One of my buddies is fond of telling stories about Microsoft and their early days. Long before that silly made-for-TV movie came out about Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, he was telling me the story about how Gates bought a buggy program called DOS off of a tinkerer for a song.
Another story he once told me is that somewhere along the line Microsoft started getting complaints from people that their computers weren’t “doing anything” for prolonged periods of time. MS discovered what was happening was that the computers were in the process of reading long stripes of information off of their hard drives. The result was that the characteristic start-and-stop sound of a HD was often absent.
So MS “fixed” the problem by somehow writing in a regular interruption in all HD reads. It took a little longer to read the data (and probably shortened HD lifetimes, too), but the classic snickety-snick sound was always there to let users know that something was happening.
So here’s the questions:
Is this story true? My pal was right more than once, so I have high hopes in this regard.
If true, how was it done? Specifically, I’m wondering if MS’ occasionally maligned defragging program didn’t work as advertised but instead separated data chunks from one another so the the drive would make a sound.
Is MS still doing this? I just defragged this morning, and yet whenever I open up an application my computer still busily rattles away.
I hope I havent slid all of you a fat red herring. Thanks in advance for your responses.