Computers and Programming

Gary Kildall - Founder of Personal Computing

Gary Kildall, Ph.D., 1922-1994

Gary created CP/M ("Control Program/Monitor" or "Control Program for Microcomputers") in 1974.  CP/M was eventually marketed by his company, Digital Research.  This system, and particularly the layered, open architecture of Application/BDOS/BIOS, made possible the third-party software and hardware revolutions and productive use of microcomputers by individuals and small companies.

The personal computer revolution was first supported by small businesses and individuals, starting in 1976, running CP/M on commercial systems such as the IMSAI 8080 (San Leandro, Ca), the Godbout/Compupro systems (Oakland, Ca), and Thinker Toys (Berkeley, Ca), etc.

Gary also created:

  • MP/M (a multitasking version of CP/M (1978)),
  • Concurrent DOS (a four session preemptive multi-tasking version of MS DOS (1984?)),
  • GEM (the first, commercial, graphical user interface (1980)),
  • KnowledgeSet (optical disk publishing, aka CD-ROMs),

From the 1997 Dr. Dobb's Journal Excellence in Programming Award:

  • Creating the first microcomputer operating system.
  • Creating the first successful open system architecture by segmenting system-specific hardware interfaces in a set of BIOS routines, ushering in the third-party software industry."
  • "Introducing operating systems with preemptive multitasking and windowing capability, and menu-driven user interfaces.
  • Creating the first floppy-disk track buffering scheme, read-ahead algorithms, file directory caches, and RAM disk emulators.
  • Defining the first programming language and writing the first compiler specifically for microprocessors.
  • Creating the first computer interface for video disks to allow automatic nonlinear playback, presaging today's interactive multimedia.
  • Developing the file system and data structures for the first consumer CD-ROM.


Page modified: 09 May 2020 13:20:58 -0700

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