other large storage devices i have known…

to continue the nostalgic rambling started here, another large storage device i have known in the past is the “unimaginably large” 4TB hard disk array that i worked on at openwave for three years, from 1989 to 2001… my unwillingness to reformat and reinstall the operating system on said machine was the direct reason i lost my job at openwave, three days before the computer industry crashed… which meant that i got out of there just in time and i got to laugh at my colleagues who still had to go to work, but DID NOT have their shares of stock, while i did not have to go to work, and i DID have my shares of stock! 😉

when i first started working at openwave was before it was called “openwave”… on my end it was called “software.com”, and we made the interfaces for managing email and email accounts on your cell phone, in the early days of internet connectivity on a cell phone. there was another company, called “phone.com” which did… erm… something else with cell phones… i never actually knew what they did… but the big-wigs at software.com and phone.com got together and decided to create a new company called openwave. i had been working for software.com for two and a half years, and got along famously with the people i worked with, but they came in with this new company and decided to shake everybody up, and i was placed with a vietnamese woman manager from san diego (who i never actually met in person), and one of her first tasks for me was to reformat and reinstall the operating system on this machine… but, having worked on the machine for most of the time i had been at software.com, i knew that it was also the machine that was used, internally, to manage the email accounts for everybody at software.com, all over the world, and reformatting the drive would delete all of these peoples’ email. i talked with a few other people from software.com, to confirm that this was, actually, the case, and they were all astounded that this woman would ask me to do that, considering how important that machine was, so when it came time for me to give her an answer, the answer i gave was no, i will not reformat and reinstall the operating system on this machine. i explained precisely why i would not reinstall on this machine, told her there was no more discussion available, and went on with the testing i had been doing for the past three months. three days later, she told me to reinstall or be fired. i said you can’t fire me if i quit, and walked out… three days later, the computer industry crashed and the rest is history.

before i started working there, i took a “field trip” to santa barbara, where the software.com headquarters was, at the time, and i actually saw the “unimaginably large” 4TB hard disk array… it was a big cube-shaped box, on wheels, that sat in the corner… it, too, was an “electronic black hole, into which one could throw data files forever, and not fill up”… it was, literally, THE email server for the entire company, all around the world. there were hundreds of thousands of individual email accounts, and tens of millions of individual email messages, all managed by this one box…

and, soon, i will have a box THREE TIMES AS BIG sitting on the shelf above my desk… 🤯