in October 28, 1955 William Henry Gates III was born to a rich family
with a business, law and political history. Bill Gates father was a
prominent lawyer and his mother served as the board of director for
First Interstate BancSystem. Bill Gates was a bright and intelligent
person from childhood which prompted his parents to enroll him with the
The Lakeside school had then decided to educate the
students with the knowledge of computers. Computers then were too heavy
and costly for schools to afford. However, the school raised funds and
bought a DEC PDP-10 made by General Electric.
Gates, his friend Paul Allen and other Lakeside Students fell in love
with the computers. They were inseparable making the lab their home day
and night. Gates and Allen spent their entire day reading articles,
books and magazines related to computing and the rest on programming.
This lead to problems with the Lakeside faculty and for the school. The
school ran out of budget on maintaining these computers and Bill and
Allen lost their interest in studies.
However, Computer Center
Corporation a Seattle business offered their computer assistance to the
school. This would mean more computing time and knowledge for Bill and
the young comrades. They now skipped classes, rarely submitted home
works and had used all of their school computer time.
story of these computer freaks or what ever you wish to call, did not
end up here. Their minds now led them to hack the school security
system and even alter the files which record the number of school
computing time used. The nuisance was finally caught and Computer
Center Corporation finally banned them from their system for several
What would these computer addicts do without computers?
They formed the Lakeside Programmers Group in late 1968. Might be they
had the adrenaline by birth to change the world forever. They wanted to
apply their ideas in the real world and in real time situations to make
What more can be good for these young comrades? The
same company who threw them out had now some serious issues. Computer
Center Corporation was facing issues as the system had week security
and was crashing frequently. This was when they remembered the hackers
and their impressive assaults on their computer. They asked Bill, Allan
and the other comrades to help fix bugs and find issues with security
and reliability. In return, Computer Center Corporation would provide
them unlimited computer time. Well, as you would have assumed by now,
this was too big a temptation to resist for the addicts. Gates
remembering those early years mentions, “It was when we got free time
at C-cubed (Computer Center Corporation) that we really got into
computers. I mean, then I became hardcore. It was day and night”
a few years, Computer Center Corporation had to close due to
insufficient funds. After this the Bill, Allen and the group worked for
University of Washington and then for Information Sciences Inc.
However, work with TRW defense meant not just finding bugs but fixing
them. TRW made Bill a serious programmer and made Bill and Allen think
of forming their own company.
In 1974, Allen stepped on a
magazine while he was on the way to meet his fellow comrade Bill Gates.
Little did they realize what he saw would change their life for ever.
On the Popular Electronics magazine cover was a photo of Altair 8080
with the headline “World’s First Microcomputer Kit to Rival Commercial
Allen just rushed back to Bill’s dorm with the magazine.
They soon found out the maker of Altair, MITS (Micro Instrumentation
and Telemetry Systems). Gates called them up in the next couple of days
stating they have developed a BASIC which can be used in Altair. Both
Allen and Gates had never seen an Altair and did not even have one line
of code written. That was an unadulterated lie.
on earth would know that they lied. MITS was eager to have a look at
the code and this was the start of some serious homework for Bill,
Allen and his well formed lie. But they stuck to what they promised.
They had already informed that they would show what they have in a
couple of months.
After days and nights of coding forgetting and
forfeitting sleep and food, they could now say that the code is now
real and not a lie. Bill did most of the coding and Allen worked on
stimulating a PDP-10 to work like Altair. As you know, they have never
Allen now flew to MITS to show their BASIC. They had
never tested in an Altair. It should work perfectly or it would be a
failure shattering their dreams. Well, Allen entered the program in
Altair. Hurray! It worked perfectly the very first time. Well it
should, as it was coded by none other than the master, Bill Gates. MITS
was impressed and got the rights to their BASIC.
months, Allen convinced Bill Gates to drop out of Harvard and thus
Microsoft was born. Isn’t the rest History? Surely, they dreamt what a
common man would call “the impossible”.