My first high tech job was as a technical writer at Data General in 1980, where I worked on some of the "Eagle" manuals. I stayed there 4 years and eventually got to know Tom West a little bit.
One time he was talking about some of the DG guys who had defected to startup Apollo, who were building a box based on the motorolla 68k. At the time DG designed its own chips & its fastest machines were bit-sliced. So West says, "Well, if somebody wants to stick a 68k on a board and call himself a computer engineer. . . <long thoughtful pause> well I guess that's his business. But that's not what we call computer engineering at Data General."
Another time he was giving a talk to my group and somebody asks about product strategy. West draws two points on the white board: one lower left, one uppper right. "Product strategy," he says. "You got your low end." (points to lower left). "You got your high end." (points to upper right.). "And then you got all this baroque shit in the middle." (Draws squiggly diagonal line connecting them.) "That's product strategy. OK, enough marketing. Let's talk about engineering. . ."
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