[CentOS] Re: Ole Fossils [ was Re: ls and rm: "argument list too long"]

David G. Mackay mackay_d at bellsouth.net
Sun Oct 26 14:09:01 UTC 2008

On Sat, 2008-10-25 at 15:02 -0700, Bill Campbell wrote:

> The COMNET time sharing service in D.C. used the B-5500.  It was formed by
> several ex G.E. time sharing people, and we were one of their first beta
> (and largest) customers, so I tended to get what I asked for.  On the other
> hand if something went wrong, and they saw me on the system, I usually got
> the blame :-).

You should have charged extra for helping to harden the system.

> >No, I was just young and foolish.  Then someone explained that Burroughs
> >wanted to get their techs hired away by the customers.  They'd most
> >likely continue to support Burroughs equipment, but on someone else's
> >nickel.
> That sounds like Burroughs.  Ray MacDonald, Burroughs Chairman, was quoted
> in an interview in Fortune magazine saying their goal was to keep their
> customers ``surly but not rebellious''.

Too bad he didn't give his employees that much concern.  There's another
story that when Michael Blumenthal became chairman, he asked for a list
of all the salesmen that were making six figures.  He was told that
there were none.

> I think that was because I always had an excellent relationship with the
> support people, and made some good contacts at the annual CUBE meetings.
> It always helps to have low friends in high places.

Burroughs technical employees were almost always happy to let someone
else buy them drinks.

> I have always thought that a major problem with Microsoft software is that
> it is largely written by young, inexperienced people who had little or no
> understanding of networking, security, or multi-user systems.  My brother
> is one of the few people I know who worked for Microsoft who had major
> experience on Real systems(TM) (DEC, Prime, etc.)  before going to MS.

It'll be interesting to see what happens now that they got religion
concerning the utility computing trend.  What they've always had is
marketing capability.  Otherwise, why would anyone run MS Office as
opposed to Open Office?


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