COOL Story from SD Conference '94
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 94 18:01:01 PDT
Subject: COOL Story from SD Conference '94
Forwarded-by: bostic@vangogh.CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: email@example.com (Rick Sayre)
Forwarded-by: Craig Hubley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Story #1 -- The Borland Announcement
Borland announced their latest C++ compiler in front of a crowd of a
few thousand developers; i.e. potential customers. Borland
announcements used to be very amusing, mainly because Gene Wang would
do this outrageous Microsoft bashing. Could Borland announcements still
be amusing with Gene gone? Could they ever.
To understand this story, you need some background. Two years ago at
SD '92 when MS announced C7, half the C7 development team was sitting
in the front row, and every time a new feature was demo'd they yell
"COOL". For the pocket-protector crowd , this was high humour.
Ok, back to '94. Paul Gross, a Borland VP, gets up and starts making
a bunch of lawyer jokes. Huh? Finally it becomes clear. He's making
light of the Borland legal agreement that had everyone in an uproar for
about a week, but everyone had since forgotten about. Ok, fine. Paul
blames the lawyers. Let's get on with the show.
Next, Phillipe Kahn gets up and rambles through a talk on how "upsizing"
is so important and how Borland is committed to helping your corporation
upsize. Nobody undestands what the heck Phillipe is talking about, and
the crowd gets edgy.
Next Paul comes back and apologizes all over again for the legal
agreement fiasco. Enough already.
Next Michael Somebody takes the stage to demo the compiler. He's got
a box of t-shirts. He explains that any time somebody in the audience
sees something they like, they should yell COOL and he'll toss out some
t-shirts. You've got to understand that for this crowd, that's like
sprinkling blood in shark-infested waters. The place errupts. COOL
COOL COOL. T-shirts are flying. Pretty soon though it's clear it's a
bad idea. The crowd doesn't settle down. COOL COOOL COOOOOL. Hands
waving in the air. People jumping over seats. Totally amazing.
Finally the demo starts, but of course things don't go well, and every
time something screws up, you guessed it, COOL COOL COOL and the place
explodes in laughter.
Finally, Paul Gross gets back up to give the marketing pitch. A new
guy? Must have more t-shirts! COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL. Paul actually
gets MAD at the audience. JUST SHUT UP AND LISTEN YOU GUYS I DON'T HAVE
ANY MORE T-SHIRTS OK SO JUST BE QUIET. The crowd of course erupts
again, laughing and yelling and yelling and laughing.
Finally the highlight of the demo. They show a development environment
on a Mac, Windows and OS/2. The environments look the same, the source
code of a program they demo looks the same. And let's do the ultimate
test and compile on each platform and run the program. First on the
Mac. It's a bunch of coloured lines that get drawn in a screen-saver
Next on Windows. Same thing, only this time the program flies. It's
at least twice as fast. So far so good.
Finally on OS/2. The program doesn't run, it crawls. In fact it barely
moves. COOL COOL COOOOOOOOOOL. Once again the crowd loses control.
Everyone is laughing so hard they could hardly hear the IBM guy yell
out "But don't forget OS/2 is multi-tasking..."
© 1994 Peter Langston