Bill was warning.
Perhaps, he thought it was just another small company,
and not the largest tech company on the planet.
Because of this, Gary isn’t home when IBM visits.
He’s out, flying one of his private planes on business.
IBM ends up talking to Gary’s wife, Dorothy,
who was now head of operations in Digital Research.
The lawyers of IBM began pushing her to sign a non-disclosure agreement,
essentially to say that they were never there.
Dorothy wasn’t impressed by this and refused to sign the document.
The IBM team had a short temper.
After going nowhere with negotiations,
they became frustrated and decided to leave Gary’s house.
A few days later, IBM would approach Bill Gates a second time.
Gates, being deterministic and opportunistic in nature,
was never going to give Gary a second chance.
He saw that IBM had the potential
to change the PC market into something entirely different.
A new cleaned up business image
instead of the geeky enthusiast image it had.
So here comes the clincher.
Bill Gates decided to do something pretty sneaky.
He told IBM that Microsoft could in fact make an operating system,
even though they didn’t have one.
What Microsoft decided to do was just buy an operating system
from a small company down the road for $75,000.
This operating system was called the Quick and Dirty Operating System,
or Q-DOS, for short.
If you think that that’s a bit of a weird name,
there’s a reason for it.
The code used for the software was essentially a ripoff of CP/M,
the operating system that Gary had made.
So with this ripoff of CP/M,
Microsoft now had their hands on a functioning operating system.
Q-DOS would become Microsoft DOS or MS-DOS for short
and would be packaged to the every IBM PC.
So if you’ve ever used MS-DOS,
it could be said that you were using the Microsoft Dirty Operating System.
However this name would be officially changed to Microsoft Disk Operating System.
And of course, MS-DOS would eventually become Microsoft Windows.
1981年8月 第一台IBM PC推出
The first IBM PC was released in August of 1981.
It was predicted to make 250,000 sales,
but it was a smash hit,
selling two million units in a couple of years.
IBM had now overtaken Apple as the world’s largest PC manufacturer.
With this event, it was now truly OK for the white collar class to get into PCs.
It was no longer for hobbyist, freaks and enthusiasts.
Around this time, Gary became the co-host of the show Computer Chronicles,
a TV program that followed in detail
the progress of personal computers at the time.
加里 我们将讨论携带型电脑 膝上型电脑
Gary, we’re gonna be talking about things like transportables, lap portables,
but I want to show you this portable over here.
This looks like a pretty small computer,
but in fact this is just the keyboard.
I can program my things into my computer
and in fact, this is the computer.
And of course it is now a wrist portable.
Now, I don’t know whether this does anything very useful or not.
In fact that’s my question about this whole subject of portables.
Is this another case of technology in search of a purpose?
I don’t think so, Stewart.
It’s just a new dimension in technology.
在过去 我们拥有更快的处理器 更多的记忆体等
We have had faster processors, more memory and so forth in the past.
Now, what we’re looking for is
trying to get all that speed and power into a smaller package.
“The Greatest Deal in History.”
So everything was falling into place for Bill Gates.
He was getting set to be the richest man in the world.
The Dirty Operating System was one half of the equation,
but some smart business sense would complete it.
Because the IBM PC was made from off-the-shelf parts,
所以其他制造商 如康柏 惠普
other manufacturers such as Compaq an HP
began making their own PC clones with the very same parts.
The deal for Microsoft was that MS-DOS would be licensed to IBM
by Microsoft for a one-time fee of $50,000.
But there was a catch.
Microsoft never mentioned to IBM that their deal was non-exclusive.
Soon Microsoft was selling MS-DOS to all of IBM’s competitors,
taking a licensing fee from every computer sold.
This licensing deal has been called the greatest deal in history.
It made Bill Gates a billionaire.
Gary’s failure, to not be there at the right time
is conversely called one of the biggest business failures in history.
Once the sales of the IBM PC took off,
Gary had realized what he had lost.
For a rare moment, he would shed off his kind nature
and threatened to sue IBM.
In a settlement, IBM agreed to offer
同时提供 CP/M 和 MS-DOS
CP/M alongside MS-DOS with every PC sold.
Gary Kildall was pleased.
People could now choose for themselves which software they liked best.
Justice had finally been served.
There was only just one problem though.
When both software packages were released,
MS-DOS sold for $40,
and CP/M, $240.
This was a complete disaster for almost identical pieces of software.
For this reason, Gary’s CP/M software
would fade into obscurity by the late 1980s.
Gary had lost to a clone of his own creation.
Sadly, he didn’t take it well.
He was so crushed by the events that
he didn’t ever bother suing Microsoft or IBM again.
The strain from missing out on the greatest opportunity of many lifetimes
would eventually cause Dorothy to divorce Gary.
He would also shy away from the show The Computer Chronicles.
The ubiquity of personal computers in the following years
meant that Gary would forever be reminded of his failure everywhere he turned.
Kildall slipped into a bout of depression and alcoholism.
Sadly, in 1994, Gary would die
from head injuries in a fistfight at a biker bar.
Today, Gary, the man who invented the operating system for personal computers
is only a faint footnote in technology history.
So I think that it’s important that
we keep his contribution to the evolution of computing alive.
I can see that it was just a series of unfortunate events for Gary.
But if we can take any lessons away from them,
it might be make the most of every opportunity.
This was the very first episode of the Computer Chronicles broadcast back in 1983.
When we first launched the series,
sitting by my side as co-host was Gary Kildall.
But Gary was a lot more than a TV host.
Gary in fact was one of the most important individuals in the history of personal computing.
Gary died last year,
leaving a legacy not matched by many in this field.
That‘s the end of that story.
It’s a pretty sad night,
but I thought I’ll just, um, share with you,
cuz it’s a pretty unknown.
I think a lot of people don’t know about Gary Kildall and what he did.
So thanks for watching. This has been Dagogo.
You’ve been watching ColdFusion.
Feel free to subscribe, if you just stumbled across this channel.
And I’ll catch you again soon for the next video.
Cheers guys! Have a good one!
ColdFusion, it’s new thinking.
“New Thinking” coming later this year.
Available in both digital and hardcopy.