Geek Power: Steven Levy Revisits Tech Titans, Hackers, Idealists

Like Bill Gates, some of author Steven Levy’s original subjects of Hackers are now rich, famous, and powerful.
  1. “It’s funny in a way”, says Bill Gates, relaxing in an armchair in his office. “When I was young, I didn’t know any old people. When we did the microprocessor revolution, there was nobody old, nobody. It’s weird how old this industry has become.” The Microsoft cofounder and I, a couple of fiftysomething codgers, are following up on an interview I had with a tousle-headed Gates more than a quarter century ago. I was trying to capture what I thought was the red-hot core of the then-burgeoning computer revolution — the scarily obsessive, absurdly brainy, and endlessly inventive people known as hackers. Back then, Gates had just pulled off a deal to supply his DOS operating system to IBM. His name was not yet a household word; even Word was not yet a household word. I would interview Gates many times over the years, but that first conversation was special. I saw his passion for computers as a matter of historic import. Gates himself saw my reverence as an intriguing novelty. But by then I ...

The complete text of “Geek Power: Steven Levy Revisits Tech Titans, Hackers, Idealists” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on www.wired.com.

Originally published in Wired, April 2010

Great reading. Anywhere, any time

Subscribe to Byliner to finish this and thousands of other riveting stories for just $5.99 a month. Get started now with a 14 day FREE trial.

Join Today

Already a member? Sign in