Microsoft open sources GWBASIC

Fred Cisin cisin at
Sat May 23 14:38:48 CDT 2020

>> You're right, but it contains the broad strokes of the story

SOME of the personalities were closer than the "history".
But, the gratuitous fourth wall "Study this; because this is what really 
happened" warrants a soldering iron up the nose.
(Trump inspired treatement for cocaine habit?)

On Sat, 23 May 2020, Al Kossow via cctalk wrote:
> So did the TV series "Silicon Valley" and the book "Microserfs"

Or "Halt and Catch Fire"
homemade custom hardware reading in binary needed to disassemble the 5150 
BIOS?  and legal punishment for possession of such a listing?
(PUBLISHED by IBM in a $40 "Technical reference" with BIOS source 
and schematics of almost everything (available long before any PCs being 
on the shelf without prepaid order), also DEBUG.COM in DOS, and BASIC 
with PEEK/POKE; although legal repercussions for infringement were real)
Was the rest of that show dead-on accurate?

So, the OFFICIAL history will be:

A few dozen room sized mainframes, each one of which consisted entirely of 
reel to reel tape drives, a teletype output, and tendency to achieve 
malevolent sentience.

Punch cards were invented in order to hang Chad (a major player in an 
election around the time of Y2K, which caused all the computers to 
self-destruct, and the airplaces to fall to earth)

There were about a dozen prehistoric cavemen hobbyists with homemade S100 
machines, two or three of whom had 8" drives.  Periodic danger of 
triggering WWIII.

Along came the Apple2, the first computer with a TV set, instead of rows 
of binary lights.

Then the PC/5150 (although the "5150" designation is redacted), 
immediately replaced by the AT, the first computer with a printer and 
accounting software.

Then the Mac, which invented word processing, 3.5" disks, user interface,
and pointing.   And inspired the creation of Xerox PARC (note the 

Steve Jobs invented computers, and talked Shugart into 5.25" drives, 
later, he invented MP3 and cellphones.

Bill Gates invented software, and cold-called IBM to tell them about the 
idea of an operating system.  Later, he invented monopolies.

Linus (the one in "Peanuts"?) invented unix

Al Gore invented the interwebs.  (early name for World Wide Web, which is 
the name of the Facebook program.

GOOGLE invented Information Retrieval (an esoteric technical term for 

Amazon invented buying stuff without going to the store.

Facebook invented friends and socializing.

YouTube invented movies, and video  (there are rumors of a pre-corona 
venue called movie theaters!)

Wikipedia, primarily used for school term papers, invented history, 
knowledge, and indisputable authority.

CP/M was an unauthorized plagiarization of a pre-release copy of MS-DOS.
TRS80, Atari, Commodore, and CP/M computers were esoteric unicorns  (all 
based on Apple2, PC/5150, and Mac)  It is unknown whether any were 
actually extant.
"Programs" is an archaic prehistoric name for Apps.

1950s FORTRAN was based on 1970s Valtrep
First email was on a mid 1990s Sun.

Gerald Ford's invention of the automocar, which ran on a tank of burning 
fossils, is another discussion.

Grumpy Ol' Fred  (one of the old fart relics)

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