There are 365 days in a year. Three hundred and sixty-six in a leap year. Of the millions of events that occur during a year, it’s natural that multiple events will happen on the same day.
Yesterday was August 8. The date is 8/8. The same for both Europe and America, with that crazy mm/dd vs dd/mm difference. We have twelve days per year where the month and day are the same. And occasionally we have a year that also matches up. This year we saw 2/2/22 (and 2/22/22.) A little over ten years ago there was 1/1/11 (and, of course, 1/11/11.) Moving further back to the previous millennium we had 9/9/99. And, a little more than a decade before that there was 8/8/88.
I don’t remember any of those days. . .except one. Or eight. August eighth, nineteen eighty-eight. That was the day that WordPerfect Office 2.0 first shipped. It was not a word processor, despite being from WordPerfect. It was also not a productivity suite like Microsoft Office. It was basically an email program. And for the eighties, it was a pretty good email system.
I was working for WordPerfect Corporation back in the eighties. And I went to work in the Office group shortly after Office 2.0 shipped. It was my first real company. And really set the tone for my career. I first became a trainer at WordPerfect. I first started travelling for business. I first became a certified expert. I wrote my first book.
So many things that came later started with 8/8/88. You might wonder why I remembered it so well.
Simple. It was terrible. Not the product. The product was pretty innovative. But, the first version? It was terrible. In fact, it was so bad that in later months, after patches had been released, if a customer called up who was using the 8/8/88 version, the first thing we did was send them an update.
But, even 34 years later, every time the calendar comes up with double eights, I remember the good things that have have come to me over the years. And much of it started on 8/8/88.
Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. Order Miscellany II, an anthology including his latest short story, “The Mercy System” here
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