Re: How the West Kicked Butt

I'm not a real doofus, but I play one at a national laboratory. (
Fri, 29 Aug 1997 17:29:55 -0500

I particularly liked the Resilience vs. Anticipation piece. It reminded me of
the Worse Is Better(TM) piece, which one can easily find via the FoRKSeaRCH
engine(SM). ;-)

> "The hardest thing is to just get the customers' attention in the first
> place. Once you get their attention, as long as you haven't pissed them off,
> you can then do release after release and, like Microsoft, by the time you
> get to release 3, you actually have a product."

Or like (any company/product) you want to mention, except DEC, for example. In
DEC's case, they anticipate and "do the right thing" and fail to capture the
market. They did GOSIP and Ada and XPG branding because they anticipated that
those sorts of rock-solid standards would be important. But they were late in
the SCSI markets because the standards were flimsy. SCSI was hugely important,
and lack of SCSI support damaged their CPU sales. The religion of Standards
will rate a footnote in the histories.

Or take compilers. DEC developed a regression testing tool (DEC Test Manager)
and, over the years, a killer library of tests for their compilers. Once you
report a bug with one of their compilers, you don't see that problem again. We
see the same problems repeatedly with each release of SGI's compilers, but that
doesn't seem to make any difference to the people with the budgets.

Oh well. DEC can always hope that the Big One will wipe out Santa Clara.


"Sir... Sir, we may be underwater, but we still have standards." Crow, MST3K