HOSS was the Home Office Software Support group at Symbolics. Members of this group were generaly known as HOSStages, although we were referred to as HOSS tiles on occasion.
In general terms, the job description was to take a customer question; translate it into inoffensive language and present it to the developers. We then took the answer and tranlated that into inoffensive language and presented it to the customer. Absorbing all this flamage could be quite stressfull at times.
In the field we had our FOSSiles who worked for the Field Office Software Support group. FOSS doesn’t have its own web page yet.
[I’d like people’s memories of each of us to put in here. Anybody have any good stories about any HOSS people to provide? Since we’re mostly all still on the net, try not to be offensive. Also a one liner about each person would be nice.]
Our fearless leader. The only boss who ever gave me a kitten.
When Teri interviewed with HOSS, she’d misspelled both Compiler and Environment on her resume. We hired her anyway.
Not the actor, silly. Played jazz saxophone. When we went to see his band we always requested the theme to the Flintstones.
Everybody’s favorite wookie. I remember jrd used to spend hours on the phone saying, “No, What I’m trying to say is…No, what I’m trying to say is…No, what I’m trying to say is…”
Eventually they might even listen.— 7thson
Known as “7thSon” at the time for reasons he usually didn’t bother to explain.
Former hardware person who made the painful transistion.
Our resident writer. She made it possible for us to put out bulletins without anybody else needing to be able to spell.
Born in Alaska. Former Figure skater. Hated winters. Kyra was hired to work in LA, but had to spend one more winter working with us in Boston. In order to make sure she didn’t forget how bad winters were in Boston she walked to work across the Harvard bridge every morning and evening all winter long.
Rick always dove headfirst into problems and did a depth first search of the solution space. He might start on a problem which was caused by a user typo and end up reading the sources to the microcode.
“Speedbump” Pascoe. She was out jogging and tripped over a speedbump and hurt herself.
Either the perpetrator or the victim of most of the practical jokes. At one point Jared decided that he wanted to have a round table in his office. Only managers were supposed to have round tables. After listening to him ask for one for several weeks, we decided to fulfill his wish. Late one evening, we stole the table from every manager’s office we could get into and moved them all into Jared’s office. It was filled to the ceiling with tables. We went home laughing about the next morning. In the morning, Jared arrived before anybody else and quietly moved (almost) all the tables back to the offices that we’d taken them from and when we got in pretended nothing had happened. Aside from one manager who was missing a table, everything seemed perfectly normal. We told this manager to ask Jared where the table was. He claimed ignorance. Eventually the facilities department came up with another table since nobody seemed to know what happened to the one that was missing.
[ Anybody care to take this one for me? ]
I think I may actually have had a hand provoked that tradition, by showing up for an interview in Camo pants. George (what was his last name?) liked it so much that he insisted I keep wearing them.
HOSStage for a Day
The HOSStage for a Day program was where various Symbolics employees did the job of a HOSStage for one day. This served two purposes: First, it gave some of the people who didn’t respect our abilities some respect for what we did; and second, it helped with some of the workload.
I was a HOSStage for a day, and I remember being very lucky and being able to answer all my questions.