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Interview with Andy Hertzfeld (The Mac 25yrs later)

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  • Christian Liendo
    http://news.oreilly.com/2008/08/the-mac-at-25-andy-hertzfeld-l.html
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 27, 2008
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      http://news.oreilly.com/2008/08/the-mac-at-25-andy-hertzfeld-l.html


    • Herb Johnson
      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
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 28, 2008
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        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
      • Jim Scheef
        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
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 28, 2008
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          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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        • Christian Liendo
          While I also agree you also have to remember that while CP/M did the job it really needed to progress. I mean DOS used COPY and CP/M uses PIP. You can argue
          Message 4 of 6 , Aug 28, 2008
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            While I also agree you also have to remember that while CP/M "did the job" it really needed to progress. I mean DOS used COPY and CP/M uses PIP.

            You can argue that such things were minor, but I guess thats for historians to argue about.

            I have the same argument with Linux people. Linux people are so wrapped up in their open source religion they don't see why many people think Linux is to hard for them and they get Windows/Mac machines.

            Also Dr. Kildall was his own worst enemy and DOS had IBM and which helped.



            --- On Thu, 8/28/08, Jim Scheef <jscheef@...> wrote:
            From: Jim Scheef <jscheef@...>
            Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: Interview with Andy Hertzfeld (The Mac 25yrs later)
            To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Thursday, August 28, 2008, 1:03 PM

            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@ comcast.net>
            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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          • Herb Johnson
            ... the job it really needed to progress. I mean DOS used COPY and CP/M uses PIP. ... historians to argue about. ... wrapped up in their open source religion
            Message 5 of 6 , Aug 30, 2008
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              Christian Liendo <christian_liendo@...> wrote:
              >
              > While I also agree you also have to remember that while CP/M "did
              the job" it really needed to progress. I mean DOS used COPY and CP/M
              uses PIP.
              >
              > You can argue that such things were minor, but I guess thats for
              historians to argue about.
              >
              > I have the same argument with Linux people. Linux people are so
              wrapped up in their open source religion they don't see why many
              people think Linux is to hard for them and they get Windows/Mac machines.
              >
              > Also Dr. Kildall was his own worst enemy and DOS had IBM and which
              helped.
              >

              These are cheap shots, sorry to say. Easier to say that, than to
              explain why. Anyone who cares to, can find information in respond to
              these "points". I have a few Web pages about Kildall, at

              http://www.retrotechnology.com/dri/

              I think he did pretty well. Better than most of us who read this. As
              for IBM and MS-DOS, it's a long story, not part of this thread beyond
              my reference to Hertzfeld's reference. Linux's devotees is just an
              off-topic reference.

              I got tired of people ignoring, or dismissing, CP/M and Gary Kildall
              merely because Kildall did not become the world's richest man like
              Bill Gates. It's interesting to see that kind of misplaced envy, even
              in a primary developer of the Macintosh like Andy Hertzfeld. But the
              issue actually comes from under-informed journalists and publisists,
              like the one interviewing Hertzfeld.

              Long story short, that situation is why I spent a few years writing up
              CP/M on my Web site. The response from Christian, makes my case again.
              I did what did, not to promote a "religion" of CP/M, but to nail down
              its developmental history before all of its developers die, as did
              Kildall.

              Herb Johnson
              retrotechnology.com
            • Christian Liendo
              Sorry I took so long to respond but ask Evan I have been busy. I don t deny the contributions of CP/M and Gary Kildall. I don t dismiss their historical
              Message 6 of 6 , Sep 1, 2008
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                Sorry I took so long to respond but ask Evan I have been busy.

                I don't deny the contributions of CP/M and Gary Kildall. I don't dismiss their historical significance. I don't have to tell you that CP/M was the "standard" and that other computers either ran CP/M or was CP/M capable. There is no disagreement on this.

                I just believe that when DOS came out, Gary should have done everything to make CP/M better.

                History is written by the winners. ~Alex Haley

                But I have had this argument before and I think at the time DOS was better, think the commands are easier to use than CP/M and I believed that helped. I used PIP as an example because it is rather blatant.

                This is again all personal opinion. I mean I know that PIP is used because PDPs used PIP. But to an end user who never used a PDP, COPY is just better.

                I lay the blame for this on Dr. Kildall. He was a genius, but from what I was told didn't listen to anyone.

                BTW: You have great pages discussing the history of Dr. Kildall and CP/M. The only thing I think you are missing is GemDOS for the Atari 68xxx computers.




                --- On Sat, 8/30/08, Herb Johnson <herbjohnson@...> wrote:
                From: Herb Johnson <herbjohnson@...>
                Subject: [midatlanticretro] Re: Interview with Andy Hertzfeld (The Mac 25yrs later)
                To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Saturday, August 30, 2008, 1:34 PM











                Christian Liendo <christian_liendo@ ...> wrote:

                >

                > While I also agree you also have to remember that while CP/M "did

                the job" it really needed to progress. I mean DOS used COPY and CP/M

                uses PIP.

                >

                > You can argue that such things were minor, but I guess thats for

                historians to argue about.

                >

                > I have the same argument with Linux people. Linux people are so

                wrapped up in their open source religion they don't see why many

                people think Linux is to hard for them and they get Windows/Mac machines.

                >

                > Also Dr. Kildall was his own worst enemy and DOS had IBM and which

                helped.

                >



                These are cheap shots, sorry to say. Easier to say that, than to

                explain why. Anyone who cares to, can find information in respond to

                these "points". I have a few Web pages about Kildall, at



                http://www.retrotec hnology.com/ dri/



                I think he did pretty well. Better than most of us who read this. As

                for IBM and MS-DOS, it's a long story, not part of this thread beyond

                my reference to Hertzfeld's reference. Linux's devotees is just an

                off-topic reference.



                I got tired of people ignoring, or dismissing, CP/M and Gary Kildall

                merely because Kildall did not become the world's richest man like

                Bill Gates. It's interesting to see that kind of misplaced envy, even

                in a primary developer of the Macintosh like Andy Hertzfeld. But the

                issue actually comes from under-informed journalists and publisists,

                like the one interviewing Hertzfeld.



                Long story short, that situation is why I spent a few years writing up

                CP/M on my Web site. The response from Christian, makes my case again.

                I did what did, not to promote a "religion" of CP/M, but to nail down

                its developmental history before all of its developers die, as did

                Kildall.



                Herb Johnson

                retrotechnology. com
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