• From: Don Williams <dwilli10@xxxxxxx>
  • To: rollei_list@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2009 12:16:18 -0600

At 12:33 PM 1/12/2009, Austin Franlkin wrote, in part:
Hi Peter,

At the time, which is the mid/late 70's and early 80's, CP/M was THE O/S
for microprocessors.  MS only had a BASIC interpreter at that point in
time. MS was courted by IBM for the BASIC only, and Gates told them he had
an O/S as well (which they didn't...I believe that's called lying)*, and
snookered IBM into giving them the O/S contract as well.  Gates went and
bought the O/S from someone else (Seattle Code Works for $50k if I remember

So, CP/M went quite far, at the time...keep that in perspective.  That was
a different time, with a far different market.  Almost every S-100 bus
computer ran CP/M.

Can anyone say what CP/M stands for (off the top of their head, not by
looking it up)?



I think it stood for Control Program for Microprocessors. There was also M/PM which was a multi-user version. I sold many computers using that operating system and in particular the Molecular, which had a common hard drive but individual 64KB microprocessor cards for each user, up to 32 users.

If memory serves, DOS stood for Disk Operating System. Not really sure anymore.

*Yes, he was lying about having an operating system at that time. Bill Gates went up to Seattle Micro and took an option on their operating system which he then sold to IBM as PC DOS.

Along with CP/M there was CBasic, a semi-compiled basic which was quite servicable and I sold a lot of systems that used CBasic programs.

Interesting thing, I also sold the Commodore product line and the original Commodore with it's 8086 processor, which featured a pre-fetch (pipeline I think it was) made it run faster than the original IBM machines.


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