Roger Gregory tells a good story of making the first private (non-government entity) order from Sun as COO of Project Xanadu (XOC).
In Palo Alto, Roger hears of the Sun 1 via word-of-mouth and trade journals, raises the cash, fills out the form and sends in his order. And invoice comes back, with instructions to pay via bank (wire) transfer and an estimated delivery date.
About a month after the date, Roger and others are eagerly awaiting the machine, which has not arrived.
Roger gets on the phone and calls the number for Sun in Berkeley. Bill Joy answers the phone and, after some back-and-forth, says he will need to transfer Roger to the “accounting department.”
Bill sets down the phone and it becomes clear to Roger, who can hear the background noise, that Sun likely only has *one* phone line at this point. Shortly, Vinod Khosla picks up the phone with a "Hey, Roger!"
After about three minutes of chat, Vinod explains “Oh! We were wondering where that $40,000 in our account came from!” and promises to get the machine to XOC ASAP.
The Sun 1 shows up at XOC’s offices about two weeks later, as I remember. The machine is still in Roger’s basement last I knew.
We attached it to the Internet and ran a simple webserver for a short period in mid-’99 or so. Around that time, Bill stopped by for breakfast and offered a six-figure sum to buy the machine back, which Roger declined.