Having delivered hundreds, perhaps thousands, of live product demonstrations during his career at Microsoft Corp., Bill Gates has experienced his share of on-stage gaffes.But the memory of his first demo, when he was still a teenaged high school student in Seattle and a budding entrepreneur, probably still stings, a little. According to an excerpt from an upcoming book, Showing Up for Life, written by his father, William H. Gates Sr., and excerpted in Fortune magazine Thursday, the first demo by the young Bill Gates, who was called "Trey" by his family, took place in 1972, when he was a 17-year-old prep schooler developing a hardware gadget with future Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and a third partner, Paul Gilbert. The mini-computer was called the "Traf-o-Data" and it was meant to automate the processing of data collected by traffic counters, those black hoses we drive over on roads, according to the Startup Web site about Microsoft and Gates created by the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (Microsoft early on was based in Albuquerque for several years in the mid-1970s). "After many successful kitchen-table practice sessions, my son persuaded some employees of the city of Seattle to come to the house for a demonstration," wrote Gates Sr. "Well, things that day at the Gates home didn't go according to plan. The Traf-O-Data did not perform." "How did Trey react when the first live demonstration of his system failed?" continued Gates Sr., who called his son Trey. "He went running into the kitchen, shouting on the way, 'Mom! Mom! Come and tell them that it worked!'" The trio eventually got the device to work, according to Startup, though only one was ever sold. But Gates and Allen were already turning their attention to Microsoft, which Gates helped start after dropping out of Harvard in 1975. Gates' product demonstrations have since improved, and he has even starred in a number of tongue-in-cheek videos shown at Microsoft technical conferences (we'll ignore the baffling TV commercials with Jerry Seinfeld last year).
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Motorola Moto X Style review: A no compromise flagship
- 2 Oppo R7 Plus review: a stellar sub-$600 phablet
- 3 Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (9.7) 4G review: Samsung does a lot more with a lot less
- 4 Motorola Moto G (3rd gen) review: Is it worth an extra $100?
- 5 Jawbone UP3 review: 3 months with Jawbone's best fitness tracker
Deals on PC World
- Networking, Wireless & VoIP
Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft links Power BI to Alteryx for deeper analytics
- SHA-1 hashing algorithm could succumb to $75K attack, researchers say
- IBM chases Intel with new Power-based Linux servers sold over the Web
- Sony's Xperia Z5, Z5 Compact go on sale next week at Australia's largest telcos
- Amazon takes aim at Etsy with 'Handmade' store for handcrafted items
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTDatabase Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTProduct Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTField EngineerNSW
- CCMilitary simulation programmer with C# and Unity - 3 monthsNSW
- FTSystems Administrator - Managed ServicesNSW
- FTSystems Administrator | National commercial law firm | MS, AWS & eDiscoveryNSW
- FTSenior Account Manager - PR AgencyNSW
- FTAndroid DeveloperNSW
- FT1st & 2nd level IT support all-rounder in beautiful rural BathurstNSW
- FTLevel 2 IT Support TechnicianVIC
- FTAccount Manager | Client Side - Previous Agency Experience Welcome!!NSW
- FTLinux Administrator with AWS & DevopsNSW
- FTManual Test Engineer | Financial Institution | Web testingNSW
- FTAccount Manager | Music IndustryNSW
- FTMid level IT consultant | Systems Integration & Managed ServicesNSW
- FTBusiness Development & Account ManagementNSW
- FTSales SpecialistNSW
- CCE-Commerce - Senior Web Application DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Consultant | Project work | National Systems IntegratorVIC