[TUHS] PC Unix (had been How to Kill a Technical Conference

Jon Steinhart jon at fourwinds.com
Wed Apr 7 11:10:48 AEST 2021

Dave Horsfall writes:
> And unlike the popular urban myth, Gary Kildall was not out playing golf 
> when IBM tried to contact him.

The myth that I had always heard was that he was out flying his airplane.
I asked Tom Rolander about it a few years ago, and it turns out that it
is true but misleading; he was coming back from a customer visit, not
goofing off.

Another thing that Tom told me was that the reason that DRI didn't sign
with IBM was that IBM wanted "we own all your stuff and you have liability
for everything" terms.  DRI wasn't willing to do that because they had a
real business; Gates had nothing and therefore had nothing to lose.

IBM was pretty heavy-handed.  A while ago a kid that I mentored asked me
to review an NDA that IBM wanted him to sign for a summer internship.  It
defined confidential material as "anything that is being done, has ever
been done, or is being contemplated by IBM, any of its subsidiaries or
assigns".  I told him not to sign it unless they were willing to add
"that we make you aware of" because there was probably nobody at IBM who
knew all of that.  So he went to Mozilla for the summer instead, got
jazzed about open source, and made a good contribution.  Then, his company
was purchased by Red Hat and then by IBM, so I guess one can't escape.


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