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Be Bill Gates - A Once in a Lifetime Opprtunity

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Bob Maxey, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    WOW, here is your chance to harken back to the days when Billy was getting started and if you believe the convoluted history, he bought DOS and the rest, as they say, is his story. I mean history, sorry.

    A rare opportunity to purchase all rights to DR-DOS for a measly 25 grand.

    DR DOS Buy Out | DRDOS Embedded DOS

    DR-DOS was a better DOS than MS-DOS.

    So jump on this rare opportunity and be Bill Gates Redux

    argedion likes this.

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  2. Rachel A

    Rachel A Android Expert

    Not sure if they are/were selling the rights or just a royalty free version.

    Not even sure if the company still exists even!
  3. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary
    VIP Member

    LOL, Bob!

    I don't get around to the Lounge areas as often as I should, but that's a great find :).

    I'm a CP/M man, myself ;) :) [really! I still have my Kaypro II that I bought to play Zork--still works great].

    EarlyMon likes this.
  4. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    I was active in those days on S-100 bus card mailing lists.

    We were awaiting a new CP/M from DR for the new 8088/6 (whichever) card from one of our favorite companies.

    Yep, you could buy their prototype card and get QDOS - quick and dirty operating system - an expectation of the API for the guessed-at, to-be-released MP/M or CP/M-86 - so you could start checking things out.

    Company in question announced that for whatever reason, Bill&co just purchased QDOS, thereby funding further development of their card. As I recall, no guarantees with my memory, it even earned a footnote in an issue of Dr. Dobbs (or one like that - man, that was YEARS ago).

    Naturally, we thought Bill had gone off the deep end - CP/M with source code was free.

    The first PC-DOS was scary close to QDOS - including removing the directory from a floppy if write operations were in progress. Remember when you had to control-c before removing a floppy or all of your files were gone forever because - no directory left?

    But he bought QDOS because he could. As the maker of the top BASIC back then, he was making real money already.

    Agreed - last dos I used was DR-DOS. Probably still have the distribution floppies, lol.

    PS - the Kaypro rocked. I was a beta tester for the Peach software suite that came with it. :)
    scary alien likes this.
  5. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I loved DR-DOS.

    Do you remember OS-Warp, Early? I must have bought every version. Something like 100 floppy disks all told, all versions.

    I remember the Kaypro. I think I did not like it much for some reason.

    Too bad there are no Way-Back machines. Well, there is the Internet Archive thing . . . not what I want. No telling what damage I could do if I could go back in time and "invent" things from today. Hell, all I would need is what I know about today and which companies to invest in or purchase whole.

    I would likely look up Gates, Allen and the other guy and invest in Traf-O-Data. With the understanding that should they start another company--let's call it a software company--I would get a cut.

    But, there is a problem with time travel. If my hundred grand was just what they needed to make TOD a success, they might not start Microsoft and if that did not happen, there might not be a computer industry.

    Perhaps I would invent lots of stuff to make enough money to invest in a company that will be called Google or perhaps Apple?

    Fantasy to be sure, but I would be the first trillionaire, most likely. Just think of how many people on AF would be hating old Bob? You think Apple has too much control, wait until take over. I'd be epic.
    EarlyMon and scary alien like this.
  6. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Perhaps. I was just a big fan of their DOS. Or perhaps not their DOS; but DR-DOS. Not sure how many people on AF actually know what DOS is or was or still is in some respects.
  7. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    I finally had to retire my OS/2 Warp/2.0 machine, lol. It's my upbringing by mechanics - if it runs, keep it running. :)

    Best gopher platform ever, and best web browser in its day, hands down. Great OS after such a messy start. :p ;)

    While we're doing history, let's remind about the Apple ][ that was the breakthru machine.

    Limited memory, 48k, ran an integer DOS.

    Later, you could add the "language card" - 16k memory board that let you run CP/M on it and from there, Microsoft BASIC.

    Or - go with the Apple ][+ with 48k ram and the other 16k populated by roms that ran AppleSoft - the rom'd version of Microsoft BASIC for the Apple directly, no need to replace Apple DOS (which was essentially a copy of an HP-DOS from their .... what?? HP-85 or HP-83 or something(*)) with CP/M.

    That's when Microsoft started owning a slice of Apple sales - whether as a cheaper CP/M box or just using Apple DOS, you were going to use Microsoft BASIC.

    I could be wrong, but I think that's when the money really started flowing in.

    (*) The Woz worked at HP. As Hal said in the old Redlands newsletter - either an egg descended from the heavens, an alien popped out and wrote Apple DOS - or given that The Woz worked as a tech at HP, there was a reason that the first Apple DOS was much like the HP OS. :)

    PS - If there were a wayback machine, winning last week's lottery would be good enough for me. I wouldn't know about whatever future history I'd screw up being the winner and I'm going to go on the theory that what I don't know, can't hurt me. (I crack me up.)
  8. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I seem to recall a picture of a Mac something sitting next to an Amiga something. The Mac had less memory, a black and white screen and lower quality sound compared to the Amiga. Or something like that.

    The question posed was why did Apple become a success and the Amiga became a lost system only a relatively few people know much about. Not sure what the answer is/was.

    All I know is in my own little way, I helped launch two marketplace hits. Hindsight reveals many mistakes on my part and had I done just one or two things differently, my world might be much different today.
    EarlyMon likes this.
  9. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Everyone wants the winning numbers. The problem is, lots of cash changes your future and it lets you make plenty of mistakes only lots of money lets you make. Therefore, you might wrap your new Lambo or Vette around a tree.
  10. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    Amiga was a killer.

    The OS used a double-chained pointer system and it wouldn't lose files like other OSes at the time. Result of the one of big universities in the UK with a huge grad student staff really pushing the envelope for small computers.

    Few realize the tremendous impact that the UK has had on computing, and for the longest time, we were mere pikers in comparison.

    The Amiga failure was - in my opinion back then - a confluence of fails.

    First - Apple not only had the anemic Mac, that little Mac had Microsoft Word and Paint on it - and Lotus 1-2-3.

    After taking forever for small computers to really hit business, you had the new PC from IBM, the Apple III (an unholy abomination that it's users failed to realize because of their deep Apple trust at that time) and the Mac.

    All saying - business-capable - in marketing.

    Then you get the Amiga and it blows them all away. No great names in office products behind it. So what do they use to show off the great color graphics?


    And the first guys buying them - just like the Apple ][ or PC - weren't conservative business managers, they were the risk-taking tech heads.

    So - then you get the risk-taking tech heads explaining that now it's the amiga to the conservative business types in their organizations - the same guys that they convinced to try and buy Apples and PCs before - suddenly going reactionary on them.

    I saw in no less than 6 major aerospace firms where the same scene unfolded - tech heads trying to convince that the new Amiga was the way the go, and getting all lathered up that their advice was being ignored (first time I ever saw the fanboy prototype - and it was off-putting).

    And the thing that they'd all missed, I couldn't convince any of them about - stop playing those games on your lunch hour, the business guys are walking by seeing that and you're shooting yourself in the foot.

    That's mighty anecdotal of me, I admit.

    Can I test my theory?

    I believe so. As the PC gained dominance and the Mac fell into obscurity back in the 90s what was it that everyone said?

    If you want to play games or have fancy graphics, get a Mac, if you want to do business and be serious, get a PC.

    Same exact thing, it looks like to me.

    Further test:

    By the early 2000s, the mantra had changed.

    If you want to play games, get a PC, they are powerful enough to do anything. Macs can't even play games - want to trust your business to something that weak?

    So - depending on the timing and the perceived comparison to the competition - having the best graphics and good gaming can make or break a product.

    But not if it has it or not - but when it has it and how it seems to fit at the time.

    Probably I'm not making sense to a lot of people, I'll just quit here.
  11. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
    VIP Member

    Those are the risks that I'm just the man to take.

    I've had and lost money several times, it is what it is, but the richest I've ever been was back when I was about 20.

    I had 10 bucks in my pocket and decided that I would blow it just to blow it. Spent the entire Sunday afternoon walking by the shops and restaurants along Main Street (literally, its name) and after three solid hours, could not find a thing to spend that 10 dollars on.

    And that's when I realized that at that precise moment, with money beyond my needs and desires, I was perhaps the richest person on the face of the planet.
    argedion, Steven58 and scary alien like this.
  12. argedion

    argedion The TechnoFrog

    DR-DOS was the bomb. I remember my first 5 floppy disk set of the OS. I had gotten it from a friend who had be telling me how much more awesome it was going to be over MS-DOS which later became IBM-DOS then Goodbye DOS. If memory serves me correctly FreeDOS is based on DR-DOS. And I believe that DR-DOS was the only one who could read my whopping 800meg hard drive at the time. I think MS-DOS had to move to 6 before this feat. However the BIOS of my computer had to be lied to with the Overlay. Damn those where days of computing when you had to futz with Config.sys and AutoExec.bat ah man the days of love.
    EarlyMon likes this.
  13. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I remember those files. You could actually read the file and edit the file and you knew what you were doing. Now, we have the Windows registry. God what a cryptic mess.

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