50 years ago this week, PC software pioneer Gary Kildall “demonstrated CP/M, the first commercially successful personal computer operating system in Pacific Grove, California,” according to a blog post from Silicon Valley’s Computer History Museum. It tells the story of “how his company, Digital Research Inc., established CP/M as an industry standard and its subsequent loss to a version from Microsoft that copied the look and feel of the DRI software.”
Kildall was a CS instructor and later associate professor at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, California…

He became fascinated with Intel Corporation’s first microprocessor chip and simulated its operation on the school’s IBM mainframe computer. This work earned him a consulting relationship with the company to develop PL/M, a high-level programming language that played a significant role in establishing Intel as the dominant supplier of chips for personal computers.

To design software tools for Intel’s second-generation processor, he

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