Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Portrait of Bill Gates

Portrait of Bill Gates

Portrait of Bill Gates (2001)

From Bill Gates' Web Site:

William (Bill) H. Gates is chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft Corporation, the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft had revenues of US$36.84 billion for the fiscal year ending June 2004, and employs more than 55,000 people in 85 countries and regions.

[...]

In his junior year, Gates left Harvard to devote his energies to Microsoft, a company he had begun in 1975 with his childhood friend Paul Allen. Guided by a belief that the computer would be a valuable tool on every office desktop and in every home, they began developing software for personal computers.

[...]

In addition to his love of computers and software, Gates founded Corbis, which is developing one of the world's largest resources of visual information -- a comprehensive digital archive of art and photography from public and private collections around the globe. He is also a member of the board of directors of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which invests in companies engaged in diverse business activities.

Philanthropy is also important to Gates. He and his wife, Melinda, have endowed a foundation with more than $27 billion (as of March 2004) to support philanthropic initiatives in the areas of global health and learning, with the hope that in the 21st century, advances in these critical areas will be available for all people.

From the "Unofficial" Bill Gates site -- in answer to the question "Why would anyone want to create a website about Bill Gates?":

Does Bill Gates have a better life than you? He is reported to work harder than most people do. He does not have to sweet [sic] the cost of most consumer items. But is he happier? Who knows? He undoubtedly has to be more concerned about his and his family's personal security. His mother died in 1994. He has a young child. Wealth may help in all of this. A former girlfriend reports that he had to be "brought out" in a group. Perhaps in his role as emperor of Microsoft this is easier. One wonders if this will go to his head, having everyone around him having to kiss up to him -- who will risk their job to speak up to him? Will he actually begin to believe that he is god and begin to exhibit the arrogance that seems to follow those who rise to powerful positions?

As for why I created the "unofficial" site, I was intrigued with how Mr. Gates was becoming a symbol and mythic character. I was also interested in what he represented and how people reacted to him. Mr. Gates has the potential to become a major philanthropist. What he does with his wealth can have a major impact on how philanthropy is done in the 21st century. What he does sets a model for how a person who has amassed far more wealth than he personally needs to live relates to others with his wealth. Will he give some of it away? How much and to whom? Will he follow the model of George Soros and by investing in areas relating to the "open society"?

Of course, not everyone feels warm and fuzzy towards Bill Gates:

As your leader, I encourage you from time to time, and always in a respectful manner, to question my logic.

A "Kill Bill" Variation [from Xapep Online]

From egomania -- Bill Gates Is Satan:

Since we're all using MICROSOFT products here, I thought I'd just let you know these facts... Do you know that Bill gates' REAL name is William Henry Gates III? Nowadays, he is known as Bill Gates (III) where "III" means the order of third (3rd). So, what's so eerie about this name?

OK, if you take all the letters in Bill Gates III and then convert it in ASCII code (American standard code for information interchange) and then ADD up all the numbers...you will get 666, which is the number of the beast!!!

B = 66
I = 73
L = 76
L = 76

G = 71
A = 65
T = 84
E = 69
S = 83

I = 1
I = 1
I = 1__ = 666 !!!! THE NUMBER OF THE DEVIL

Coincidence? Maybe, but take WINDOWS 95 and do the SAME procedure and you will get 666 too!!! And the same goes for MS-DOS 6.31!!! Are you sure this is not a coincidence? You decide....

MS-DOS 6.21 ** 77+83+45+68+79+83+32+54+46+50+49 = 666
WINDOWS 95 ** 87+73+78+68+79+87+83+57+53+1= 666

Yeah, I know. That one's nearly as old as the Bible itself. Besides, the fun has gone out of this joke (and similar beastly numerical ties to Barney) since Oxford scholars rained on the Revelations parade to tell us that 616 is actually the true "Mark of the Beast," and that it's all nothing more than a clever riddle meant to represent someone's name. Still, if Gates isn't the Devil's rep, he's easily morphed into a Borg or Gamera or even Saddam Hussein. His scariest incarnation, however, could have been as teenage heartthrob:

640K ought to be enough for anybody.

The Return of Shaun Cassidy? [from Monkey Methods]

Or, with tireless investigative effort, will vigilant scholars again bring out the fire hose on this tender vittle? Sigh. From the Urban Legends Reference Pages:

Many readers have asked us about these pictures of Microsoft co-founder and Chairman Bill Gates since they were posted on a blog with a caption identifying them as photos taken for a 'Teen Beat Photospread' (i.e., a layout in a magazine featuring stories and pictures of 'teen idol'-type celebrities, marketed primarily to prepubescent girls).

These images are actually publicity photos taken of the then 30-year-old Bill Gates coincident with the initial release of Microsoft Windows in 1985. The Corbis photo archive identifies their depiction thusly: "Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft, reclines on his desk in his office soon after the release of Windows 1.0. 1985 Bellevue, Washington, USA."

Philanthropist or demon? Visionary or dictatorial? The guy's iconic, no matter how you, um, cut it -- especially for some people who take considerable pleasure in seeing (and killing) Bill from the Bride's POV.

Today's jagged collage is just my modest addition to this ongoing, uh, slice of life...

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