Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Not only that, but software startups used to not be so cheap either. 15 years ago you need to raise millions just to buy servers. Granted that wasn't the case in the early days of software (Microsoft didn't need servers when they were a startup), but it's an interesting dynamic in the internet age.

Indeed. As the cost of software startups has come down dramatically, hardware startups have become relatively more expensive.

> Microsoft didn't need servers when they were a startup

Wrong. Gates and Allen used Harvard's University mainframe to do their first gig, then paid for other mainframe time:


That's a dev box not a server Mr. holier-than-though smartass.

You are wrong. At that time the whole universities had, if they were rich, a couple of mainframes for the whole institution, if they were poorer, one or none.

All the students wich are entitled to access to the mainframe worked typically on a single mainframe which was also used for the university accounting etc.

Mainframes were, using the more modern words, the big servers with the capital S, effectively.

Hobbyist keyboard alone (without the TV) had the price of nearly 1000 US dollars equivalent today in 1975


The cheapest self containing computer that year had a minimal cost of 30,000 of today's US dollars.


The "operating system" of it were Basic and APL, and it had the storage of 200 KB.

Now compare all this to the "server" which started this discussion. The claim was that when Gates started he didn't need "servers."

Don't lecture at me, you are not giving me any new information. Yes, having access to a mainframe was incredibly expensive and difficult. Yes, Microsoft leveraged that access.

But were they selling Altair_BASIC running on said mainframe? No they were not, hence they did not have servers. They used a mainframe as a dev box.

You can't redefine my terminology just to suit your own viewpoint.

The attempt to hang to the verbatim word "server" is at best anachronistic.

thou (you)

thanks, I was a little hasty in my typing homophones responding to https://twitter.com/karlvanhoet

Applications are open for YC Winter 2020

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact