In search of the real Bill Gates. Part two

    Warren Buffett, Trey and Melinda Gates

    After he left the walls of Harvard University at the age of 21 in order to found Microsoft, William Henry Gates III also stubbornly won victory now in the field of personal computer operating systems.

    In the process, he made a huge fortune - according to Forbes estimates, this year it is about $ 40 billion.
    Back in 1996, 88 percent spike in Microsoft shares meant it earned more than $ 10.9 billion (on paper), or about $ 30 million dollars a day.
    Today, he is again the richest man on the planet. But it is a lot more. He became Edison and Ford of our century.
    A successful entrepreneur, Bill Gates personifies the digital age.

    His success almost entirely originates in his personality: an incredible and sometimes frightening mixture of genius, drive, a constant desire to compete and a frantic life rhythm.
    This largely sets the course for Microsoft.

    “The identity of Bill Gates completely determined the culture of Microsoft,” confirms his friend and constant intellectual duelist Nathan Mirwold.

    “I don’t think there is anything unique in the human mind,” Gates says over dinner at an almost empty Indian restaurant in a mall near his office. Even while eating, he seemed to be in multitasking mode: equally possessing both right and left hands, Gates throws the plug from one to the other, using his free hand to gesticulate or write something.
    “All neurons in the human brain that are responsible for perception and emotions work almost on binary principles. We will ever reproduce this on a machine, I'm sure.
    Earthly life is based on carbon, computers are based on silicon, but this is not such a key difference.
    Sooner or later, scientists will be able to isolate and read the human genome, and understand how nature has breathed the mind into a carbon-based system. ”

    “Of course,” he adds, “the idea itself seems a little intimidating, however,” he continues with a slight grin,
    “it would still be a scam.” “It's like a programmer doing reverse engineering of someone else’s product in order to understand how his competitor did the job.”

    “N-yes. But is there something special in your opinion, perhaps even divine in the human soul? ”

    His face loses expression, the tone becomes colorless. Gates folds his hands on his stomach and begins to sway violently in his chair. In the end, in the same colorless tone, completely on the machine, he replies: “Well, I have no evidence”, sways again, back and forth - “I have no evidence ...”

    “When he was just a kid, he was terribly fond of swinging back and forth in his crib,” recalls Gates' father, a rather large man, while Bill is short and rather feeble.

    William Henry Gates Sr.

    lawyer retired, he still lives in the old house in the suburbs of Seattle, on the shores of Lake Washington, where Bill Third - a boy, whom he still calls Trey (Trey, a card indicating the term of three) - grew up.

    “His mother was a truly spectacular woman,” says Bill the Elder. Being the daughter of a banker, she was very well oriented in both social and business environments. For a long time she worked at Washington University, was the president of the United Way charity. After her death, in 1994, the city council named the street leading to their house in her honor.

    “Trey, in terms of communication with peers, had to be tight ...”, recalls his father.
    “I remember how he suffered two weeks before inviting a girl to a school ball. And all the same, in the end, she refused ... "

    As we go with him around the house, he shows all new photos of his son: here is the fair-haired smiling Gates - scout, here he is with sister Christie, (she is a year older than him) , who now happily works for him as a tax consultant, but with the younger Libby, they have 9 years of difference. She lives nearby, only a couple of blocks away, and raises her two children. Here he is with Bill Sr. and his wife Mimi, director of the Seattle Museum of Art, and here he hugs Melinda during a performance by Willy Nelson at a 1994 New Year's party in Hawaii.

    Bill Senior with his wife Mimi

    Elder sister Christie

    Family photo
    Gates family, 1970. From left to right: Libby, Bill, Christy, Mary, and Bill Sr.

    Another family photo - later
    From left to right: Bill, Christy, Bill Sr. and Libby. India, in 2008

    Queen Elizabeth II knighted devotes Gates

    "He's a busy guy," smiles Bill Elder, "so we see each other is certainly not often, but spend the holidays together."
    “Thanksgiving in Spokanne, Washington, DC, at Christie’s house, at Christmas we play golf in Palm Springs, where Bill and Melinda have a small house.”
    They communicate with their father mainly by e-mail. Just this morning, he received a letter from his son, which described what a wonderful photocopy Trey bought him as a birthday present.

    In 1986, when Microsoft came to success, Gates bought a small village (named Gateway) for four houses for his family. There, his parents helped him for a long time to conduct summer fun trips for dozens of friends and colleagues, who later became known as Microgames.

    “The obligatory part of the program was quick-witted games, battles of minds. Although there were just quizzes and contests, ”says Bill Sr., turning over the pages of the photo album. There were no ordinary picnics: for example, during one of the games the teams had to compete in sending numerical messages to each other using smoke alarms, the winners had to come up with their own 4-bit binary code.

    Bill Sr. and his wife Mary

    “We started to worry about him when it was time to move to seventh grade,” recalls Bill Sr., “he was so small and modest, and his interests were so different from the interests of an ordinary sixth grader.”
    His intellectual drive and curiosity could hardly be satisfied in an ordinary city school. And his parents decide to send him to an elite private school on the other side of the city.

    When we walk with him through the wide courtyard of Lakeside School, Bill Sr. points his hand at a small amphitheater: there, his son once even played a major role in the school production of Peter Schaffer's Black Comedy.
    “He liked it a lot, he burned with enthusiasm for the scene, he would. But what really occupied him was entirely here, ”he says, pointing to the academic building, a small building with a spire at the top.
    It was in this building that a bulky teletype terminal, bought by a club of mothers from a yard sale, was bought with money.


    Studying the BASIC language according to one of the first versions of his documentation, with a friend Paul Allen, Trey will write two programs in the eighth grade: the first translates the numbers entered from the keyboard from one number system to another, and the second they played with Allen for a long time, this there were tic-tac-toe.


    Later, Gates carried away by literature on the military strategies of Emperor Napoleon, will write a computer version of the game Risk, a board game that he loves and whose goal is world domination.

    The wise advice of the “senior adviser” (see the beginning of the story ) and his passion for computers formed him as a confident young businessman.
    Towards the end of the school, he and his friends open a small company that even makes a profit and is engaged in analyzing and graphically presenting information on traffic on the city’s roads.

    “At that time, his self-confidence greatly increased, and his sense of humor in addition,” recalls his father. “He became an excellent storyteller, he could imitate the voices of various characters. And he finally made peace with his mother. ”

    “In ninth grade,” Bill Gates himself recalls, “I came up with a new form of resistance. I was not particularly keen on getting top grades at school. And yet, this time he decided to get everything “A” without bison at all.
    I did not go to math in principle, because I knew enough about the subject, and even read ahead.
    The goal was easily achieved. This strengthened my independence, and taught me that you can no longer rebel. ”
    In the tenth, he already teaches a subject about computers and writes a program that lays out school schedule grids. Which has a secret function that assigns him to the same classes with the girls that he likes.


    His best friend was Kent Evans, and quite a bit is known about him, except that his father had a high rank in the Unitarian church.
    “We read Fortune together, were about to take over the world,” smiles Gate, “yes, I still remember his phone number by heart.”
    The three of them (Gates, Evans, and Allen) they organize such an offensively sounding "Lakeside Group of Programmers" and even receive an order to develop a payment system for a local company.

    A terrible quarrel, (the first of many) occurred when Allen tried to pull everything onto himself. But he quickly realized
    that he needed the indefatigable gates.
    “Good,” Gates told him, “but then the main one is me.”

    To relieve stress after long hours of programming, Evans is climbing.
    Once Gates called the director and said that Evans fell and crashed during training.
    "I had never before faced death ...", says Gates. Again the same colorless tone, a distant look. “At the farewell ceremony, I had to give a speech, but I could not even get up from the bench. After that, I could not do anything for another two weeks. ”

    After that, he becomes even closer to Paul Allen. Together they continue to learn how to code and find occasional part-time jobs as programmers. “We were real partners,” Gates recalls those years, “spent hours every day discussing something, conferring, arguing.”
    After Gates went to study at Harvard, Allen several times a month drove his cross-country Chrysler for cross-country hours for the sake of friendship and cooperation not to end.

    Gates and Allen

    This he eventually convinced Gates to become the most famous student expelled from Harvard for a new company to develop the software. Initially, they christened it “Micro-Soft” (Micro-Soft, but this is after a long discussion of the name “Gates and Allen Incorporated”).

    The starting point in the partners' plans was not the trivial task of writing new versions of the BASIC language for the first personal computers. And it was a truly strong union. Gates, a coder and workaholic, with his indefatigable desire to always and with all compete. And Allen, the dreamer and dreamer.

    The first logo options:

    Do not forget, it was the era of disco

    Finally - all sorts of goodies:

    Interview from the second minute.
    Probably the earliest of his video, which can only be found.
    (Correct if I am mistaken)

    Fortune magazine video .
    Gates is told by his father, sister and colleagues. Very cool, though in English.

    A few google maps:

    Headquarters in Redmond Bill Gates's

    world-famous smart home

    But one of these small buildings was the most Microsoft's first office. For two of his very first employees - Gates and Allen.
    199 California St., Albuquerque, New Mexico
    The place was not chosen by chance - the fact is that Allen got a job in Albuquerque at MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems), Altair's computer manufacturer.
    Soon, Allen had to work on two sides - his immediate employers and the newly formed Micro Soft.

    (the first Altair is such crumbs)

    To be continued ...

    based on Time magazine

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