The wise knew the demise would be slow. Bill Gates gave newspapers another 50 years

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THEATRE Faust Lyric Studio, London

Mark Ravenhill has pointed out in interviews that one of the good things about his first play, Shopping and Fucking, was that the title gave the audience some hints about what they were in for - without going into details, let's just say it wasn't a play you would recommend to a friend suffering from haemorrhoids and a vivid imagination. As a result of this honesty, nobody ever walked out or complained.

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On tape or via satellite, there's no escaping Microsoft's chairman these days. By Andrew North

Microsoft goes Active

Andrew North gets a sneak preview of the software giant's new cross-platform operating system

digital art


Mensa: readers reply

Last week William Hartston took a knife to the brains trust ...

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You install Windows 95 ... and your Net access is disabled.

In Bill Gates' utopia, we can all be information millionaires

When he was eight years old Bill Gates, His Imperial Highness of Information and Potentate of the PC, settled down to work his way through the 1960 World Book Encyclopaedia. "I was determined to read straight through every volume," he recalls. "I could have absorbed more if it had been easy to read all the articles about the 16th century in sequence or all the articles pertaining to medicine. Instead I read about 'Garter Snakes', then 'Gary, Indiana,' then 'Gas'." He gave up when he reached the P's, apparently, seduced by the superior attractions of the Encyclopaedia Britannica and his first computer. It's rather spooky, don't you think, this picture of childish absorption? The process sounds strangely mechanical, more like downloading than reading. It is most reminiscent of one of those speeded-up educations that malign computers undergo in science-fiction films. You can almost imagine Ma Gates lying in bed at night and asking Pa, as the light goes off, "Did you remember to unplug Bill, dear?"
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