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Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999 TV Movie)
Apple vs. Microsoft: A Geeks-Eye View!
8 June 1999
I recently saw a rough-cut of TNT Originals' Pirates of Silicon Valley. (It airs in June -- premiere's on Sunday June 20.) It's the story of Steve Jobs (Co-founder of Apple Computers) and Bill Gates (Co-founder of Microsoft) and their competitive rivalry to dominate the computer industry. Sounds boring, right? It's not! It's actually pretty cool! Here's why:

Casting Anthony Michael Hall as the world's biggest geek, Bill Gates, was genius. Hall has done such crap in the past few years that we all forgot what a great character actor he is. His best characters have always been misfits and geeks. In Pirates, he captures everything that's both creepy and sympathetic about Bill Gates. He's totally believable!

Noah Wyle's character as Steve Jobs is right on! Here I always thought Apple was the underdog. Turns out -- Apple had it all over Microsoft until the mid-eighties. Wyle plays Jobs as this power-hungry hippie gone awry. It's a nice change from his do-good doctor on ER. And Wyle makes the jump to full-length film effortlessly. Look for him on the big screen battling aliens any day now.

The story is somewhat standard but filled in with cool details that keep it interesting Jobs as a deadbeat Dad; Gates pitching his product to IBM (the IBM guy actually thinks all the money is in the hardware!), and the late-night screaming matches between Jobs and Gates.

Here's the thing that just boggles my mind -- these two are pretty average guys especially for their generation. Sure, they're two of the most powerful men in the world (Gates is the richest man in the world) but you could totally see either one showing up at your bar-b-que in Khakis and an ill-fitting shirt.

Pirates of Silicon Valley is quite entertaining it's weird, it's funny and quirky-- I say check it out!
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