Happy birthday, Windows 2000, and try not to get too hung over

Raymond Chen

On this date ten years ago, Windows 2000 launched in San Francisco. One of my colleagues was working as a staff member at the Windows 2000 Conference and Expo in San Francisco, an event which accompanied the Windows 2000 launch event. Also working at the event was his boss’s boss, and the two shared a hotel room. Their flight back to Redmond wasn’t until late in the afternoon, so they decided to spend their last day in San Francisco being tourists in their host city. Hopping on a cable car, walking down the crooked street, seeing the sights in Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf, all the standard tourist stuff. My flight was also not until late in the afternoon, so I decided to join them. The morning of our planned day as tourists, my colleague lay in his bed hung over from a night out drinking with local friends at a place called The Thirsty Bear. We gently woke him up. “Hey, Bob, it’s N o’clock.” (Where N = the time they agreed to get up.) — grmgmergmrgmrgmmrgmrmgrmgm. Why don’t you go down and have some breakfast. We went downstairs and had a leisurely breakfast in the hotel restaurant. “Hey, Bob, I’m back. Are you ready?” — frgfrgfrgfggfrgrfrgr. Okay, I’ll be down in the lobby in 30 minutes. He pulled himself out of bed and managed to make himself presentable enough for the day. When my colleague returned home and told the story to his wife, she was absolutely horrified. “You went on a business trip with your boss’s boss, and then you went out drinking with your friends, and then the next morning, you were too hung over to wake up on time and made your boss’s boss wait in the hotel lobby for you!?!?” — Well, yeah. What she didn’t know was that Bob and his boss’s boss were actually good friends, so this wasn’t actually a career-limiting move. Though I personally wouldn’t recommend it.

Bonus chatter: When asked where to get off for Chinatown, the cable car operator said, “You want to get off at the next stop, and then walk in that direction until you can’t understand the signs any more.”


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