Bill Gates and The Guy Who Could Have Been Him (Part 1 of 10)

Daily Life Treasures

Gary Kildall was a 30-year old Ph.D. in computer science at the Naval Postgraduate in Monterey, California.

In early 1972, he got a look at a new microchip produced by Intel Systems. The inch-long Intel 4004 had been designed to work inside a desktop calculating machine, but Kildall and a handful of his fellow technophiles saw the 4004 for what was the nucleus of a revolution in micro computing.

For the first time, the entire central processing unit of a computer had been contained within a single inexpensive microchip. A magazine once said that “Intel was selling a computer for $25”

With 2,300 transistors packed into a chip smaller than a human thumb, the Intel 4004 could theoretically power a computer compact enough to sit on a desktop. Immediately, Kildall set out to prove it could be done.

He worked nights and weekends on the project for more than a…

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