Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder, RIP


Originally published at:


Paul, you’re off to the big programmer in the sky.


My favorite Paul Allen fact is that he helped bankroll “produce” Hard Candy - a dark gritty movie featuring Ellen Paige as a young girl getting revenge on a sexual predator:

I’m a big film geek and when someone in my film club pointed it out it stuck in my mind as a cool fact. Thanks Paul!


He was one of the first billionaires to sign on to Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge. A shame it will have to kick in so soon.


So was he the good twin, or the evil one?


Innovative. Seems petty, but I can’t let that word go by in connection with Microsoft. They innovated a business model, I suppose.


founder of Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture (formerly the Experience Museum Project)

psst, it was Experience Music Project.

Also, the Living Computer Museum is so cool.


Apparently the CA first appeared back in the 80’s, so hopefully he was able to lead his life satisfactorily with this end point in mind.

Though, to be fair, a lot of poors died young today, too.


As a programmer…that’s the last thing I’d want to hear.


Paul Allen’s gadget-obsessed philanthropy got me my first assignment at Wired many moons ago. Thanks, Paul!


You forgot to mention that he provided the initial funding for the Allen Telescope Array. He took a chance on something that just might end up being the most profoundly impactful moment for humanity, for the history of history.


i don’t know… the code he initially wrote for the Altair that got microsoft off the ground was something that, at the time, professionals said couldn’t be done. he and bill gates cranked it out in 2 months – and he was something like 22 at the time. if that isn’t innovative, i don’t know what else to call it.


I also like how he managed to assemble his collection of WWII era planes under relative secrecy, before his collection became public.

The story behind their P-51 Mustang Upupa epops, how it got it’s ornithological name, and the origins of the collection are told here:

I love the description “a shadowy consortium of airline pilots in the Pacific Northwest”

I can imagine planespotters & aviation geeks trying to figure out what was going on at the time…


Easily the best Linnean name.


It’s no Gorilla gorilla gorilla, but it’s okay.


Ba humbugi Solem 1983, there are plenty others.
Linnaeus (double n, please) was far to prolific to not have some fun with names.

Come to think of it, I should do a Fun with Taxonomy YT channel and invite Amy to co-host an episode.

Just so we stay on-topic: meet Paul Allen’s flower fly Eristalis alleni Thompson 1997.


That was innovative. That one thing.


You only need one.


no moving the goalposts, man.


A timely reminder that, in between the first time lymphoma tried to kill him and the last time when it succeeded, Gates and Ballmer tried to screw him over.