The Story of Sun Microsystems PizzaTool: the first pizzas ordered on the internet #VintageComputing #Sun
We all take for granted we can get onto the web and order a pizza from our favorite restaurant. But back in 1990, there was no web, no dominoes.com. But Ben Stoltz at Sun Microsystems was way ahead of others in thinking this, and showing off the capabilities of Sun’s computers.
Don Hopkins writes the ultimate history of PizzaTool:
The NeWS Toolkit version of PizzaTool was shipped with Solaris 2 / SVR4 Unix OpenWindows, with this helpful manual entry. It only contained one known bug, but it was a whopper.
BUGS: There is presently no way to pay off your tab.
pizzatool – a graphical pizza menu user interface
Ben Stoltz, a brilliant and creative user interface programmer at Sun, developed the original “tatool” at Sun Microsystems in October of 1990 with Sun’s Devguide tool for building XView user interfaces.
“TA” stood for “Tony & Alba’s”, the best pizza parlor in Mountain View, located conveniently nearby Sun. Late one Saturday night, Ben came into my office, jumped up and down, gave me a mind blowing demo, and then I accidentally ordered my first pizza over the internet!
I played around with it and put together a mondo pizza with lots of toppings I couldn’t even pronounce, then Ben told me to select the (Send Fax) menu button and choose Email Only so it would email the order form to me. But I fat-fingered it and selected Send Fax, so I had to call up Tony and Albas and tell them I had spazzed out with the mouse, and to ignore the next ridiculous pizza order that came over the fax.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.