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Top 5 Myths About Bill Gates

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Bill Gates was born on October 28th 1955 and is currently the author and chairman of Microsoft.

In his younger years he enrolled at Lakeside School which is where his interests in PC’s began. Gates took a great interest to Basic (formally known as Qbasic) and wrote a basic program of the game tic-tac-toe. This allowed users to play the game against the computer. Gates was fascinated with the machine and how it would execute code perfectly.

Gates used his skills to exploit bugs in the PDP-10 system (belonging to Computer Centre Corporation (CCC) to obtain free computer time. This was the current computer system that the school had in place at the time. He was later caught and banned from using the system for 1 year along with 4 others that were exploiting the system.

At the end of the ban Gates and the other students offered to find and report bugs in the CCC software in exchange for computer time. Gates went to the CCC offices and studied the source code for the various systems that ran on CCC as a program advisor. The agreement went on until 1970 when the company went out of business

The following year, Gates wrote the school’s computer program to schedule students in classes. He modified the code so that he was placed in classes with mostly female students.

At age 17, Gates formed a venture with Allen, called Traf-O-Data, to make traffic counters based on the Intel 8008 processor. In early 1973, Bill Gates served as a congressional page in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Gates graduated from Lakeside School in 1973. On the end of year SAT test he scored 1590 out of 1600 and went on to enroll at Harvard College.

Gates did not have a study plan at Harvard but he spent a lot of his time studying computers. He joined up with Paul Allen later and after the release of MITS Altair 8080 they decided they wanted to start their own computer company.

Consistently he has been ranked among the world’s wealthiest people and was the wealthiest of all between 1995 and 2009. During Bill’s career at Microsoft he held the position of chief software architect as well as Chief Executive Officer.

Over the years there have been lots of Myths

Probably one of the most talked about ones was a chain mail that was sent to a whole bunch of email contacts back in 1994. The email lead the user to believe that Microsoft are testing a new system and want help to forward the email to all contacts as a test. The email stated that the user would get paid for every contact that they forwarded the email to and Microsoft would be able to trace this back to the user and reward them for their time and co-operation.

The email was in fact spam, started by a kid in college that spread to email inboxes all around the world. The email was estimated to have reached over 4 million people and caused a flood of spam to the previous recipients that forwarded on the email to their contacts.

It also caused major bandwidth problems for users, an email that has been forwarded over and over again can grow quite large over a short period of time. The download speeds at the time were minuscule compared to the speeds we now experience. A user on a dial-up 56K model would have had to waited up to 45 minutes for the email to download and transfer to their inbox.

Gates once dropped a $1000 pound note and walked on

Being one of the youngest billionaires on the map its no surprise many of these myths evolved around money. In this myth Bill dropped a $1000 dollar note on a street corner. A passer altered Bill to this in which he just shrugged his shoulders and walked on.

This myth is clearly fake as the $1000 pound bill and many other large bills were recalled back in 1969 as there was little use for such a large bill.

640 KB of RAM was suitable for any PC

This was supposedly said back at a computer trade show in the early 80s. This myth has been one of the longest that has to this day still not been dismissed.

There is no evidence that has been brought forwards to this day to deny or confirm this claim, but when you think about it with Gates technical skills and computer science its likely that he knew computers were going to increase in permanence, speed and capacity and thus require more memory to run sufficiently.

This is one of the questions that Gates doesn’t seem to be able to get away from as he quotes

“I keep bumping into that silly quotation attributed to me that says 640K of memory is enough. There’s never a citation; the quotation just floats like a rumor, repeated again and again.”

Gates stole Ideas from Apple

Apple licenses parts of its GUI interface to be used in Windows 1.0 and Gates development team took full advantage of this to develop and modify the features for use in Windows 3.1 and 95.

In 1988 Apple filed a lawsuit against Microsoft for copyright issues and started a case that would go on for 5 years. In 1993 the case came to an end when the judge starting throwing out all of apples arguments in the case.

Despite all the years that have passed there are still rumors and stories that originate from this case that ended in 1993. They will probably be around for as long as we use computers.

Gates doesn’t care about PC security

You hardly ever see headlines “Apple warns users about serious security flaw” and yet if you Google search Microsoft Security flaw you will find endless articles on Microsoft’s weaknesses and other exploits.

The truth is Microsoft (Gates) cares greatly about users security. The reasons why issues with Apples platforms don’t ever seem to be effected is down to the amount of users that run Windows. If you wanted to write a computer program that effected as many computers as possible you would target Windows because globally around 90% of users will be using some soft of Windows platform so they can cause more disruption to the larger consumer market.

Despite the criticism of the past operating systems and vulnerabilities its wrong to say that Microsoft don’t care, Microsoft employs some of the sharped minds in the field of cyber security which includes security chief Michael Howard and Linux security expert Crispin Cowan.

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