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An audience with Bill Gates

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Imagine Cup blog We've been quiet recently... Perhaps a-little too quiet... Not without good reason though, for this week we jetted off to Sunny Seattle. And yes it really is sunny! Why? To give a presentation to Bill Gates, someone important enough to convince us to make sure our demo worked without a flaw. As fun as playing demo roulette is, we thought there would be enough tension in the air without us shooting ourselves in the head.

So, how did it go? After spending the morning "setting up" - which for us consisted of turning on a laptop and plugging in the TFT, microphone and speaker - it all seemed to work fine. There was a bit of tearing on the WPF animations but there's nothing we can do to fix that.

Eventually we had a few press demos and all of a sudden the place started to become very crowded with yet more media and their chaperones; Bill was making his entrance. When he'd got on stage he spoke to us all for a few minutes on topics such as, what the Imagine Cup means to him and how he believed in software to empower people.

Then it was demo time. We were up third! We were nervous; three bottles of water disappeared pretty damn quickly! When Bill got around to us he shook each of our hands; we introduced ourselves and of course no intro needed for Bill! :-D All the worrying beforehand was unnecessary; it went off without a hitch.

The thing that struck us the most about Bill (apart from the Porsche with the toddler seat) was that he listened. He let us deliver our pitch and then asked a couple of very pertinent questions. We were expecting a really larger than life kinda guy but he was really down to earth and genuinely pleasant to talk to.

With the event over we went off to do some other stuff such as a round-table session with some developers and an end of event round-up. A very hectic day for us all came to an end and we were free to go back to the hotel.

Even though we were tired we still had enough energy and adrenaline left to head off to the bar with the US team for a night of fun. So with all our excitement over we've been lucky enough to be able to stay on in Seattle for an extra day or two and we're enjoying all the sites it has to offer. Photos from the event and our site-seeing will go up on Flickr soon. ®

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