From: Heinz Wolter <>
Date: Sat Dec 1 12:33:21 2001

Subject: Re: Traf-o-data
In a message dated 11/30/01 10:55:19 PM Pacific Standard Time, writes:
Traf-O-Data automatic traffic measuring device - Microsoft's first piece
of hardware
I would like to know more about this? What, When, Why, What happened to it?

> Mentioned in several of Bill Gates' biographies, the Traf-O-Data
> was a hand built, single purpose computer controlled traffic counter.
> Details are sketchy - but I think I remember reading that it was
> based on an Intel 8008 "single chip micro" which is something in itself
> since it need a lot of support chips, strange voltages, clocks, memory
> Gate's intent was to sell it to municipal depts. to monitor and log
> to/from roadside paper tape. Other accounts detail that it was only an
> to read roadside punched paper tapes and process reports . The actual
> hardware was rumoured to have been designed and built by a Boeing
> on contract, and not by Bill as some sources state.
> From the accounts I read, they were never successful in selling many
> but they managed to make 20K$ on the work.
> Gates himself wrote the software to run on a simulator Allen had written
> to run on a PDP-10. The only significance of Traf-O-Data was that
> the 8008 simulator was modified (greatly) to emulate an 8080 (on Harvard's
> PDP-10s) and used to cobble together a small (<4K) BASIC interpreter from
> public domain sources. The was demonstrated and sold to MITS for the
> first Altair. That interpreter became the basis for most of Micro-soft's
> (two words in those days) BASIC ROMS sold to many first generation
> home microcomputer hardware companies such as Radio Shack, Commodore..

>timeframe - Traf-O-Data company founded 1972, became Micro Soft 1975
>why: Gates and Allen wanted their own software company
>what happened to it? who know?I've not heard of any hardware that

>cheers - heinz - Any additional info, corrections - please post!
> ms-religious-fanatic arguments, Bill worhshippers -->> /dev/null :O
Received on Sat Dec 01 2001 - 12:33:21 GMT

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