Friday, 8 July 2011

Bill meets networking

I'm not a big fan of alumni magazines - I generally find them smug and inward-looking. The Cambridge one is worse in these respects than many, but does sometimes have some good features. In the most recent issue there's a nice interview between the key people behind Acorn Computers (Hermann Hauser, Andy Hopper and Andy Harter), including this gem by Hauser:
“Acorn Computers at that time [c.1981] was the only company whose products all had a network connection. When Bill Gates came to see us he was desperate for us to adopt MS-DOS. We sat him down in front of the computer and explained we couldn’t take such a retrograde step because our operating system was a lot more sophisticated. Bill’s response was ‘What’s a network?’”
Much might have been different if Bill G had never found out the answer!