Holy cow, I wrote a book!
Hacker News member
recalls the time
I went over after hours to help out the Money team debug
a nasty kernel issue.
They were running into mysterious crashes during their stress
testing and asked for my help in debugging it.
I helped out other teams quite a bit,
writing a new version of Dr. Watson for the Windows 98 team
writing a new version of the MSConfig tool based on a sketch
on a bar napkin.
And for a time,
I followed the official policy for moonlighting
to make sure everybody understood that I was doing work
outside the boundaries of my official job duties.
When the Money folks asked me for help,
I told them that before I could help them,
they would have to help me
fill out some paperwork.
The Money folks were not sure how to answer that last question,
since they didn't have any formal budget or procedures for hiring an outside
much less any procedures for hiring one
from inside the company.
I told them,
One slice of pizza."
Nobody from the Personnel department seemed to notice
the odd circumstances of this moonlighting request;
they simply rubber-stamped it and put it in my file.
The crash, it turns out, was in Windows itself.
There was a bug in the
special compiler the Languages team produced to help
build certain components of Windows 95
which resulted in an incorrect address computation
under a particularly convoluted boundary condition.
The Money folks had merely stumbled across this bug as part
of their regular testing.
I notified the appropriate people,
and the Windows team applied a workaround in their code to tickle
the compiler into generating the correct code.
As I recall, the pizza was just fine.
It was just your average delivery pizza,
nothing gourmet or anything.
Not that it had to be, because
I wasn't there
for the pizza.