[TUHS] Coffee

Ron Natalie ron at ronnatalie.com
Thu Mar 23 02:26:28 AEST 2017

Early on when I was consulting for what would become my company, I got stuck
on a weekend to fix something with the coffee pot and a box of Entenmann's
chocolate donuts.   These have a coating that's kind of like wax you have to
soften up in the hot coffee to be digestable.    As a result of that weekend
any crunch time was referred to as waxy chocolate donut time.    Another
crunch weekend I was working on the firmware for an esoteric digital data
tape player.    I would test it.   Find the fault.   Go to one machine
running Xenix on a 286 which had the editor and the assembler.   I'd then
floppy it over to a DOS machine that had the EPROM burner.    I then would
take the eprom and stick it into the controller.   The president of the
company had two jobs.   He was to follow behind me and refill my coffee cup
and scarf up the used EPROMS and dump them into the eraser so we wouldn't
run out of ones to program.

For years, we were a six person company of which only me and the president
drank coffee.    When the one pot we made in the morning was gone, that was
it for coffee.    As the company got larger and there were more coffee
drinkers, people would just make a new pot.   This coincided with me having
my office moved adjacent to the coffee maker.    Every time I had a long
compile or something I'd look down and see my cup was empty and I'd pop
outside and get a new cup.    Not surprisingly, I started to get heart
palpitations.    The doctor asks how much coffee I drank, and I tell her
something like thirty cups a day.   She tells me I may want to cut back on

My best job was working for a friend whose company operates out of his home.
He'd make espresso for me and we'd drink that (and eat his wife's excellent
leftover food) until about six and then being another wine judge, we'd
switch to wine.

-----Original Message-----
From: Tim Bradshaw [mailto:tfb at tfeb.org] 
Sent: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 8:51 AM
To: Ron Natalie
Cc: Dave Horsfall; The Eunuchs Hysterical Society
Subject: Re: [TUHS] Were all of you.. Hippies?

I don't know about other people, but I think the whole dope thing is why
computer people tend *not* to be hippies in the 'dope smoking' sense.  I
need to be *really awake* to write reasonably good code (if ever I do write
reasonably good code) in the same way I need to be really awake to do maths
or physics.  So I live on a diet of coffee and sugar and walk around
twitching as a result (this is an exaggeration, but you get the idea).  I
have the strength of will to not use stronger stimulants (coffee is mostly
self-limiting, speed not so much).

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