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Neverovatna programerska prica...

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Ramirez

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icon Neverovatna programerska prica...23.12.2004. u 21:10 - pre 185 meseci
This story is almost too cool to be true. A contractor working for Apple in the early 90s developed a graphing calculator application that took full advantage of the new PowerPC processor, but his project was cancelled while the software was in its early stages. He was out of a job, but his ID badge still worked. So he kept coming back to work, at no pay, for months, hiding from management, to finish the job, and dozens of Apple employees pitched in to help. In 1994, his app, "Graphing Calculator," shipped with the OS.

Cela prica se nalazi na http://www.pacifict.com/Story/ i vredi je procitati :)

Da li joj je mesto na ovom forumu odlucite sami (bar oni koji se pitaju) :-P
 
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vindic8or

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icon Re: Neverovatna programerska prica...23.12.2004. u 21:36 - pre 185 meseci
ma jok, mnogo ti je to dugacak text...
 
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sasas
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icon Re: Neverovatna programerska prica...24.12.2004. u 09:03 - pre 185 meseci
Stvarno je fenomenalan text, "must read" za svakog programera.
Evo, ako nekog mrzi da cita citav text, izvukao sam najzanimljivije stvari (imho).

ss.

Hint za najlenje: procitajte samo boldovane delove.

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A year of my work evaporated, my contract ended, and I was unemployed.

I was frustrated by all the wasted effort, so I decided to uncancel my small part of the project. I had been paid to do a job, and I wanted to finish it. My electronic badge still opened Apple's doors, so I just kept showing up.


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At 1:00 a.m., we trekked to an office that had a PowerPC prototype. We looked at each other, took a deep breath, and launched the application. The monitor burst into flames. We calmly carried it outside to avoid setting off smoke detectors, plugged in another monitor, and tried again. The software hadn't caused the fire; the monitor had just chosen that moment to malfunction. The software ran over fifty times faster than it had run on the old microprocessor. We played with it for a while and agreed, "This doesn't suck" (high praise in Apple lingo).


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I asked my friend Greg Robbins to help me. His contract in another division at Apple had just ended, so he told his manager that he would start reporting to me. She didn't ask who I was and let him keep his office and badge. In turn, I told people that I was reporting to him.


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We found two and started sneaking into the building every day, waiting out in front for real employees to arrive and casually tailgating them through the door. Lots of people knew us and no one asked questions, since we wore our old badges as decoys.


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Among other things, we needed professional quality assurance (QA), the difficult and time-consuming testing that would show us the design flaws and implementation bugs we couldn't see in our own work. Out of nowhere, two QA guys we had never met approached us, having heard about our venture through the rumor mill. (We had become a kind of underground cause célèbre.)


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The secret to programming is not intelligence, though of course that helps. It is not hard work or experience, though they help, too. The secret to programming is having smart friends.


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Once again, my sanity was saved by the kindness of a stranger. At 2:00 one morning, a visitor appeared in my office: the engineer responsible for making the PowerPC system disk master. He explained things this way: "Apple is a hardware company. There are factories far away building Apple computers. One of the final steps of their assembly line is to copy all of the system software from the 'Golden Master' hard disk onto each computer's hard disk. I create the Golden Master and FedEx it to the manufacturing plant. In a very real and pragmatic sense, I decide what software does and does not ship." He told me that if I gave him our software the day before the production run began, it could appear on the Golden Master disk. Then, before anyone realized it was there, thirty thousand units with our software on the disks would be boxed in a warehouse.



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Once we had a plausible way to ship, Apple became the ideal work environment. Every engineer we knew was willing to help us. We got resources that would never have been available to us had we been on the payroll. For example, at that time only about two hundred PowerPC chips existed in the world. Most of those at Apple were being used by the hardware design engineers. Only a few dozen coveted PowerPC machines were even available in System Software for people working on the operating system. We had two. Engineers would come to our offices at midnight and practically slip machines under the door. One said, "Officially, this machine doesn't exist, you didn't get it from me, and I don't know you. Make sure it doesn't leave the building."



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The QA manager assigned people to test our product. (I didn't tell him that those people were already working on it.) The localization group assigned people to translate it into twenty languages. The human interface group ran a formal usability study. I was at the center of a whirlwind of activity. Nevertheless, Greg and I still had to sneak into the building. The people in charge of the PowerPC project, upon which the company's future depended, couldn't get us badges without a purchase order. They couldn't get a purchase order without a signed contract. They couldn't get a contract without approval from Legal, and if Legal heard the truth, we'd be escorted out of the building.


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We got badges the next day. They were orange Vendor badges, the same kind the people working in the cafeteria, watering the plants, and fixing the photocopy machines had.


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Sitting behind a one-way mirror, watching first-time users struggle with our software, reminded me that programmers are the least qualified people to design software for novices. Humbled after five days of this, Greg and I went back and painstakingly added feedback to the software, as if we were standing next to users, explaining it ourselves.



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Why did Greg and I do something so ludicrous as sneaking into an eight-billion-dollar corporation to do volunteer work? Apple was having financial troubles then, so we joked that we were volunteering for a nonprofit organization. In reality, our motivation was complex. Partly, the PowerPC was an awesome machine, and we wanted to show off what could be done with it; in the Spinal Tap idiom, we said, "OK, this one goes to eleven." Partly, we were thinking of the storytelling value. Partly, it was a macho computer guy thing - we had never shipped a million copies of software before. Mostly, Greg and I felt that creating quality educational software was a public service. We were doing it to help kids learn math. Public schools are too poor to buy software, so the most effective way to deliver it is to install it at the factory.


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On March 11, 1994, the front page of the Times business section contained an article on the alliance among Apple, IBM, and Motorola, picturing Greg and me in my front yard with a view of the Santa Cruz Mountains.


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We wanted to release a Windows version as part of Windows 98, but sadly, Microsoft has effective building security.


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Postscript: After the events described, we made everything retroactively legitimate by licensing the software to Apple for distribution. Pacific Tech started a few years later, and continued to develop Graphing Calculator, both in new free versions that Apple bundled with Mac OS 8 and Mac OS 9, and commercial releases

When something is hard to do, then it's not worth doing.
 
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SpellCaster
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icon Re: Neverovatna programerska prica...24.12.2004. u 13:10 - pre 185 meseci
Tekst uopste nije predugacak, i u svakom slucaju ga vredi procitati. Veoma inspiativna prica, u neku ruku kao bajka za malu decu programera . Tipa - klasican protagonist, predstavlja klasicne vrednosti koje na kraju bivaju nagradjene klasicnim happyend-om. Da ne bude nesporazuma, ne mislim da je prica losa, cak naprotiv, svaka cast za link...

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We wanted to release a Windows version as part of Windows 98, but sadly, Microsoft has effective building security.



Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
 
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reiser

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icon Re: Neverovatna programerska prica...24.12.2004. u 13:31 - pre 185 meseci
Fantasticno !
 
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jablan

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icon Re: Neverovatna programerska prica...24.12.2004. u 13:44 - pre 185 meseci
Cela priča deluje neverovatno, nešto na foru urbanih legendi, ja lično još nisam 100% ubeđen u njenu verodostojnost, dok nisam pročitao postskript uopšte nisam verovao. Njihovi razlozi nisu preterano uverljivi: da rmbaš 16 sati dnevno 7 dana u nedelji (!?) za džabe, u tuđoj firmi, gimme a break, to ni najtvrđi opensource-ovci ne rade. Zašto cela priča ne bi mogla da bude iskonstruisana u Apple-u?
 
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sasas
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icon Re: Neverovatna programerska prica...24.12.2004. u 13:48 - pre 185 meseci
Citat:
jablan: Zašto cela priča ne bi mogla da bude iskonstruisana u Apple-u?


Zato sto Apple prikazuje u najgorem mogucem svetlu. Ja licno verujem u pricu, ali bez obzira na to vredi je procitati. Sjajan motivation, nesto sto te drzi da radis i u gluvo doba noci...

ss.
When something is hard to do, then it's not worth doing.
 
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jablan

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icon Re: Neverovatna programerska prica...24.12.2004. u 13:54 - pre 185 meseci
Ček ček nije baš tako. Apple je u ovom slučaju "glupi pandur" koji na kraju (ipak) poveruje glavnom junaku, pojavi se sa konjicom u poslednjih 10 minuta filma i reši stvar. Tj. na kraju se ipak pokazuje da nije kompanija "srca kamenoga" već su svi srećni, zadovoljni i puni para.
 
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icon Re: Neverovatna programerska prica...24.12.2004. u 14:56 - pre 185 meseci
paaa...u pravu si. ali ja toliko ne volim apple da ih uvek vidim u najcrnjem svetlu ;) ne pitajte me zasto...

ss.
When something is hard to do, then it's not worth doing.
 
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BytEfLUSh
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icon Re: Neverovatna programerska prica...24.12.2004. u 15:03 - pre 185 meseci
Tekst je sjajan!

Mada, pravo da kažem, ni ja nisam voleo Apple, sve dok nisam po prvi put radio na MacOSX-u pre par meseci. A nekako nakon čitanja ovog teksta, stvarno mi dođe da uzmem neki Mac...

Ta priča je odlična motivacija za sve programere, a sad da li je istina ili ne... Pa, ja bih najradije verovao da jeste, bez obzira na sve.

Putuj planeto, super smo se družili
nama je lepo, taman kako smo zaslužili!
 
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