Educated at the University of Washington, Paterson worked as a
repair technician for a computer store in Seattle, Washington.
After he graduated magna cum laude in June 1978, he went to work
for Seattle Computer Products as a designer and engineer.
picture courtesey wikipedia
later, Intel released the 8086 CPU, and Paterson went to work designing
an S-100 8086 board, which went to market in November 1979. The
only commercial software that existed for the board was a standalone
version of Microsoft BASIC, and without a true operating system,
sales were slow. Paterson began work on QDOS in April 1980 to fill
that void. QDOS stands for Quick and Dirty Operating System. QDOS
was approximately 4,000 lines of 8086 assembly code and highly
compatible with the APIs of the popular CP/M operating system,
and version 0.10 was complete by July 1980.
December 1980 Microsoft bought a QDOS license. Paterson left SCP
in April 1981 and worked for Microsoft from May 1981 to April 1982.
After a brief second stint with SCP, Paterson started his
own company, Falcon Technology, which was bought by Microsoft in
1986. Paterson did a second stint with Microsoft from 1986-1988
and a third stint from 1990-1998. During his third stint at Microsoft,
he worked on Visual Basic.
After leaving Microsoft a third time,
Paterson founded another software development company, Paterson
He's a leading
competitor on Comedy Central's highly rated "BattleBots"
cable-television show, where he drives his heavyweight robot Hexidecimator
in fight-to-the-death matches against other high-tech luminaries
and everyday folk. Call it gladiators for geeks, or WWF meets MIT.
Paterson and his team of other former and current Microsofties
are in their element as they drive their beloved "Hexy D" into
enemy robots named Shark Byte and Killerhurtz before thousands
of screaming spectators".(2)
races rally cars in the SCCA Pro Rally series.
is now living in Redmond off proceeds from the Microsoft stock
options he received while working at the company from 1990 to 1998.