Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

18 Feb 2008, 9:17 a.m.


Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2008 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Leonard read a 1986 edition of Programmers at Work from Microsoft Press. The back cover includes ads for other contemporary books, including Programmer's Guide to the IBM PC with Peter Norton on the cover.

Like one S. Jobs, Norton went to Reed College. And he spent at least a few months, possibly five years (it's hard for me to tell by Googling) in a Buddhist monastery. He started the company when he was nearly twice the age of today's stereotypical startup founder. I like how roundabout his story is.

You've seen pictures of Norton from his books and from the Norton Utilities box (software that's been in development and use for over twenty years, by the way), where he's wearing glasses and his hair has gone lighter. But check out 42-year-old Norton in 1985, who reminds me of Jim Fisher and Leonard of George Frankly from Mathnet, the serial within Square One TV.

His pose is as unreadable as the Mona Lisa's. The nerd look is deliberate and iconic; maybe I'll have to stop using Dilbert as a shorthand for my type of man and start referring to "Peter Norton in the pink shirt photo." He's used to these sorts of helpless predilections.


19 Feb 2008, 11:06 a.m.

When I was in college I went with a bunch of other CS students to Symantec for a competition to debug Norton Something-or-other for Windows 95. I was disappointed that cool programs like the hex editor were not included in the software I was testing, and told one of the Symantec programmers so. She was kind of patronizing or maybe didn't know what I was talking about. Fortunately this was around the time I started using Linux.<br/>

20 Feb 2008, 23:23 p.m.


"Peter Norton, Peter Norton's stylized signature, and Peter Norton's crossed-arm pose are U.S. registered trademarks of Peter Norton."