Gary Kildall created what was wildly acknowledged as the first PC based operating system called CP/M. It was the dominate operating system for PC's before Apple and Microsoft. Gary a Navy veteran and a Phd went on a founded Digital Research and developed the first X86 operating system. It was first introduced in 1974 two years before Apple computer was founded. Gary originally from Seattle Washington went on an founded Digital Research in Pacific Grove, California because Gary loved the ocean and sun so much. His company OS got the first version of VisiCalc spreed sheet and the first version of a PC language Basic. With all these firsts what happened to this amazing story Microsoft happened. Bill Gates approached IBM thanks to connections that his mother had with the CEO through her senior position with the United Way that IBM CEO also shared. Basically he needed his mother because as a 20 year old he did not think they would have taken him seriously unlike the Altar founder. He walked in to at the time Florida development headquarters of the IBM PC that was secretly in development. He signed NDA and went in to meet the brass to get them to see their basic programming language running on CP/M <--- "That CP/M the one that Gary developed". It turned out at the the time they where developing PC but did not have an operating system. After the meeting he took back the MIT's Altar with a tape drive a copy of the CP/M and his basic programming language. He had hoped they would sell or pack his Basic programming language with every IBM PC. What he did not see happen was the CEO got back to him in an odd story an asked him what OS would he recommend. You would think that IBM a multi-billion dollar company would know this stuff. So Bill went to Digital Research HQ and told them IBM would be interested in talking to you. What turned out to be one of the biggest mistakes in the PC world was Gary decided to meet with IBM but not show up for the meeting but leave it to his wife Gary went sailing that day. Under most situations this would be perfectly fine she was the President of the small company and she was also a lawyer and a accountant. It was not like she was not plenty talented enough the problem was IBM was not to happy that the day of the meeting Gary decided not show for the biggest at the time computing company in the world. Well IBM CEO was pretty upset he got back in touch with Bill to rip on the whole idea but what he did not see coming was Microsoft had bought an not completed OS from a small Seattle based company for 50,000 dollars. Paul Allen had started the research into it when he heard that IBM was looking for an OS. The other unfortunate thing was this Seattle based company did not know IBM was looking for an operating system. In what could be considered the most unfortunate set of circumstances for anyone not named Microsoft Paul bought the OS for an unreal 50,000 dollars. It had most of the commands of CP/M and was a completely new not copied OS version protected from an patents Digital Research could claim. When Bill finally got the call from IBM he said they had been working on their own OS that was command compatible with Digital Research CP/M. IBM opened another meeting with Bill and he brought his still not perfect OS with him. There he carefully showed the IBM brass in Florida the OS running on a new MITs altar and they where impressed enough they ended any notion of working with Digital Research. The DOS Microsoft developed needed a lot more work and Bill and company went to work on it and resolved most of the issues before IBM finally decided to take it. This is what many called the Digital Research billion dollar mistake and that overnight turned Microsoft from a small player in making language compilers to become the biggest OS producer in the world. It was at this point Digital Research started to fall from grace and more and more people started to move to the then small fledgling Microsoft OS from Digital Research CP/M. Gary was never able to recover completely from this lose and his company floundered till the doors closed in 1991. In 1994 he had a problem with alcohol went into a bar and many believe drunk himself to death or picked a fight and took a hard hit to the head and died. Though it did not help year after year after losing IBM to Microsoft and how big a blunder it was it could have finally gotten to him. Still many subplots to the story but I did not want to ramble on too much such as it could easily become to long but this is largely the key points. " Gary Kildall was born and grew up in Seattle, Washington, where his family operated a seamanship school. His father, Joseph Kildall, was a captain of Norwegian heritage. His mother Emma was of half Swedish descent, as Gary's grandmother was born in Långbäck, Sweden, in Skellefteå Municipality, but emigrated to Canada at 23 years of age. Gary attended the University of Washington (UW) hoping to become a mathematics teacher, but became increasingly interested in computer technology. After receiving his degree, he fulfilled a draft obligation to the United States Navy by teaching at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, California. Being within an hour's drive of Silicon Valley, Kildall heard about the first commercially available microprocessor, the Intel 4004. He bought one of the processors and began writing experimental programs for it. To learn more about the processors, he worked at Intel as a consultant on his days off. Kildall briefly returned to UW and finished his doctorate in computer science in 1972, then resumed teaching at NPS. He published a paper that introduced the theory of data-flow analysis used today in optimizing compilers, and he continued to experiment with microcomputers and the emerging technology of floppy disks. Intel lent him systems using the 8008 and 8080 processors, and in 1973, he developed the first high-level programming language for microprocessors, called PL/M. He created CP/M the same year to enable the 8080 to control a floppy drive, combining for the first time all the essential components of a computer at the microcomputer scale. He demonstrated CP/M to Intel, but Intel had little interest and chose to market PL/M instead." CP/M story. " Kildall and his wife Dorothy established a company, originally called "Intergalactic Digital Research" (later renamed as Digital Research, Inc), to market CP/M through advertisements in hobbyist magazines. Digital Research licensed CP/M for the IMSAI 8080, a popular clone of the Altair 8800. As more manufacturers licensed CP/M, it became a de facto standard and had to support an increasing number of hardware variations. In response, Kildall pioneered the concept of a BIOS, a set of simple programs stored in the computer hardware (ROM or EPROM chip) that enabled CP/M to run on different systems without modification. CP/M's quick success took Kildall by surprise, and he was slow to update it for high density floppy disks and hard disk drives. After hardware manufacturers talked about creating a rival operating system, Kildall started a rush project to develop CP/M 2. By 1981, at the peak of its popularity, CP/M ran on 3,000 different computer models and DRI had $5.4 million in yearly revenues. " This was another project of Gary was this PBS show about computing.