Many years ago I used to hate Bill Gates - passionately. I had a job working for a pediatric cancer research group writing Java Applets to support clinical trials when Microsoft released their own JVM and caused me endless problems and many hours of lost productivity.
Later, I had a job building a single signon infrastructure for a large University with AIX and Linux using MIT Kerberos when Microsoft released their broken version of Kerberos.
I'm starting to really like the guy and respect him allot, though. So, the head aches, lost hours of work, lost nights and weekends spent working around artificial problems - all forgotten. Water under the bridge. Perhaps, a large part of it is that I'm no longer a college kid and my world view has changed a great deal. I understand money much better now.
But the major thing is that I've been hearing a great deal about The Gates Foundation and what Bill Gates has been doing to try and help with the world's most serious problems. I'm especially impressed with, and grateful for, the Foundation's efforts in global health, particularly with vaccines. Gates and his foundation have played a roll in creating a nonprofit pharmaceutical company, and helped with the creation of the DATA organization. From listening to him and reading interviews, it's obvious he actually cares and is very well informed.
I never thought I'd say this, but... I'm going to start developing for the Microsoft platform! (I'll still be continuing to develop software and documentation for the Linux Platform, of course.)
I ordered a copy of Microsoft Studio Beta-2 from Microsoft. The web pages suggested that there would be a small charge for it. But there was none - I'm not sure if it's because I came from a .edu address, a Linux browser, or just that they're not charging. But, it's on its way. So wish me luck in the wild new world of MFC and .NET.