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kottke.org posts about Paul Allen

RIP Paul Allen

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 16, 2018

Tech titan Paul Allen died yesterday at the age of 65 of complications from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. His Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates remembered his friend in a short piece called “What I loved about Paul Allen”.

Paul foresaw that computers would change the world. Even in high school, before any of us knew what a personal computer was, he was predicting that computer chips would get super-powerful and would eventually give rise to a whole new industry. That insight of his was the cornerstone of everything we did together.

In fact, Microsoft would never have happened without Paul. In December 1974, he and I were both living in the Boston area — he was working, and I was going to college. One day he came and got me, insisting that I rush over to a nearby newsstand with him. When we arrived, he showed me the cover of the January issue of Popular Electronics. It featured a new computer called the Altair 8800, which ran on a powerful new chip. Paul looked at me and said: “This is happening without us!” That moment marked the end of my college career and the beginning of our new company, Microsoft. It happened because of Paul.

Gates also noted Allen’s love of music. In an interview earlier this year, legendary producer Quincy Jones said Allen “sings and plays just like Hendrix”.

Yeah, man. I went on a trip on his yacht, and he had David Crosby, Joe Walsh, Sean Lennon — all those crazy motherfuckers. Then on the last two days, Stevie Wonder came on with his band and made Paul come up and play with him — he’s good, man.

Here’s a short clip of Allen melting some faces:

James Cameron goes for a swim

posted by Aaron Cohen   Mar 25, 2012

Director James Cameron is now the record holder for deepest solo dive after his submarine, “Deepsea Challenger” made it to the bottom of the Mariana Trench a couple hours ago. The sponsors of the expedition are James Cameron, Rolex, and National Geographic making me think this will turn into a film someday. Another fact which makes it seem like I’m making this all up, which I’m not, is Paul Allen is live-Tweeting the entire thing.

I’ve been holding on to this really amazing interactive infographic of the Mariana Trench for a long time, and now is the perfect time to share it. The deepest part of the Trench is called Challenger Deep, a name Tolkien certainly would have created if he’d ever finished his pirate adventure.