DONKEY.BAS

DONKEY.BAS

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DONKEY.BAS

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Description:
Donkey, often known by its file name DONKEY.BAS, was a computer game written in 1981 and included with early versions of the PC-DOS operating system distributed with the original IBM PC. It is a driving game in which the player must avoid hitting donkeys. While extremely simple compared to later PC games, and to games available for other systems at the time of its release, DONKEY.BAS is arguably a predecessor of all IBM PC games. The game is also notable because it was co-written by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

History

When IBM was developing the PC in the late 1970s and early 1980s it contracted Microsoft to develop an operating system and a version of the BASIC programming language to release with the new computer. The operating system was released as PC-DOS when included with IBM PCs and MS-DOS when sold separately by Microsoft. Both included versions of Microsoft BASIC.

DONKEY.BAS was written by Bill Gates and Neil Konzen to demonstrate the IBM PC and the BASIC programming language's capability to produce interactive programs with color graphics and sound.

The game continues to generate interest in part because of the involvement of Gates at a time when Microsoft was relatively small and only six years old. According to a speech delivered by Gates in 2001:



Apple's Andy Hertzfeld mentioned the game in a description of the Macintosh team's reaction to the 1981 IBM PC purchased for them by Steve Jobs "to dissect and evaluate," noting that the new computer...
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