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Mar 12, 2021Liked by Steven Sinofsky

There was actually a Win 3.1 PDC in August 1991! That was the first one, in Seattle at the 5th Avenue Theater.

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Yes you are right of course. I was even there! I should have said Win32. I was thinking of going into the ISV events we had before such as the CEO event where all the software CEOs came to campus in the old Kodiak room.

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Mar 21, 2021Liked by Steven Sinofsky

Vintage DaveC. The smartest person I ever met and interacted with is BillG and the smartest and most brilliant software engineer is DaveC. He did not take it kindly when you messed with his code (mostly kernel) but if you could show it to him that what you were proposing/doing was technically better he'd always support you. He always wanted the best possible code, compact and efficient. He personified Hardcore Software. So much respect for him.

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Mar 16, 2021Liked by Steven Sinofsky

Excellent chapter, you forgot to mention WindowsMaker (later WinMaker) which allowed you from 1990 or 1991 to Visually design your Windows app and then generated the underlying C code and later on MFC/C++ code. Saved Windows developers a lot of time.

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Thank you! That was your product not mine :)

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When my wife dropped me off at Moscone, she asked me why there were so many people there. I said "this is the platform - we've all decided and the entire industry is moving in one direction, finally". She said, "fine, but it looks like a Woodstock for nerds". All conferences would look like this one, soon.

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Feb 1, 2022·edited Feb 1, 2022Liked by Steven Sinofsky

I was at that 1992 Moscone PDC which struct me as the Windows NT and Win32 public announcement. I met Dave Cutler there and was struck by two things. First was his affection for the Univac 1105 and its operating system (from his time at Dupont), second was his attitude about the invariants that were critical in an architecture and things that could be left to others (the system/services folks?) above those boundaries.

I was also bemused by the presence of some Borland folk and a musical jam session that was held with them and Softies, though I did not attend it.

I recall there was consideration of conflicting data architectures (i.e., big-endian vs. little-endian) and embracing the Alpha. That of course would be defeated over problems of reconciling persistent binary storage. I have no idea whether that has erupted again since.

Dave did not seem that scary at the PDC, although we'd later hear what it was like to be the culprit who broke the build when DaveC was taking charge of NT integration.

My time at the PDC was while I was looking for a place to live in relocating to Palo Alto and XSoft in the literal shadow of Xerox PARC.

For me personally, the most momentous inspiration was, despite the flu outbreak in October, a bay-area event where COM was revealed to developers under NDA. I understood that immediately.

We were also using Borland tools in the first project I was involved in at XSoft. Oddly, some of the ways that Borland had libraries for creating graphical applications have inspired and been reflected in some current open source projects on GitHub. It struck me that Microsoft C/C++, even with MFC, managed to skip past that level and it was disappointing, but probably from a hobbyist perspective (now with an eye on Microsoft Terminal). A hint of more Highlander there, though.

PS: Checking up with pals back in Rochester NY, where there was development of applications on Windows PCs, we got word that Windows betas became unavailable to those teams, allegedly because of Xerox Rooms, developed in Palo Alto, being a transient annoyance to Microsoft.

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