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Interview with Monte Davidoff, Developer of Altair BASIC Floating Point
Welcome to Floppy Days episode 113 for April, 2022. I am Randy Kindig, your host.
I’m going to take a break this month from covering machines in order to bring you a special interview show. Monte Davidoff worked with the very early Microsoft, while in college, when they were famously getting started by developing a BASIC for MITS and Ed Roberts for the Altair 8800. Monte developed the floating point routines for that BASIC that they so desperately needed at the time.
If you’re like me, I previously was unaware of Monte’s contributions to essentially the first BASIC developed for arguably the first personal computer.
It’s interesting to hear Monte’s perspective on how he managed to get involved with Microsoft, Bill Gates, Paul Allen and the project on which he worked with them. His recall of specifics about programming for the 8080 is pretty amazing.
Before getting into the interview, I do want to talk about some vintage hardware or modern upgrades I was able to acquire, as well as bring you information about upcoming vintage computer shows.
Finally, while I usually abstain from talking about monetary support for this podcast, I do want to mention that I have a way for you to help if you have the inclination. I have a page set up at https://www.patreon.com/FloppyDays where you can donate. Any funds will be used to defray the cost of managing the podcast as well as acquiring new hardware to talk about. Thank you so much everyone who has contributed and continues to contribute!