June 1999 Troubleshooting Professional Magazine: More Heroes, and a Trip to Linux Expo

Copyright (C) 1999 by Steve Litt. All rights reserved. Materials from guest authors copyrighted by them and licensed for perpetual use to Troubleshooting Professional Magazine. All rights reserved to the copyright holder, except for items specifically marked otherwise (certain free software source code, GNU/GPL, etc.). All material herein provided "As-Is". User assumes all risk and responsibility for any outcome.

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Gary's Revenge

By Steve Litt
Gary Kildall has reached out of the grave and grabbed Bill Gates' ankle.

As you might remember from last month's Troubleshooting Professional, Gary Kildall's Digital Research was one of the first victims of Microsoft. And you might remember I insinuated that that the error messages and difficulties running Windows over DR-DOS were suspicious.

Gary died in July of 1994, his company gone, CP/M on the historical scrap heap, and his beloved DR-DOS neglected. Never underestimate Gary. He's baaaaaaaak!

Linux desktop powerhouse Caldera bought the rights to DR-DOS, turned around and sued Microsoft for exactly what I suspected. Now my suspicions (and I'm not the only one) will finally be proved or disproved in court.

You can read Caldera's lawsuit. A link to it appears in the URL's section of this issue. Paragraph 1 begins this way:

This action challenges illegal conduct by Microsoft calculated and intended to prevent and destroy competition in the computer software industry, in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. §§1 and 2.

Paragraph 3, subparagraph j says:

(j)Creating intentional incompatibilities between Windows 3.x and non-Microsoft DOS Software, in particular DR DOS and Novell DOS. 

This lawsuit is an exceptionally good read. Read it. And Caldera -- THANK YOU!!!

Gary Kildall was one of my heroes. CPM was a lean and mean work of art. DR-DOS was a task switching eagle among the turkeys of its day. This guy had the guts to tell IBM they didn't own him. Had he lived I'm sure he would have given Microsoft trouble. Oh, wait, he's giving them trouble anyway.

Sleeping well these days, Bill?

Steve Litt can be reached at Steve Litt's email address.