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The Register's tech support team offers tips for illiterary types seeking signed Gates books

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No invite for today's exclusive book-signing by His Billness? (See Gates exclusive signing ceremony.) Well, don't despair, you can quite possibly just walk in. We did a bit of contract work for MS a few years back, and this involved listening to a Bill Gates speech (it was highly-paid contract work, obviously). The great man wasn't known to be in the UK at the time as far as the press was concerned, but in reality was to be telling Microsoft's Blue Chip customers all about Digital Nervous Systems at the QE2 Conference Centre in Westminster. This centre is -- allegedly -- one of the most secure venues for such things available in London. Detectors, big blokes at the door, the works. We'd no ticket, but MS UK had told us be there or be dead, so we went. We were early, so none of our minders had arrived yet. We said to the big bloke at the door that we were probably on the guest list, so he ushered us through the detector and pointed us to to check-in desk. The check-in desk didn't have us on the list, but said that was cool. "Do you have a business card?" Course we did -- one that said 'The Register, Situation Publishing' too. So in five minutes we were upstairs with the high command of NatWest et al, and in 30 minutes we were within pie-ing distance of Bill. Prior to that we'd been caught up with by our ashen-faced minder. "How the hell did you get in here? I've got your ticket in my pocket! For god's sake, don't tell Text 100 -- this is supposed to be a 'no press' event!" But if you want to try this, gentle reader, remember we didn't tell you how... ®

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