Geek Of The Week: Bill Gates

Geek Of The Week: Bill Gates

Everyone knows Bill Gates, but few know his story. It is an amazing one.

After scoring 1590/1600 on his SATs in 1973, Gates was accepted to Harvard Law School. He attended classes, but spent most of his time in the computer lab. It was there he met a man named Steve Ballmer (the current CEO of Microsoft). Gates dropped out of Harvard in 1975 after he and his friend Paul Allen (co-founder of Microsoft) took a trip to Micro Instrumentation and Technology Systems (MITS), and sold them a programming language they’d been working on. This language would later come to be known as Microsoft BASIC. In 1976, the name Microsoft (the original name was actually Micro-Soft) was officially registered.

Old Microsoft Logo 300x201 Geek Of The Week: Bill Gates
Microsoft’s First Logo

In 1980, Microsoft partnered with IBM in what has been called “the deal of the century.” Gates agreed to license PC-DOS (an operating system Microsoft did not own at the time at the time the deal was made) to IBM for use on their computers. The catch was Gates wanted Microsoft to retain ownership of the operating system and be free to sell it to other vendors. IBM agreed stating “the money in computers is made from hardware, not software.” It was this deal that made Microsoft into what they are today. It was this deal that made Microsoft a common household name. It was this deal that made Bill Gates the richest man in the world. The name PC-DOS was later changed to MS-DOS. Windows 1, 2, and 3 soon followed. These paved the way for 1995’s release of Windows 95, and the rest is common knowledge.

Gates stepped down as CEO of Microsoft in 2000 (appointing Steve Ballmer as his succesor), and retired from Microsoft in 2006. He and his wife Melinda have since been busy running the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest transparently operated private foundation. Their organization has given billions of dollars to charities all over the world for global health and development, as well as domestic education.

Additionally, Gates has publicly admitted that he has Asperger’s Syndrome (and Autism spectrum disorder) and it may partially responsible for his success. He has donated money to help fund Autism research. Needless to say, he didn’t let his disability keep him down. He excelled in spite of it and may have even harnessed it to be more successful. That’s just awesome!

Well… what else can we say here. The Geek Trio are not big Microsoft fans, but we have have to respect what Bill Gates did for computing, and his philanthropic contributions since. He is, without a doubt, the most famous and well known computer geek ever!

About the Author

avatar KALE: A geek who works in the IT field and lives in Dallas, TX. He is also a music geek who has played in several local bands. Previous to his IT career, Kale worked as a photojournalist. He brings technical advice and artistic counterpoint to the podcast.