Bill Hill - What were the influences in your life?

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Bill Hill, head of the typography department here, talks about the influences his parents played in his life. What influenced you to get involved in computers/technology?

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    The Discussion

    • User profile image
      michaeltal
      Another great video with a great microsoft employee!!!

      Thanks! Smiley

      Michael
    • User profile image
      Akaina

      My friend's dad used to come over and teach me how to manage my config.sys when I was 10, back when we were trying to free up our conventional memory so I could load the Doom1 demo. That was before memmaker.

      You used to have do a softboot and keep your resident memory, then upon the next boot, you would have the resources to make the game work Smiley

      Also, the Nintendo Game Genie kept me fascinated with creating my own game-codes and figuring out what variables were.

      I'de say videogames were 99.9% of the motivation for learning. I learned alot more then what I originally intended, and luckily it's been the ride of a lifetime.

    • User profile image
      Stack Of Toast

      I have known a few fascinating people like Bill in my life and they always leave you wanting to know more, so more Bill Hill please!!!

      I was always interested in space and technology, I got interested in computers when I convinced my parents to buy me a Commodore 64 when I was 12 so I could play games. I ended up programming with it and the rest is history.

    • User profile image
      mrservices
      Hello All, been on the site for awhile and this is my first post!

      Bill Hill and the rest of Channel 9 gang, Microsoft gang and users are inspiring!

      This is simply amazing that we are able to communicate in this fashion!

      I find myself spending more and more time on here and learning more and more!

      Keep up the good work and yes more Bill Hill videos please!

      Roger
    • User profile image
      vanlandw
      wow...that is pretty amazing reading over 10 books a week.  I'm lucky to be able to read three to four a year!
    • User profile image
      Naveen
      Thank you for that, it was brilliant and inspiring. Here's hoping for more of that get to know each other content, and you guys and girls at MS, you're really lucky to be working around such people!

      Thanks again, i'd say it another time if it didnt seem strange in, err, almost print Smiley

      Naveen

    • User profile image
      Naveen
      [mistaken reply to myself], please move on.

    • User profile image
      Skriker V1.0

      Great to here all that bill, I recently moved to Paisley, which is just outside Glasgow, When I was younger I used to live in a horrible scheme called Drumchapel which is on the outskirts of Glasgow, at school no one was really interested in learning, I had to isolate my self from everyone else, when I was 16 and decided to go to College it was really hard, my dad was one of the only great influences then, but here I am today, a qualified engineer Smiley when was the last time you were back in Glasgow?

    • User profile image
      caspre
      Video Games!!
    • User profile image
      htmc
      I understand that cost and bandwidth present constraints on what and how much can be posted, but is there any chance we could see the rest of this interview, or at least find out how the anecdote ends?
    • User profile image
      scobleizer
      Yeah, sorry for chopping that at an awkward place. Bill moves from topic to topic very quickly and I wanted to keep it on one topic per view. I'm trying to make the videos sorta like a weblog post. My bad.
    • User profile image
      htmc
      Keep the videos like weblog posts!  Cropping the interview so that the video clip addresses only one question or topic is, it seems to me, the right way to do it: I can read the subject, view the clip, get the information I need and move on. But if I'm interested in learning more about the topic, it would be handy to have a link to the full video so I can view it at my leisure.

      Keep the current system, but (if possible), give us links to the full, unedited videos too.
    • User profile image
      Sathyaish Chakravarthy
      I've watched almost all the 28-or-30-odd video footages posted here, a several times over. This particular clip stands out of the rest.

      It reveals a child-like demeanor carried by the person being interviewed, and his enthusiasm in relating the particular anecdote is amply visible. It also glorifies the importance of education, clearly weighing the zeal for learning over formal, secular tuition.

      The ingredient that makes this video a winner is the obliquely presented austire childhood of the interviewee, Bill. It touches a chord with those adults who've had a challenging childhood to endure themselves, yet at the same time arousing compassion for those who do not empathize.

      Above all, it proves for a millionth time that unlike so many other companies running the race, Microsoft really knows how to spot talent. It ain't blinded by the silver paper. It never was.
    • User profile image
      bill hill

      I'm going to roll up a series of replies to this thread into one:


      First paragraph of interest to Glasgwegians only
      I know Drumchapel well. I was born in Shettleston; for many years I lived in Barlanark, then moved to Craigend near Garthamlock.

      I've been back in Glasgow only once in the last 9 years (I was working). See, now I live in a country called ... Microsoft. And I don't feel homesick.

      When I came over from Scotland to interview at Microsoft in 1994, I was the best-dressed person on my interview loop - by a long, long way. Blue suit, rep tie, wingtips - the whole nine yards.

      Partway through the interview I realized "These guys don't care about what's on the outside at all. They're only interested in what's in my head and what value it could bring to the company."

      I can't tell you how refreshing that was to someone who comes from a country where your Glasgow accent was an immediate strike against you, that you had to overcome when interviewing for many jobs. Or where who you knew, or what school you'd attended - and even, in the bigoted Glasgow of my youth, what religion you were. ("What school did you go to?" was often a coded question to determine that)

      That's one of the great things about the USA; Microsoft is even more free about it. I love the diversity here.

      I haven't worn a pair of long pants in nine years; I trim my ponytail when it starts to catch in my belt - and they've put me on stage twice with Bill Gates. How cool is that?

    • User profile image
      fhaber
      I, too, would love to hear more of Bill's interview, OT or not.  True passion, survival elevated to triumph - these are rare things.
    • User profile image
      Tubusy
      I LOVE this guy and I love what he has to say, I want to hear more!

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