SGI Software Usability II (IRIX 5.1 memo)

Don Hopkins don at
Fri Oct 13 00:16:38 AEST 2017

The version of the embarrassing memo on the University of Virginia CS415 reading list that I linked to is an email response from the author Tom Davis, posted to on 25 Apr 1994, which includes his extremely interesting inline comments that he added after the memo was leaked, following up about what happened at SGI in response to the leak! <>

SGI the institution was embarrassed, but I don’t think Tom Davis has anything to be embarrassed about personally: he handled it well and honestly, told the unvarnished truth to management, which had a positive effect, and his candid write-up and response now serves as a great example for students learning how things work in the real world! 

It should be required reading in all computer science programs (and management programs too)!


> On 12 Oct 2017, at 16:00, Larry McVoy <lm at> wrote:
> I strongly suspect it was true, Tom Davis was an SGI employee as
> were the other people mentioned.  
> On Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 02:04:43PM +0100, Michael-John Turner wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I came across this on Lobsters[1] today and thought it may be of interest to
>> the list:
>> It appears to be an internal SGI memo that's rather critical of IRIX 5.1.
>> Does anyone know if it's true?
>> [1]
>> Cheers, MJ
>> -- 
>> Michael-John Turner * mj at *
> -- 
> ---
> Larry McVoy            	     lm at    

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the TUHS mailing list