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Summary of Amateur Hour Chapter Four of Accidental Empires Robert X Cringely In the early 1970s Personal Computer Software wasnt possible because there wasnt any hardware available on which it could be used What made this possible was the appearance of the MITS Altair 8800 computer which in turn was made possible thanks to Intels invention of the microprocessor It wasnt until then in 1974 that Bill Gates was able to convert from minicomputers to microcomputers This is more or less the foundation for Chapter Four of Accidental Empires by Robert Cringely titled Amateur Hour It is based on how hardware nearly always makes possible software In this essay I will summarise the chapter and also make it clear to see how some of the people who started it all off did so more or less by accident just by being in the right place at the right time Bill Gates being a businessman wanted to set the de facto standard by developing the fist high-level language for the first personal computer He knew that the first language would become the de facto standard the one which everyone follows for the whole industry Once they had discovered that MITS was going to release the first microcomputer called Altair 8800 Paul Allen and Bill Gates wrote a version of the BASIC programming language on a PDP-10 minicomputer which simulated the Altairs 8080 microprocessor It was then demonstrated to Ed Roberts the founder of MITS it worked and came to be called MITS BASIC Gates and Allen also wrote versions of BASIC for other microcomputers as they came to the market After some time Ed Roberts was claiming that he owned MITS BASIC and its derivatives This led to a court case that Gates and Allen won and it caused a fall-out between them and the founder of MITS Bob Noyces company Intel had invented the microprocessor and memory technologies However since
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