Andrew S. Grove, Intel Chief Who Spurred Semiconductor Revolution, Dies
March 22, 2016 4:10 PM   Subscribe

Andy Grove, former CEO and chairman of Intel, died yesterday at age 79.
Also at Ars Technica
posted by thewumpusisdead (37 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
posted by eriko at 4:19 PM on March 22, 2016



posted by Devonian at 4:33 PM on March 22, 2016 [10 favorites]

posted by valkane at 4:35 PM on March 22, 2016

posted by oceanjesse at 4:49 PM on March 22, 2016

A mensch.
posted by GrammarMoses at 4:51 PM on March 22, 2016

posted by benito.strauss at 5:07 PM on March 22, 2016

posted by parki at 5:17 PM on March 22, 2016

posted by adamsc at 5:27 PM on March 22, 2016

Via Cringely, a pretty touching remembrance.
posted by Ickster at 5:36 PM on March 22, 2016


I had never heard any details on his life - wow - what a story.....

And I hope he had a sense of humor, cos I've seen a few "I'm processing the news of his death" and "his coffin has an Intel inside sticker" type gags
posted by inflatablekiwi at 5:43 PM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

We've lost a lot of giants in the last few years.

For a while now I've thought that the tech industry should start retiring usernames as an honorific, the way sports retire jersey numbers; you don't get to log in as dmr for the same reason you don't get to skate wearing 99. "agrove" is certainly on that list.
posted by mhoye at 5:47 PM on March 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

When I worked at Intel in the late 70's, my cubicle was about nine feet from his. He was a complicated guy. He thought that engineers had no discipline so he implemented the Late List. If the number of people who arrived between 8 am and 9 am exceeded something like 3% of the total building population, the late list turned on for three days. You arrive between 8 and 9 you sign the list. In the software engineering department, the usual behavior was to sign as Donald Duck or other sundry individual or just go to a nearby restaurant and have coffee until nine. This went on for a long long time, until the number of Disney characters who were Intel employees caught the attention of Mr Grove. Now the security person would have to verify name with badge. 100% now went for coffee. This setup was for all buildings. You get to your office at 7:45. You go to another building for a meeting at 8:30, you get counted or you sign the late list. Needless to say, this didn't garner much respect for the management. By this time, Intel was a pretty big and successful company with microprocessors the central core of the business. I worked on the 8086. The earlier days when the core management team broke away from Fairchild (where the idea of bad engineer disciple supposedly arose) and the birth of the microprocessor happened were long past. And yes, engineers always complained about management... But the fact that Intel existed, I got a job there as a software technician with no real experience and ended up a software engineer who moved on to a pretty good career. I have to thank my cubicle neighbor Mr Grove for making all that possible. Thanks! (and if you can read this wherever you might be now, I was always on time. It's true.)

posted by njohnson23 at 5:47 PM on March 22, 2016 [35 favorites]

I prefer to think he executed
int 22h
posted by humanfont at 5:48 PM on March 22, 2016

posted by mwhybark at 5:56 PM on March 22, 2016

Overclock as you will, the non-maskable interrupt will eventually trigger.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 6:29 PM on March 22, 2016 [3 favorites]

posted by Pinback at 6:33 PM on March 22, 2016

Spent nearly 21 years with Intel. Only spoke to him once when he was in Hillsboro, OR for a sitewide meeting, but I was impressed by him.

posted by jgaiser at 6:34 PM on March 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

His legacy is far beyond Intel, which would be enough legacy for a thousand people. High-Output Management and Inly The Paranoid Survive are seminal books on managing a technology firm. Intel may seem like a behemoth but it didn't happen by pure chance - Intel builds processors and TI, Motorola, MOS, etc don't because of the leadership of Grove and his team.

posted by GuyZero at 6:38 PM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I heard he died at the age of 79.00000001.
posted by mmb5 at 6:45 PM on March 22, 2016 [3 favorites]

He complimented my father's work once, the legend in the family goes!

posted by queensissy at 6:56 PM on March 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

posted by ardgedee at 6:58 PM on March 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

Grove and Gates squashed the kind of computer you were allowed to have to "one" for a decade plus, and they got away with it. Jobs, who it's very trendy to remember was a "jerk", stymied them at every turn once he got back into the game, which is why you can now sneer at the "Apple Tax" from your ARM-powered Smartphone. (The people makin' the OS? You will note their corporate motto is now no longer "Don't Be Evil.")

I am not a fan of Grove. Microprocessors are now much more boring because he was a better businessman than a chip designer.

Gonna give him a dot anyways.

posted by Slap*Happy at 8:54 PM on March 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

posted by Cash4Lead at 8:55 PM on March 22, 2016

I, too, remember the late list. It will especially annoying to me, because I was commuting from the Santa Cruz mountains and it was very easy to run into traffic that would make you late.

However, my big frustration with Intel was not with Mr. Grove himself, but with the fact that Intel didn't understand software nearly as well as they understood hardware. In support of their chips, they had high quality assemblers and compilers, but they kept them essentially under lock and key by tying them to their development systems. When the IBM PC came out, many of us lobbied hard to port the software. But they wouldn't do it.

Intel could easily have been the development power that Microsoft was, and that Borland was for several years anyway, but Intel was too afraid of losing money on hardware to bring their tools out on any other platform.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:23 PM on March 22, 2016 [5 favorites]

posted by AugustWest at 9:25 PM on March 22, 2016

posted by smidgen at 11:15 PM on March 22, 2016

posted by montag2k at 12:14 AM on March 23, 2016

"only the paranoid survive"


truly a legend.

and yes, I recall my dad having some work with them and TI in the 70s
posted by infini at 1:58 AM on March 23, 2016

One of my older colleagues, someone who'd started out as a journalist in the electronics trade press in the 1960s, had covered the whole rise of Silicon Valley pretty much from the beginning - at least as far as the UK was concerned. He's now long past retirement age but has never bothered to stop working. In particular, he runs a blog for the title that's been his home since forever. It's a niche blog in the niche world of the Uk electronics components industry; full of goocness that probably makes no sense unless you've had a career making or selling that stuff.

A couple of years ago, he emailed in some excitement, sending me a link to a post on that blog. I looked, but couldn't see what the issue was - it seemed a very typical post of his, linking some item of contemporary news with an illustration from something similar that had happened in the 70s (you kids, you think everything that's happening today is happening for the first time...)

Then I read the handful of comments. One was signed -ag.

Yep, Andy Grove was still reading my friend's blog and chipping in with waspish, yet constructive comments, on the minutiae of industry politics. It ended with a 'good to see you still at it' message.

My friend regards most people in the industry with a jaundiced eye, because he's seen it all. He admires a few people he's known over the years, but he's always had a fierce respect for Andy Grove, primarily because he gave respect back if you deserved it - he loved the hard questions, and he loved it when you fought back. And now, decades after Grove had retired as a demi-god and my friend was still tending his tiny patch, that respect was still there and still mutual regardless of status and time.

That's rare, in a thousand ways.
posted by Devonian at 4:39 AM on March 23, 2016 [9 favorites]

posted by dbiedny at 5:20 AM on March 23, 2016

posted by Splunge at 5:28 AM on March 23, 2016



posted by iffthen at 7:42 AM on March 23, 2016

posted by The Bellman at 7:59 AM on March 23, 2016

It's nice to see a few other Intel folks here.

. <= it's a wafer
posted by Spumante at 2:24 PM on March 23, 2016

Andy Grove's Warning to Silicon Valley - "A 2010 essay urges 'job-centric' economics and politics, involving an all-out commitment to American manufacturing."
posted by kliuless at 5:38 PM on March 31, 2016

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