02.19.10

Book Excerpt from “Barbarians Led by Bill Gates”

Posted in Bill Gates, Microsoft at 5:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Memorable Microsoft incident, in their own words

Here is one page (among 245 pages) from the book “Barbarians Led by Bill Gates”, written by somewhat of a Microsoft insider.

Slightly disgusted that he had just joined a company [Microsoft] that was shipping defective software, Eller decided to take matters into his own hands. After researching graphics journals and spending nearly two weeks on this complicated problem, Eller finally hacked out a solution and wrote the new flood-fill algorithm. Though it was painfully slow and crawled across the screen, it did enable BASIC to correctly flood-fill.

Eller called his boss into his office once again. Whitten was less than thrilled. He had authorized the work, but Eller had spent two weeks on the flood-fill, ignoring the translator he was supposed to be writing. Undaunted, Eller set out to let others in on the flaw he had discovered and how he had fixed it. He pulled in any random developer he could find. He even pulled in Chairman Gates, whose office was just down the hall.

“Bill, check this out,” Eller said, pointing to his computer screen. “I mean . . . who was the jerk who wrote this brain-dead piece of shit?”

Gates stared at the screen.

“See, now that’s what I call a design flaw,” Eller said. “Now check out my new version. Pretty cool, eh?”

Gates nodded, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose.

“Does it work with really complicated things?” Gates asked.

“Sure,” Eller told him. He proceeded to draw a complicated object and flood-fill it.

“See? It works perfectly.”

“Can you prove that this works all the time?”

“Uhh, well umm, kind of,” Eller said. “I mean, I know it always works, but I’m a mathematician. The word ‘prove’ conjures up really ugly ideas.”

Gates told Eller his program was nice, then turned and walked back to his office.

After Gates left, Whitten walked into Eller’s office. He had heard the entire conversation.

“Do you know who wrote the original flood-fill algorithm?” he said, shaking his head.

“Ahhh, nope,” Eller replied. “I don’t believe I do.” Whitten paused, rubbed his finger on his left temple, and shook his head again.

“Bill wrote it,” he said. “Bill was the jerk who wrote this brain-dead piece of shit.”

Not so bright after all, eh?

“In my case, I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating systems.”

Bill Gates

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2010/02/19/microsoft-incident-gates-code/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

3 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    February 19, 2010 at 6:33 am

    Gravatar

    Bill behaved uncharacteristically well in that excerpt.

    Bill’s political coaches and handlers have kept him away from direct contact with the media from some time around 2004 or a bit before as part of the whitewashing of his public personality.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    He’s doing it all over again with the Gates “Foundation”.

    “In Hanson and Edstrom’s view of the world, Gates should be Microsoft’s spokesman. Microsoft’s cofounder, Paul Allen, had resigned in 1983 after battling Hodgkin’s disease, and Gates fit the consummate developer image. Hanson sent around a gag order—no talking to the media. This was, to say the least, not a popular decision with Microsoft’s developers.”

    Barbarians Led by Bill Gates, a book composed
    by the daughter of Microsoft’s PR mogul

    “In the fall of 1982, Pam Edstrom, a diminutive woman with piercing blue eyes, was recruited by Microsoft. [...] In modern-day business, flacks were responsible not only for avoiding bad press, but for spinning the good. [...] Hanson and Edstrom would spin a whole new image for Gates himself. They would tap the best and worst of Chairman Bill, changing his clothes, his voice, and his allegiances, driving him to become not just the boss, but, essentially, the company mascot—a sort of high-technology Colonel Sanders.”

    Pam’s daughter

    “Well, it’s in the brand. The image you create around the brand. That’s why I need you in this company. Because nobody in this company, or in this industry, really understands that. And if we can have the perception, I can create the reality. With the combination of the reality and the perception, nobody will ever beat us.”

    Bill Gates

    “Here’s the type of guy I want, I don’t care if he knows anything about computers. I need a guy who really understands branding.”

    Bill Gates

  2. The Mad Hatter said,

    February 20, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Gravatar

    “Here’s the type of guy I want, I don’t care if he knows anything about computers. I need a guy who really understands branding.”

    They should have hired some guy off the Lazy K ranch then.

What Else is New


  1. Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit: Right to Repair

    Uploaded earlier this month was this talk and accompanying slides; summary below



  2. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, May 15, 2021



  3. [Meme] When All That Matters is 'Production' and 'Timeliness'

    The EPO has gone down the same route as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) when it comes to patent quality; as if the goal is to grant 11 million patents (most of them in just a few decades) rather than assess the impact of such patents



  4. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 8: The Radical Student “Brotherhood”

    The latest part in this series explores the roots of Judge Josefsson; that can help explain how Benoît Battistelli constructed his stacked EPO ‘court’, which he and António Campinos basically control to rubber-stamp whatever illegal practices they engage in (in pursuit of money and power, at the expense of the law)



  5. Christoph Ernst Lecturing Us on “Transparency” and EPO Corruption (as Well as Assault on the EPC) Becoming a “New Normal”

    The EPO’s administration continues rushing ahead with an unlawful agenda, exploiting a pandemic that’s gradually coming under control regardless to shred apart the EPC



  6. Richard Stallman's Talk About New/er Risks to Free Software (Free as in Freedom-Respecting, Libre)

    Richard M. Stallman (RMS) gave the above talk not too long before the attacks on him intensified greatly, serving to silence him for nearly 2 years



  7. Jacques Michel and Willy (Guillaume) Minnoye: Stakeholders in EPO Lawlessness

    Former EPO Vice-Presidents who wish not to be held accountable for what they did in the Office (or be chased after leaving their duties, finishing/ending terms there) are adding fuel to the illegal agenda of an EPOnian regime



  8. Links 15/5/2021: Godot 3.3.1 RC 2 and Pine64 Hardware in Focus

    Links for the day



  9. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 7: Calle's Strange Metamorphosis

    Sources believe the “legal anarchy” that EPOnia became notorious for, especially when it comes to handling referrals at the EPO‘s BoA, will become a dark legacy — a legacy that would, if he was alive, disappoint even Josefsson’s source of inspiration



  10. Making up Law at the EPO

    Another video about the ongoing EPO series and some news/commentary from around the Web



  11. Over a Thousand Videos (or Audio Files) and More Protocols Supported

    From just a Web site (ordinary HTTP/S protocol) we've expanded to alternative channels of communication; this is a quick roundup, with focus on last night's development work (already pushed into our self-hosted Git repository)



  12. IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, May 14, 2021



  13. Nathan Proctor: Right to Repair and the DMCA

    LibrePlanet 2019 video



  14. [Meme] Calle Calling...

    The values of the Habermasian EPO judge depend on who’s paying the salary



  15. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 6: The Habermasian Who Warned About “Legal Anarchy”

    The political orientation of a Benoît Battistelli-appointed EPO judge who has the audacity to talk about legal anarchy and bemoan abuse of the law; the António Campinos administration extended his term until (at least) 2027



  16. Paid-for Plugs and Coordinated Marketing Fluff (PR Campaigns) Are Ruining 'Linux' Sites

    Junk 'articles' (just marketing disguised as 'news') spoil the World Wide Web; companies repeat the same sales pitch over and over again, sometimes leveraging what they perceive to be avenues read by geeks



  17. Links 15/5/2021: GCC 8.5, Fedora Community Revamp

    Links for the day



  18. Links 14/5/2021: FreeBSD on the Pine H6, Red Hat Hiring

    Links for the day



  19. Protecting Freenode is Protecting the Free Software Movement

    Freenode may seem like a negligible corner of the Internet, which media never bothers mentioning at all; but Freenode, which many have come to take for granted, is core infrastructure for many Free software projects and protecting the network is essential for the Free Software Movement



  20. EPO Justice

    Justice in Europe's second-largest institution, where the law itself is a second-class citizen



  21. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 13, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, May 13, 2021



  22. Understanding How Freenode (IRC) Works -- or Doesn't Work -- in 2021

    There is a conflict going on behind the scenes at Freenode, but there are also sincere and well-meaning attempts to undo the damage and get back to normal



  23. [Meme] Judges the Office Cannot Control Are Just Nazis With Weapons in Their Office...

    The EPO hasn’t been run by grown-ups for over ten years; Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos and their confidants cannot grasp the concept of law, just blind loyalty



  24. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 5: Battistelli's “Swedish Chef”

    The EPO's 'courts' are controlled by the people whom they're supposed to judge on; this has been the case for at least half a decade



  25. Links 14/5/2021: KDE Plasma 5.22 Beta and GNOME 40 in Gentoo

    Links for the day



  26. Audio: “Unjust Computing Clamps Down” by Richard Stallman

    The FSF has finally uploaded the LibrePlanet talk of Richard Stallman



  27. Links 13/5/2021: KDE Gear 21.04.1 and LibreOffice 7.0.6

    Links for the day



  28. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 4: The President of the Boards of Appeal

    A deeper look into the ‘sausage factory’ that is EPO tribunals certainly helps us understand the inherent bias of many decisions, including a recent decision on European software patents like a controversial simulation patent



  29. Judging the Judges

    Today we shall take a closer look at Carl Josefsson, a person who shall become a figure of interest if he sends EPO courts to the United States in clear violation of the EPC (looking to rubber-stamp an unlawful decision already made before this case even started)



  30. When EU Authorities Tell You to Complain to the EPO Itself About EPO Privacy Violations...

    “Kafkaesque” at the EPO; Kafka could do a whole novel about the flirtations with or affairs of ‘justice’ at the EPO


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts