Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Soul of a New Machine

The Soul of a New Machine arrived last Saturday. The story of how some of Data General's smart engineers became disillusioned and quit the company after a pet project of theirs got cancelled reminded me of Cringely's latest essay. Just a coincidence, I thought, until I came to this, at the beginning of Chapter 4:
A young computer engineer, known to be one of the most skillful in Westborough's basement, said he had a fantasy about a better job than his. In it, he goes to work as a janitor for a computer company whose designs leave much to be desired. There, at night, disguised by mop and broom, he sneaks into the offices of the company's engineers and corrects the designs on their blackboards and desks.
Hmmm, I could swear that I've heard this story before.

Looks like a lot of folks drew -- ahem -- inspiration from this classic.