Bill Gates Photo Series (1984)

A nice series of photos of Bill Gates, who, by the way, just stepped down from the board of Microsoft, shot in 1984, when Gates was still actively working on code.

Highlights, are a photo showing Bill Gates with a design draft of the MSX character set still under revision (readable!), and this name-the-computer image:

A propos, can you name the machines?


TRS-80 Model 100. One of the last projects Bill Gates himself coded on (that ‘we’ are aware of.)

I would so love something with that form factor in leu of an alphasmart.


It’s interesting how much paper there is in some of those photos. I’d not fully realized how far I’d moved towards a “paperless office” until I recently started doing some old-school programming (with an actual Apple IIc and paper copy of the Apple II Reference Manual), and realized how important printouts are when you’re dealing with a single 40×24 window into the computer. (Or even 80×60, if you were lucky enough to have an Ann Arbor Ambassador 60.)


I’ve been thinking along the lines for years. The main hurdles are manufacturing a case (the tooling for moulds is really expensive) and the lack of a suitable keyboard (I wouldn’t know of any modern mechanism as suitable as the Alps SKFL switches used in the Kyocera portables. Details:
What may profit from improvements are certainly the screen (80 cols please, tilting, like the Olivetti M10 had it) and real cursor keys (like the NEC PC-8201 had it). Of course, we’d need a few extra keys for a modern system. (Because of this, it doesn’t make sense to just jam some modern parts into an old shell.)

It would be my favorite machine, but I can’t see it happen. (No marketing department of a capable manufacturer would come up with something even faintly related.)

There was a project for something similar a few years ago, but it didn’t go anywhere. (I think, there was a prototype, but the costs of small scale manufacturing were prohibitive.)

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I can only name the VT100 (white display in the corner with the box on top), the Victor 9000 (beige thing next to it), the Zenith machine which I believe is a clone of the H-89 (or vice-a-versa), next to the V9000, the Not Blue ADM-3A (bulbous white/beige thing on the floor). Pretty sure those weren’t all blue.

And, of course, the Model 100 on the table with Mr. Gates.

I was pretty sure about the Victor, but not 100%.
I believe, the box left of the VT100 (or is it VT102? :slight_smile: ) is an Olivetti M20.

Zoomed out, I think that might actually be a VT105 displaying a box plot in its limited graphics mode. Zoomed in, it appears to be a text spreadsheet (perhaps SuperCalc on CP/M on whatever box it’s sitting on top of, or perhaps that’s an LSI-11 and it’s some RT-11 spreadsheet?). Either way I fully concur that it’s in the VT-100 line.

The machine on top is almost certainly a Z-89. My question is, what is it sitting on? Was there an expansion frame for the Z-89 that wasn’t also marketed as a Heath product, or is it a different computer entirely?