Were you privy to these little-known facts about two tech titans? Be inspired by Maestro’s fourth installment of Tech Trivia.
Tech Trivia: Tales of two titans.
William Henry Gates, III was born to William H. Gates, Sr. and Mary Maxwell Gates of Seattle, Washington on October 28, 1955. The elder William was an attorney, and Mary Gates taught school and served on two boards of directors. Bill has two sisters, one younger and one older.
Although Bill’s parents had hopes that he would become an attorney, he showed an early interest in computers and programming in particular. In fact, his skill in this area won him the right to work on his programming skills while his fellow students attended math classes.
Bill Gates served as a congressional page in early 1973. Later in the same year, he graduated from Lakeside School and enrolled at Harvard. He later dropped out, driven by the desire to start his own software company.
Bill is reported to have sold his first computer program for $4,200 to his own high school.
Gates and three friends found a weakness in software on the computers of Seattle’s Computer Center Corporation which they exploited for extra computer time. All four were banned and could no longer use CCC’s computers.
Although he was technically a dropout, Bill received an honorary Harvard degree in 2007.
Originally saying he would become a millionaire by 30, Gates outdid himself and became a billionaire by 31.
In 2005 England’s Queen Elizabeth made Gates a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. The honor was in recognition of Bill’s assistance in reducing poverty and improving health in the world’s developing nations.
The Gates home in Medina, WA, has more than 60,000 square feet and is notable for the technological features it includes.
Bill Gates now devotes all of his time to the philanthropic work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Steven Paul Jobs was born on February 24, 1955, in San Francisco and died of cancer in 2013. He was born to a Syrian-born father, and his mother was Joanne Carole Schieble, a Swiss-American. Both were students at the University of Wisconsin. Jobs was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs at birth.
The Jobs relocated to Mountain View, California from San Francisco in 1960, when Steve was five years old. His father introduced Steve to basic electronics in his garage and showed him how to dismantle and rebuild radios and TVs.
Steve’s penchant for technical tinkering led to friendships with Bill Fernandez and Steve Wozniak. Steve enrolled at Reed College after high school graduation but dropped out a few months later because of cost. He later traveled to India, where he became a devotee of Zen Buddhism. After reconnecting with Steve Wozniak and collaborating on projects for Atari, the pair started Apple Computer Company in 1976.
Steve met his biological sister, writer Mona Simpson, for the first time when he was 27 years old.
Steve spent a summer as an intern for Hewlett Packard.
Steve’s signature black turtlenecks were designed especially for him by Japanese Issey Miyake.
Jobs was impressed and deeply influenced by Buddhism and even considered becoming a Buddhist monk.
There are many conflicting stories about the origin of Apple as the name of the computer company started by Jobs and Steve Wozniak. One claims that the name was a nod to fond memories Jobs had of a summer spent picking apples.
Steve Jobs sold Pixar to The Walt Disney Company in 2006 for nearly $7.5 billion. The deal made Jobs Disney’s largest shareholder.
Bill Gates had high praise for Steve Jobs, saying he “…single-handedly revolutionized” Apple in 1997. Jobs once compared his relationship with Gates by citing lyrics from a Beatles song, Two of Us.
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