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“In 1973 Gary Kildall wrote the first popular operating system for personal computers, named CP/M. According to writer Philip Fiorini, IBM approached Kildall in 1980 about developing the operating system for IBM PCs. But Kildall snubbed IBM officials at a crucial meeting, according to another author, Paul Carroll. The day IBM came calling, he chose to fly his new airplane. The frustrated IBM executives turned instead to Bill Gates, founder of a small company named Microsoft, and his operating system named MS-DOS. Fourteen years later Bill Gates was worth more than eight billion dollars.

Of Kildal, who has since died, author Paul Carroll says, “He was a smart guy who didn’t realize how big the operating system would become”.

In a similar way, people don’t often realize ...

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