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  • Solitaire is one of the most popular computer games of all time, and we went to find the guy who created it.

  • Yes, may I help you?

  • Are you the person that wrote solitaire for Microsoft?

  • Yes, but that was a long time ago.

  • We gotta talk. Can we come in?

  • Great, thank you.

  • Alright, this is Wes.

  • I'm Wes Cherry, and I wrote Windows Solitaire.

  • I wrote the game in 1988 as an intern.

  • Internships at Microsoft were really an all-encompassing thing, but I squoze it in there in the few little hours of my free time.

  • For those who need a refresher, Solitaire was played on the computer using a mouse.

  • Cards are pulled from the deck in an effort to stack cards in order by suit.

  • And if you won, you got an awesome display of cards cascading towards you.

  • I came up with the idea to write Solitaire for Windows out of boredom, really.

  • There wasn't many games right at the time so we had to make them.

  • In the mid to late '90's was just when people started really getting computers in their home.

  • Microsoft officially said that Solitaire was there to teach people how to use the mouse.

  • But, in reality, it was just really just something to have fun with.

  • Before they ever released Windows, of course Bill Gates got a shot at it.

  • His biggest complaint was that Solitaire was too hard to win.

  • And once people figured out the mouse it became a favorite past time.

  • The number of hours wasted on Solitaire is really countless.

  • I can say that right after Solitaire was released in 1990, there was a world recession.

  • So many people were playing it in the workplace that Wes came up with what he called "the boss key."

  • Press the special key and a spreadsheet was come up, so it made it look like you were doing real work.

  • But, Microsoft made me take it out.

  • Considering this game has been around for decades, you must have made a ton of money.

  • I was not paid, not a single cent.

  • At one time, I said if I only got a penny per copy, I would be very rich.

  • So far, only 14 people have made good on that.

  • I'm still waiting for the rest of you.

  • Well, you heard the man.

  • Do you still work with computers?

  • I work with Apple now.

  • Apples, actually.

  • And I own a cidery.

  • Ah, Wes, there's something behind you.

  • Wes, run!

Solitaire is one of the most popular computer games of all time, and we went to find the guy who created it.

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Meet the Intern Who Wrote Solitaire for Microsoft

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    Samuel posted on 2022/03/02
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