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It's funny.  Laugh. Microsoft

Through The Steve Ballmer Looking Glass 470

Posted by timothy
from the chortle dept.
Class Act Dynamo writes "I was browsing for a video clip I saw the other day, and I came across this clip from 15 years ago of Steve Ballmer pitching windows 1.0 in a television commercial. All I can say is WOW. Apparently, there was a big demand for integrating "LOTUS 1-2-3 with Miami Vice." You'll understand when you see the clip." Let it not be said that Microsoft has no sense of humor.
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Through The Steve Ballmer Looking Glass

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  • It all fits... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ScytheBlade1 (772156) * <<scytheblade1> <at> <averageurl.com>> on Sunday January 23, 2005 @10:37PM (#11452053) Homepage Journal
    I believe I speak for everyone when I say..

    "That explains SO much."

    "All I can say is WOW." very...apt statment.

    "Apparently, there was a big demand for integrating 'LOTUS 1-2-3 with Miami Vice.'" no crap? I mean....whoa!

    "$500 dollars? $1000 dollars?" . . .

    You're right. I can no longer say that MS has no sense of humor.

    Oh how I wish that was a false statment...I mean, it even goes along with the new goatse [monkeymethods.org].
  • Except in Nebraska? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by wwwgregcom (313240) on Sunday January 23, 2005 @10:44PM (#11452116) Journal
    If I ever saw a line that is going to adore slashdot comments for months to come, there it is.

    I can see it now.

    I for one welcome our new (INSERT ADJECTIVE RELEVANT TO NEWS STORY HERE) overlords, except in Nebraska!

    Or.

    In Soviet Russia, the blank, blanks you! Except in Nebraska!
  • by Wayne247 (183933) <slashdot@laurent.ca> on Sunday January 23, 2005 @10:50PM (#11452183) Homepage
    I don't get it.

    Slashdot posts a story with a link that goes (almost) directly to the file. And then it's 5 minutes later and the server happily crunches over a hundred kilobytes per second.

    Now either eBausmworld knows how to put up a content server, or slashdot just lost its edge.
  • Re:It all fits... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bucket Truck (788240) on Sunday January 23, 2005 @10:57PM (#11452235) Homepage
    Did anyone call the number at the end of the ad? Does it get you MS or maybe Bill's private line?
  • Clip shown on TOTN (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chiph (523845) on Sunday January 23, 2005 @11:02PM (#11452259)
    The clip was included in Robert X. Cringely's Triumph of the Nerds series on PBS in 1996. It was as funny then as it is today.

    Chip H.
  • by shumacher (199043) on Sunday January 23, 2005 @11:09PM (#11452314) Homepage
    There's a progman.exe in XP sp2, (\windows\system32\progman.exe) but I can't get the thing to run. I've used progman.exe in ME before. It's been updated with each release of windows and is probably kept for legacy purposes.
  • Re:It all fits... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 24, 2005 @12:11AM (#11452683)
    It's legit, it was made for the 1985 company meeting.
  • by betelgeuse68 (230611) on Monday January 24, 2005 @12:27AM (#11452769)
    I was around in the 80's. It was my teens and it was in 1984 that I found computing as a hobby. Not too long after that, still in the 80's, I woundup doing work for a trader in one of Chicago's commodity markets and pretty much everyone and their mother used Lotus 1-2-3. Microsoft had "Multiplan" - their answer to Lotus 1-2-3 (the reigning spreadsheet of the day) but no one really cared.

    In fact, Microsoft's software lineup was incredibly diverse since it was a young company trying to put its hand into every market to shore the perception that they had a hand in anything and everything. Sort of like today except back then companies constituted real competition vs. today where you're practically assured of being roadkill if Microsoft sets its sites on you. There was "Microsoft LISP" (no, I'm not kidding; it was actually another company's product repackaged) and Microsoft even had software that worked on the Commodore 64 home computer. I mentioned Multiplan earlier, Microsoft's spreadsheet, well not only could you buy it for the IBM PC, check out this screenshot of their Commodore 64 version:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:C64_Multiplan .p ng

    Am I rueful? A little bit. Do I miss those days? Not a chance. What you can do today with a home computer vs. back then is night and day. In retrospect it is slightly surprising that things held my attention as they did. The Net, tons of free software (open source and otherwise), powerful desktop computers all were quite some time off. If you thought dialup today is bad, try operating on the common standard of the day, 1200 baud modems, as in 120 characters per second, as in, yes it took several seconds to fill an 80x25 text screen which most people had in the form of MS-DOS (forget GUI desktops, they weren't common place for quite some time to come).

    What I so miss however is the the sense that there were lots of great things happening. They're happening today, but the attitude back then was different. For example, you could realistically expect a company to try something "way out there." For example, I was aware of one Chicago trading company (again, commodities markets) had purchased LISP machines to see if it could come up with AI strategies to improve their trading systems:

    http://www.sts.tu-harburg.de/~r.f.moeller/symbol ic s-info/symbolics.html

    While open source is prevalent today in some circles, companies have moved to a situation where vendor support is an end all, be all when it comes to decision making. They can be risk averse to the point of self-detriment resulting in very staid environments at times. One example of this is the IT department for the state of Texas. A friend who works there told me once that unless some set of software came on the HP-UX CD, forget about using it. For him, this meant forgetting about PERL since it was not shipped on the HP-UX CDs (this was a few years ago). Even my situation today reflects this to a degree. I work at a very large financial institution and Apache is non-existent in our production systems. While internal Apache sites can readily be deployed to share infromation with coworkers Apache on customer facing servers is a no go.

    There just seemed to be more variety in what companies might try because the IT market hadn't settled down. While open source is great (something that I personally have great faith in), back then we did not have today's situation where IT like the automotive industry had just a handful of companies owning respective markets, a.k.a., consolidation. As a frame of reference around the turn of the 20th century there were 30+ automotive companies in the USA. By the 30's things had settled down to the "Big Three" that we've known internalized for quite some time. Today Lotus' 1-2-3 is just a memory as are Symbolics machine, the Commodore 64 and many, MANY other things.

    -M

    PS: Having said that, I have a pretty sweet desktop these days - a 64 bith Athlon system. The things I do today are pretty amazing in and of themselves... thanks to Moore's Law.
  • by fontkick (788075) on Monday January 24, 2005 @02:05AM (#11453211)
    If this guy walked into our office (ad agency), there is no way he would get a decent ad. We would certainly try, but how can you work with the "NOOOOOO....IT'S ONLY $99!!!!" mentality, not to mention a complete lack of any artistic sensibility? If you wonder why Microsoft's products looked like hell for the past 20 years (pre-XP) now you know. Gawd that's awful, even for internal use. Just because something is internal doesn't mean it has to be complete crud.
  • by Thunderbear (4257) on Monday January 24, 2005 @06:26AM (#11454005) Homepage
    A large problem for PC application writers, was that just writing characters to the screen was an issue. Either you could go the standard, portable way by writing through the BIOS - which happened to be too slow for many applications - or by using assembly code to maintain the screen buffer directly.

    This was also complicated as some of the original PC's would show noise on the screen if the video memory was updated while being converted to an image. Careful programming was needed to ensure that video memory was only updated in intervals where it would be visually safe to do so.

    It is hard to imagine how much the original PC with DOS let the programmer down.

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