Armonk. Cupertino. Redmond. Santa Cruz.
Of the four aforementioned places, three have iconic status in the history of the personal computer, and the fourth hopefully can reverse its dubious place in the historic footnotes that have yet to be written.
Armonk is where IBM makes its home. Cupertino and Apple are joined forever in an infinite loop at 1 Infinite Loop. Redmond . . . well, the Death Star has to reside somewhere, and the suburb just east of Seattle just happens to be where Microsoft settled in.
Then there’s Santa Cruz, which is the “SC” in the original “SCO,” which at its founding in 1979 was the Santa Cruz Operation.
I live in Santa Cruz — in the mountains of the Santa Cruz County, not near surfing mecca on the shores of Monterey Bay (hence, I don’t pepper the ends of my sentences with duuuuuuuude) — and through SCO’s many metamorphoses, the company no longer has its headquarters in Santa Cruz (to be fair, there’s an SCO office in Scotts Valley, a suburb here which would be more at home in Orange County than Santa Cruz, but I digress).
That’s a good thing, too, because like Berchtesgaden in Germany trying to clean its sullied past as Hitler’s playground, Santa Cruz also has some image problems in GNU/Linux circles thanks to SCO. This occurred to me during an on-line conversation with someone overseas that went like this:
J: Where do you live?
Me: Santa Cruz, California.
J: Santa Cruz? As in SCO?
Me: Um, yeah. But I didn’t live here when SCO was around.
Why did I feel the need to defend Santa Cruz? I don’t know. We have some pretty good software and hardware companies here — Borland started out here, and Seagate still makes its home in Santa Cruz County, as does Allume, which was once called Aladdin Systems and is still based in Watsonville. A plethora of independent developers — like Entrance‘s Tod Landis — write programs on “this side of the hill,” while the Silicon Valley teems with activity on the other side of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Open Source and Free Software Reporter, my magazine, is based here, too.
SCO is now based in Utah, which begs the question why they haven’t changed their name to UO, for Utah Operation (and keep those cards and letters — I’ve read the history and know why).