Gary Kildall in England

Some time during the DR DOS project (I'm not sure if it was in 1988 or 1989), before the company had been taken over by Novell, DRI founder Gary Kildall visited us at the European Development Centre in Hungerford, UK.

Our team consisted mostly of Britons (English, Welsh and Scots), with me as the only continental European. Unknown to many outside of the company, DR DOS which became one of the most successful products (and probably the reason why the company was acquired by Novell), was developed entirely in Europe, by Europeans. The core team initially consisted of John Constant, myself, Anthony Hay and a few others. The first released version was 3.41, followed by 5.0, 6.0 and 7.0. Later versions were called Novell DOS.

Gary in England

Gary was accompanied by Frank Holsworth, who was one of the brains behind MP/M-86, Concurrent CP/M and what later became known as FlexOS. He's the one giving a presentation here. To his right are Andy Wightman, head of engineering at the EDC, Gary and Jenny Shelton, one of the EDC engineers.

Gary at presentation

Gary at EDC conference

It was real fun to talk to Gary. He was such an engineer for someone who'd built a multi-million dollar company that at one point dominated an industry.

Gary at conference

In the background on the left you can see one of my Bavarian hats as I chose to wear my traditional costume for the day. Also in the back are (l.t.r.): Glenn Stevens, long-time Concurrent DOS engineering manager and one of the fathers of CDOS 386; John Bromhead, Roger Gross and Mike Greenwood (CDOS technical support manager and successful London-to-Sydney rallye veteran).

Dieter and Gary

Linney, Dieter, Gary and Glenn

Gary is having a chat with Dieter Giesbrecht who first headed DR Germany and later all of DR Europe. On the left is John Linney and on the right Glenn Stevens.

Gary giving a demo

Gary giving a demo
Gary doing a demo on his portable. He was a big fan of DR DOS which for several years provided the cashflow to keep DRI alive while being a thorn in the side of Microsoft.

Frank and Gary

In the evening we engineers took them out to dinner at a good Chinese restaurant. It was really pleasant to talk to Gary who was very natural and very open and accessible.

Gary at Chinese restaurant

Anthony, Frank and Gary

Here's another picture taken at the same table. On the left is Anthony Hay, who had been with DR UK even before I started.

"They Made America" by Harold Evans
This excellent book, created in tandem with a four part PBS series, dedicates an entire chapter to the important contributions that Gary has made to the computer revolution and the history of his conflict with Bill Gates. It profiles Gary amongst 70 of America's leading inventors, entrepreneurs and innovators.

(Return to Joe Wein's DRI page)