Chapter . Introduction

I remember a brilliant August day in 1995.

Microsoft was launching Windows 95 at a wildly exuberant expo held at their Redmond, Washington campus. I was there for SeniorNet, a non-profit organization I had founded in 1986 to help adults in their 50s and older get online. We had a 10-square-foot booth and a table of leaflets in the middle of the biggest product launch in modern history.

All around us were red and white market umbrellas, Cub Scouts carrying Microsoft briefcases, and tents filled with gourmet food. Bill Gates was running around in a golf cart with Jay Leno. There were hundreds of journalists snapping pictures, rolling film, and getting it all down. There was a Ferris wheel in the center of the expo and I took ...

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