In 1981 Paul Allen and Bill Gates posed with clunky, chunky personal computers.
That was an important year for the company they started in 1975. On June 25, 1981 Microsoft incorporated as a business in Washington. As part of the restructuring, Gates became president and chairman of the board, while Allen became executive vice president.
Gates and Allen knew when their black and white publicity photo was taken that they’d signed a deal to deliver an operating system for IBM’s business PC. But that hadn’t been announced to anyone in the industry.
They marked the occasion with Allen putting on a suit and tie and Gates pulling on a sweater to pose with what were fancy computers back then.
Allen has a computer museum in Seattle, among his many other projects, and that’s where the classic photo was recreated this week.
“It is possible that no other technology on earth has so continually renewed itself as computer technology. Advances in this field arrive in such swift succession that even the software and hardware of a few seasons ago are considered obsolete,” Allen writes describing his Living Computer Museum.
“The decades-old computers and software in this collection, therefore, are truly worthy of our preservation and study – both for the cutting-edge innovations of their day as well as for their historical significance,” he says.
I don’t know the model of the first computer I saw, but I remember I was in seventh grade.
We had to go to the “computer room” – basically a school janitor’s closet – to use the device that was about the size of three Kardashian’s refrigerators.
It sputtered and spit out reams of light green paper to do simple math problems.
Do you remember the first time you used a computer? Young readers, go ahead and make me feel old by telling me it’s an iPad.
By LINDA THOMAS