Category Archives: personal story

My Microsoft Years: Fortune and Misfortune


I was hired by Microsoft in 1990. When some people hear that, they assume I have millions from all the stock options given out at that time. I wish I did.

The atmosphere at Microsoft was inspiring. I felt like I was part of the personal computer revolution. When I left the company for the first time, Windows 95 was just released, and Microsoft was flush and famous.

They expected a lot from us, but team spirit was high. We had access to the latest technology. There was a real sense of camaraderie.

We had meetings in places like the Jacuzzi at Microsoft’s sports club or while hiking in the nearby mountains. Beer, wine, and catered food flowed down the halls for almost any reason, all to keep us going and making our deadlines. Many a Softie (not me) slept on an office futon or under their desk.

There were small kitchens located around the halls. They were stocked with drinks, all free. There was also plenty of good and inexpensive food in each building cafeteria. We never had to leave the Microsoft campus. That was the point.

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My Fascination with Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, was one of the most influential innovators of all times. Not only was he a genius, he was a leader and a brilliant businessman who changed the face of technology. As I have always been fascinated with new technology, he thrilled me.

Steve was also known to be a tyrant, shouting at people, telling them their work or attitude was shit. He was a perfectionist in every way, making a series of brilliantly designed products famous, and leaving a legacy that would change the world.

I’ve watched the few interviews with Steve, read the books about him, and followed his progress for years. One of the many things he said that has stuck with me was “look beyond what you see every day.” The early motto for Apple was “Think Different.” I loved this.

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My Mac, My Nightmare


I bought one of Apple’s top-of-the-line computers last month, the MacBook Pro with Retina Display. After owning the iPhone for several years, I was having a love affair with Apple products. The new Mac was gorgeous, light, and fast, and compared with my 11-pound, very sluggish laptop, I thought I was in heaven. But I soon found that I hadn’t thought through my purchase very well.

The Macs are great for what they do, and they are amazing machines. If you’re a photo or video enthusiast, a musician, a designer, or someone who’s new to computers, the Mac may be the way to go. But coming from a PC world, and having worked at Microsoft for many years, I didn’t really know what to do with the Mac. It might have been new and dreamy, but I couldn’t duplicate the PC programs and tasks I knew and loved. To be fair, the Mac has some wonderful apps that can’t be found on the PC.

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