Interview with an Ex-Microsoftie.
—So, you used to work at Microsoft?
—Yep sure. I used to come up with names for all the special folders.
—The special folder names in Windows?
—"Program Files", is that one of yours?
—Sure is. I thought, "This is where we'll put the programs. On the file system. And since they're gonna be made out of files, I'll stick the word "Files" on the end. With a space in the middle. People are going to be typing this all the time, so they'll want it to be as long and descriptive as possible."
—And what about System32 is that yours?
—Yep. I thought, "these files are 32 bit files. So I'll put them here."
—And that was pretty successful?
—Yes. I did such a good job naming it System32, that nowadays it contains all the 64 bit files as well.
—Then what happens to the 32 bit version of the 64 bit files. Where do they go?
—Well they can't go in System32, because on a 64 bit machine, System32 is where the 64 bit files go. So if we're running a 32 bit executable we lie to the executable and tell it that "System32" points at another folder, called SysWOW64 and that's where we stick the 32 bit files.
—Why is there a 'WOW' in the middle of the name?
—I was typing System64 and half way through I just thought: "WOW, nature is beautiful!"
—And the 32 bit files, they go in SysWOW64, since the 64 bit files are in System32?
—Yep. (Laughing) Oh I took a lot of meth that day, my friend.
—And how about the "users" folder. That's quite succinct, is that one of yours?
—Oh no, that's after my time. I was there for the previous one: "Document and settings."
—Surely you regret that name. It's clearly too long?
—Too long!? It's too short. Do you realize you can put anything in there, not just documents and settings? I wanted to call it "Documents and settings and ideas and lists and notes and string and ponies and candy and pieces of fluff and temporary internet files and stuff". I got into a fist fight with Ray Chen over it and I only let him have his way when Steve Ballmer sat on me.
—And you're retired now?
—I am now. (He takes a long swig from a bottle of whiskey. The brown fluid gurgles as it rushes down the neck of the bottle.) At one time I tried to get a job on the team that comes up with version numbers.
—You missed out?
—Not drunk enough. Not even close.
deep discussion at hacker news →
'Hemie143' on Wed, 28 Aug 2013 13:12:49 GMT, sez:
Excellent. So laughable and unfortunately so true.
'Dude' on Wed, 28 Aug 2013 14:08:44 GMT, sez:
'A'braham Barakhyahu' on Wed, 28 Aug 2013 14:29:28 GMT, sez:
"...I only let him have his way when Steve Ballmer sat on me.". Hilarious. Digged...oh wait...
'Cool' on Wed, 28 Aug 2013 14:53:32 GMT, sez:
That's so funny for a minute I thought it was real lol, btw I fund this on hacker news.
you've got a nice site here glad I droped in.
'anon' on Wed, 28 Aug 2013 15:38:29 GMT, sez:
'RafaQuiM' on Wed, 28 Aug 2013 15:47:19 GMT, sez:
"So laughable and unfortunately so true."
Thing are laughable as they are veridic. That's unfortunate : )
'pysailor' on Wed, 28 Aug 2013 16:21:14 GMT, sez:
So true! I bet this is also the guy who got the task of finding a location for the hosts config file. You know, the one that you'd normally find under /etc/hosts...
So the Microsoft choice to place it under \\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts seems totally logical.
'pskept' on Wed, 28 Aug 2013 18:08:01 GMT, sez:
this was almost funny until you said "I took a lot of meth" :/
'stiltzkin' on Thu, 29 Aug 2013 01:39:52 GMT, sez:
shut up pskept meth is hilarious
'Rsh' on Thu, 29 Aug 2013 10:21:09 GMT, sez:
Hey, maybe you can also find the guy who comes up with names for MS products : Windows (Since it has windows), Windows [for] phone, NTFS (New Tech File System :|), Visual basic (It's basic, and it's visual), Win Media player, Win Explorer, MS Word, MS SQL Server, ... and worst of all, Internet Explorer (Heaven forbid!).
Now I was wondering, what if they build cars and refrigerators someday :/
PS : Yeah, shut up pskept :P
'Kent' on Fri, 30 Aug 2013 00:23:54 GMT, sez:
I want to meet the guy who determined the hosts file location, .....with an axe.
'Aashish Koirala' on Fri, 30 Aug 2013 00:47:43 GMT, sez:
So true! So true, indeed!!