Nintendo – 1989

My phone at work rang. (Remember when people had phones at their desk?)

“Claris, this is ___.”

“Hello. My name is John Smith. I represent a video game company here in town. We are looking for software developers for our next generation gaming console.”

Blink. “Um, OK.”

“I understand you have experience with the Western Digital 65C816 processor?”

“Yes, I do.”

“That’s great! We are looking for experienced developers on this processor to work on our exciting new game console and games for it!

“Do you play video games?” he asked, hopefully.

“Well, I don’t play video games that much, and when I do, it’s on the Apple II or the Mac.”

He said some non-committal things, and then asked the golden question:

“Would you be interested in interviewing for a position on our Santa Clara-based development team?”

“I would have to write 65816 assembly?”, I asked.

“Yes, that’s why I am talking with you.”

I paused and planned out what I was going to say.

“I have been promised a position at my current company working on the Mac once we wrap up our current project. Once that happens, I hope to never 1. work in assembly again, and 2. work on the 65816.

“So, I am afraid I’ll have to pass.”

He sighed. “OK, do you know anybody else who might be interested.”

I wouldn’t subject that to any of the other StyleWare people, or any of the Apple II people I had met at Apple since I moved to California.

“Afraid not.”

He game me his number, and said goodbye.

Ten minutes later, a phone near me rang, and one of my teammates answered. It was the same guy. Turns out, the guy was going down the list of names in the About Box, calling the Claris switchboard, and asking for each of them in turn.

Found out later that the machine in question was the Super Nintendo, and he must have been working for Nintendo, since when he called, the machine hadn’t shipped yet.


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