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IBM History

Forgotten Voice

Merv Quick
Late 80s
Date Joined:
Date Left:
Naked P2P

It was back in the late 80's/90's at a time we all had desktops and CRT screens. Standard procedure was to turn off the screen but leave the PC running. Turning a PC off and on with associated power surges and cooling/heating was known to increase failure rates of components against just leaving them running.

Now we are all familiar with Skype, but an early IBM forerunner was P2P (Person to Person). Two programmers were working at home so that they could communicate with voice and video as they tested the system.

Early one morning, programmer 1 logs in and tries to raise programmer 2 over the system. Programmer 2 was not at his computer so phones. (Remember about switching CRT screens off, but all else working!) Teenage daughter comes running into the room to answer the phone, scantily clad having just got up. Programmer 2 tastefully points out that perhaps she should wear a dressing gown when answering the phone early in the morning; the video system was working well.....