Here is a story about a truly remarkable man.
On April 9, at a remote launchpad on the plains of Kazakhstan, a ground controller will finish his countdown; a Soyuz rocket will fire; and Charles Simonyi--Microsoft's former chief architect, the tutelary genius behind its most famous applications, the inventor of the method of writing code that the company's programmers have used for 25 years, and now the proponent of an ambitious project to reprogram software--will begin his ascent into space.
Snug in a Russian space suit, feeling four Gs pressing him down into a form-fitting molded seat liner, the 58-year-old billionaire will become the fifth space tourist to visit the International Space Station. The journey, which will cost Simonyi around $20 million, will fulfill his dream of becoming a "nerd in space" (to borrow one name he chose for the website that documents his extraterrestrial adventure: www.nerdinspace.com). It will also give him an opportunity to view our planet from above and beyond.
This has always been Simonyi's preferred vantage. In a career spanning four decades, every time he has confronted some intractable problem in software or life, he has tried to solve it by stepping outside or above it. He even has a name for his favorite gambit: he calls it "going meta." In his youth in 1960s Hungary...
Kenneth P. Reeder, Ph.D.
Jacksonville, North Carolina 28546
« Last Edit: January 13, 2007, 05:00:22 PM by KenR »