The current Time Machine Bucket List
(If a working time machine falls into my lap, these are a few things I’d address…)
Gary Kildall must understand to use linefeed as the line terminator in text files, and not carriage-return plus linefeed. Also, no control-Z nonsense; exact file lengths in CP/M, please.
Intel must choose a 256 byte paragraph size (8 bits) rather than the puny and useless 16 byte paragraph size. Result: An architectural 16 MB memory space, rather than the miserable 1 MB. VisiCorp doesn’t kill itself trying to cram its software into overlays and so forth, and its battles with Microsoft become epic.
Bjarne Stroustrup realizes he has to have a standard string class for the first public release of C++, rather than that iostreams nonsense.
Steve Jobs includes a second mouse button (good luck with that. Maybe if we get him really high this time…)
There must be threads in V6 Unix. They don’t need to be fancy, they just need to get people thinking. (This probably means coroutines in C).
A mushroom handling accident in the executive dining room wipes out nearly all of the Warner Atari’s upper management. 2600 Pac-Man given nine months of development time, all movie-based games are canceled.
A young Larry Ellison realizes that building boats is really, really cool. He is never heard of in the tech industry. Decades later he runs into Paul Allen and asks for his autograph.
(Note: Stay away from Richard Stallman in all versions of the timeline).