Riffing on Raymond, once again
Raymond’s post today reminded me of an email message sent out (company wide) by one of the very senior developers on the Windows 1.0 team about 6 months before they shipped.
In his email, the developer announced that he wasn’t going to be looking into any more crashes in Windows because they were all caused by bad hardware.
It turns out that he actually almost had a point. This particular email went out after he’d spent several weeks debugging a series of problems on a number of people’s machines (dozens). In every case, the problem was caused by bad 3rd party RAM.
You see, back in those days, machines typically came with 512K of RAM, to get the extra 128K of RAM to get to 640K (or more), people bought 3rd party memory extenders. And often, those 3rd party memory extenders used sub-standard memory chips (either chips without parity, or chips that were just flat-out bad). And this developer happened to run across a large number of busted cards.
So sometimes, it IS the hardware.