The Man That Launched Task Manager

Source: The Register The Man That Launched Task Manager

Dave Plummer Is Also The Reason Your Zip Files Look Like Folders

You may never have thought about where one of the handiest tools on your Windows powered PC came from, but if you are curious you should take a look at The Register.  Dave Plummer started at Microsoft back in 1993 working on MS-DOS as well as developing his own shareware programs, many of of which Microsoft purchased and incorporated into various Windows versions.  He started with working on Double Space, a program some will remember increased the amount of storage available on your system while at the same time developing VisualZip which formed the basis of the interface you use to see inside Zip files to this day.

He developed what is perhaps his most famous tool in in the mid 90’s and Task Manager was revealed to the world with the release of WinNT 4.0.  It was a very powerful tool back then, and didn’t require explorer.exe to draw it’s interface which let you bring it up even when your screen wouldn’t refresh and with the Run new task under the File menu it allowed you to launch a new instance of explorer which could often allow you to continue working on the machine. Indeed if you discovered that Task Manager itself had died and wouldn’t come up for you, hitting CTRL-SHIFT-ESC would launch a new instance for you

That is much more difficult with the new version of Task Manager, even after you take it out of the almost completely useless minimalist mode it defaults to now and which he wants people to know he had absolutely nothing to do with.   He was involved in many other projects at Microsoft, up to and including porting Space Cadet Pinball which might have been a bigger accomplishment that task mananger.

The Microsoft developer who wrote Task Manager, along with other utilities and games, has popped up to "write this stuff down before I forget it all".

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About The Author

Jeremy Hellstrom

Call it,, or PC Perspective, Jeremy has been hanging out and then working with the gang here for years. Apart from the front page you might find him on the BOINC Forums or possibly the Fraggin' Frogs if he has the time.

1 Comment

  1. collie

    Great read. Fun walk through the past, HOWEVER Double Space never worked. Technically it did compress the most simple files AND it did change the reported available space, but that’s it. Even when it was working OK 8mb was NEVER enough ram to even conceive of zip-unzip on the fly.

    I, and most defiantly you Jer, learned that the hard way back in the day.


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