The year before his death in 1994, Gary Kildall—inventor of the early microcomputer operating system CP/M—wrote a draft of a memoir, “Computer Connections: People, Places, and Events in the Evolution of the Personal Computer Industry.” He distributed copies to family and friends, but died before realizing his plans to release it as a book.
Wrote Scott and Kristin Kildall in an introductory letter: “In this excerpt, you will read how Gary and Dorothy started from modest means as a young married couple, paved a new path for start-up culture, and embraced their idea of success to become leaders in the industry. Our father embodied a definition of success that we can all learn from: one that puts inventions, ideas, and a love of life before profits as the paramount goal.”
Later chapters, they indicated, did “not reflect his true self,” but rather his struggles with alcoholism, and will remain unpublished.
Tekla S. Perry is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., she's been covering the people, companies, and technology that make Silicon Valley a special place for more than 30 years. An IEEE member, she holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Michigan State University.