Steve Jobs

There’s a lot being written about Steve’s passing, but I’m afraid there’s so much of it that truly misses what Steve really did for our industry. For example, Matt Yglesias asks, “Why so view?” I posted a brief comment there, but I think the point deserves a good bit of elaboration. Steve’s contribution to the…


The History of Mac Office, Part I

We’ve all seen the scene. A group of people are having a discussion about something, and one older, and allegedly wiser, person has been sitting back just letting the discussion ramble on, until they meet some sort of impasse, at which point everyone turns to this older, and allegedly wiser, person for the answer to…


A Ghost from Mac World Past

As many people at Mac World pointed out to me, I’ve been rather silent lately. There’s a reason for that. Of the stuff that’s on my mind lately, there just isn’t a whole heck of a lot I can discuss publicly. Even telling you some of what I did at Mac World this year strays…


Another Win Office Blogger

The list of Win Office 12 bloggers is growing. The latest addition is Will Kennedy, who is the general manager of the Outlook team. Will’s a former Word developer. Before that, Will was an intern on the Mac Word 5.0 project. Back in those days, we would occasionally “name” some of our testing releases–an effect…


Dave Luebbert on Channel 9

What was the Ray Gram Memorial Feature that shipped in Apple’s System 7? Who invented the combo box (drop-down edit control)? What was the real downfall of WordPerfect? What was the project code name for Mac Word 5.0, and why? You’ll find answers to these questions and more in this Channel 9 interview of Dave…


Gettin’ Published

Well, APress is advertising it, and Amazon is taking orders for it, so I suppose I can now publicly revel in the fact that Joel Spolsky selected my essay on Mac Word 6 for his collection of essays, The Best Software Writing I, Selected and Introduced by Joel Spolsky. Props go to Derek Miller at…


Big Dave (Which One?)

Dave Winer provided this link to an article posted by Dave Luebbert. Dave Luebbert was the development manager for Mac Word 5.0, and was my first boss at Microsoft. Dave (L) is an incredible guy. He’s a musician, and a very big fan of Jazz. He’s been working on a music composition program (Song Trellis)…


MPW C Error Messages

Those of us who’ve been programming the Mac for a few years have some fond memories of the old Macintosh Programmer’s Workbench (MPW). It was very much like the Terminal Window on OS X, but had a few quirks of its own. Among those quirks were the error messages that the C compiler would give…


From Bravo to Word

From Bravo to Word Not long after the Wired article about Word 5.1, someone sent me a link to this post on the Cult of Mac Blog. It mentions what I had thought to be a rather widely known fact: that most of the people who first worked on Word came from the Xerox PARC….


Anatomy of a Software Bug

Anatomy of a Software Bug Chris Mason is the person who hired me to work at Microsoft. By the time he hired me, he’d already spent a great deal of time looking into the issue of general software quality, and had written a memo (known as the “Zero Defects” memo) that underlies much of our…