Autodesk, in its own words - a document trove

I bet there are many findings to be found in this collection of internal documents from Autodesk, from founding the company, or a bit before, to about 1993, by which time they were huge.

The Autodesk File Bits of History, Words of Experience Edited by John Walker

For example, from 1982:

We’re now the owners of a IBM Personal Computer. We bought the full-blown configuration with two discs and 64K of internal memory. We’ve ordered, and soon expect to receive, a ``Baby Blue’’ which will provide 64K of additional memory plus a Z-80 processor to allow the IBM to run CP/M, and a Quadram board which will give us a serial port, time of day clock, and 64K-196K of additional memory (we’re ordering 64K, and will add the chips ourself to expand it to the maximum). We’ve received the IBM Macro Assembler, which we will be able to run as soon as we get the requisite 96K (!) installed in the machine. We’ve also obtained an 8087 chip which we’ll install in the machine to give it hardware floating point capability. This will both let us certify our software floating point package and let us offer the hardware floating point as an option in all the software we develop. (This will make MicroCAD immensely faster.)

At the moment the IBM is at Greg Lutz’s house in the east bay, where Greg and Keith Marcelius are gaining familiarity with the machine. We have two copies of the technical manual for the machine, which we will circulate to those interested in it.

At the moment we’re mostly playing with the machine and trying to figure out the assembly language. The machine’s major immediate application will be to support the conversion of MicroCAD and QBASIC.

And this:

At the same time, we’re entering a marketplace which is expanding at an unbelievable rate. Wander through any office tower in downtown San Francisco and look at how many desks have computers on them. Say, less than 1%. In 5 years or so, 80 to 100% of those desks are going to have computers on them, and those computers will be running programs that have not been written yet. In less than 6 weeks, over 100,000 IBM personal computers have been sold. There is little or no serious application software for that machine at present. If we make $100 per copy on a database system for that machine, and sell 50% of those customers on it, we’ve pocketed five million bucks. And how many will they sell in the next five years…

via this comment on HN