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Ignorance is bliss

I was thinking it was such a useful, reliable-looking media history book until it told me that Microsoft developed BASIC, COBOL, FORTRAN, and Pascal.

Comments

( 36 comments — Leave a comment )
nisaba
Mar. 22nd, 2009 09:49 pm (UTC)
Bog and leg.

Tell that to the commodore vic20 I used to write BASIC programs on...
steer
Mar. 22nd, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
MS BASIC predates the VIC-20 I'm afraid (but they still didn't invent it).
a_d_medievalist
Mar. 22nd, 2009 10:00 pm (UTC)
I am pretty sure Admiral Hooper never worked for Microsoft. Not to mention that whole pesky chronology thing!
owlfish
Mar. 22nd, 2009 10:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, details, details.
(no subject) - a_d_medievalist - Mar. 23rd, 2009 12:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - non_trivial - Mar. 23rd, 2009 01:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
celandineb
Mar. 22nd, 2009 10:19 pm (UTC)
*headdesk*

My mom studied FORTRAN and COBOL in the 70s, as I recall, and I programmed in BASIC in the early 80s.

You'd think that people would do some basic fact-checking. Or that editors might. Good grief.
owlfish
Mar. 22nd, 2009 10:25 pm (UTC)
Or perhaps there was time travel involved...?
(no subject) - steer - Mar. 22nd, 2009 10:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celandineb - Mar. 22nd, 2009 10:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
steer
Mar. 22nd, 2009 10:24 pm (UTC)
Being charitable could they mean developed in the sense of "worked on" rather than invented? MS did develop their own versions of all four.
owlfish
Mar. 22nd, 2009 10:29 pm (UTC)
I shall quote the passage in question. You decide what they mean and if there are any shades of grey about it.

"Microsoft was established by Bill Gates in the 1970s. It developed computer languages such as BASIC, FORTRAN, COBOL, and Pascal, and in 1980 entered into an agreement with IBM to supply software for IBM's first personal computer, as well as developing the disk operating system (DOS)."

The passage then continues to discuss the '80s.

The shadiest bit of grey I can see is if by "developed" the authors did indeed mean "worked on", but the internal chronology of the narrative does rather imply it had happened by 1980. So had they written their own versions of all of them by then?

(Sorry for all the edits - I hope it's typo-free now.)

Edited at 2009-03-22 10:37 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - steer - Mar. 22nd, 2009 10:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - owlfish - Mar. 22nd, 2009 10:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - steer - Mar. 22nd, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - owlfish - Mar. 22nd, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - matrygg - Mar. 23rd, 2009 05:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - steer - Mar. 23rd, 2009 09:22 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - darktouch - Mar. 23rd, 2009 12:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
tisiphone
Mar. 22nd, 2009 10:35 pm (UTC)
Wow. The only one they're even in the ballpark on is BASIC. (And I'd say "exploited" more than "invented.")
ellid
Mar. 22nd, 2009 10:51 pm (UTC)
No no no! Everyone knows that Microsoft had nothing to do with Kobol
owlfish
Mar. 22nd, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC)
And very little, for that matter, to do with kobolds.
(no subject) - steer - Mar. 22nd, 2009 11:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - owlfish - Mar. 22nd, 2009 11:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - steer - Mar. 22nd, 2009 11:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - owlfish - Mar. 22nd, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - steer - Mar. 22nd, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - owlfish - Mar. 22nd, 2009 11:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - owlfish - Mar. 22nd, 2009 11:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
crustycurmudgeo
Mar. 22nd, 2009 11:52 pm (UTC)
Great discussion here! Love it.

As I recall, Gates and another fellow helped write a version of BASIC to run on CPM based hobby/kit computers in the 70's. I suppose it's possible he and his accomplice were also working on versions of PASCAL, COBAL and FORTRAN for the same audience afterwards. They would have made good additions to their thin catalog.

I do recall versions of these languages being offered for CPM machines, but I don't remember if it was Microsoft doing the offering. There were a lot of folks scrambling to do the same back then.

But after MS got the IBM deal for their DOS, they had the cash to hire on many more developers than anyone else and the rest is marketing history.
matrygg
Mar. 23rd, 2009 05:28 am (UTC)
I thought Gates bought his version of BASIC for 40k? That's the story I always hear in the "Gates isn't even a real haxxor and Micro$oft sux" bitch sessions amongst my geekier brethren.
(no subject) - crustycurmudgeo - Mar. 23rd, 2009 11:18 am (UTC) - Expand
4ll4n0
Mar. 23rd, 2009 01:47 am (UTC)
With Google as my only source I'm hesitant to say but it seems like MS did put out their own versions of all those languages in the late 70s or early 80s (here is an example http://www.emsps.com/oldtools/msfor.htm#for1 )
owlfish
Mar. 23rd, 2009 07:54 am (UTC)
The page you linked to doesn't date anything back further than 1981. Pascal in 1981, COBOL 1.0 in 1982. You're sure you can get it back to the late '70s for anything other than BASIC?

(Obviously, for anything released in the early '80s, there's a very high chance it was being developed, well, before it was released - but by how many years?)

Edited at 2009-03-23 07:56 am (UTC)
(no subject) - 4ll4n0 - Mar. 25th, 2009 05:57 am (UTC) - Expand
( 36 comments — Leave a comment )