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640K Should be Enough for Anybody

Just been surfing around old posts to alt.folklore.urban
Imagine my suprise when it turns out that Bil Gates never said "640K Should be Enough for Anybody":

http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&safe=off&selm=3110FD08.18D4%40pobox.com

Matthew Lock
Saturday, June 05, 2004

He did say something about 2Mb being the desireable memory size, at a time when RAM was very expensive and he was trying to pitch OS/2.  It was about the same time that he talked about a computer on every desk and a Microsoft Operating system on every computer.

Simon Lucy
Saturday, June 05, 2004

More here: http://www.wired.com/news/print/0,1294,1484,00.html

Matthew Lock
Saturday, June 05, 2004

http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~history/humor.html

Green Pajamas
Saturday, June 05, 2004

"this column daringly offered free software into the millennium to anyone who remembers one thing Bill Gates ever said. We were taking issue with the notion advanced in the magazine that Mr. Gates is shaping this or the next century as a visionary leader, as opposed to just selling lots of software"

LOL! So they consider people who *say* things more important than people who actually *do* things?

Philo

Philo
Saturday, June 05, 2004

No Philo, they just consider people who say and do things as more important than people who just sell things.

Stephen Jones
Saturday, June 05, 2004

So in your world Microsoft didn't create Windows and Office, they're just "selling" them?

Chris Nahr
Saturday, June 05, 2004

How do you think Bill Gates will be remembered in the history of American business? Will he be mentioned with the likes of Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and Henry Ford? I think so, whether you like Microsoft or not.

Tom H
Saturday, June 05, 2004

Actually Bill Gates did say 640K should be enough for anybody, but he was talking about employee stock options.

HA HA HA HA

Rich Bastard
Saturday, June 05, 2004

Yup cause some of those guys had monopolies too.

Mike
Saturday, June 05, 2004

Depends what you mean by "create"?

If you are talking about a clear original idea that changed the direction of computing then, no, Gates didn't create anything.

The GUI, the mouse, the Word processor, the spreadsheet, the relational database were all created by others, however good a job MS did of producing their version.

Remember the original post was attacking the adulation of Gates from a 1997 interview (you know, one of these "Bill Gates invented the Internet, PC, GUI etc" type articles).

And you can't even compare Gates to Ford, because the Ford of software was Simonyi.

Anyway, I'd have thought making tens of billions would surely be enough reward for what Bill has done well, without insisting on adulation as well.

Stephen Jones
Saturday, June 05, 2004

"640K Should be Enough for Anybody"

Bandwidth? Coz it's taking me forever to download the new Harry Potter movie.

(I'm joking)

www.MarkTAW.com
Saturday, June 05, 2004

http://quote.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Gates

Green Pajamas
Saturday, June 05, 2004

"And you can't even compare Gates to Ford, because the Ford of software was Simonyi."

You can't compare Gates to Ford, because while Ford's revolutionary ideas were adopted wholesale by business, Gates' ideas have been rejected by business.

"assembly lines mean your workers need less training, can be more closely monitored, and their work is more apparent" - good for management

"Treat your employees as people, make their worklife comfortable so they like staying at the office, encourage independence, tolerate mistakes, and kill off underproducing product lines quickly" - alien concepts management will never buy into.

Philo

Philo
Saturday, June 05, 2004

Ford didn't invent the assembly line.

He also wrote the book The International Jew, which was instrumental in turning millions of Germans on to anti-Semitism.

Warren Henning
Saturday, June 05, 2004

I compare him to the other men because they all built their empires around a relatively new technology that they didn't invent, but within a couple of decades completely dominated their respective industries (steamboats, oil, steel,  automobiles, and computers).

Tom H
Saturday, June 05, 2004

Dear Philo,
                If Microsoft built a car would you let your kids get in it?

Dear Tom H.,
                    There is much in common between Rockefeller and Gates, particularly in the use of unfair business tactics, monopoly leverage and downright bullying though Gates hasn't resorted to murder and arson as Rockefeller did in the early 1870s. Rockefeller, like Gates also believed that the carrtels and unfair trade practices he set up were protecting both the consumer and the producer from the disastrous effects of short term swings caused by the free market.

                  I strongly recommend "Titan" by Ron Chernov, which is both well-written and sympathetic to Rockefeller.

Stephen Jones
Saturday, June 05, 2004

"...particularly in the use of unfair business tactics, monopoly leverage and downright bullying..."

I'm not defending any of them, just comparing. In fact the term "Robber baron" http://college.hmco.com/history/readerscomp/rcah/html/ah_075300_robberbarons.htm was coined to describe several of them.

Tom H
Saturday, June 05, 2004

"If Microsoft built a car would you let your kids get in it?"

Heh. I was on a development team about five years ago - we were all cowboys. On of the VP's asked during a demo "would you get in a plane this team wrote the software for?"
Our web guy said "absolutely"
After the meeting, the PM asked him about his answer - "hey, if we wrote the software for the plane, it would never get off the ground."
(the PM wasn't happy)

Would I let my kids drive a car built by MS? If we're talking about the current environment, and no other vendors being allowed to add software, then yes.

Philo

Philo
Saturday, June 05, 2004

"I'm not defending any of them, just comparing. In fact the term "Robber baron" http://college.hmco.com/history/readerscomp/rcah/html/ah_075300_robberbarons.htm was coined to describe several of them."

Not quite.  Goes a bit further back IIRC.  Raubritter (sp??) refers to the robber barons of medievil Europe.

As remembered from Darklands (Microprose).  Who says computer games teach you nothing ;-)

Motown (AU)
Saturday, June 05, 2004

The "640K should be enough for anybody" quote actually came from the president of Tandy during a magazine interview.  Somehow, it got attributed to Bill Gates.  I guess becuse few people exven remember Tandy today.

Unfortunately, people have a hard time letting reality get in the way of a good story.

If you search Google for that quote, you'll notice that the year next to Gate's name is different on most of the pages.  Some say 1990.  Some say 1985.  Some say 1981.

Myron A. Semack
Sunday, June 06, 2004

I remember a quote by Bill Gates.  Reported by Robert Cringley in his famous PBS special on the history of the computer.  After a Comdex show a slightly drunk Gates shouted, "I want to get laid!"

XYZZY
Sunday, June 06, 2004

Warren Henning,
Henry Ford later apologised for his book "The International Jew". And it was not a book that was instrumental in "converting" Germans to anti-semitism. It was factors such as the Great depression, rise of the Nazi Party, etc etc.. To use the word "instrumental" does nothing but simplifies German history.

Frederik Von.H
Monday, June 07, 2004

Yep, Germany and a lot of Europe has a long history of antisemitism.

Matthew Lock
Monday, June 07, 2004

We've mentioned anti-simitism, so now we have to mention....

Move along there. Nothing to see here in this thread.

David Clayworth
Monday, June 07, 2004

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