History of Microsoft Video: Bill Gates Talks about Altair Basic (Lisa Feigenbaum)

History of Microsoft Video: Bill Gates Talks about Altair Basic (Lisa Feigenbaum)

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A few months ago, Tina started a great series on Channel9 that walks through the history of Microsoft, year by year:

The History of Microsoft

In the first episode, Bill Gates talks about what it was like to build Altair Basic. He actually shows the tape that represents the instructions for Basic! Lots of rare footage, and an entertaining show on how it all started.

Episode #1: The History of Microsoft - 1975


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  • PingBack from http://www.midamericaairmuseum.com/the-visual-basic-team-history-of-microsoft-video-bill-gates.html

  • I wrote my very first line 'o code on Altair 8K BASIC...

    That fond memory deprives me of any pity I might have felt for anyone today who moans about his computer taking a "long time to boot" - I know what "long time" really means:

    Make sure loader, 17 bytes, is still in RAM - 15 seconds

    Load paper tape into reader on ASR-33 Teletype, toggle the RUN switch on the Altair, and go get a cup of coffee down the hall, come back, wait - maybe two minutes, and apparently longer without the coffee refill!

    Notice I didn't use the term "Bootstrap" Which would require a boot ROM, the "electric starter" of a computer. The front panel was the Altair's "hand crank". Vector Graphic's "Vector 1" was the first computer of this class to come with this "convenience", IIRC.


  • I'm sorry, but does Lisa ever post original content? Or does she just post links to other people's stuff? I wish my aggregator would differentiate the Me Too Bloggers and people with something to say.

  • Dear Team,

    I have been hoping for something like this from Microsoft.  I hope you keep this very historically accurate!!  In order for this to be useful/interesting it needs to be accurate.  I hope you make it a keeper for all time!!  Please, make it official Microsoft history!



  • Thanks Liz for sharing this video. Bill will always be considered the godfather of software industry.

  • Here is the awesome read explaining the whole timeline of The History of Microsoft and Bill Gates : winspark.net/.../the-history-of-microsoft-and-bill-gates-timeline

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