Tag Archives | Steve Jobs

Ah, But I Was So Much Older Then, I’m Younger Than That Now

[FURTHER UPDATE: As commenter Jdoors explains, I can see the video I uploaded when I’m logged into YouTube. But I’m the only one who can see it–for everybody else, it’s blocked.]

[UPDATE: The original video, with Dylan soundtrack, is still playing for me here at home in Daly City, California. But Network World’s Paul McNamara, commenters, and others are saying that it’s blocked for them. Sounds like the geolocation technology that YouTube uses has decided that Daly City isn’t in the U.S. Or something like that.]

Back in October, shortly after Steve Jobs passed away, I uploaded a wonderful video to YouTube. It was called “To Steven Jobs on his thirtieth birthday,” and was a film created by Jobs’ Apple coworkers in 1985 to show at his birthday party. (Craig Elliott, who worked at Apple when it was made and shown, was the generous soul who shared it with me.)

I’d never seen the video or many of the Jobs images it included, and thought they deserved to be more widely known. Now they are: The YouTube version has been viewed almost 240.000 times.

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The Lost Interview: Steve Jobs, Unfiltered

Even an Apple cynic like myself must admit that Steve Jobs drastically changed the world we live in, and mostly for the better. I’m writing this on a Windows computer, I have a Creative Zen music player, and my smartphone is powered by Android. Yet I doubt that any of these would be in existence today without innovations for which Jobs played a significant role.

He was also a charismatic leader and public figure, who held people in thrall with his product announcements and presentations.

But does that mean you would enjoy watching a 16-year-old, 70-minute, videotaped interview, visually consisting of one continuous close-up of his face?

Surprisingly, the answer is Yes. That charisma, combined with the simple fact that Jobs had some interesting things to say back in 1995, make Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview–a film playing in special theatrical engagements around the country this week–a reasonably interesting and informative film. But it could have been much better.

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Steve Jobs: The Computer Magazine Covers

When I was editor of PCWorld and spent endless hours thinking about computer-magazine covers, we had lots of theories about what people didn’t want to see on them. One was depictions of human beings: In all my time there, I don’t believe we ever once used a photo of a person, and even drawings of them tended to intimidate us. We also thought that anything that anyone might construe as being negative rather than relentlessly upbeat was a turn-off. I suspect that other computer magazines the world over harbor similar theories.

But Steve Jobs’ passing on October 5th was a unique moment in computing history. And as an ex-computer magazine person, I’m fascinated by how the computer magazines that are still around chose to handle the news, which many of them put on their covers. The issues that do so are just now coming out–read on, and I’ll show you some of them, borrowed from Zinio and other sources.

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Ten Important Themes Covered in the New Steve Jobs Book

Walter Isaacson’s aptly-titled Steve Jobs book is available today and, at 650+ pages, it’s a doozy. If you’re looking to hone in on a particular section of the biography, here’s a roundup of recent articles from around the web that highlight various themes presented throughout the book:

On design:

Steve Jobs Would Annoy Jony Ive By Taking Credit For His Design Work [Business Insider]

“Jonathan ‘Jony’ Ive, Apple’s design maestro, was regularly frustrated with his good friend, and boss, Steve Jobs taking all the credit for Apple product’s design.”

On apps:

Steve Jobs resisted third-party apps on iPhone, biography reveals [The Guardian]

“Apple chief was initially reluctant to allow non-Apple apps but was swayed by lobbying from execs and board members.”

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Steve Jobs and Edwin Land

Over at the New York Times, Christopher Bonanos has a nice piece comparing Steve Jobs to the entrepreneur/technologist he resembles most by far: Polaroid’s Edwin Land. Bonanos says that virtually none of the Jobs obituaries mentioned Land, but I remembered to do so in my piece for TIME–in the third paragraph, in fact. And last June, when I wrote about Polaroid’s SX-70 camera, I found the Land/Jobs parallels so compelling that they threatened to take over the article.


Steve Jobs, on the Cover of TIME Once More

My friends at TIME had just finished work on the issue that comes out this Friday when the world learned of the passing of Steve Jobs. They stopped the presses, called an emergency meeting–here’s photographic evidence–and put together a new cover story. (And what a cover that is.) I’m honored to say that the obituary I wrote for TIME.com became part of the print magazine’s coverage. (I also have another story in the issue, on Facebook’s new Timeline and Open Graph features.)



Steve Jobs Signs an Apple II Manual

And one more memorable item of Jobsana from Craig Elliott: His autographed Apple II manual, dated on the ninth anniversary of Apple’s founding. (He still has the Apple II, too.)

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The Day Steve Gave Craig a Porsche

Craig Elliott, who shared the Steve Jobs thirtieth birthday video with us, also sent along this delightful photo of him with Jobs. Here’s why Steve is presenting Craig with a new Porsche:

In 1985 Apple had a promotion called “Test Drive” where you could borrow a Mac for the weekend from your local computer reseller.  At the same time they had a sales contest for reseller sales people.  I had just finished my undergraduate degree (Animal Science/Microbiology) and needed to make some money for grad school, so I went to work for a local computer reseller in Ames, Iowa (I was always the computer guy in the lab).  At the end of the sales contest I got a letter from Apple (I knew it was legit because it was done on a yet to be shipped LaserWriter) saying that I’d won and was invited to Cupertino (my first trip to California).  There were other winners from other regions (but I sold the most 🙂 ) and I got to have dinner with Steve and Mike Murray (VP of Marketing). As a guy that had been playing with Apple II’s since 1978, it was more than a dream come true.  I was 24 years old,  having dinner with Steve Jobs.  I personally understand the term “reality distortion field”.  I also spent the week with other sales and marketing execs at Apple in interviews, a tour of the factory and meetings. at headquarters.  Steve gave me the keys to a Porsche 944 and then about 3 months later, Apple called back to see if I would consider moving to California and work at headquarters.  I stayed for 10 years.  After my second sabbatical, I helped found a new networking and communications company called Packeteer as CEO, took it public in 1999 and retired in 2002 at 41.

Lots of people can rightfully say that Steve Jobs changed their life.

Me, too.


To Steven Jobs on His Thirtieth Birthday

On February 24th 1985, Steve Jobs turned thirty. His Apple coworkers helped him celebrate by creating a short film for him. They set it to the wonderful song “My Back Pages” by one of Steve’s idols, Bob Dylan, and filled it with images from Jobs’ first three decades. You know some of them, but only some. And they include many ones of a happy, relaxed, even silly Steve Jobs that most of us never got to see.

And here it is. The tribute must have been deeply moving for Steve and his colleagues at the time it was made, and if you can watch it today without getting at least very slightly emotional–particularly as you listen to Dylan’s lyrics–you’re reading the wrong blog.

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An Incredible Loss

What can be said that hasn’t been said already? Wednesday brought the news that we had all expected for some time now, but not this soon. Steve Jobs, arguably one of tech’s greatest visionaries, gone at the age of 56. As a journalist, you’re taught to separate yourself from the story, and I did in the initial minutes and hours after the news broke.

But now I’ve had some time to sit and reflect on the day’s events, and it floors me. I don’t think we yet grasp the true gravity of what has happened, and we very well may not for months if not years to come. In the simplest terms this is an incredible loss.

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