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CODE 4 LIFE
October 22, 2010 11:10 AM   Subscribe

Programmers Who Defined The Technology Industry: Where Are They Now?
posted by Artw (18 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
I used to run into Bob Frankston at Bay Area dot com events all the time, he was just sort of always around. It's good to see most of these past innovators are still going strong on something computer related, if you look at a lot of other industries or sports, most people retire from doing what got them famous pretty early on.

Also: all men. Sigh.
posted by mathowie at 11:15 AM on October 22, 2010


Adobe is no longer known primarily as a printer OEM, and is now primarily known as "oh those god damned sonsabitches with their god damned updater."
posted by Wolfdog at 11:19 AM on October 22, 2010 [11 favorites]


Lotus make cars or something...
posted by Artw at 11:20 AM on October 22, 2010


Also: all men. Sigh.

Hey, you're already married!
posted by cavalier at 11:21 AM on October 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Here are some quotes from the original interviews that I found interesting. It's fascinating just how far we've come in less than 20 years!



"The personal computer of the future should be more like a notebook. I carry my notebook around and why shouldn't it be a computer?" - Dan Bricklin


"CD ROM is the technology we're going to use to get personal computers into the home.... CD ROM is totally different. We hope with CD ROM you'll be able to look at a map of the United States, point somewhere, click, zoom in and say, "Hey, what hotels are around here?" And the program will tell you. And if you're in the encyclopedia and you point to one of Beethoven's symphonies, the computer will play the song. It's a new interface; it's got nothing to do with productivity tools like word processors or spreadsheets." - Bill Gates


"Who knows? Maybe computer science will help decode DNA, and not just by supplying tools. Disassembling DNA could be a hacker's ultimate dream." - Charles Simonyi
posted by 200burritos at 12:18 PM on October 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Heh. CD-ROM was still big when I was at university. We were learning to make super awesome "multimedia" apps while the web crept up behind us to pull the carpet away.
posted by Artw at 12:23 PM on October 22, 2010


Hey, you're already married!
posted by cavalier at 11:21 AM on October 22 [1 favorite -] Favorite added! [!]

Nicely done :)

And yes, all men in this article Is that because the story of women programmers hasn't been told, or we're still writing down the story of programmers and technology in general? Maybe there's a Computer History Museum online that goes into more of the 'where are they now' of who built what parts of the computers, technology and code. The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA is good, but they don't seem to update it enough for it to be a good resource.
posted by rmm at 12:27 PM on October 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Others are obscure to the average programmer today, such as Jaros Lanier,

And they'll stay obscure if you can't spell their names correctly.
posted by Obscure Reference at 12:28 PM on October 22, 2010


Well, I'm right here!

I defined it as "A monstrous pile of endlessly self-sodomising arse", by the way.
posted by Decani at 12:28 PM on October 22, 2010


And they'll stay obscure if you can't spell their names correctly.
posted by Obscure Reference at 12:28 PM on October 22 [+] [!]


I'm amazed this isn't a novelty account.
posted by reductiondesign at 12:41 PM on October 22, 2010


My whole life is a novelty life. Where am I now?
posted by Obscure Reference at 12:47 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


And yes, all men in this article Is that because the story of women programmers hasn't been told, or we're still writing down the story of programmers and technology in general?

It's a different era, but there's a very good previously here.
posted by Artw at 1:27 PM on October 22, 2010


I worked on a number of MS CD-ROM titles. The goal was a title per day, bringing in untold riches. I think we shipped half a dozen in the teams I worked on over a couple of years--one of which sold perhaps a couple of hundred copies after at least a million spent.

But at the time it seemed like the coming thing. This was the late 1980s/early 1990s, and the 640 megs (?) available on a CD-ROM was the biggest pipe there was.
posted by maxwelton at 1:35 PM on October 22, 2010


IIRC the idea for a while was that these apps you'd purchased with a fixed purpose would sit locally but grab additional information from the internet as required...

Actually it's beginning to sound rather modern now.
posted by Artw at 1:40 PM on October 22, 2010


At first I thought this was "...defied the software industry." Let's just say I was really disappointed by the article.
posted by dubitable at 4:30 PM on October 22, 2010


They mostly increment the counters at the end of the loop... mostly.

Wait, wrong "Where are they now?" thread. Sorry.
posted by No-sword at 4:57 PM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Am I bad, for thinking that maybe one of the "where are they now" would involve super nerd snorting jello off the chest of some supermodel?
posted by jadepearl at 9:46 PM on October 22, 2010


Ben Goodger, lead programmer of Firefox, was snapped up by Google (which suits his name a little better).

Alex Payne, formerly of Twitter, has been setting up an online bank.
posted by benacheson at 7:33 AM on October 27, 2010


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