Old PC Technology (was: RE: certification; was: ranting STC)

Subject: Old PC Technology (was: RE: certification; was: ranting STC)
From: "Poshedly, Ken" <PoshedlyK -at- polysius -dot- com>
To: "D. Michael McIntyre" <michael -dot- mcintyre -at- rosegardenmusic -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, "Simon North" <sintac -at- home -dot- nl>
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2007 08:21:14 -0500


Mr. McIntyre, you stated in an earlier post that you are now are in your

My first PC was a Franklin computer that was compatible to the Apple II+
(which was all the rage at the time). I bought that Franklin brand new
in December 1983. It cost me about $1,500 or $2,00 and was equipped with
a card that ran CP/M, which allowed me to run Micropro's WordStar. DAMN
good program!!

So that makes you about 15 or so at the time. And microwave ovens (first
shown in "2001: A Space Odyssey") were just getting to be the rage as

I'm no programmer, but I've been told by various others far more savvy
than I that CP/M was a 64-kilobyte operating system that was much more
efficient than DOS, and didn't require megabytes of memory to run. I
remember a saying that "It was good enough to get us to the Moon and
back". That's debatable, since CP/M was created in 1974 (my first year
out of college) and the last Moon landing was in 1975. But it might be

Anyway, the story of the demise of CP/M - again confirmed to me by many
others in the computer industry over many years - shows how it pays to
be on time, because you just don't know HOW you can really screw things
up. The story I heard is that around 1980, IBM was deciding on an
operating system for its line of personal computers and had invited a
rep from Microsoft, which was pushing its "Disk Operating System" called
"DOS", and a rep from Digital Research which offered CP/M, to a lunch
for each rep to pitch their own product. While the MS guy was there and
on time, the Digital guy supposedly decided to be "fashionably late"
(look it up - I don't know what else to call his decision). So the IBM
guy and MS guy had lunch and waited and waited and waited and . . .
well, today, it's a Microsoft world, apparently no thanks to the Digital
Research guy who wanted to play hard ball and make 'em wait.

There's more about the apparently rocky road of Microsoft and its
relationship to Digital and CP/M at

How much of the CP/M story is true? I don't know for sure, but I wonder
what things would have been like HAD the Digital Research guy been on
time and won the contract.

By the way, apparently CP/M is still around. Just Google it and you'll

As for Franklin Computer, it and Apple went head-to-head in lawsuits
well into the 1980s. Apple first sued Franklin and won, then Franklin
appealed and won and so it went back and forth, fighting about the
then-new concept of "intellectual property". Franklin finally went down
for the count due to Apple's apparently much deeper pockets for lawyers
fees. This story is a firsthand account from a guy who was one of the
Franklin online tech support reps and who later became a good friend and
coworker at Quadram Corp. here in Atlanta.

Wow, what an interesting time it was for high-tech back then!

-- Ken in Atlanta

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+poshedlyk=polysius -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+poshedlyk=polysius -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
Behalf Of D. Michael McIntyre
Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2007 1:02 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: certification (was: ranting STC)

On Wednesday 07 March 2007 9:00 pm, Simon North wrote:
> glitchier GUI - which made it harder to use - and you couldn't get the

> codes to display as easily. WordStar was king!

Can't argue with that.



(And all hail the MIGHTY VIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!


D. Michael McIntyre

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RE: certification (was: ranting STC): From: John Posada
Re: certification (was: ranting STC): From: Simon North
Re: certification (was: ranting STC): From: D. Michael McIntyre

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