• NULLPTR (unregistered)

    ((file*)NULLPTR)->GetPermissions();

  • bvs23bkv33 (unregistered)

    real WTF is he could afford LEDs in 1976

  • Little Bobby Tables (unregistered)

    TRWTF is that Hal didn't keep a copy of his source code, amirite?

  • LXE (unregistered)

    What an urban legend!

  • MIKE (unregistered)

    Doug Klunder (lead developer), Jabe Blumenthal (program manager), Charles Simonyi and Bill Gates itself were the people that have drive the development of Excel. Klunder was the author of the Excel predecessor, Multiplan.

    I sense a too heavy anonymization effort that made the story not verifiable.

    I suppose that maybe the actual Microsoft, or Apple product is another.

  • (nodebb)

    I'm impressed that Hal could make the toggle switches on his Altair 8800 dance unless he was doing it with his hands.

  • (nodebb) in reply to MIKE

    Doug Klunder (lead developer), Jabe Blumenthal (program manager), Charles Simonyi and Bill Gates itself were the people that have drive the development of Excel. Klunder was the author of the Excel predecessor, Multiplan.

    I sense a too heavy anonymization effort that made the story not verifiable.

    I suppose that maybe the actual Microsoft, or Apple product is another.

    It's unlikely to have been Excel if the time scales are correct. Hal graduated in 1984 according to the article. Then he must have spent some time writing his Lotus-1-2-3 killer. The first version of Excel was released for the Mac in 1985 and all the history I could Google in 10 minutes leads back to the people you mention building Excel from scratch.

  • Naomi (unregistered) in reply to MIKE

    Ah, I don't think that's the point of the story. How I read it, Victor let himself be convinced their code was used in Excel, because he has a compulsive need to feel like he's the best at everything. (I wonder how he feels about spray-tan...)

  • (nodebb)

    Yeah, this is really about Victor's need to feel important or part of something important. He has a psychological need to believe that all the work he did and (mostly) paid for was not completely wasted. If he could spin that Hal's project did not just die on the cutting room floor when the new company took ownership, then it of course had to be part of something big (as in bloatware). What actually happened was that the new owners did a code review of all the source code they inherited to see if they could use any of it in their own projects. "Oh, this is some sort of spreadsheet program for Unix systems. Do we need anything like that? No? Okay, let's keep it for a year, then scrap it if nothing comes up. Yeah, Jerry, I guess you can review its functions to see if you want to include any of them in your calculator program."

  • emulanob (unregistered)

    I was there! I was the waiter who brought the check to their table.

  • Hal (unregistered) in reply to Naomi

    I think you are correct. Hal's reaction indicates he knows Victor is full of it..

  • Neveralull (unregistered)

    Every programmer thinks they deserve to be a billionaire two years out of college, if only they went to the right start up company. Every CEO of a new startup company thinks they’re Bill Gates. Every investor pours money into startup companies, thinking it’s easy money for them, remembering how they’d be worth a trillion dollars today if only they’d bought Apple stock at $0.99 a share. The rest of us buy lotto tickets, and have a better chance, but not so many stories to tell in bars.

  • (nodebb) in reply to Naomi

    So Victor == Lyle?

    Addendum 2019-11-18 11:24: https://thedailywtf.com/articles/Anything-You-Can-Do-Lyle-Can-Do-Better

    https://thedailywtf.com/articles/Lyle-Can-Do-Anything-Better-Than-You

  • James (unregistered) in reply to Naomi

    The last sentence definitely supports this assessment, but I didn't think about it until I read your comment.

  • (nodebb)

    In the days before proper version control tools came barging in, surely the developers kept (either or not encouraged by the boss) some form of source copies on a couple of floppies at a safe distance from work (@home, that is)? I still have some very old, meanwhile unreuseable code that is even from the nineties hidden somewhere very deep in my archives.

  • Another Anon (unregistered)

    Probably a 'bit' of embellishment. But, given the timeframes, if Microsoft was involved and the app was developed for Unix, I wonder what the chances were that Microsoft tried to put it for their XENIX operating system? Back when MS was actually developing a Unix variant, prior to selling it off to SCO

  • Your Name (unregistered)

    We've all been in the situation where you find yourself working with software that you had some involvement with the writing of. I've even had to go on a training course for one application.

  • Raj (unregistered) in reply to Jeremy Pereira

    With enough enthusiasm and a clever use of carpentry nails in the fuse box, it's possible to make any kind of switch dance.

  • (nodebb) in reply to Little Bobby Tables

    It was never his code to begin with. The IP belongs to the employer. The code is a result of just doing what he was paid for, on company time, on company resources...

    Addendum 2019-11-19 06:22: Edit: therefore, I don't own the IP of this comment :-)

  • Graham Asher (unregistered)

    We all wrote spreadsheets in those days. At least, there were three of us doing it in my office in north London in 1981. I wrote one for the Sinclair ZX81 in my spare time, licensed it to a company called MindWare in the States, and actually made some money. Dave in the next room was writing a spreadsheet to run on CP/M for in-house use, and Mike from America, who was helping us get used to the Multics operating system, was writing one in PL/1, and impressing us with his talk of converting expressions into RPN for faster execution.

  • Acouster (unregistered)

    He may have been egotistical but history will remember that there was only one Victor in this story...

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