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After amount of royalties we have received from sales to hobbyists makes the time spent on Altair BASIC the BASIC tape worth less than $2 an hour ... was stolen from Is this fair? One thing you don’t do by stealing software is get back at MITS for some problem you MITS, copies of may have had. MITS doesn’t make money selling Altair BASIC software. The royalty paid to us, the manual, the tape and the overhead make it a break-even began to show up operation. One thing you do do is prevent good on computers and software from being written.

It rode on Apollo 7, which orbited governments, universities, and Earth. In 1969, the computer went into space large corporations to own. The again, this time to the Lakeside Mothers’ Club rented a moon on Apollo 11. time-sharing system. It consisted of a teletype machine, an off-site • 33 • Essential Lives The Teletype The teletype was a mechanical machine, not electronic. When you typed on its keyboard, you would have to push the stiff keys down about half an inch. It was quite the workout for your fingers!

They were to have the schedule computerized in time for the fall 1972 term. On May 28, 1972, approximately one week after Gates and Evans started working on the scheduling program, tragedy struck. Evans, an unathletic boy, • 45 • Essential Lives decided to go on a hiking trip with a group from the University of Washington. The inexperienced Evans tripped and fell hundreds of feet to his death. Evans and Gates had become very close friends over the years, and Evans’s death affected Gates deeply.

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