A long time ago, after graduating from the University of Colorado ( in Boulder), and leaving all my good friends, I went to IBM Research to work on a project involving parallel processors, but I ended up doing bitmapped graphics accelerator ( AMD 29116-based) for the then-new PC to see if graphics on a PC made sense. That led to gfx on BSD 4.2 on the RT, immediately followed by X. I'd tinkered on X6 and X9 at MIT (at LCS and Athena) and Brown University and CMU while doing BSD stuff there (the IBM BSD effort was tightly integrated with universities). We actually shipped the first ever commercial X11 server (2/2/88, one day ahead of DEC). Partners on that included Erik Fortune, Jeff Weinstein (the guy who taught me everything I know about X [This line added by Jeff]), Paul Shupak, Derrick Mar, and Kirk Gould. We did color, multihead, hi performance, and lots of stuff when most folks weren't sure if X would work at all, because the Sun version really stunk. But BSD on the IBM never overcame IBM Austin's marketing of AIX. I then spent early 1988 in Austin porting X to AIX, which at that time was the most evil piece of software I'd ever seen. After that, Erik and I ported NextStep 0.6 and 0.7 to AIX, just getting it working before IBM toiletted that project.
I'd got the hint in late '88 and took too long to get to SGI in May 1989. At SGI, I had the unlucky task of integrating the GL and X, two systems with mutually incompatible views of systems management. This was all the more pleasant in the face of SGI folks who had heard that X was some lame 2-D graphics system which would never support the GL. So to make a long story long, I worked on the Indigo system software, the GL, and X. Irix 4.x and later are where you can see that. The group that did that (I hired a bunch of them) included Jeff, Erik, Paul Shupak, John Giannandrea, Peter Daifuku, Tom Weinstein (yes, Jeff's little brother), The Michael Toy, Todd Newman, Spence Murray, and Dave Spalding. After that, I did internationalization for Irix 5.x. I eagerly followed Jim to work on Netscape.
SGI is full of really great people and is a good place to work, but it's a Big Company now. I think Jim had a lot to do with SGI's collection of great people and I trust he'll do it again at Netscape; I'm certainly going to try to help him. Besides, I find Netscape way way cool, even if I don't really own my home page.
This paragraph is here primarily to offer the links.
I did my formative growing up in Stuttgart, which is the capital of Baden-Wurttemberg in Germany. I went to grammar and intermediate school in B÷blingen (there's also an IBM site there.) When I was there, the local high school at Patch wasn't built yet, so we either went to German schools or to Stuttgart American High School way over at the other end of Stuttgart, in Ludwigsburg. Quite a drive. Stuttgart is at the north end of the Black Forest, which has the nominal capital of Freiburg and is well known for its cuckoo clocks. Stuttgart is also home to Mercedes, Porsche, a really good Ballet and the Max Planck Institute.
One of the coolest things about those years were the monthly ski strips with the sitzmarkers (makers of buttprints). (I really should scan my old sitzmarker arm patch....)