9219Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: Interview with Andy Hertzfeld (The Mac 25yrs later)
- Aug 28, 2008Herb,
You're right on! And think how much more successful CP/M might have been if it had a single disk format so files could be easily moved. The early personal computer manufacturers had the minicomputer mentality that a unique system would lock people in and the disk format was one of the few things they could specify for a CP/M system. OTOH, floppy drive technology was still evolving and that made standardization more difficult, maybe inpossible. Which comes first, the market or the standard?
Jim----- Original Message ----
From: Herb Johnson <herbjohnson@...>
Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2008 11:38:46 AM
Subject: [midatlanticretro] Re: Interview with Andy Hertzfeld (The Mac 25yrs later)
Christian Liendo posted a link to an interview with Andy Hertzfeld, an
early Mac developer, who discussed development of the 128K Mac. One
answer he gave was relevant to my interests in CP/M development.
[question:] What factors do you think ended up giving the numerical
edge to the X86 platforms?
AH: It was probably the decision to openly license it....because the
Macintosh was restricted to a single member, Apple, it never could
become an industry rather than a single platform. [end quote]
Likewise, CP/M became "an industry" around 8080 and Z80 based
computers, because Digital Research sold it as an open platform - in
the sense that the hardware dependent features of it, the BIOS, were
openly defined by DRI. In fact, CP/M included all the tools and
instructions needed to migrate it to another platform. The result: a
whole class of systems from many companies which could run the same
software despite hardware differences.
That scheme was replicated with MS-DOS and contributed to the success
of other MS-DOS machines and eventually "clones" of the IBM-PC. I
presume that Hertzfeld had MS-DOS or Windows in mind, and maybe Linux.
But the fact that CP/M pioneered that strategy for "personal"
computing has practically become lost history.
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