How to prevent the next pandemic

Bill Gates, 2022, Beaverton Library 614.5924 GAT


My first encounters with software were PDP-8 Focal and Fortran at Tektronix and three universities. Then C and Unix at Tektronix.

My first "encounter" with Bill Gates was the BASIC software written by Microsoft for the Commodore PET.

The PET used a botched version of the IEEE-488 GPIB protocol as a peripheral interface; the Tektronix 4051 graphics workstation implemented GPIB correctly. I wanted to use Tektronix peripherals with the PET, and also an 8 inch floppy drive that I designed a GPIB interface for, but the botched PET firmware wouldn't communicate reliably.

So, I read the binary ROM code, and disassembled it into usable 6502 processor source code. There were a few free bytes and inefficiencies in that tightly packed code, I tightened it more and made enough space to fix the GPIB protocol. On a trip to the bay area, I gave my repaired 6502 source and binary (on CPM floppy) to Chuck Peddle at Commodore, along with a commented printed listing.

Note that neither the ROM package, nor the code, nor the PET purchase agreement referred to a copyright for that code.

Chuck was THRILLED by the listing, and showered me with tchotchkes ... including mechanical blueprints for the PET, but not the schematics, shucky darns. As a leader in the Bay Area hobby computer community, he gave copies of the listing to friends, who copied them for friends, etc. A (9th generation?) copy of my anonymous listing reached Microsoft and Bill Gates. I was told by a Microsoft employee ( a science fiction convention friend ) that Bill Gates threw a carpet-chewing tantrum when he saw the listing ("but it's copyrighted, it says right here in the comments for the source code!") ... but that is probably fiction as well. Anyway, the statute of limitations has expired, Bill Gates has mellowed considerably (thank you Melinda), and I will NOT pay for that old carpet and any long-ago dental repair.

That said, I would gladly help Bill Gates stop a pandemic or three. A far better pass-time than dancing paperclip animations and novel-length EULAs and Jeffrey Epstein parties. I very much hope Mr. Gate's motivation is compassion and hope, not past-is-dead guilt or shame or similar handicaps. A vision of health and prosperity for all people, a vision that I share.

The Book Itself

Well written, but it feels mostly ghost-written. As it should be, the mission is to improve global health, not earn authorial fame for Mr. Gates. Another implied mission should be to convince hundreds of other entrepreneurs like himself to devote the time and resources and vision to help, and create convincing motivations for all eight billion of us, eight billion paths converging towards a plague-free (perhaps someday disease-free) world.

(Bill - if you invite ever invite me for dinner, serve veg. COVID happened because wealthy Chinese served raccoon dogs. A few million bucks spent on "better-than-real" fake meat could save millions of future lives, and mega-hectares of nature. Make "super-better" the new luxury meal.

Also, gatesnotes does not mention "Cell Biology by the Numbers" 2016 by Milo and Phillips. Fascinating, quantified, beautifully illustrated explanations of MANY things cellular and molecular. You will be engrossed, please do not charge me your hourly rate for the time your irresistable deep dive consumes ).





50% vaccinated

Whooping cough


















HowToPrevent (last edited 2023-05-04 03:01:00 by KeithLofstrom)