It was published in 1994 (so covers up to Windows NT 3.5 and touches on Chicago/Win95) and features a lot of info gleaned from 1:1s the author had with Gates, Cutler and a host of other executives.
(The design decisions made back then between 89-93 for NT are what enabled things like 'Bash on Ubuntu on Windows' to take place today.)
it had patches, and these were a not very important technical first, because an artist could create the same geometry in a number of ways and get the same end result. from a usability perspective of level editors though, it saved the environment artist a considerable amount of time, effort and risk of mistakes.
the patches were cubic bezier patches of fixed subdivision. other game engines improved on this in short order to have dynamic subdivision/lod based on distance without cracks and more complicated patch types (e.g. you can never make a sphere with quake 3's patches)... whereas keeping the subdivisions fixed means that cracks are trivial to avoid.
i believe that quake 3/id tech 3 did not solve this even in later iterations... it was more another tool to add fixed, un-lod-ed triangles to the environment mesh, with an added caveat that they didn't seal the convex hulls describing the pvs and inside/outside or get used to provide planes to split the bsp.
I owe a lot of my knowledge and understanding to having trawled through, building, modifying, cleaning up, refactoring or repurposing a lot of the publically available codes for Quake 1/2/3.
Truly an inspiration as a programmer.
His co-owner stake in id Software alone was likely worth $40 million (not after taxes of course) or more (ZeniMax raised an extra $105m for the purchase), and he had earned a fortune prior to that courtesy of 20 years of high selling games and relatively small development costs (some of which was burned on Armadillo Aerospace, perhaps up to $10 million total based on what Carmack has publicly said about the cost of operating it).
The high-priced buyout by Facebook likely increased Carmack's network significantly. $40m would be just 2% equivalent of the Facebook acquisition price. I wouldn't be surprised if Carmack owned 2% of Oculus.
With 5M I would probably play it fairly safe, keep my money in a diversified portfolio weighted towards high dividend stocks and try to live a modest upper-middle/upper class lifestyle, with the exception that I would travel quite a lot. I would probably run a small consulting firm just to stay engaged.
With 40M, I would probably have 2-4 teams of people simultaneously working on business projects. That much money lets you take risks, because even if everything goes wrong, as long as you're not retarded you can just liquidate and still have enough left to play out the 5M scenario.
This guy could easily have just learned C and called it "done", and no one would judge him for it. Instead, he's giving speeches talking about how cool Lisp and Haskell are and that he thinks functional is the way to go.
Whether or not he's right about that is a matter of preference, but I think it's cool that he's not content with "knowing enough".
I love Masters of Doom.
Even the fact his bow tie is messed up, is classic John Carmack.
[edit: and totally deserved]