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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Strange Milestone

When I used to work for Stratus Computer (first as a co-op, then full time from 89 to 97, then as a contractor) ... anyway, back at Stratus, whenever you asked for documentation, you would receive it as a think bundle of shrink-wrapped paper, punched for a three-ring binder, and a big blue Stratus three ring binder to go with it.

Somewhere in their Marlboro campus must have been a hidden warehouse the size of a football field with these blue binders stacked full width and straight to the ceiling (and maybe the occasional stray Arc of the Covenant tucked away in a corner). Everyone had offices full of these binders. When the documentation was out of date, the contents went to the recycle bin, but the binders tended to follow you home.

In fact, I was amused to see Dave Thomas pull out one of those binders, provoking a discussion of how much we missed s$parse_command (and how it needs to be ported to Ruby). He'd contracted with a company that used Stratus equipment.

So what's the milestone? Well, I'm printing out the documentation for Berkeley DB Java Edition and I went looking for a Stratus binder to put it in ... and couldn't find one! It's only been seven or eight years since I last set foot there ... I thought I'd never run out!


Ken Yee said...

Pretty funny Howard. And I actually wanted to work for Stratus ages ago when I graduated from college (late 80's). Ended up working for Kendall Square Research working on supercomputers instead. And how I'm doing web apps too :-)

Ken Lowther said...


My company (formerly Grapevine Systems) has a bunch of those blue folders. I'm sure we could arrange something. :) Maybe even give you a Stratus box or two as paperweights?