Blaine Kyllo works at Arsenal Pulp Press where he wrote and published a book about Bill Gates using the pseudonym I.B. McIntosh.
Microman, What life might be like if you were Bill Gates (Arsenal $11.95)
At Seattle’s Lakeside Private School, with a rummage sale computer purchased by the Mothers’ Club, Bill Gates wrote his first program—Tic-Tac-Toe —and also met his future Microsoft partner Paul Allen. The power of the computer became quickly apparent to Allen and Gates. They formed the Lakeside Programmers Group with two friends, obtaining a $2,400 contract to create a program to arrange class schedules, whereupon Gates used the scheduler to place him in classes filled with girls. The nerdy duo went to Harvard together. In 1974, the story goes, Allen came running into Gates’ room, waving a copy of Popular Electronics. On the cover was a picture of the first personal computer, the Altair. Allen was frantic. “It’s happening and we’re going to miss it!” he said.
In I.B. McIntosh’s cheeky ‘primer’ on Gates, Microman, What life might be like if you were Bill Gates (Arsenal $11.95), we follow Gates and Allen to Albuquerque, home of the Altair, where they formed Micro-Soft on April 4, 1975—the world’s first software company programming for microcomputers. In 1998, if Bill Gates was his own country, he’d be the 39th wealthiest nation on Earth.
Complete with statistics about Gates’ $8,000-a-minute earnings, Microman also includes details of his mansion—three garages (the largest holding thirty cars), six kitchens and a movie theatre equipped with a popcorn maker. But the most innovative feature of the estate is the “smart” pins. Linked to a central computer, the wireless pin monitors Gates’ movement through each room, adjusting light and temperature and playing his preferred music.
Here are just ten of the Microfacts gathered by I.B. McIntosh (a pseudonym) about Bill Gates, the man who likens the Internet to a contemporary gold rush.
Despite his conservative demeanor, he has a passion for speed and is known for doing 170 m.p.h. in the Albuquerque desert.
He purchased a Leonardo da Vinci painting for $30.8 million.
He’s a golf addict.
He worked as a page in the Washington State Capitol in Olympia.
His family nickname is ‘Trey’ because he’s Bill Gates III.
When he married Melinda French in Hawaii in 1994, he rented every helicopter in the area to ensure the ceremony couldn’t be interrupted.
Visiting Belgium in February, he was hit in the face with a pie.
Gates and Allen gave $2.2 million to Lakeside School for a new science and math building
He is fascinated with genetics and is a shareholder in Darwin Molecular, a biotechnology company involved in human gene mapping.
His company directly receives nearly half of the world’s total PC software revenue.
Microman ends with the assertion that Bill Gates, according to some numerologists, is the Devil. Convert the letters of his name to ASCII computer values, add three to their sum (because he is the third Bill Gates of his family) and the result is 666. 1-55152-057-5
[BCBW WINTER 1998]