You may find it annoying to use MS-DOS all day, but it may result in a good fortune for you, a fortune to earn $200,000. Well, it definitely sounds crazy, but, let me clarify that no one is giving you a six figure pay day only to use MS-DOS. To earn that amount, you have to track down a secret command that’s been claimed to be hidden deep inside the OS for decades, a hidden copyright command that gives credit to late Gary Kildall, the creator of landmark PC operating system CP/M.
Surprising, right? How can you expect to find someone else’s copyright notice in Microsoft’s OS? Well, you might already know that this operating system wasn’t built in-house. Instead, Bill Gates hired SCP’s Tim Paterson, the developers of QDOS to modify that OS into MS-DOS. For decades, Gates has been accused of stealing code of MS-DOS from an operating system Kildall built in the early 80s called CP/M. he accused that both the MS-DOS and DOS were directly copied from CP/M. albeit, that’s never been proven conclusively, some claim that there is a copyright-command hidden in CP/M and buried somewhere inside the early MS-DOS code.
To find whether this accusation is right or wrong, Bob Zeidman decided to examine the code of MS-DOS and CP/M four years ago. his company builds software to perform forensic audits on other software. He used the same software to find out if MS-DOS is truly copied from CP/M, and finally came to a conclusion that there are similarities but nothing copied. The comparison is available on his website.
However, as it was revealed after his publication that in the battle between Microsoft and Motorola, he had an open consulting contract with Microsoft. That created a lot of pushback that has made Zeidman to put up a $200,000 prize. Anyone able to find a definitive proof in the code will be rewarded with $100,000 and if anyone can find Kildall’s hidden copyright command, he/she will be rewarded with another $100,000.
Though everyone is not convinced that CP/M is actually copied and there is any hidden copyright-command out there, there’s still a chance for you to do some serious treasure hunting sitting in your own room.