Clipped From The Age
Penny-pinching Penny-pinching Penny-pinching way to the bank Further evidence that Bill Gates is engaged in a bizarre, complex and almost certainly one-sided one-sided one-sided game with the American press emerged at last week's ComdexFall '92 computer show. America's wealthiest $US7 billion ($A10.2 billion) man turned up for a magazine cover shoot in a torn Microsoft Microsoft T-shirt, T-shirt, T-shirt, and had to literally take one off an employee's back to complete the photo opportunity. Given that the photographer was' from 'Time' magazine, it was an event that was not likely to go unreported, thus further burnishing Gates's reputation reputation as a man who has a not altogether healthy relationship with money. Stories of the Microsoft founder and chairman holding up supermarket queues searching for a grocery token, then accepting small change from someone else in the line, have launched a series of uncomplimentary books. Another, titled simply 'Gates', hits the stands next month. Advertising cards in the Comdex press room put it this way: "Bill Gates has enough money to buy every man, woman and child in America a copy of this book. But he probably won't." Nor is anyone likely to ask. Every man, woman and child at Comdex certainly every cabbie, casino worker and slot-machine slot-machine slot-machine worker was gasping gasping at the fact that Gates had flown in to the nation's high-roller high-roller high-roller capital economy economy class. SIUCON BITS He caught a flight through Reno to save some money, shoving his garment bag into the overhead rack just like everybody else, to save a few dollars. The fact there may be more to this than meets the eye emerged from the syndicate that distributes a comic strip called 'Outland', by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Prize-winning Prize-winning cartoonist Berkeley Breathed. Breathed, who recently moved to Seattle, the Washington State headquarters of Microsoft, co-opted co-opted co-opted Gates as a central character of two strips, sub-titled sub-titled sub-titled 'Another Episode of The Secret Life of Bachelor Tycoon. According to Suzanne Welton, production editor for the syndicate. Gates is trying to buy the originals of the strip, because he thought they were funny. "It's good to see that people still have a sense of humor," said Welton. Acrobatic documents Acrobat, a family of products that works together to create "the portable document" something that can be created, displayed and printed independently independently of hardware, operating systems and networking systems, won Adobe the prized 'Best of the Show' award from products exhibited by more than 2000 companies. Acrobat, which also won the 'Most Significant Technology' award, is based on a PostScript-based PostScript-based PostScript-based file format called the Portable Document Format or PDF. Modern modem AT&T Paradine has announced the development of what it claims is the world's fastest modem, able to transmit data at 28,800 bits per second over standard telephone lines. It's likely to be a matter of academic interest to the bulk of the world's modem users, who are still communicating communicating at 2400 bits per second, despite the fact that the current technology offers a peak of 14,400bps. Pen is less mighty Dan Bricklin, the creator of the Visi-calc Visi-calc Visi-calc spreadsheet that launched the personal computer revolution, is disarmingly frank about the limitations of pen-based pen-based pen-based application software, which his company. Slate Corp, manufactures. manufactures. Bricklin, a vice-president, vice-president, vice-president, says while "pen computing is real" and "these guys are not blowing smoke", finding hardware to run it reliably remains a problem. Backlit screens are a must, but that reduces battery life. Some units aren't rugged enough, and standard handwriting handwriting recognisers can't cope with poor handwriting, or even correctly identify block characters with acceptable acceptable accuracy.