Friday, November 11, 2005

Bovine Memories

Posting about my Microsoft contract brought back some interesting memories.

When I started the Microsoft contract to write some GUI-based management tools for their new SQL Server, Microsoft and IBM were still putting the finishing touches on OS/2 Presentation Manager. So, I started writing the software using an internal Microsoft character windowing system called COW .. short for Character-Oriented Windows. This was the only user interface system that MS had for OS/2. (Remember, SQL Server started life as an OS/2 product.) COW was used most notably in OS/2's LAN Manager. I forgot what the API was like, but I still have all my COW libraries and docs on 5 1/4" floppies in a filing cabinet... I just can't bear to part with those disks!

I used to get these 100 lb boxes shipped to me every week from Microsoft. Tons of manuals for SQL Server, OS/2 PM, LAN Manager, OS/2, etc. Thankfully, these went into the trash can a few years ago.

My manager on that consulting contract, Bob Muglia, is now a bigwig at Microsoft. He just got another bump in rank in the most recent corporate restructing at MS.

My experience with giving MS a fixed-price contract taught me that time-and-materials is the only way to go! It didn't help that Microsoft was in a big pissing match at the time with Sybase.

©2005 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved


Anonymous said...

I really think U are in the wrong game Marc. Your last few postings have been complete and utter rubbish. Have you not noticed the investment banks moving x % of work offshore for the fixed price benefits?

marc said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
marc said...

I am commenting on my own personal situation, and this bears no relevance to what the investment banks are doing. After the MS contract, I have never taken a fixed-price contract, and luckily, I have had very few idle days as a consultant.

In the wrong game! I knew I should have persued that career as a freelance marimba player! Damn, 20 years of writing software and happy customers down the drain!

Anonymous said...

I have had a career that roughly parallels yours. While I find a lot of your comments to be spot on, and others less so, I am enjoying your war stories.

Ignore the blog trolls, and keep the stories coming.