He is the richest man in the world. His former friends, who are now his enemies, hate to even hear The Digital World of Bill Gates his name. His company wants to be with you in your office, your car, and even your kitchen. His name is Bill Gates. There is a lot more to Bill Gates than being the richest man in the world. He is one of the people responsible for setting off the computer revolution, and by doing that, he as changed the way mankind lives forever. Who is Bill Gates? Most people do not even know what it is that he does.
This paper will talk about Bill Gates’ beginnings in computers, his pioneering in the computer industry, the creation of Microsoft, and his extraordinary wealth.. William Henry Gates, III was born October 28, 1955 in Seattle, Washington. He was the middle child of three born to William and Mary Gates. William was a lawyer and Mary was a socialite part-time teacher. Trey, as he was called because of the III, was sent to a private school by his parents. At age 13, Bill had completely taught himself programming after taking a computer study class at Lakeside School (an expensive private school in Seattle).
Within a year, he and a man by the name of Paul Allan formed the Lakeside Programmer’s Group. The group was commissioned by the town to create a traffic-monitoring program. They constructed an application called Traf-o-Data that calculated the number of cars travelling down a road and would then give the best timing for a stoplight. In 1970, Bill’s parents stated that he was becoming too addicted to computers and made him give up his obsession. With the same enthusiasm he had placed into computers, he dove into his high school classes, achieving better than he ever had before.
Even though he tried to be “normal” in high school, he was still very much considered an outcast to those who did not know him. They thought of him as egotistical and nerdy. However, those who did know him thought of him as energetic and a risk taker. After scoring a perfect 800 on the mathematics half of the SAT, he graduated from Lakeside School and enrolled at Harvard University as a pre-law major. As a student here, Gates was phenomenal. He received an A in an economics class without even attending and he crammed the night before the final exam.
In June 1975, Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard to pursue a career in computers full time. His best friend throughout life has been Paul Allan. Later, it would be these two men who created the multi-billion dollar company, Microsoft. While still at Harvard Bill had been working on a new program he called “BASIC” (Beginner’s All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code), a new programming language. He later purchased a product and rights to a revolutionary new disk operating system called 86-QDOS from Seattle Computer Products and changed the name to MS-DOS. He then resold the product for profit.
Keeping the rights, he got to receive royalties in addition to the sale price of MS-DOS. Even today, profits are still coming in from the sale of the original 86-QDOS. Later in the life of Microsoft, Bill Gates developed a new Graphical User Interface for a disk operating system. He called it Windows. The first two versions earned him a small amount of money, but the major jackpot came from the later versions, such as Windows 3. 1, Windows 95, and now Windows 98. This new graphical style was often imitated but none so far have had the staying power Windows has.
Not only has Bill Gates changed the computer market for individuals, but with Windows NT (a version of Windows geared for networking in the business environment), he has focused in on the business world as well. As of April 12, 1999, Bill Gates is worth one hundred five billion dollars. This underestimates Bill Gates’ wealth because it only counts his holdings of Microsoft stock as of 1995 (it is assumed if he has sold stock since then he has invested it in assets that perform about as well as Microsoft).
The cars, houses, helicopters, aircraft carriers, islands, and small European countries that he bought before 1995 are not included. Bill Gates is the richest man in the world, and looking at his house, it shows. There was almost five hundred thousand feet of lumber used for his house, all of it being five hundred year-old Douglas Fir, sanded to a satin finish. The five acres have been planted with native trees including Douglas Fir, alder and maple, all kept in their natural appearance. Since the house is in an earthquake region, the entire foundation is concrete.
All the roofing in his house is stainless steel. The house is located in Medina, Washington and is at an estimated cost of $100 million dollars, which is less than one percent of his quarterly earnings. Features of the house include a twenty-seat theater with a popcorn machine, a one thousand square foot dining room, and a two thousand three hundred square foot reception hall with a twenty-two foot video display, made out of twenty-four separate forty-inch projection televisions. There is also a nine hundred square foot multi-purpose room, which was originally intended to be an art gallery.
He has three separate garages, one of which holds thirty cars. It is a huge six thousand three hundred square feet. His exercise facility includes a sauna, steam room, and a trampoline room with a twenty-foot ceiling. Gates finds bouncing beneficial for concentration, as others find rocking in a chair the same way. There is also a three thousand nine hundred square foot indoor pool that’s connected to an outdoor pool via a glass ceiling that you can swim under to reach either side. The pool also has its own underwater music system.
Attached to his piece of land that touches Lake Washington is a boathouse and also a man-made beach with imported driftwood. A billionaire’s mansion would not be complete without a library. Gates hired a New York rare books store to stock up his two thousand one hundred square foot library. It is domed, has a fireplace and two secret pivoting bookshelves, behind is hidden some of his secret treasures. One of which, being the sixteenth-century notebook of Leonardo da Vinci he purchased for thirty million dollars.
One of his favorite books is The Great Gatsby, and around the base of the library he has inscribed the last line from the novel, “He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close he could hardly fail to grasp it”, perhaps because he found it fitting to his own life. The heart of the house is the technology. There are miles of communication cables, which are for computer servers. Upon entering the house, residents and guests wear an electronic pin programmed with things such as favorite music, art, and television shows.
Located in various rooms are wall displays that scan the pin and begin playing the person’s favorite music, television show, or displays their favorite art on video screens in the room. The pin also controls the climate of the room and only allows the phone nearest the person to ring. Bill Gates is not any ordinary person. He is a dreamer that wants to succeed. He will not put up with anything other than perfection. At the start of the computer revolution, he was told that his vision of a computer for the home was only whimsical. Bill Gates worked hard to reach the top, and prove everyone wrong.