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9219Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: Interview with Andy Hertzfeld (The Mac 25yrs later)

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  • Jim Scheef
    Aug 28, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      Herb,

      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@...>
      To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
      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.

      Herb Johnson
      retrotechnology.com


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