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Chapter 1. The First Part of the Road.
I wrote my first program for a computer when I
and it is changing them again, because
ri] -
When we talk about this new system, we call it
ri] -
I've felt this happiness and excitement before.
Allen and I
a lot of time using computers. Back then
computers were very expensive. It cost forty
dollars an hour to use one. We made some of
worked for computer companies.
machines than I did. I
was more interested in
from him. One day in
:nt] -
A microprocessor chip is the part of the
program for it. In the end, we made a program
the earlier one. When we read about it, I told
Paul that the days of the big computers were
picture of the Altair 8800. The Altair was a
real programs for this chip!" I was sure of this,
It took us five weeks of hard work, but in the
end we did it. We had a program for the Altair
More then a hundred and fifty years ago, a
British man named Charles Babbage had an
that could follow different orders to do
different jobs. Today, we call this sort of
software. Software is a group of rules that
Shannon and John Von
interested in "thinking" machines. He
simple system is called the binary system,
John Von Neumann, an American born in
MITS, the company that built the Altair
8800. By 1977, other companies Apple,
Commodore and Radio Shack were also
our software. Our software was an
important part of these computers, because
users could write their programs for it, too.
But users were doing another thing with our
software, too; they were stealing it. One
] -
a lot of software, and not only to American
companies. By 1979, almost half of our
In 1979, Paul and I moved Microsoft to a
, Washington. The
came to us for the programs. And because
from us, our programming language,
computer programming language.
Computers and their software are different
it is today. At first,
there weren't many television shows. But as
companies sold more televisions, there were
more reasons to make more shows, more
[ri:zn] -
machines first arrived in the stores, you
couldn't find many of your
you usually buy a compact disc.
remember that people want their computers
to do as many different things as possible.
Microsoft to talk about personal computers,
home or in small businesses. IBM wanted to
gave them a very low price for using it, and
their computers with our software sold very
software that built on top of the MS-DOS
system. This was good news for us, because
in this way our system became more useful
for everyone. For a few years, more than
difficulties with different software systems
for new computers, we stopped our work
with them.
m'pli:tli] -
Everyone makes mistakes now and then.
watch anything that has already been on
are ready to read it.
But the Information Highway won't be just a
much more. It will help us to learn, to shop,
to look after our money,
Computer screens will be better than they
we will be able to use some of them to write
:] -
small computer that you carry with you, and
now there are computers that go in your
ri] -
new problem, and it's not a problem that we
books for a minute.
books there? No, of course not. You know
what you are interested in. You know what
you want to read. And the library system
li] -
things they offer: movies, banking,
Paper documents aren't the only ones that will
change. The television news will be as long as
you want. If you want more information on
] -
Games are another reason people enjoy
computer games are
on special compact discs. Every player starts
with the same game but he changes it by
choosing what he will do with the game. But as
i] -
Computers have changed movies, too. It was
computer software that gave us the animals in
Jurassic Park and many exciting parts in other
One of the most interesting ideas in the world of
computer uses to make a "place". The place
isn't real, but it seems real, and you think
left, and the system knows you're turning your
head and it changes the
"places" through special computer glasses. With
an airplane, drive a car, or maybe go inside a
work to another place, you are
telecommuting. The people who do this are
edju:l] -
problems of the city, of too many people
Of course, there are good things, too, about
do and the hospitals and schools are bigger
] -
to your home, it will al
so bring many of the
college lessons, city tours, or conversations
possible that when this happens, people will
begin to leave the city. It seems strange,
un] -
already started. Levi Strauss & Co is trying
a new system for its jeans. At many of its
stores, you can tell them how big you want
machines, and they make a perfect pair of
Levi Strauss
[li'vai st
] -
information in their
computer. It will be easier to buy someone
about other things you want to buy. Your
u] -
There will also be pay-messages. These will
give you money if yo
utis] -
bli] -
ter or a dollar. But
different parts of the same lesson to different
students. All children will learn in the way that
A lot of people don't believe this. They have
they haven't seen much difference because of
them. There is a simple reason for this: money.
The schools don't have enough money to buy
aren't strong enough and smart enough to do
the job. But this will change because it has to
change. The computer has to be in the schools
of tomorrow.
People often ask "Will computers take the place
our lives. But when teac
give wonderful lessons, they are only helping
the country, or around the world.
sun, for example, she'll be able to choose one of
many pictures. She'll have other pictures to
more facts on their computers.
There will be other programs, too, to help the
teachers. For each student, she will have a
are afraid of tests. A
With computers, students will be able to take
When they make a mistake, the computer will
e teacher gives a real
Chapter 8. A Home for the Future.
take away the time we spend with our
comfortable at home and we won't want to
leave it. Some think that when we start
people. I don't believe this.
would die; television will kill them, they
nri] -
I'm thinking about of
recently built a new house. My house is a
ul] -
they are in fact like many things we have
today. If you want to
go to a movie, you
computer and software company. They dropped
their ideas for the Information Highway and
more carefully at the
"World Wide Web" of personal computers that
people were already using. Companies quickly
began to make computer hardware and
This is an exciting time in the world of
New things are coming
coming with them.
children and young people
Fifty years ago, Antoine de Saint-Exupry, a
famous French writer and airplane pilot, was
people have made are all things that bring

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