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Larry Osterman - His one interaction with Bill Gates (over DOS networking stack)

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We hope you've enjoyed this week of getting to know Larry Osterman a bit better.



We asked Larry about times he's had working interactions with Bill Gates (co-founder of Microsoft).



Larry remembered one interaction he had back when he was a coder on the DOS networking stack in LAN Manager 2.0.



Ahh, the good old days when you only had 640k of RAM to fit into. Sure is different from today when Microsoft
owns computers that have a terabyte of RAM.



Actually, between the filming of this video, and its display here,
Larry had dinner
with Gates and a group of other 20-year-veterans of Microsoft.




Congrats to you all! Who will be next on Channel 9? Tune in next week. Bert Keely, one of the visionaries behind the Tablet PC will be.



Have a great weekend.

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  • Aaah yes. Looking forward to interviews with Bert Keely. I remember his presentation at the tablet pc launch event. I think it was outstanding.
  • Beer28, I think you're completely missing the point. One fairly small (you can't say that 20MB is a lot!) runtime is enough for all your windows software, no matter what language they are written in! That's just what is so fantastic about .NET.  In the old days, users needed a runtime for VB programs, another one for C++, Java, etc... It was one big, uncontrollable mess.  Remember DLL hell?  .NET Framework solves all these problems, one neat runtime for everything, that is cleanly installed under its own folder, and makes management and deployment SOOO much easier. And it is shipped with the system in W2K3, and will be in future client versions as well (and by the way, lots of people have already downloaded it from Windows Update, even when they don't know what it is).

    Really, the .NET Framework is a blessing for us developers!
  • Beer28 wrote:
    I just can't believe that Bill freaked out about 60k and now he innondates developers with a 20 meg virtual machine to replace the appx 5 meg java vm or msvbvm6 with when it wasn't even distributed with service packs, and wants everybody to develop on it and act like that's the normal way to develop instead of using C++ and long lasting binary code libraries.


    It's not that bad Smiley The 20mb you need to download contains various compilers etc. He could freak out because of the quite huge working set of a .NET app, but since they're working on reducing that, maybe he's freaked out already Tongue Out.

    For comparison, my Java Runtime folder (%PROGRAMFILES%\Java\j2re1.4.2_05) takes up 34MB. Can't remember how big the download file was...
  • This is the essence of true creativity and dedication to the art of software design. Mr. Osterman is still developing for a company that you can tell he loves and wants to maintain a legacy with. Truly an inspiration.
  • earnshawearnshaw Jack Sleeps

    Supposing the 60K for LAN Manager was permanently resident in memory: that would be almost 10% of the machine's physical memory for an OS component.  That is a serious reduction in space available for user programs.  Come to think of it, when IBM designed the PC in about 1982, they figured nobody would ever make an application that would need that much memory.  Then the desktop computer adopted all of the generally accepted principles of mainframe design (paged virtual memory, multiple CPUs)  and adopted a few more (graphical user interface, object-oriented programming) and the problem went away.  In his way, Bill was right to complain.  The machine wasn't up to the task of handling LAN Manager.

  • earnshaw wrote:

    Supposing the 60K for LAN Manager was permanently resident in memory: that would be almost 10% of the machine's physical memory for an OS component.  That is a serious reduction in space available for user programs.  Come to think of it, when IBM designed the PC in about 1982, they figured nobody would ever make an application that would need that much memory.  Then the desktop computer adopted all of the generally accepted principles of mainframe design (paged virtual memory, multiple CPUs)  and adopted a few more (graphical user interface, object-oriented programming) and the problem went away.  In his way, Bill was right to complain.  The machine wasn't up to the task of handling LAN Manager.


    That's exactly right - and that's why Bill freaked.

    I was talking to Valorie at dinner tonight, I'll write up how I got the DOS redirector down to 128 bytes at some point in the near future.
  • TheProgrammerThe​Programmer Always on edge thinking...

    Larry, so did you managed to make it small than 60K? Or was the product was not shipped at all?

    Oh, I have one question to ask. Do you declare the namespace std globally? That means, do you do:

    using namespace std;

    or

    using::string;
    using::setw;
    using::cout;
    using::cin;

    or

    std::string a = "String";
    std::cout << a << std::endl;



    Thanks

  • LwatsonLwatson One ugly mug...
    Beer28 wrote:
    I wouldn't worry about it. Bosses always try to act like what ever they did "in the day" was god like compared to what employees are doing. I've had it happen to me as well.


    I'll have to keep that in mind since I am now the grizzlebeard of the bunch and often muse about past goings on 'In The Day'

    Beer28 wrote:
    I don't have anything against .NET, don't get me wrong. I won't use it over C++ and standard libraries either, but I don't have anything against it other than it's huge and it's not shipped with the system. I'm not posting this to be inflamatory either.


    I agree that being shipped with the system would be a giant step in the right direction. I agree that a fresh winxp build takes 3 or 4 trips to the update site to bring in-line with 20+megs of patches before even getting to the runtime. That said the benefits of Managed code development over C++ talking to COM or even MFC are just far to great to be ignored on the basis of ( If it aint in the box I won't use it ). Simply put its just another requirement to have this on your machine to run that. Is it a pain in the posterior? Absolutely. Is it worth that pain? The answer is once again Absolutely.

    Being upset about 60k being used up back then for something like a network stack, read as (Your are saying that My lotus spreadsheet wont load up any more because I can now get a file from that machine over there?, without getting out of my seat) Guess what? Everybody would just continue to get up out of their seat and go and get the files via the good old sneaker net. Anyone who thinks otherwise never had to futz around with memory managers on a real mode dos env just to get some stupid game to run for little Joey, or do the same thing just to get some bloated beyond usability spreadsheet to load up for Joey's Dad...



  • Beer28 wrote:
    20 MB is alot for somebody on 56k.

    Of course it's a lot for someone on 56k, but do you really know a single person still using 56k? 5 years ago this would have been an issue, but now literally everyone has broadband, even the most sporadic web users... In the country where I live every home has cable, and broadband internet over cable or ADSL is so damn cheap, that nobody would even consider still using a modem because that is charged by the minute, and even light users are doing profit with taking ADSL... (in fact, there is one provider offering completely free ADSL too (just normal telephone charges); and that includes a free ADSL modem!).

    Of course I don't know where you live, but really, I don't know a single person still using a modem in our country (and I know lots of people).
  • TheProgrammer wrote:

    Larry, so did you managed to make it small than 60K? Or was the product was not shipped at all?



    TheProgrammer: I don't know the answer to your std namespace question, I don't tend to use the std C++ runtime library, so it's moot.  I do use "using namespace ATL" though, for convenience.

    And yes, we did ship it. Robert edited out the coda to the story, in which we took BillG's comments to heart and aggressively tried to reduce the footprint over the subsequent releases.  DOS LM 1.0 was about 60K, for DOS LM 1.5, we (Dilip Naik and I) moved the data into either LIM memory or himem.sys (saving about 30K), for DOS LM 2.0, we moved the code and data into LIM and himem.sys so if you had the right drivers loaded, we took up essentially 0 bytes of resident memory.

  • sbcsbc GW R/Me
    dotnetjunkie wrote:
    Beer28 wrote:20 MB is alot for somebody on 56k.

    Of course it's a lot for someone on 56k, but do you really know a single person still using 56k? 5 years ago this would have been an issue, but now literally everyone has broadband, even the most sporadic web users... In the country where I live every home has cable, and broadband internet over cable or ADSL is so damn cheap, that nobody would even consider still using a modem because that is charged by the minute, and even light users are doing profit with taking ADSL... (in fact, there is one provider offering completely free ADSL too (just normal telephone charges); and that includes a free ADSL modem!).

    Of course I don't know where you live, but really, I don't know a single person still using a modem in our country (and I know lots of people).

    I wouldn't say everyone uses broadband (at least here in the UK). There are those on dialup and you say to them to get broadband because it is faster - which is not always appealing (as all they do is check/send email, and would have to pay extra to get it). Plus you don't get 100% coverage, even people in a town with broadband may not (too far from the exchange).

    Around 5 million with broadband in the UK - and I would say far more than that are connected to the Internet. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3981513.stm
  • You want to know someone who still uses dial up?  I do, the reasoning behind it is it is not currently in the budget to deal with the costs of broadband.  The money I save for not paying the $30+ for a high speed connection goes to debt reduction and a new house.
    Updating my PCs take forever, I have even deployed SUS to manage my home PCs.  It is not the best situation, but I deal with it in order to solve the greator issues, debt reduction and a new house.
  • Well, I recognized that there could be (sometimes huge) differences between countries, but here in Flanders we have 100% coverage, and as you can get ADSL for free, you would be really stupid to keep your 56k modem...
  • TaskerrTaskerr This ones a Gem!
    Larry!

    Love the shirt - How many galaxies are there on there? I do empathise with you. You have gotta be one of MS's few remaining anchor men.

    I'm in my mid fifties and was a CP/M OEM in the early eighties when MS was dealing with Digital Reasearch.

    I still have the OEM assembler (paper) listing of Bill and Pauls 1975 v5.21 portion of MBASIC written on a PDP-10. Its a bit of a treasure and a testimony to Paul's intellectual prowess and Bill's assembler skills. I wonder how much of it remains in the .Net product today?

    Bill has a point. You cannot believe how efficient code had to be. The bios was contained in an 8k EPROM. You had to traul manually and very laboriously through the assembler, teasing out common code that could be converted to subroutines or assembler macros.

    The same went for MBASIC I guess.
     
    If you want a lesson on code size efficiency then Bill is the guy to talk to. Stopping him talking about this! Well, good luck!

    Don't let the suits close C9!
  • When .net 1.1 comes out, or .net 2.0 will all our stuff that works with 1.0 work with the new ones? Can you guarantee it?
  • The .NET Framework is a 20MB download, but I thought the discussion was about the memory footprint which is an entirely different matter.  I don't know how the .NET CLR compares to the Java VM in that regard.

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