Chat request from 19 consolidating your bills

Microsoft and AOL were both, obviously, giant companies, and soon the press got hold of the story. Late Friday, the software giant said it had revised its MSN Messenger program to circumvent America Online’s roadblock.

On July 24, the put it on the front page: “In Cyberspace, Rivals Skirmish Over Messaging.” It was like reading about a boxing match that you yourself were in. Within hours, America Online answered that challenge with a new block.” I framed the article. Just two decades after launching MS-DOS, its first operating system, Microsoft was one of the biggest companies in the world. They were, and are, essentially a software company.

They’d switch it up again; they knew their client, and they knew what it was coded to do and what obscure messages it would respond to in what ways. At one point they threw in a new protocol wrinkle but cleverly excepted users logging on from Microsoft headquarters, so that while all other Messenger users were getting an error message, we were sitting at Microsoft and not getting it.

After an hour or two of scratching our heads, we figured it out.

We had 30,000 employees worldwide, about 10,000 of them in Redmond. While hobbyists in the 1970s were trying to figure out how to build a computer small enough to fit in your home, Bill Gates and his partner Paul Allen were figuring out how to write software for when the hobbyists finally figured it out.

In 1980, they partnered with IBM to make an operating system, MS-DOS (for Microsoft Disk Operating System), for the first mass-manufactured personal computer.

Some protocols, like HTTP and TCP/IP, are public, documented, and spoken by everyone, but some are private/proprietary and undocumented.

I managed when the windows would pop up, how they could be moved around, and how scrolling worked in them (scroll bars were very buggy in Windows! Handling shutdown was a pain, making sure the windows closed down neatly and all the program’s resources were cleaned up properly without the program crashing.

A program talks to a server using a well-defined protocol, which is a set of coded instructions sent to and from the server.

HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol), used to request and transmit web pages, is one of the most common protocols in existence.

I was given little chunks of the project to work on at first, then bigger ones.

I worked on the instant messaging windows: the “type your message here” window and the “transcript” window above it.

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