Links for 2012-11-23

  • IBM insider: How I caught my wife while bug-hunting on OS/2 • The Register

    Wow, working for IBM in the 80′s was truly shitty.

    ‘IBM HR came up with a plan that summed up the department’s view of tech staff: a dinner dance. In Southsea. For our non-British readers this is not a glamorous location. As a scumbag contractor I wasn’t invited, but since I was dating one of the seven women on the project, I went anyway and was impressed by the way IBM had tried so very hard to make the inside of a municipal leisure centre look like Hawaii. This is so crap that the integrity checks I’ve installed to watch myself for incipient senility keep flagging it as a false memory. The only way I can force myself to believe the idea that the richest corporation on the planet behaved that way is that the girl who took me is now a reassuringly expensive lawyer who was kind enough to marry me and so we have photographic evidence. (I wish to make it clear that I’m not saying IBM had the worst HR of any firm in the world, merely that my 28 years in technology and banking have never exposed a worse one to me.)’
    And indeed, so were MS:
    ‘We, on the other hand, were regarded as hopelessly bureaucratic. After Microsoft lost the source code for the actual build of OS/2 we shipped, I reported a bug triggered when you double-clicked on Chkdsk twice: the program would fire up twice and both would try to fix the disk at the same time, causing corruption. I noted that this “may not be consistent with the user’s goals as he sees them at this time”. This was labelled a user error, and some guy called Ballmer questioned why I had this “obsession” with perfect code.’
    (thanks, Conor!)

    (tags: via:conor-delaney os2 ibm microsoft work 1980s pc uk steve-ballmer)

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