Bill GatesWe read books for a number of reasons but usually because we wantto or we have to.
When you pick up a book it falls into one of three types,dependent on whether it is a want to or a have to type of book. First there’sthe kind of book you pick up and like the look of but then the first chapter isso bad that you have to put it down because you are either too confused by theplot or you discover it has been written in some obscure untranslatable language.The second type is where the first chapter is slightly disappointing but it isworth pursuing so you read on. These books are often the type you recommend tofriends although you have only the basic sketch as to what they are about (suchas any pulp fiction novel – you’ve read the story somewhere before but you areon holiday so it is either this or the guide book).The third type of book is a rare breed indeed. This is the book you read andthen read and then read some more. It is the type of book that you miss thingsfor.
If you like computers and want to know more about them, about the history,and about the most important figure in this industry, then this is definitely”the third type of book.”The book that I was able to read was Gates by Stephen Manes and Paul Andrews.It was about how man named Bill Gates became the foundation of computingindustry and how he reinvented an industry- and made himself the richest man inAmerica.
William (Bill) Gates is the computer industry’s youngest billionaire. Aspresident and CEO of Microsoft, he has made several important contributions tothe world of technology. Most people would probably picture him as being acomputer programmer but not with holding the position of chair and chiefexecutive officer (CEO) of a corporation. Actually, Bill Gates is both aprogrammer and CEO. To talk about Bill Gates one has to talk about the historyof Microsoft.
Gates’ family was financially well off. His father, William H. Gates II, is aprominent attorney. His mother, Mary, is the director of First Interstate Bank.Early on in life, Gates’ parents placed him into Lakeside, an academicallychallenging private school. While at Lakeside, Gates met his close friend andfuture business partner Paul Allen. Together they entered the world ofprogramming at Lakeside.
It all started on October 28, 1955, in Seattle, Washington, where one of thebrains behind Microsoft Corporation was born, William Henry Gates III. Atthirteen he started going to Lakeside School. A year later, the Mothers’ Clubinvested in a computer terminal for the students. Gates teamed up with threeother students to form The Lakeside Programmers Group. Their first real businessdeal was a payroll program they wrote for Information Sciences Inc., in 1971.
At the young age of 15, Gates was able to crash the DEC operating system and theCDC, which were two of the most advanced computer systems at that time. Althoughhis ability to crash these two systems brought him some major trouble, it alsoled him to his first business adventure. Gates and Allen started the companyTraf-O-Data, which earned them $20,000. Gates and Allen developed a machine wasable to generate summary statistics on traffic flow from a rubber tube strungacross a highway. Unfortunately, Traf-O-Data was not a big success.
However,after their Traf-O-Data adventure the Gates and Allen received a job offer withTRW, a corporation that produced software producta. They were able to earn$30,000 a year working with a software development group, which proved to be avery valuable experience for both Allen and Gates. Then in 1973 Gates startedat Harvard University, in Massachusetts.In December 1974, Paul Allen, the other brain behind Microsoft, saw an articlein Popular Electronics describing the Mango Information Technology Systems(MITS) Altair 8800, a home computer kit costing four hundred dollars. This”magazine article..
.would charge their lives and, ultimately, just abouteverybody else’s”. At that time, Gates and Allen contacted MITS to let them knowthey had a form of the computer language, called Basic, for the Altair 8800. Afew months later, the Basic language for the Altair was finished, and theysigned a deal with MITS.
MITS offered Allen a job and office space for the twoof them to work in its headquarters. Gates and Allen referred to themselves asMicro-Soft at that time. Before long, they would set up Microsoft in its ownbuilding in Albuquerque, New Mexico.In 1977, Gates dropped out of Harvard University. Microsoft was released fromtheir contract with MITS and owned its Basic language program outright.Microsoft also made an agreement with Kuzuhiko Nishi for future softwaredevelopments in Japan. Two years later Microsoft moved to Seattle, due to thegrowth of the company.Microsoft made a deal with International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) in1980, regarding a computer language and disk operating system for IBM’s newrange of personal computers.
So, Microsoft signed a deal to have the rights toQ-DOS, an operating system from Seattle Computer Products. They adapted Q-DOS towork with IBM’s new personal computer. A year later, Microsoft came out with MS-DOS.In 1981, Gates decided that Microsoft should be in the market for applicationsoftware for personal computers users. Two years later, Microsoft launched theirfirst application program, WORD 1. Gates then announced that Microsoft was goingto be launching a new way to use a computer with a Graphical User Interface(GUI) know as Windows. They also introduced a hand-held pointing tool, the mouse,which changed the way one interfaces with the computer.
Even though Allen had to leave Microsoft for health reasons in 1983, he remainsa director of Microsoft. On March 13, 1986, Gates and Allen become instantmillionaires when Microsoft was launched onto the stock exchange. Also that yearMicrosoft moved to Redmond, Washington, to accommodate its twelve hundredemployees. With the launch of Windows 3.0 in May 1990, Microsoft become thefirst personal computer software company to exceed over $1 billion in sales in asingle year.
In June 1992, Gates accepted the National Medal of Technology fromPresident George Bush. Six months later, Microsoft became the world’s largestcomputer-industry company, based on the total value of its stock.After this book was published, I would like to mention that Bill Gates is nowmarried whose name is Melinda Gates and now has a daughter named JenniferKatharine Gates. Furthermore, he is now worth more then 17 billion dollars.
Ofcourse, I am underestimating Bill Gates’s wealth because it only counts hiscurrent holdings of Microsoft stock. The cars, houses, aircraft, helicopters,aircraft carriers, islands, and small European countries that he owns are notfigured in.I think that the authors wrote this book as part history, part biography,and part computing. This book is overflowing with detail of computer industrythe reason being that the authors are computer experts. Stephen Manes hascovered the computer industry for more than ten years as a columnist andcontributing editor for PC Magazine and PC Computing. Paul Andrews is a hightech reporter for the Seattle Times. The information in this book is amazingfrom starting of industry to where its headed.
And from reading this book, Ifeel that Bill Gates and Microsoft are one in the same–one does not existwithout the other. “Gates, they say, understands that his company’s image isclosely linked to his own.” No matter what people say about him, there is notelling where personal computing would be without him.
What he has done willaffect the computer world for a long time.