I worked at Lotus for several quarters as an intern in the early 90s. This was in Atlanta, where they built the Ami Pro word processor. It started life as the Amí word processor created by Samna, and aquired by Lotus in 1990.
At the time I started, Ami Pro 3 had just been released, and work on the Ami Pro 4 release had just begun. The team was shifting from a simple, monolithic codebase in Windows 3 C code, to a complete rewrite in C++ split across several platforms – Windows 3.1, NT, OS/2, Unix, and MacOS.
I spent my time working on the import/export file filters, and eventually porting some of the vector graphics code over to the new code base. It was a fascinating experience, especially at a time so close to the outset of the commercial Internet. A lot of it was old-school DOS/Windows development, sneaker-net, monochrome debug monitors, and no source control. At the same time, we had Lotus Notes running across the company WAN with the headquarters in Cambridge, where we had distributed email and bug tracking.
They eventually cancelled the Mac port of Ami Pro 4, to focus on the other ports (in a fit of bad decision making, the company decided there was more of a future in the Unix and OS/2 ports!). Two members of the Mac team left to form Pixel Technologies. I ended up joining them to work on some contract game development projects, because they’d often seen me taking advantage of the monochrome debug monitor at work to make it easier to crack games :)
- Ami Pro 3 easter egg
- We <3 Ami Pro on Facebook. Yes, this really exists.