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BILL BORED

Don't Ask Bill

Bill Gates pens a semi-monthly column which is distributed to more than 120 newspapers internationally through the New York Times Syndicate. The column alternates essay and question and answer formats. Topics and questions come directly from readers. But since Bill Gates has a life of his own here on Gusworld, we thought we'd give him free reign, even though he didn't pen a single word of what follows.
Essay Column Q&A Column 'Ask Bill'
You know, someone pointed out to me the other day that my columns no longer appear in this two-column table format. And do you know what I said in reply? Well, nothing actually. Like I'd talk to that kind of dweeb. But I got my personal bodyguard, Mr Bigfist, to explain that I'm the world's richest man and I can do whatever I like. If I wanted to appear nude and covered with peanut butter on the cover of Time, no-one could stop me. So suck on that. Q. What do you foresee as the future of the software industry in India?
A. Maybe sometime soon we'll get those Indians to start paying for the software they consume. This is a very hot issue. You know, there's a Windows 95 user group in Bombay with 3,500 members yet we've only ever sold 3 licenses. That burns me up! Those towelheads and curry munchers are gonna have to learn that there's no such thing as a free lunch!
Q. Lots of sites on the Net claim to be your personal pages. Which, if any, are actually endorsed by you?
A. Well, this one obviously. Also www.livenudechicks.com.
Q. Of all the machines you've worked on over the past 25 years of computer software development, are there any features -- either from a programming or end-user's standpoint -- that you miss and wish modern PCs had?
A. Cup holders.

Q.How much do you believe fate or luck contributed toward your success?
A. When are they coming to take you back to the funny farm? My success is entirely due to working hard, kicking Commie butt, ruthlessly wiping out my competitors and drinking Jolt until my bladder explodes. Why doncha go back and smoke some more herb, you drippy hippy? Mind you, if you swap the first letters of the words fate and luck, things get a lot more interesting.
Q. How did being a U.S. citizen help you achieve your dreams?
A. Because the US is a free country, I am able to fulfil any of my dreams no matter how peverted. For example, I am able to dress up as Captain Peacock from Are You Being Served? and my wife dresses up as Mrs Slocombe when we have sex.
Q. In the history of Microsoft, what was your happiest moment?
A. When they installed the automatic Jolt dispenser in my office. It's positioned to spray straight into my mouth and it plays Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac at the same time. It's awesome!
Q. How were you able to stay focused even after you were financially comfortable?
A. I have to wear glasses all the time. Once, I left them in the back of the limo and I had to do this whole presentation and I was practically blind! I think that was the time I said Windows 95 would be free for subscribers to Huge Hooters magazine.
Q. What is your biggest mistake in life?
A. The other night, I went to the video shop and hired Congo. Man that movie ate it raw. The plot was really crap, I shit better special effects than it had. I thought because it was a Michael Crichton film that it would be good like Jurassic Park, but it was appalling. So if I could live my life over I would definately not hire Congo.

Q.How do you handle stress and maintain perspective?
A. I maintain perspective by staying in the three dimensional universe.
Q. If you could find the answer to only one thing, what would you ask?
A. Who keeps nicking the candy out of my candy jar? Every week I buy a packet of candy, say Hershey's Kisses or Mini Peanut Butter Cups, and fill up the jar on my desk. By Wednesday it is almost always nearly empty, even though I've only had a few. I don't mind sharing them, but I wish someone else would buy them for a change, it's not as if I'm made of money. Actually, I am, but that's not the point.
Q. What kind of computer do you use?
A. I don't use computers. I use skill, guts, raw business ability, and hired mercenaries. Sometimes, though, I have to use Rectionol for this embarrassing medical problem I've got.

Q. How can we prevent employees from wasting time?
A. Torture is good. I also found that hanging up a sign that says 'You don't have to be crazy to work here, but it helps!' keeps things humming along. At the tattoo parlour I go to, they attack slack workers with the needles. That must be really painful. I know when I had Steve Ballmer's face tattooed on my hynie, it hurt like hell.
Q. When launching a new product does Microsoft go through a formal failure-mode assessment of potential risks (delivery, price, quality)?
A. No, we just make up lots of lies about our competitors. We have a special department called 'public relations' that does that. Some of their stuff is really good. Like, we quote studies saying Windows 97 runs 2,000 times faster than everybody else's, even though Windows 97 hasn't been released yet and the research company is run by my cleaner's nephew. We've gotten some great front page stories doing that.
Q. How has the software development process changed?
A. Well it's changed in a number of ways. For instance, we're not developing Windows 95 anymore, but a new version of Windows, codenamed Memphis. I see little point in developing software that already exists, frankly.

Q. Which corporate chief executive officers do you admire and why?
A. Me, obviously. I hate Scott McNealy but. We call him Snot McNealy round here and always say "McNealy, McNealy, he's no good. Chop him up for fire wood." Except that's only a joke, since he wouldn't make very good kindling.
Q. My son is 4 1/2. When should he start getting used to a computer?
A. It doesn't really matter. By the time he's old enough to vote, I'll be running the country and only my immediate family will have access to PCs. Everyone else will be down manning the sauna.
Q. The computer language BASIC has certainly come a long way since it was first developed. How do you envision its future?
A. It's going to get more basic.

Email Bill with your Question for the Real Column askbill@microsoft.com Be warned, his answer may not be as amusing, but he sure knows how to roll in those bucks, and there's a slight risk he might take you seriously.

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