The young students wrote a 300-page manual entitled The Problem Report Book for the nearby Computer Center Corporation (CCC) by salvaging scraps of paper left by the company's programmers in their trash bins. The students soon found themselves on the company payroll. Gates's restless, inquisitive mind led to his discovery of methods to crash computer operating systems. When he received a severe reprimand from Control Data Corporation for causing its system to crash, Gates temporarily gave up computers and devoted his time to non-technical pursuits. As he recalls, his interest in computers was then, "not a mainstream thing. I couldn't imagine spending the rest of my life at it" (Current, 1991, p. 238).
Gates's self-imposed exile from computers was short-lived.
Even before finishing high school, he was earning hefty computer consulting fees. Although scoring a perfect 800 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test's math portion, Gates opted for pre-law studies when he enrolled at Harvard University.
While at Harvard, Gates continued to work on computer problems with friend, Paul Allen. Allen read an article in Popular Electronics about the worlds's first commercially available microcomputer (the Altair 8800) and persuaded Gates to join him in writing a program for it. Torn between continuing his studies at Harvard or pursuing the microcomputer project, Gates chose the latter. In an i