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Entrepreneur Bill Gates founded the world's largest software business, Microsoft, with Paul Allen and became one of the richest men in the world.
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Bill Gates and his partner Paul Allen built the world's largest software business, Microsoft. He became one of the richest men in the world and a major philanthropist through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
As a teenager, Bill Gates became obsessed with computers.
Mary Gates played a big part early on in the success of her son Bill and his upstart company, Microsoft.
Bill and Melinda Gates started the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which helps people and organizations all over the world.
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He wrote a tic-tac-toe program in BASIC computer language that allowed users to play against the computer.
It was at Lakeside School where Bill met Paul Allen, who was two years his senior. The two became fast friends, bonding on their common enthusiasm over computers,
even though they were very different. Allen was more reserved and shy. Bill was feisty and at times combative. They both spent much of their free time together working on programs. Occasionally, they disagreed and would clash over who was right or who should run the computer lab. On one occasion, their argument escalated to the point where Allen banned Gates from the computer lab. On another occasion, Gates and Allen had their school computer privileges revoked for taking advantage of software glitches to obtain free computer time from the company that provided the computers. After their probation, they were allowed back in the computer lab when they offered to debug the program. During this time, Gates developed a payroll program for the computer company the boys hacked into, and a scheduling program for the school.
In 1970, at the age of 15, Bill Gates went into business with his pal, Paul Allen. They developed "Traf-o-Data," a computer program that monitored traffic patterns in Seattle, and netted $20,000 for their efforts. Gates and Allen wanted to start their own company, but Gates' parents wanted him to finish school and go on to college where they hoped he would work to become a lawyer.
Bill Gates graduated from Lakeside in 1973. He scored 1590 out of 1600 on the college SAT test, a feat of intellectual achievement that for several years he boasted about when introducing himself to new people.
Gates enrolled at Harvard University in the fall, originally thinking of a career in law. But his freshman year saw him spend more of his time in the computer lab than in class. Gates did not really have a study regimen. Instead, he could get by on a few hours of sleep, cram for a test, and pass with a reasonable grade.
Gates remained in contact with Paul Allen who, after attending Washington State University for two years, dropped out and moved to Boston, Massachusetts, to work for Honeywell. In the summer of 1974, Gates joined Allen at Honeywell. During this time, Allen showed Gates an edition of Popular Electronics magazine featuring an article on the Altair 8800 mini-computer kit. Both boys were fascinated with the possibilities this computer could make toward personal computing. The Altair was made by a small company in Albuquerque, New Mexico, called Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS). Gates and Allen contacted the company proclaiming they were working on a BASIC software program that would run the Altair computer. In reality, they didn't have an Altair to work with or the code to run it. But they wanted to know if MITS was interested in someone developing such software. MITS was, and its president Ed Roberts asked the boys for a demonstration. Gates and Allen scrambled, and spent the next two months writing the software at Harvard's computer lab.
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