盖茨追忆艾伦

2018-10-23 10:50:00
举人网
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摘要:盖茨称赞艾伦比他自己看的远得多,而且更加先知先觉。

      比尔·盖茨在上周二发布了一篇博客,缅怀与好友保罗·艾伦之间的友谊,并追忆了双方共建微软的那段时光。保罗·艾伦是微软公司的联合创始人,于10月15日逝世,享年65岁。

     这段回忆始于1975年。当时,这两位创始人对微型计算机革命那段时期十分向往,而且事实上,他们随后才意识到自己的理念在当时有多么超前。盖茨称赞艾伦比他自己看的远得多,而且更加先知先觉。


      艾伦和盖茨都居住在波士顿地区,艾伦从华盛顿州立大学退学之后在霍尼韦尔公司担任程序员,而盖茨就读于哈佛大学。盖茨回忆道,艾伦找到了他,并随即将他带到了一个报摊,让他看了看《大众电子》杂志(Popular Electronics)1975年1月刊。

      封面上刊登的是Altair 8800——以现代的眼光来看,这个满是开关的盒子没有什么新奇之处——但它却引发了个人电脑革命。盖茨回忆道,艾伦说:“我们还没有参与,革命已经发生了。”

      尽管杂志封面将这个盒子称之为迷你计算机,但Altair拥有一颗强大的微处理器。杂志编辑称,“这就是家用电脑!”只要400美元(相当于如今的1900美元),你便可以购买并组装这样一台装备,它能够提供令人叹服的计算能力。尤其是在当时,消费者和业余爱好者能够买到的第二快的设备是科学计算器。除此之外,仅有企业和大学才拥有微型计算机或大型机,但它们都十分昂贵,并非对所有人开放,而且由很多用户共享。

      正是基于对杂志封面内容的追求和艾伦的激情,盖茨离开了哈佛大学。第二年,两位创建了微-软(随后去掉了连词符号)。在结尾,盖茨深情地缅怀道:“上天应该给保罗更多的时间,他一定不会虚度。我会非常想念他。”


【英文版】


In a blog entry published last Tuesday celebrating his friendship with his co-founder, Paul Allen, who died on Oct. 15 at age 65, Bill Gates remembered the moment Microsoft leapt into being.

The memory dates back to 1975. The two men thought they’d already missed the microcomputer revolution, and in fact, they didn’t realize until later how ahead they had been. Gates credits Allen with understanding that far better and far earlier than he did.

Allen and Gates both lived in the Boston area, Allen working as a programmer for Honeywell after dropping out of Washington State University, and Gates attending Harvard. Gates recalls Allen finding him and taking him urgently to a newsstand to show him the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics.

The cover depicted the Altair 8800, an unimpressive box covered with switches to modern eyes, but which sparked the PC revolution. Gates recalled that Allen said, “This is happening without us!”

Neat piece of history: Here's the cover of Popular Electronics that Paul Allen and Bill Gates were geeking out about in Boston, that inspired the founding of Microsoft.

Despite the cover calling it a “minicomputer,” the Altair had a powerful microprocessor in it. An editorial inside trumpeted, “The Home Computer Is Here!” For $400 ($1,900 in 2018 dollars), you could purchase and assemble a kit that gave you a shocking amount of computational power—especially when the next fastest device available to consumers and hobbyists was a scientific calculator. Beyond that, only businesses and colleges had minicomputers or mainframes, both expensive, with restricted access, and shared with many other users.

On the basis of that magazine cover and Allen’s enthusiasm, Gates left college. The next year the two founded Micro-Soft. (It later lost the hyphen.)

Gates’ remembrance of Allen concludes with strong emotion: “Paul deserved more time in life. He would have made the most of it. I will miss him tremendously.”


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