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Paul Allen honed his chops in Vancouver for BPA

first_imgBefore Paul Allen partnered with Bill Gates to co-found Microsoft and launch the age of personal computers, he honed his craft here in Vancouver.Allen’s ties to the Vancouver area spanned decades, from a teenage stint with Gates as a debugger at the Bonneville Power Administration to a donation for an art installation in 2005.The philanthropist and computing giant died Monday in Seattle at the age of 65 due to complications of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, his family reported.Teenage ‘hot shots’In 1973, just two years before the duo founded Microsoft out of Gates’ storied garage, they worked elbow-to-elbow at the BPA Dittmer Control Center in Vancouver.At the time, Allen was about to turn 20 years old. Gates was 17.They were hired to work on the power company’s Real-time Operations Dispatch and Scheduling system, or RODS, one of the first computerized systems of its kind to monitor the Northwest’s power grid. It covered everything from automatic generation control to bill settlement.Bonneville had commissioned another company, TRW, to build the system. Allen and Gates worked for TRW to help the company debug a program that would become RODS.last_img read more