• Randyd (unregistered)

    sounds like mythbusters would enjoy that facility. :)

  • Alex Papadimoulis (cs)

    Tomorrow's will be much shorter. Thoday's was a bit longer than I had hoped, but I think it worked well; I actually had to cut out a lot out of the material I had.

    I honestly wish I was able to share the true identity of Virtudyne. Seeing and reading all the press that this company made adds so much more ... perhaps when all the lawsuits and legal battles are over ...

  • VirtudyneEmployeeNumber423290123 (unregistered) in reply to Alex Papadimoulis
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    Tomorrow's will be much shorter. Thoday's was a bit longer than I had hoped, but I think it worked well; I actually had to cut out a lot out of the material I had.

    I honestly wish I was able to share the true identity of Virtudyne. Seeing and reading all the press that this company made adds so much more ... perhaps when all the lawsuits and legal battles are over ...

     Perhaps you can just email each of us and let us know... that way you're not publicly releasing it, just sharing it among a few close friends.
     

  • Ron (unregistered) in reply to Alex Papadimoulis
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    I honestly wish I was able to share the true identity of Virtudyne. Seeing and reading all the press that this company made adds so much more ... perhaps when all the lawsuits and legal battles are over ...

    Maybe just a few little hints?  :)

     

    Ron 

  • Curious (unregistered) in reply to Alex Papadimoulis

    As a hint: Is "Office Killer" real or was this anonymized too?

  • WIldpeaks (cs)

    Ahhh selling products that don't exist, we do that sometimes too :-)

  • Theologian (cs) in reply to VirtudyneEmployeeNumber423290123

    Yeah - 300,000 close friends.  ;)

  • bullseye (cs) in reply to Alex Papadimoulis

    Alex Papadimoulis:
    Tomorrow's will be much shorter. Thoday's was a bit longer than I had hoped, but I think it worked well; I actually had to cut out a lot out of the material I had...

    I guess I missed something... did someone complain about having to "read lots of words 'n stuff"?

  • Daniel Schlößer (unregistered)

    If I remember correctly, the fastest Pentium II you could buy was only 450 MHz and the first Pentium III had the same clock speed.

  • R.Flowers (cs) in reply to Alex Papadimoulis
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    Tomorrow's will be much shorter. Thoday's was a bit longer than I had hoped, but I think it worked well; I actually had to cut out a lot out of the material I had.

    I honestly wish I was able to share the true identity of Virtudyne. Seeing and reading all the press that this company made adds so much more ... perhaps when all the lawsuits and legal battles are over ...

     

    Of all the anonymous sources you've had, this one should be the easiest to figure out. Depending on the degree to which you have hidden the company's identity, there should be few likely suspects. Is 'The City' a real city, for example, or something like a casino? etc. 

  • andyl (unregistered) in reply to Alex Papadimoulis
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    Tomorrow's will be much shorter. Thoday's was a bit longer than I had hoped, but I think it worked well; I actually had to cut out a lot out of the material I had.

    I honestly wish I was able to share the true identity of Virtudyne. Seeing and reading all the press that this company made adds so much more ... perhaps when all the lawsuits and legal battles are over ...

    I actually like the longer articles, especially in cases like this one. 

    it's too bad legal battles are so slow, I'd really like to know the name of this company 

  • Charles Perreault (unregistered) in reply to Daniel Schlößer

    Anonymous:
    If I remember correctly, the fastest Pentium II you could buy was only 450 MHz and the first Pentium III had the same clock speed.


    You're absolutely right, although this is maybe more a typo since Pentium III did run at 600mhz.  I don't think the story teller cared about those small details.  And charity organization must be rich down there refusing a PIII 600 mhz, we got a whole lab of those running linux desktops /compilation stations/boinc cluster at my university, and we appreciate them very much.  Where I live we still have pII 233 lying around in libairies.

  • PumaCub (unregistered)

    I would absolutely love to work for this company... stupid people with money are easily manipulated.

    First I would claim I discovered some new way of storing data that would allow us to make a database (pick a number) times faster than Access. Then I'd tell some story about how a white van has been following me, "they're on to me" I'd say. I'll claim I'm in fear for my life, but hint that I could be convinced to stay for, I dunno, a half a mil bonus and a 2x pay raise. Lead them along the same way they do their clients client.

     

  • Not so sure about this (unregistered) in reply to Alex Papadimoulis

    I think the comments on this series have been some of the funniest since I've started reading this forum. Beats the heck out of CF/VB/whatever flame wars.

  • Volmarias (cs) in reply to Charles Perreault
    Anonymous:
    You're absolutely right, although this is maybe more a typo since Pentium III did run at 600mhz.  I don't think the story teller cared about those small details.  And charity organization must be rich down there refusing a PIII 600 mhz, we got a whole lab of those running linux desktops /compilation stations/boinc cluster at my university, and we appreciate them very much.  Where I live we still have pII 233 lying around in libairies.


    Those pII 233s probably have word processors and browsers on it.

    The story:
    One of Junior's first acts as operations chief was to partner up with a major hardware vendor peddling another completely unsalable product. It was a massively-parallel server that featured a proprietary operating system with an integrated database.


    A proprietary operating system with an integrated database sounds exactly like what a charity does NOT need in a computer donation. 2 hrs/wk from a competant DBA and someone's crusty old computer would probably be far more useful.
  • SomeCoder (unregistered)

    This is the first WTF I've seen that is actually making me sick to my stomach.  As someone who lived through the .com bubble burst, the fact that this company somehow managed to stay alive just disgusts me.

    Alex, one problem with today's part... last we heard, the product was only a mock up of VB forms.  You neglected to mention it's current state.  Apparently it does stuff since they actually sold it to someone (or maybe it doesn't).  Let us know how the MS Office killa' is doing :)

    I have to admit, at first I was a little peeved that we were getting a 4 part WTF since it sounded a bit like a cop out.  But I'm really enjoying hearing about this story (or not as the case may be :) )

     Captcha: Craptastic.  Like the company

  • CodeClarity (unregistered)
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    after a few months of his cleaning service, ants and cockroaches were everywhere, the VB team had a gnat infestation, and the restrooms became so dirty that most managers allowed their employees to go home if they needed to use the facilities.

    The VB team? What does the VB team do as opposed to everybody else since the entire product is written in Visual Basic?

    I hope we can find out which company this is, but if you can't reveal it until the legal battles are over then we will probably never get to be told since we all most likely will be dead by then.

  • anonymous (unregistered) in reply to Alex Papadimoulis
    Comment held for moderation.
  • ParkinT (cs)

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, even though I'm not yet sure about the universe.

    -Albert Einstein

  • werd (unregistered)

    Alex Papadimoulis:
    Unfortunately, the sale also brought something else to the Virtudyne: paranoia.

     Yes, and now I'm paranoid I might someday cross paths with this company. Please Alex, please provide at least a few hints so we can all steer clear of this company. I'm worried that my distance from such wtf-ery might not be the requisite eleventy-billion miles. ::shifty-eyes::
     

  • CodeReaper (cs)

    The woodland basked in the heat of the day, tempered by a light but constant breeze from the distant mountains. The birds chirped merrily as the sparse clouds drifted lazily by. The peace and beauty of the moment was disturbed only by a gaping line that seperated the forest into two distinct personalities, each of which was thouroughly suspicious of the other by its very existence.

    Neither side had bothered to glance into the wound that lay before them, to see the true enemy; a set of train-tracks.

    The metal was old, but well-travelled. The wood, pitted but firm. At regular intervals, a small metal stamp had been placed into the girders to indicate their unbendable allegience; "MS(C)". Grafitti had been carved inexpertly on the railway ties; "Word", "Excel", "Access"... presumably the name of local gangs or drifters, though it was hard to believe that any such would choose to interrupt their respective journies, however briefly, in the uninhabited woods. Moreover, who would ever expect anyone else to see these cryptic inscriptions? What could be the Author's purpose?

    Perhaps a statement of property. Perhaps a lighthearted statement of pride; "I built this". Perhaps a warning.

    The track was obviously well travelled. Many a passenger had clang-clanged over its ancient lineage, safe in the knowledge that they were protected by the experience of the engineers. They know what they're doing, they thought. They've been doing this for years. The track is easy, with little slope, and they know every nuance of it, since they had a hand in its design and construction.

    Many had questioned the validity of these thoughts. Many had railed hard against the track they must be carried over, simply because it was the most reliable one that existed; its record of accidents was surprisingly low for such a small and winding track. But grumble though they may, they rode this train; if for no other reason than because everyone else did as well.

    A train whistle blared in the distance.

    The trees shook gently. Though they could not really percieve the why -- the pitch being too high, the blasts being short and broken as if its owner was unsure, the intensity being so weak -- they knew that it wasn't familiar.

    The wind rose, and the trees trembled. They sensed the danger.

    -------------------------------------

    "Faster, man! We've got to get to Market!"

    The engineer glanced behind him at the slick man in the shiny black suit. The top-hat sitting awkwardly on his head reminded him, not pleasantly, like the funny little fellow on the Monopoly boxes. The way he threw money around reminded him of the boxes too.

    Bleary-eyed and exasperated at the ump-teen regulations he had already flaunted in their mad dash toward Market City, he spoke as a man broken of resolve.

    "None of us know these tracks. We could be in serious danger if we go too fast. What's more, our fuel supply is not going to last forever if we burn it too fast. Are you sure you wa..."

    "YES, dammit! Don't you worry about the fuel... we're picking up a passenger very shortly who will keep us in fuel for months! He and his family own a coal-mine nearby! They won't sell to the conglomerate because they're too big... but they know that we're worth investing in because we're so nimble! Now, pour on the steam, sir... we've got passengers galore at Market!"

    "As you like it."

    The engineer had long since given up enjoying the sound of trains. He had long since given up the love of anything. He had been trapped by his avarice; the large pile of coins laid in front of him had been too much to turn down. And once upon a time, he had believed... TRULY believed... that this one simple train really could bring down the conglomerate, because they were so much quicker and lighter. That was the ticket -- get there first. Who really cared if you got there safely or cheaply or -- Heaven Forbid -- in one piece, so long as you got there first. That was what people really remembered.

    Leaning out the window with a sigh, and coughing slightly as the black smoke of the fuel filled his lungs till his eyes watered, the engineer took up his second duty; he squeegeed the soot off the company logo. One trip was all they had taken thus far, and he already knew the weathered "Virtudyne Express" sign would never come clean. The fuel was too rich; Mr. Moneybags had believed this would make the train faster, but it only made it dirtier.

    If he had been able to see clearly, he would have seen the warning posts that the Conglomerate had put out for anyone foolish enough to run their tracks, and for their own engineers.The big orange sticks might have been a mystery to him, but the skull-and-crossbones that crowned them would have made any man think twice about increasing the throttle.

    Ahead, Dead-Man's Curve loomed.

  • Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to Ron

    Searches revealed the true name to me.
    I remembered that the city is my home town.
    Millions were wasted on the project.
    Don't know if our corrupt mayor was in on the scam.
    Everyone was excited by it at the time.
    Should have realized that the numbers didn't add up.
    Keep looking, you'll find the answer.

    Captcha = wtf

  • Bob (unregistered) in reply to anonymous
    Anonymous:

    Simdesk?



    Yah, SimDesk/SimHouston  sounds right.
  • Jack Florey (unregistered)

    Why doesn't someone who knows the true identity of Virtudyne just anonymously post it here? If you are really paranoid, use Tor to do it and all liability is out of your hands.  I can't believe a calamity of this sort happened in reality; a real company name would be great for further research.

  • Ryan (unregistered) in reply to Daniel Schlößer

    Naa, I know ithe top clock speed of the PII is at least 550 mhz, because that was the the clock in a really old Dell floating around in my basement.

  • Trurl (unregistered)

    I call bullshit on this. It is just too incredible to believe.

  • Not so sure about this (unregistered) in reply to CodeReaper

    CodeReaper: nice!

    Unrelated: It makes you wonder if any of these rich folks ever thought that instead of paying people to learn how to make bigger WTF's than anyone has ever made before, that they should just burn their money directly in a fire pit: it would probably be more useful in the long run

  • HitScan (cs) in reply to anonymous
    Anonymous:
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    Tomorrow's will be much shorter. Thoday's was a bit longer than I had hoped, but I think it worked well; I actually had to cut out a lot out of the material I had.

    I honestly wish I was able to share the true identity of Virtudyne. Seeing and reading all the press that this company made adds so much more ... perhaps when all the lawsuits and legal battles are over ...

     

     

    Simdesk?

    This is exactly what I thought as of yesterday. That was some real crapware.

  • Jack Florey (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • tanisha (unregistered) in reply to Bob
    Anonymous:
    Anonymous:

    Simdesk?



    Yah, SimDesk/SimHouston  sounds right.

    yep

  • kuroshin (cs) in reply to Alex Papadimoulis
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    Tomorrow's will be much shorter. Thoday's was a bit longer than I had hoped, but I think it worked well; I actually had to cut out a lot out of the material I had.

    I honestly wish I was able to share the true identity of Virtudyne. Seeing and reading all the press that this company made adds so much more ... perhaps when all the lawsuits and legal battles are over ...

     

    You've sanitized every bit of this story. I just cant get a lead anywhere. I dont see any (even vague) relationships between Office killers, lawsuits or even collaboration software.

    Come on, let us see the skeletons in the closet. It wont hurt.

  • Ghost Ware Wizard (cs)

    the "gnat infestation" was a nice reference to a vb programmer not bathing for a while and going to work...

  • anonymous (unregistered)

    One thing that is missing here is any description of 'a day in the life', and it would be excellent indeed to see just how a typical day was passed. I mean, I can't imagine that a schedule like:

     9:30 AM: Arrive in office, drink coffee, browse web and check email.

    10:30 AM: Magic the Gathering.

    12:30 PM: Break, get lunch.

    1:15: PM: Browse web, check email.

    2:30 PM: Magic the Gathering.

    5:15 PM: Leave office.

     
    Could that have survived for multiple years? So what did all those employees do?

  • anony-mouse (unregistered) in reply to Alex Papadimoulis
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    I honestly wish I was able to share the true identity of Virtudyne. Seeing and reading all the press that this company made adds so much more ... perhaps when all the lawsuits and legal battles are over ...

     

    SCO.

  • HitScan (cs)

    Now I'm not so sure it's simdesk. It sounds a lot like "Virtudyne" is headed for the dumpster, while simdesk is still kicking around. (What it's doing I couldn't guess, but it's still doing it.)

    Also, Google wasn't very helpful about finding anything about  lawsuits and simdesk or Internet Access Technologies. (Granted, I may not have been using the right words, but still.)

  • Alexis de Torquemada (cs) in reply to Jack Florey
    Anonymous:

    Scratch my previous comment, it's definitely Simdesk

    Check out their news archive circa 2001 - there is an article discussing Houston's plan to offer free software/internet to all of its residents via a partnership with Simdesk.

    "Created from scratch to deliver Web services. Uses special coding that is more efficient than HTTP, the transport protocol invented to deliver Web pages. To juice up HTTP, for instance, to deliver an online calendar to 50,000 users, requires rooms full of servers running multiple software applications. SimDesk could handle millions of users on a single server."

    (From here.) That would be too much of a coincidence...

    Great job identifying the culprit! :-)
     

  • Rick (unregistered) in reply to Jack Florey

    The same archive points to an interview with the founder Ray Davis on Fox News.  Here's a quote from Mr Davis:

     "The server software is something that we could connect 20 million users to." 

  • Dude (unregistered) in reply to Jack Florey
    Comment held for moderation.
  • anonymous (unregistered) in reply to Trurl

    Go read the press releases for a certain company mentioned previously in the comments. I think you'll find a match to the little details.

  • BAReFOOt (unregistered)

    How hard can it be to find a ntate-wide scandal with libraries and office-software involved?

     The first who finds it on google gets a cookie...

     3... 2... 1... GO!

  • R.Flowers (cs) in reply to Rick
    Anonymous:

    The same archive points to an interview with the founder Ray Davis on Fox News.

    Wait a minute... the lead singer of The Kinks is an Internet entrepreneur, too?! 

  • Alexis de Torquemada (cs) in reply to anonymous

    And here are the accusations of impropriety, I guess...

    “The SimDesk software just isn’t robust enough,” he said, and Houston employees never tested it. 

    Hilarious!
  • Pap (cs) in reply to Jack Florey
    Published on: 6/29/2004 Last Visited: 10/5/2004

    Among other fears, SimDesk founder Ray C. Davis believes Microsoft may have tapped his cell phone and worries that it has planted a spy in his staff. "I think they'll go to any limits to squelch us," says Davis.


    heh
  • Mike D (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous
    Anonymous:

    Searches revealed the true name to me.
    I remembered that the city is my home town.
    Millions were wasted on the project.
    Don't know if our corrupt mayor was in on the scam.
    Everyone was excited by it at the time.
    Should have realized that the numbers didn't add up.
    Keep looking, you'll find the answer.

    Captcha = wtf

    Just posting to let you know at least one person got this post.
  • Rob Sirloin (unregistered)

    Where are all of these stupid billionaires coming from? Aren't there, like only maybe a thousand billionaires in the world?  (No, I seriously want to know where these guys hang out, I've got a list this long of ideas I want to pitch them)

    I'm loving this story. I smell a made-for-tv movie in the making.
     

     

    My captcha is null. No, it's not empty, it is "null". However, I'm having trouble finding the ø key on my keyboard...

  • Unklegwar (unregistered) in reply to Daniel Schlößer

    Anonymous:
    If I remember correctly, the fastest Pentium II you could buy was only 450 MHz and the first Pentium III had the same clock speed.

     

    It was obviously overclocked.

     

  • Unklegwar (unregistered) in reply to VirtudyneEmployeeNumber423290123
    Anonymous:
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    Tomorrow's will be much shorter. Thoday's was a bit longer than I had hoped, but I think it worked well; I actually had to cut out a lot out of the material I had.

    I honestly wish I was able to share the true identity of Virtudyne. Seeing and reading all the press that this company made adds so much more ... perhaps when all the lawsuits and legal battles are over ...

     Perhaps you can just email each of us and let us know... that way you're not publicly releasing it, just sharing it among a few close friends.
     

     

    You can go to your local library and pick up an installation disk which will install a registry key with the name of the company. 

  • Anonymous (unregistered) in reply to Mike D
    Anonymous:
    Anonymous:

    Searches revealed the true name to me.
    I remembered that the city is my home town.
    Millions were wasted on the project.
    Don't know if our corrupt mayor was in on the scam.
    Everyone was excited by it at the time.
    Should have realized that the numbers didn't add up.
    Keep looking, you'll find the answer.

    Captcha = wtf

    Just posting to let you know at least one person got this post.

    Thanks, I spent too much time trying to be clever and by the time I was done, the cat was out of the bag.

  • Unklegwar (unregistered) in reply to Alex Papadimoulis
    Alex Papadimoulis:

      I actually had to cut out a lot out of the material I had.

     

    Perhaps there is a place where the unabridged version could be posted?  

  • kuroshin (cs) in reply to Dude
    Anonymous:

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/technology/2003-01-21-cover-side_x.htm

     

    "to deliver an online calendar to 50,000 users, requires rooms full of servers running multiple software applications. SimDesk could handle millions of users on a single server. "

     Sounds like a clear winner to me....

    Seems like the real story is out

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