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The Man Behind Apple And Pixar

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the he's-just-a-man dept.

Apple 331

Ant writes "Steve Jobs is the chief executive of two of the most powerful technology brands in the world: Apple and Pixar. But what motivates him? And how does he choose a new washing machine? An article in the Independent explores this much loved and much hated man." From the article: "Alan Deutschmann, a journalist who researched Jobs's middle years for a biography called The Second Coming of Steve Jobs, believes he displays two personalities in his dealings with people: Good Steve and Bad Steve. The Good side is charming, and can make people believe almost anything; that's the side on public view at the rock-star product launches. He's been said to have a 'reality distortion field' - by a mixture of charm and exaggeration, he can make you believe pretty much anything."

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331 comments

hatchet job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913126)

Jobs claimed that Deutchmann was doing a 'hatchet job'

Interesting paragraph, using Pixar as leverage (5, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913128)

One of the more interesting paragraphs in an article of otherwise rehashed details this:

Jobs is a fiendishly good negotiator, a skill honed in the 1970s, when he charmed every supplier in Silicon Valley into providing parts for the first Apple computers. It's this ability that makes him valuable to Pixar, where Jobs isn't so involved in the production side (that is handled by John Lasseter). Jobs's role was to write the cheques (which nearly bankrupted him, until the company was floated) and barter with film studios. Which he did with accomplishment: Disney gave in to Pixar, and is presently trying to woo it back to a new distribution deal - a deal that Jobs is making Disney give up all sorts of favours for, like providing content in the form of TV shows for his Apple iTunes store. The giant Disney, kowtowing to the tiny Apple? A bizarre reversal.
An interesting speculation, which would explain how Jobs was able to get Disney to be the first to put TV on ITMS - anyone remember how scared Disney was of DVD's for quite some time? Uses Pixar as leverage is diabolically clever. And it's even hinted at by the only other non-music video for sale being Pixar shorts.

Re:Interesting paragraph, using Pixar as leverage (1)

glitch0 (859137) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913165)

Maybe Disney actually learned from their mistakes?

Re:Interesting paragraph, using Pixar as leverage (5, Insightful)

johndierks (784521) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913270)

I think technically it would be illegal for Steve to barter a Pixar distribution deal for content for the Apple ITMS, as it would basically boil down to a conflict of interest.

Steve is responsible to both sets of share holders, and if he agreed to a give one for the other, he could possibly be robbing one set of share holders to give to the other.

I'm not saying that Pixar had nothing to do with the Disney/ITMS deal, but more than anything I think it could only have been a sign of good faith on Disney's side.

Re:Interesting paragraph, using Pixar as leverage (5, Insightful)

aratuk (524269) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913340)

I think it could only have been a sign of good faith on Disney's side.

Yes, exactly. Disney knows his personality, and they want Good Steve. Good Steve, only human, is transferable from Apple to Pixar. And it's not like they stand to lose anything selling a few shows on the Internet.
Also, I don't think it's necessarily bad for Pixar to have Steve Jobs get buttered up by Disney. Pixar without Disney faces a difficult distribution problem, where either Pixar has to develop the ability to distribute, market, and merchandise its own movies (expensive, risky), or find a new partner (let's face it: who is the master of selling animated movies to children?). Pixar has probably just been holding out for Disney to offer a better deal. Or maybe they'll just sell all future movies through iTunes... after all, no overhead.

Re:Interesting paragraph, using Pixar as leverage (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913293)

Uses Pixar as leverage is diabolically clever

I wouldn't want to be a shareholder in Pixar with this kind of deal going on. It amounts to a cash transfer from Pixar to Apple.

Re:Interesting paragraph, using Pixar as leverage (3, Interesting)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913520)

Uses Pixar as leverage is diabolically clever.

But Microsoft using it's market share as leverage against South Korea is evil?

Oh, wait. I forgot we were talking about Apple. Steve Jobs could kidnap and use Eisner's grandbabies as leverage against Disney and it would still be "diabolically clever".

wow (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913129)

I like to eat poo and steve jobs does too!

Flipsides (5, Interesting)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913133)


Walk around the campus at Microsoft, or across to Cafe Macs in Cupertino, and you come across the same sort of casual arrogance - both sets of employees generally (there are exceptions :-) think they're in the best place to be.

In Microsoft's case, it's because they're the most successful computer company in the world, bar none. That they're on pretty much every desktop (or at least 90% or so of them), and that what they do, matters. Microsoft is all to do with preserving and increasing that user-base, and delivering what (mainly business) requires to do so.

In Apple's case, it's more insidious (possibly that's being harsh, perhaps 'subtle') - Apple engineers think they make the best computers. Bar none. They don't think they're the most popular (there's an implied 'yet' in that statement), but they do think they're the best. Apple is all to do with ease-of-use, attention-to-detail, and a good experience. They invest thought.

Some of the Apple attitude comes from having the potential for Steve Jobs to "take an interest" in your project. You *really* want it to measure up, if he does, and Mr. Jobs (to you!) is a perfectionist. This does keep people on their toes, but I wonder how often it *really* happens.

There's more though - the 'ease-of-use' is a mantra to the Apple employees I've met. They really care how their software is perceived, and I think it shows in the product. Sure, there are business decisions that override engineering wishes, but it seems to be less the case at Apple than anywhere else. I think that comes from the top (SJ) as well.

For me, back then, Apple computers sucked big time before OS-X came out. The focus of the company was pointed in a different direction. Now they woo techies, artists, movie-people, graphics designers, and business (with the 'office' suite) alike. For me, now, an OS-X machine with 2 cinema-displays is the best damn unix workstation I've ever used, and I've been using Linux since it came on floppies, Irix (ok, that was a close second), SunOS, Solaris, HPUX, etc...

I personally think SJ has done well - long may he continue, especially as I have some stock in the company I bought a while back when it was a lot lower :-)

Simon.

Re:Flipsides (5, Interesting)

TheGSRGuy (901647) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913191)

"Walk around the campus at Microsoft, or across to Cafe Macs in Cupertino, and you come across the same sort of casual arrogance - both sets of employees generally (there are exceptions :-) think they're in the best place to be."

So? What's wrong with taking pride in the company you work for? I applaud someone who respects the company they work for. There's countless white-collar jobs that are staffed by people who downright hate the company they work for and can't agree with a single part of the corporate statement.

Those with the good attitudes are the most productive and best employees.

Re:Flipsides (5, Interesting)

ankarbass (882629) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913232)

I don't think that the OP was saying there was anything wrong with it, just that it's the culture of those places. It sounded more to me like he was drawing some parallels between working for MS and Apple.

I think he was further suggesting that the culture is perhaps a bit larger than life, that is, Jobs doesn't walk up to your cubicle all that often to see what you are doing even though people stay on their toes because they expect it might happen. Or, they wish it would happen...oh pick me Mr Jobs!!!

I can't imagine development at either job place is low pressure. But, I can't imagine too many places other places where the opportunity has so much potential either. Not that I'd work at either place, it's just not my cup of tea.

Re:Flipsides (2, Insightful)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913561)

So? What's wrong with taking pride in the company you work for?
In moderation, nothing. But taken to extremes it gets a bit too close to a cult mentality.

Re:Flipsides (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913193)

In an interesting interview with Bob Cringely on NerdTV, Dave Winer calls Bill Gates "our generation's tragic figure". His reasoning is that Bill Gates is the son who was not going to repeat the same mistake of the father, IBM.

If Bill Gates lived the life of the tragic figure, Steve Jobs is living the life of the classic hero. Banished and left for the dustbin of computer history, Jobs returns to Apple, after many years of isolation, and became Apple's savior.

Full of Shit (5, Interesting)

David Off (101038) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913330)

Back around the Gulf war Cringely made another observation about the duo which I like. He said Gates was like the Sultan of Kuwait, not wanting the boat rocked and milking the profits from his empire. Jobs was like Hussein, firing his revolver in the air in front of a crowd of fanatics and telling the rest of the world that they are "full of shit".

If you want a very good book about Apple [apple2history.org] up to the time of Sculley and Jobs' early years try to get hold of The Journey is the Reward [amazon.com] by Jeffery Young. West of Eden, the End of Innocence at Apple Computer [amazon.com] by Frank Rose is also another good book at this time. Oh, and if you want a laff read Sculley's book Odyssey [amazon.com] - a more talentless f*ck and bigger blowhard you could not wish to hire to ruin your business, the guy obviously only made it by marrying the boss's daughter. Sculley is all that is wrong with corporate America. The book must rank with "The Road Ahead" as the deranged ramblings of someone who just didn't get it. :-)

Re:Flipsides [Unix boy] (2, Interesting)

putko (753330) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913228)

I never liked the Macs and their frilly user interface. Being a Unix geek, I just wanted a set of Unix-like (or better tools).

Some things, like Macscheme, really impressed me though.

I remember working with their development tools (Neal Stephenson wrote the same) and being surprised to see that they were put together like a bunch of Unix tools --- command line, pipes and so on -- but, it was a like a version of the Unix tools put together by two teenage brothers, and one was unfortunately a bit "special" -- aka, retarded.

Their insistence on the "resource" fork always struck me as idiotic: data is data. If it is in a file, it is a bunch of bytes (or even blocks of bytes) -- no need to have separate "meta" information. That drove me nuts -- it meant you couldn't easily make tools (as in any Unix environment), because you had to be willing to do resource fork stuff. That sort of thing convinced me that the Mac was half-baked, and I should just stick to BSD-derived OSes.

So I'm happy to see that Apple got on the Mach tip, and now they have a decent userland and tools (for crabby programmers like myself). But I don't use it -- for my needs, BSD on x86 is wonderful.

The Apple Demographic (Re:Flipsides [Unix boy]) (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913252)

Well, here's the problem. The Mac, and the entire Apple experience, is intuitive for a certain kind of person. Artists, fashion mavens, leftists, and other creative personalities can sit in front of a 12-inch PowerBook and just "get it," but accountants and everyday pencil-pushers don't have a prayer. Unattractive squares should stick to Linux and Windows. Macs are for different thinkers.

Evidence?
http://img493.imageshack.us/img493/1213/5635563kp. jpg [imageshack.us] *NEW!*
http://img493.imageshack.us/img493/3217/473a516bu. jpg [imageshack.us] *NEW!*
http://img399.imageshack.us/img399/5269/img01318be .jpg [imageshack.us]
http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/3639/img66457jy .jpg [imageshack.us]
http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/4251/img02729pu .jpg [imageshack.us]
http://img371.imageshack.us/img371/7792/img08079iy .jpg [imageshack.us]
http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/3600/img10156rv.j pg [imageshack.us]
http://img213.imageshack.us/img213/2539/soho0uj.jp g [imageshack.us]
http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/5614/img66606pq .jpg [imageshack.us]
http://img95.imageshack.us/img95/6756/img64271jj.j pg [imageshack.us]
http://img201.imageshack.us/img201/5082/bleeder0wq .jpg [imageshack.us]
http://img201.imageshack.us/img201/1672/img85083cm .jpg [imageshack.us]
http://img201.imageshack.us/img201/7234/img82642ay .jpg [imageshack.us]
http://img201.imageshack.us/img201/787/img60047ow. jpg [imageshack.us]
http://img201.imageshack.us/img201/4819/img58719td .jpg [imageshack.us]
http://img201.imageshack.us/img201/9681/img46882wk .jpg [imageshack.us]
http://img201.imageshack.us/img201/8519/img45081gg .jpg [imageshack.us]
http://img201.imageshack.us/img201/3102/img39464ta .jpg [imageshack.us]
http://img201.imageshack.us/img201/7783/img07414pv .jpg [imageshack.us]
http://img201.imageshack.us/img201/5816/img07328rd .jpg [imageshack.us]
http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/5096/img07309mk .jpg [imageshack.us]

Versus:
http://img80.imageshack.us/img80/3118/ms1by.jpg [imageshack.us]
http://img270.imageshack.us/img270/7789/linuxnylug boothsized0hs.jpg [imageshack.us]

Re:The Apple Demographic (Re:Flipsides [Unix boy]) (1, Insightful)

humina (603463) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913348)

I think what you meant to say is that people that use apple computers are easily influenced by advertising. The things they wear and the products they use define their personality. In essence apple users are apple whores. Brainless consumers that buy apple because it fits their hipster mentality. It's the same mentality that needs reinforcing through cherry picked images(I'm looking at you anonymous coward).

In a completely unrelated topic, I can't wait to replace my ibook with a Linux laptop(airport extreme + Linux = no wireless).

PS- I don't hate mac users. I just hate the ones that walk around with a false sense of superiority.

Re:The Apple Demographic (Re:Flipsides [Unix boy]) (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913359)

Yeah. They couldn't possibly just be more tasteful than you, or more appreciative of aesthetic beauty. You're the smart one, after all, Linux boy [flickr.com] .

Re:The Apple Demographic (Re:Flipsides [Unix boy]) (1)

putko (753330) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913423)

Those are some amazing photos!

I can easily imagine that the pasty-faced, unattractive geeks are probably never going to buy anything from Apple -- they'll just get a Rio if they want a music player.

Now I get it -- I just want a computer with a big bitmapped display to run emacs. I run "fvwm" as my window manager, for instance. So I'd probably never "get" the Apple bug enough to shell out for the experience.

Re:Flipsides [Unix boy] (2, Insightful)

be-fan (61476) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913363)

I never liked the Macs and their frilly user interface. Being a Unix geek, I just wanted a set of Unix-like (or better tools).

You know, I'm the same way. However, I recently bought a PowerMac, and it really is a wonderful machine. A lot of the standard UNIX apps are even better on OS X than on Linux. Emacs, in particular, is miles ahead, supporting an interface that actually blends in with the Aqua UI, and sports anti-aliased fonts and a Mac-style top menubar. The only caveat is that the default terminal app could be a little bit better.

Re:Flipsides [Unix boy] (4, Informative)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913390)

Their insistence on the "resource" fork always struck me as idiotic: data is data. If it is in a file, it is a bunch of bytes (or even blocks of bytes) -- no need to have separate "meta" information.

Resource forks are sensible given their purpose: to allow strings, in-program graphics, sounds, etc. to be tweaked without having to recompile or have necessary files outside of the application itself.

This way localization and some UI changes could be made without having to know how to change the source directly. Translators that can program are more costly than translators that can fiddle with ResEdit. Early on it was also hoped that files could use them productively (e.g. a text file that was raw text in the data fork, so that lesser systems could still read it, but with formatting in the resource fork) but this didn't really work out.

Application bundles (folders that masquerade as actual programs, and contain all the various resources in separate files) are a different way of accomplishing the same goal, basically. They're not quite as good, since they're known to break and revert back to behaving like folders, but it's better than what you see on other platforms.

At any rate, given that you seem to actually be complaining about metadata, this indicates that you have no idea what a resource fork is and probably never seriously used a Mac. Metadata (which is invaluable) is known on pretty much all platforms to one degree or another. Filenames, permissions, modification dates -- these are all metadata, and may or may not be portable across platforms. The Mac had some additional metadata -- custom icons, file types, which app should open a particular file, etc. -- and it improved the usability of the system. Frankly, we could do with yet more.

Of course, if you like to tell software what sectors on the disk to read instead of using filenames, which are metadata, more power to you. But most people aren't that crazy.

That drove me nuts -- it meant you couldn't easily make tools (as in any Unix environment), because you had to be willing to do resource fork stuff.

Meh. As a rule of thumb, doing a task in software takes a set amount of work. The more work that the programmer does once, the less work that the user will have to do repeatedly. So programming should be comparatively hard, in order to make use quite easy.

Now, the form of use that consists of creating more tools should also be easy, but that requires a hell of a lot of work by programmers to make it so. Recently, Apple has put out Automator, which is handy, but still needs significant work. Applescript was an interesting attempt, but really didn't work out well for most people.

Re:Flipsides [Unix boy] (5, Informative)

DLWormwood (154934) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913407)

Their insistence on the "resource" fork always struck me as idiotic: data is data. If it is in a file, it is a bunch of bytes (or even blocks of bytes) -- no need to have separate "meta" information.

"Insistence" is really the wrong word. After Jobs' return, many of the NeXT developers tried to deprecate such traditional Mac-isms, but the established Mac developer base, as well as many users (especially in the publishing/graphic arts marketspace), balked.

The original point of the resource fork was to provide a system wide "poor man's database" so that any arbitrary application or data file could have arbitrary tagged data appended to it without breaking or confusing apps that originally read the file. For example, to add publishing keywords to a graphics file in its data fork, you have to worry if you are working with a EPS, JPEG, PSD, TIFF or whatever. Each file format has it's own way of storing metadata and added info that are mostly incompatible with each other. However, assuming you are in a mostly Mac-based shop, you can simply add a "IPTC" resource to the file's resource fork, and you have added keyword data without worrying about the contents or exact format of the file in question, even if it's a file format yet to be invented.

After the early virus problems with System 4-6 OSes, Apple tried to start migrating away from resources to trying to develop a form of "universal container" file format. QuickTime's MOV format and disk images are two such stabs. However, this doesn't solve the compatiblity problem with the "outside world" since that just moves the problem from trying to NOT ignore a secondary data stream (that is, the resource fork) to the problem of insuring all file I/O goes through a "standard container file access" library.

it meant you couldn't easily make tools (as in any Unix environment), because you had to be willing to do resource fork stuff. That sort of thing convinced me that the Mac was half-baked, and I should just stick to BSD-derived OSes.

OS X is more or less a BSD-variant. It has more in common with a BSD than the System V derived UNIXes like Linux is alleged to be. As for the tool making problem, under recent OS X releases, you can treat the resource fork of a file like a subdirectory named "/rsrc" in most contexts. This is similar to what Windows needs to access NTFS stream data.

Re:Flipsides [Unix boy] (2, Insightful)

putko (753330) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913453)

Thanks very much for the explanation of their technical decisions!

It is interesting to hear that a bunch of the Mach guys thought like Unix geeks -- somehow they Mac-juju didn't stick to them permanently (if it ever did). I just assumed they'd all drunk Steve Job's Kool Aid. Now I'm old enough to figure that he probably told them, "my way or the highway," and they chose to keep their job and do it his way.

I can imagine that they wanted a cleaner approach to files (that would map to Mach better), and then a layer of "resource info" on top of it -- that way Unix-style stuff could co-exist with Mac-style stuff. But even if it started that way, there were probably good reasons to junk it and muddle things.

I'm surprised that they've still got the resource stuff in there -- in the form of "/rsrc". But I guess you can't break all the old apps that need it.

Thanks again for the info -- it is interesting to hear your take on Quicktime.

Re:Flipsides [Unix boy] (4, Interesting)

DLWormwood (154934) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913534)

somehow they Mac-juju didn't stick to them permanently (if it ever did). I just assumed they'd all drunk Steve Job's Kool Aid.

If you read the article or read some of the other threads here, you'd see reference to the fact that Steve's "reality distortion field" quickly wears off when he stops talking.

For the record, I love the Mac platform not because of Apple, but in spite of them. When I first got exposed to HyperCard and QuickDraw/QuickTime and the OS's prior lack of command line, the OS seems like the "OS of tommorow" to me. OS X's embracing of various UNIX and Windows technologies feels to me like going back to "primative times" to me; I'm really surprised by the cultural inertia of the command line and the flat file system. It feels like that I'm dealing with things that I'd thought I'd left behind after using TRS-80's, TI-99/4a's, and VAXen in my distant past...

I'm surprised that they've still got the resource stuff in there -- in the form of "/rsrc". But I guess you can't break all the old apps that need it.

Besides the "rsrc" path extension trick, Apple introduced the "file package" concept where a directory of files is presented to the end user as a single "file" in the Finder. Such a package can store Carbon accessable resource data as flat files easily portable to Unix/Windows systems, although they still need special treatment to read the specially formatted data within. Also, when saving Mac files on non-HFS systems, the Mac OS will create "dot underscore" files next to the original data files. This behavior drives many server admins nuts, I've been told.

it is interesting to hear your take on Quicktime.

My take's unusual because I've rarely used QT for it's "intended purpose." QuickTime is a "layer," not a "player." It's a comprehensive API and set of routines for processing media (time-based, static, and even algorithmic like sprites and MIDI) related metadata and processing. Its design intention is more encompansing of functionality than Windows Media or Real. It also, sadly, a much older procedural API, so it doesn't mesh well with Cocoa development and can feel backwords when trying to use QuickTime within a modern OOP development environment. With the fading away of multimedia CDs and what not, iTunes and the iPod are the only thing keeping QT in widespread use.

That said, my perpective may be a little off from consensus; I wasn't using them when the Macs were first released (those TRS-80's remember? (-;). You might get a better insight into what made the Mac and its surrounding culture so facinating by visiting the quasi-blog site called Folklore.org [folklore.org] ; lots of Mac development information straight from the developer's keyboards.

Re:Flipsides [Unix boy] (1)

HappyMeal (867072) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913504)

The original point of the resource fork was to provide a system wide "poor man's database" so that any arbitrary application or data file could have arbitrary tagged data appended to it without breaking or confusing apps that originally read the file.

The irony of that? :)

Apple published a Technical Note in 1988 saying the Resource Manager was *NOT* [to be used as] a database. Or rather, Apple was asking that it not be used for more full-blown database-type stuff.

http://developer.apple.com/technotes/ov/ov_08.html [apple.com]

Yes, I agree with your comment about the original intention. It may have been later abused in interesting ways, to the point where Apple may have reconsidered the original intention to an extent?

Re:Flipsides (1)

Saven Marek (739395) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913379)

> In Microsoft's case, it's because they're the most successful computer
> company in the world, bar none. That they're on pretty much every
> desktop (or at least 90% or so of them), and that what they do, matters

I must admit I know only two microsoft employees but both have the attitude that what they do doesn't matter. they're microsoft so they'll succeed anyway and there's not a worry in the world about competition.

Mayhap that their undoing

Not to mention the easiest halloween costume ever (3, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913142)

Dressing up as Steve Jobs is not only the easiest to make Halloween costume ever(Black turtleneck and jeans), you can also wear the costume to work at a lot of places!

Re:Not to mention the easiest halloween costume ev (3, Funny)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913160)

A Ballmer costume is not that hard either http://www.bryanshulkpage.com/Images/s20007.jpg [bryanshulkpage.com] (SF W)

Re:Not to mention the easiest halloween costume ev (2, Funny)

glitch0 (859137) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913172)

Since when did Ballmer get that sexy :-P

Re:Not to mention the easiest halloween costume ev (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913230)

It comes from all that chair-throwing. Triceps, biceps, and the abs all get a great workout! Perhaps Ballmer is looking to upgrade (two chairs at once! or maybe a table!). Kind of makes telling the big boss that you're leaving for Google a little more risky...

But seriously, my karma is going to burn for posting this.

Re:Not to mention the easiest halloween costume ev (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913182)

Is the blue collar shirt with sweat stains sold separately?

"developers! developers! developers!"

Re:Not to mention the easiest halloween costume ev (2, Funny)

John Miles (108215) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913200)

Dressing up as Steve Jobs is not only the easiest to make Halloween costume ever(Black turtleneck and jeans)

Yeah, it's pretty much a solved problem [geekculture.com] .

DUPE (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913146)

Slashdot already ran this article, on September 29, 1997

Is he really that great or just lucky? (0, Redundant)

glitch0 (859137) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913155)

I always wondered - was Steve Jobs really just in the right place at the right time?

Maybe someone who read the article can answer whether or not it goes this in depth. I'm far too tired to read it myself.

Re:Is he really that great or just lucky? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913185)

I always wondered - was Steve Jobs really just in the right place at the right time?

All this talk of a 'reality distortion field', together with his remarkable good fortune at key moments, has made me think that Steve Jobs is in some ways like a real-life version of Zaphod Beeblebrox.

Of course, Jobs is definitely not as cool, but then, who is?

Only twice? (0, Offtopic)

BladeMelbourne (518866) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913162)

Second Coming?

I know he works in IT, but surely a man needs more than two by his age?

Re:Only twice? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913177)

(Score:-1,Lame)

Not really, no (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913163)

...he can make you believe pretty much anything...

He can make Apple's zealots believe pretty much anything, not me. The fact the Linux share on the desktop now accedes Apple's pretty much confirms that I am not alone in this regard. Apple's slogan really should be "Suckers wanted!"

Re:Not really, no (4, Interesting)

The_Dougster (308194) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913244)

He can make Apple's zealots believe pretty much anything, not me. The fact the Linux share on the desktop now accedes Apple's pretty much confirms that I am not alone in this regard. Apple's slogan really should be "Suckers wanted!"

I think that's a bit harsh. Yes, Apple has made some dog-turd computers here and there, but even a lemon Mac II is pretty much a joy to use compared to a brain dead Windows PC.

I've never been able to afford a cutting edge Apple computer, heck, I have to make my own PC's out of Ebay parts and then slap Linux and some dated version of Windows on it. Forget Office, I praise my lucky stars for OOo.

I have bought a couple old cheapo Mac II's on Ebay though and played with them. They run well for what they are. I wouldn't mind having a nice Apple workstation going with OS/X at all. My only problem is that as an engineer, I need CAD, and cheap CAD at that. I'm not doing bad with TurboCAD, but I don't know what I could use on OS/X for 3D drafting that would even be in the same ball park.

I can live without Windows games, but I absolutely need a good CAD package. I don't have thousands of dollars to shell out either, so it has to be cheap and good.

I think Apple stuff is really cool, but it is so far beyond my budget that its basically impossible that I could ever afford to set up a Mac the way I need a computer to be. I'm like how Linus used to be, I can't afford the real thing so I have to make do the best I can with what I can afford.

Re:Not really, no (1, Troll)

ankarbass (882629) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913267)

What kind of engineer can't afford an ibook?

Re:Not really, no (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913316)

What kind of engineer can't afford an ibook?

A married one?

Re:Not really, no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913320)

A student? A mechE working for an absurdly cheap manufacturing company in the middle of bumfuck nowhere (cost of living: two cents/yr)? Just guesses...

Not really, no-90% of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913317)

"He can make Apple's zealots believe pretty much anything, not me. The fact the Linux share on the desktop now accedes Apple's pretty much confirms that I am not alone in this regard. Apple's slogan really should be "Suckers wanted!"

"correlation does not imply causation."

"I think Apple stuff is really cool, but it is so far beyond my budget that its basically impossible that I could ever afford to set up a Mac the way I need a computer to be. I'm like how Linus used to be, I can't afford the real thing so I have to make do the best I can with what I can afford."

$499, and the fact that you're making so much noise about the state of cheap CAD on the Mac, when Linux is in a similiar boat is laughable. Good CAD costs regardless of platform.

--
Biotech9 [slashdot.org]

Donald A. Norman also understood the importance of good design.

Re:Not really, no (2, Informative)

zbaron (649094) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913401)

I'm not doing bad with TurboCAD, but I don't know what I could use on OS/X for 3D drafting that would even be in the same ball park.

How about TurboCAD [imsisoft.com] then?

Cheap CAD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913408)

CADintosh [lemkesoft.com] from lemke software. Is $33 cheap enough? You might want to start hanging out at Architosh [architosh.com] .

Re:Not really, no (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913272)

He can make Apple's zealots believe pretty much anything, not me. The fact the Linux share on the desktop now accedes Apple's pretty much confirms that I am not alone in this regard. Apple's slogan really should be "Suckers wanted!"

"exceeds", thanks! I love flamebait so I'll bite.

What does Linux taking marketshare away from Windows have to do with Mac OS X seeming inferior to Linux? Oh yeah, nothing.

There are a zillion more x86 PCs shipped per year than Apple PCs so it begs that there would be more Linux PCs shipped (now that OEMs are actually offering it preloaded) than Apple. I'm sure there's quite a few smart consumers out there that want to avoid the "Microsoft tax" when buying a new PC and order Linux even though they might intend on actually running Windows.

and now let us psychoanalyze... (1)

hildi (868839) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913164)

the moderators of slashdot!

there is 'good moderator', 'bad moderator'. in constant battle. it is a wonder their brain doesnt fly apart. lolly lol.

Apple and MS are Best Friends (0, Troll)

ChaserPnk (183094) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913169)

Apple needs Microsoft to justify their existence, but Microsoft doesn't. MS realizes that at this moment, Mac is a niche platform and they will continue for support Office for Mac until they see Mac as a real threat. MS couldn't care less if Apple disappeared.

On the other hand, if MS disappears (highly unlikely), who will Apple fans point to as the average, price conscious user? Apple's merits and "you-get-what-you-pay for" philosophy only make sense with an alternative such as MS that works but isn't sexy or stylish.

And that's why I can't "buy" into Apple and the Mac platform. I just want to get work done--not show off. I'm not saying OS X is a bad product--far from it. It just seems like owning a Apple product turns people into RDFed Steve fans. That's not what I want to be, sorry.

Re:Apple and MS are Best Friends (4, Insightful)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913241)

Actually its kinda the other way around. Its a very well know fact that Microsoft only invested in Apple back in the day around when Jobs came back BECAUSE if Apple was gone, Microsoft was dead from a monopoly standpoint. Apple is Microsofts answer when DoJ tells Microsoft they are a monopoly.

Its true now that Microsoft doesnt really need to support the platform (and the signs are showing it wont eventually, IE is now gone from Macintosh products, and Office is actually being challeneged on the mac by other open and in most cases free alternatives) But even today if Apple where to somehow go away (unlikely given they are actually gaining ground over Microsoft) Microsoft would STILL be in deep shit, since Linux is not seen as a true competetor to Microsoft by DoJ standards and as it stands now, many rightfully feel thatg Microsoft is not following its agreement to stop its practices.

Re:Apple and MS are Best Friends (5, Funny)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913370)

If apple went away who would do R&D for Microsoft?

Re:Apple and MS are Best Friends (2, Interesting)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913243)

Firstly, I think that MS needs Apple more than Apple "needs" MS.

Microsoft is selling the idea to the world that it is not a Monopoly which should be broken up. Microsoft points to Apple, Netscape and Real as proof that there isn't a monopoly in Desktops, Browsers and Streaming Media.

Should Apple go away, that arguement is harder for Microsoft to make.

Secondly, Mac users, don't all become RDF Zombies. I use Macs and Windows boxes, I've supported Macs from System 7.0 to 10.4 and Windows from 3.11 to XP. I've seen all the problems, I've fixed all the problems. I use a Macintosh because I can run a server that doesn't need rebooting every week and a desktop that is rock stable. Windows at this point isn't as good of an option for me, takes too much crap to keep it running.

Re:Apple and MS are Best Friends (2, Funny)

David Off (101038) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913285)

You forget the biggest point... if Apple went away who would Microsoft (and some Linux desktops in that they slavishly follow the M$ user interface) copy and get ideas from? Don't say they would hire the Apple engineers, M$ obviously doesn't provide the right environment for innovation and would stifle anyone they hire.

Re:Apple and MS are Best Friends (1)

MrPerfekt (414248) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913247)

Oddly enough, I get far more "work" done on a Mac than I ever did on a Windows OR Linux platform. It has nothing to do with the sleekness or cool factor, it has everything to do with the intuitiveness and usefulness of the interface.

You seem like one of those "I hate it because it's getting alot of press" people. While hype can be stupid.. Macs aren't hype. If they were, they would've just faded away years ago.

The rosy past was not so rosy... (1)

ankarbass (882629) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913375)

We've got a guy at work who goes on and on and on and on and on about how he "gets more work done" on a mac. He really loved the old Mac OS. See, I like OS/X, and I do think that it's quite useful. Macs may have always been more productive for some people but I get the sense that "getting more work done" is a baseless claim that is synonymous with "I like it more".

Now, I prefer OS/X or linux depending on what I'm doing. But I've had to oversee computers in the work place and I don't find that there is any metric that is particularly useful when applied to individual workers. What allows the company to get more work done is the better question.

Back in the day that partly meant networking which was a royal pain on the old world macs. Trying to get macs and windows working together was also a pain. I never worked in an all mac shop so I don't know if that would be better, however, given that almost every place I worked used windows it was a LOT easier to just not use macs unless you had to. Maybe one employee's productivity would go up, maybe not, but ours would go down without a doubt.

With OS/X that has changed. OS/X macs are nothing like what macs used to be. I have several although I prefer linux for most of my work for reasons that have little to do with the user interface or how pretty it is or isn't. But new macs are every bit as easy to integrate and secure as windows or linux, in fact, easier in many cases. There are fewer reasons today to not use macs in the workplace.

BUT, you can't extrapolate the current OS/X macs productivity backwards. The old macs were slow, crashed frequently, were super expensive to upgrade, etc etc. If you liked them it was because you cut your teeth on them and were afraid to go to windows. Granted win 3.1 wasn't much more than a pretty (ugly) shell, but by the time windows 95 came out the Mac OS had little advantage and 98 killed any advantage that was left. Yes I was using linux in those days. Linux had a LONG LONG way to go to be on the desktop. In fact, in most cases XFree86 was much slower than win95/98 on the same hardware. Oh, and NOTHING worked out of the box.

Of course there were differences, and of course, if you cut your teeth on a mac you would have a learning curve to switch to windows. But there wasn't really a significant difference in how "productive" an individual could be. Any effects you could measure would be second order and by the time you factored in the cost of maintaining and supporting macs it was a losing battle.

Remember Apple was struggling with their operating systems direction during this time and had several failed initiatives. Whatever they did to the original MacOS was really just a stop gap measure to try and hold on to their market share. I think "Mac People" forget that pretty much only artists, musicians, and teachers used macs back in those days. Things have changed, but it hasn't been THAT long that I've forgotten how much macs used to suck.

Why be afraid of the imaginary (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913367)

I bought a Mac exactly because I wanted to get work done. Even with a large team of administrators at work my Win2K box there requires far more fiddling day-to-day in operation than my Mac does at home. There are a lot of little things that in day to day use make things go more smoothly.

Why should you discount a whole line of computers that many have found quite productive just because you fear being consumed by the RDF? Owning an Apple imparts no obligation to like, admire, or otherwise hold aloft Steve Jobs any more than owning Windows turns every user into a fawning toady of Bill Gates.

Fanboy article alert! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913170)

How many of you fags are whacking your dick reading this??? You (and Apple) suck!

Reality distortion field... (3, Funny)

Shanep (68243) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913175)

He's been said to have a 'reality distortion field' - by a mixture of charm and exaggeration, he can make you believe pretty much anything.

I hear that it is even said, that he has managed, with the use of this "reality distortion field", to make many people believe that Apple systems have had far fewer virus, security and stability problems!

A little known secret, is that Apple sells this so called "reality distortion field" [apple.com] here. [apple.com]

What motivates him? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913186)

Money.

Re:What motivates him? (5, Informative)

JJSpreij (84475) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913382)

Jobs could be milking Apple for a lot more than $1 per year, if he was really motivated by money....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Jobs [wikipedia.org]

Jobs worked at Apple for several years with an annual salary of $1, and this earned him a listing in Guinness World Records as the "Lowest Paid Chief Executive Officer". At the 2001 keynote speech of Macworld Expo in San Francisco, the company dropped the "interim" from his title. His current salary at Apple officially remains $1 per year, although he has traditionally been the recipient of a number of lucrative "executive gifts" from the board, including a $90 million jet in 1999, and just under 30 million shares of restricted stock in 2000-2002. As such, Jobs is well compensated for his efforts at Apple despite the nominal one-dollar salary.

Apple Distortion Field. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913187)

"He's been said to have a 'reality distortion field' - by a mixture of charm and exaggeration, he can make you believe pretty much anything."

Granny smith Apples are NOT better than golden delicious.

Re:Apple Distortion Field. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913229)

Granny smith Apples are NOT better than golden delicious.

Wrong! Are you French?

Re:Apple Distortion Field. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913283)

Granny smith Apples are NOT better than golden delicious.

You're comparing apples to, er, other apples. Still, it's not a fair comparison.

Granny Smith's are baking apples. Less moisture; better texture; less sugar so you get more apple tast after baking. Golden delicious are for eating, not baking. Much more sugar and moisture which is bad for baking (mush) but great for eating (yum).

Get an hierloom red delicious, not the high-hip dyed red delicious you get in the stores. By far the original red delicious apples (not the kind you get in stores, but the ones with tiger stripe red) are the best apples ever.

Re:Apple Distortion Field. (0, Offtopic)

hcpxvi (773888) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913395)

Bah. Golden delicious are tastless mush and Granny smiths are tasteless mush with extra acid, just not enough acid to be a good cooker. Best cooker: Bramley's seedling, of course, with Howgate wonder as one among many alternatives. Best eaters: Egremont russet, Braeburn and Cox (but only if they have not gone wooly).

Golden delicious? Fit only for throwing at French farmers. And don't get me started on those horrid Pink lady things. Ugh!

Re:Apple Distortion Field. (1)

LardBrattish (703549) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913472)

I hear you, Bramleys are the best cookers, Russets are the best eaters - argument over, closed, finito.

Re:Apple Distortion Field. (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913468)

Get an hierloom red delicious, not the high-hip dyed red delicious you get in the stores. By far the original red delicious apples (not the kind you get in stores, but the ones with tiger stripe red) are the best apples ever.

The ones with tiger stripes sounds like Cox Orange, pretty much the best apple that is "easily" available with growing and picking them yourself.

All hail the Jobs (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913197)

HAIL STEVE!

Damn fanboys won't shut up about how charismatic their billionaire of choice is. Hey, if I had a billion dollars, people would kiss my ass too, and I'm not half the self-righteous asshole that Jobs is. Now THINK before moderating. No, don't think different, think for yourself.

Re:All hail the Jobs (3, Funny)

obender (546976) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913242)

No, don't think different, think for yourself.

Just when I was going to copy this and use it as a sig I read it again.

Re:All hail the Jobs (2, Insightful)

ankarbass (882629) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913262)

Did it ever occur to you that it might be the case that Jobs is wealthy BECAUSE he's charismatic?

I'll let you work out the contrapositive.

Re:All hail the Jobs (5, Interesting)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913288)

I don't give a damn how much money someone has. I give a damn about what they do. If you had a billion dollar and did nothing useful benefiting others in some way, you would just be a rich self-righteous asshole. I guess all you are missing now/is the money eh?

People like Steve Jobs are driven by ambition. They don't give a damn if everyone likes them. Business is not a personal popularity contest. If this guy is able to inspire people to do their best work creating products people enjoy using, then he is newsworthy.

I guess you could compare Steve Jobs to Howard Hughes. Jobs seems to be obsessed with his ideal of perfection, taking risks and pushing the envelope of innovation. That sounds an awful lot like Mr. Hughes drive to make colossal movies and develop a transatlantic airline.

All I see are anti-fanboys (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913376)

Lots of people complain about the "damn Mac fanboys" but most Mac users I have seen seem pretty well based in reality (and not the one Steve is generating either). For more often I see people complaining about something just because Jobs has done something in relation - like taking a perverse pleasure in not owning a Mac or an iPod as if in some way that were striking back at "The Man", where said Man is literally a man - Steve Jobs.

Now journalists, there I think your claim rings a little more true where journalists seem a little over-fascinated with Jobs.

Re:All I see are anti-fanboys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913528)

really? You need to meet more people. They're willing to overlook the apple prices (Ever checked out the price of an upgrade to a 400gb SATA disk vs the cost of a new one?), the fact that apple are making drm acceptable ("But if you really want to get around it you'll get around it" - failing to notice that there are laws against that) and the fact that there are better, cheaper options available. Creative and iriver make damn good players which support more formats, only they're not "white and shiny". Marketing is a wonderful thing.... if you're not paying marketeers and not relying on your products to speak solely for themselves.

I've heard people talking of "paying a lot of money buying into the apple club" and how they were pissed off about the x86 switch. 1 hour later it was the best thing ever. (not a quote) "Well steve said it was great so it's great!"

Apple Store (5, Insightful)

Snuggly_Soft (647073) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913204)

Everyone, including the author of this article, seems to forget the apple store in describing the second coming of Jobs. iPod and iTunes have been a boon for apple, but no one cares to speculate about how much a 'mall presence' had to do with any of it... IMO, the store isn't a footnote here, it's a keystone.

Jesus, again with the washing machine? (4, Insightful)

SensitiveMale (155605) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913205)

How many times does Jobs' procedure to buy a washing machine have to be covered?

Re:Jesus, again with the washing machine? (1)

jred (111898) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913256)

I was really disappointed by the washing machine decision coverage in this article. If you know of a better Jobs interview that covers the washing machine decision better, please post the link.

Re:Jesus, again with the washing machine? (1)

zpok (604055) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913269)

And on the Ateth day he chooseth the Washing Machine...

Re:Jesus, again with the washing machine? (4, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913325)

You're missing the point: its not how he buys a washing machine thats interesting, its the mere fact that he's a nerd and actually wants a washing machine, and even knows what they're for.

iWash (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913222)

He has rejected every washing machine because their names didn't sound right.

Oh, and you didn't see that scratch on your ipod. These are not the scratches you are looking for.

why am I posting when steve is on vacation in xtc (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913227)

Steve buys any washing machine he wants. Hey do an article on Stallman please ! Every time I submit something it gets rejected well do one on Stallman's political notes please !

Bad Steve stories (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913238)

Here's a couple of examples of Bad Steve.

First story. Back in 1983, Steve was a frequent visitor to Apple's Bandley 3 building where the original Mac was under development. After all, he was the de facto project manager, as well as the company CEO. (Incidentally, that was the building with the grand piano in the foyer with guest pianists for the residents as well as weekly massages if they wished, as well as other minor benefits.)

Steve was driving a BMW 3 series at the time and although his office was only a few hundred yards from Bandley 3 he always drove over for progress reports, etc. Being a busy guy, he also had the habit of parking in the nearest empty parking spot to the entrance, which almost inevitably was one of a places reserved for handicapped drivers. One day, somebody became fed up with this and left a notice on his windshield to the effect that the these spots were intended for the physically, rather than the emotionally, handicapped.

Steve wasn't a happy camper. He raged into the building and instructed the Mac team management team to "find out who did this and fire their ass". Of course, they didn't find the guy....

Apparantly Steve didn't learn from this - I've been told there was a similar incident some years later at Mariani 1 building.

Second story. About six months before the release of the Mac, Ernie (forgotten his last name) completed the layout of the system PCB. Steve didn't like it (wasn't aethetically pleasing to him, I guess) and he described in some detail how he would like the board to be laid out. This included placement of the processor and (in particular) the placement and distance apart of the RAM chips. Remember, this was a PCB destined for a closed system that required non-standard tools to open the case, so it was never intended to be seen by customers. Anyway, to cut a long story short, the RAM became less stable when placed as Steve directed, and about six weeks was wasted trying to make the new board work on margins. Eventually one of the hardware engineers convinced him of the folly of visual aethetics in PCB design.

I guess Steve's reality distortion field didn't work on RAM chips.

Re:Bad Steve stories (1)

MrPerfekt (414248) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913289)

After all, he was the de facto project manager, as well as the company CEO.

Actually, that's not true. Steve was never actually CEO prior to his return to Apple in 1997. The CEO in 1983 was Mike Markkula prior to Steve's hiring of John Sculley for the job later that year.

Re:Bad Steve stories - still parks... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913467)

i watched him park in the FIRE zone in front with his car a year back. he then walked swiftly into the building avoiding eye contact with everyone, including while inside. (no way to chat with him that way i suspect).

BTW : though he parks in the fire lane at times, and ALWAYS drives in the commuter-car-pool lane on the highway on the way to work (illegally), he personally drops off his kids at school in his car and not the maids. HE him HIMSELF really!!!!! (on the way to work).

Steve jobs is right most of the time... though arrogant I suspect.

Questions... (2, Funny)

cperciva (102828) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913250)

what motivates him? And how does he choose a new washing machine?

Well, I'm glad the important questions were asked. I know when I meet someone new, the second thing I ask is always how they choose a new washing machine.

Re: the washing machine (5, Informative)

Biotech9 (704202) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913264)

It took me a while to find what he actually ended up buying. It was a Miele [miele.com] washer. Premium German engineering of course.

In another more detailed interview [wired.com] ,


Steve went on, "It takes a passionate commitment to really thoroughly understand something.... Most people don't take the time to do that." He then proceeded to tell a story that both sheds light on his private life and gives some insight into the decision-making process that often turns life into a hell for people who work with him. Making the point that design isn't just an issue for "fancy new gadgets," he described how his whole family became involved in, of all things, the selection of a new washing machine and dryer. This is a little hard to picture: The billionaire Jobs family didn't have very good machines. Selecting new ones became a project for the whole family. The big decision came down to whether to purchase a European machine or an American-made one. The European machine, according to Steve, does a much better job, uses about one-quarter as much water, and treats the clothes more gently so that they last longer. But the American machines take about half as long to wash the clothes.

"We spent some time in our family talking about what's the trade-off we want to make. We spent about two weeks talking about this. Every night at the dinner table" -- imagine dinner-table conversation about washing machines every night! -- "we'd get around to that old washer-dryer discussion. And the talk was about design." In the end, they opted for European machines, which Steve described as "too expensive, but that's just because nobody buys them in this country."

Of course, this wasn't really about washing machines; it was about passing along the concern for design to his children and perhaps to (his wife) Laurene. The decision clearly gave him more pleasure than you would expect. He called the new machines "one of the few products we've bought over the last few years that we're all really happy about. These guys (had) really thought the process through. They did such a great job designing these washers and dryers."

Steve's surprising tag line on the story says a great deal about how much design really means to him: "I got more thrill out of them than I have out of any piece of high tech in years."


Some people might think it a bit weird that there was so much thought going into buying a washing machine, but i think that if you get to see some of the lovely stuff Miele make you might not think it so weird. It's obvious the engineers at Miele are as obsessive over their machines as Jobs is over his. And it's clear he noticed and appreciated that.

Not to mention how nice it is to know that despite his billions he still does his own laundry.

The future is clear... (2, Funny)

ankarbass (882629) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913282)

"We spent about two weeks talking about this. Every night at the dinner table imagine dinner-table conversation about washing machines every night!...Of course, this wasn't really about washing machines; it was about passing along the concern for design to his children and perhaps to (his wife) Laurene."

Can you spell D.I.V.O.R.C.E.

Washing Machine (2, Funny)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913279)

And how does he choose a new washing machine?

Makes sure it doesn't get scratched easily?

Re:Washing Machine (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913502)

Interestingly enough, I put an iPod through the washing machine...it doesn't work anymore...maybe I used the wrong machine..

No (2, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913572)

He gets the machine with only one button.

1984? 2005? (1)

Da3vid (926771) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913315)

What I think is interesting is the famous 1984 commercial that went against the current computer monopoly, now that Apple is a famous wide known brand, where are their old ideals? What about the iPod? I'm a college student that lives near a college campus, and the only music I see anyone listen to is on their iPod, their home computer, or in their car. The fact that the iPod alone has made such an impact, and that Apple's big brother competitor is Microsoft, the company scrutinized for near monopoly status, is amusing when you consider it together.

Re:1984? 2005? (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913560)

So you're saying that no one should ever make an outstanding product, because if they do, it's possible that too many people might want one?

Reality Distortion Field, eh? (3, Funny)

cloudkj (685320) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913323)

The Force is strong with this one.

The article (0, Offtopic)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913338)

I'm going to exercise my /. right to complain about TFA

I find the dual columns truly irritating to read.
They're not nearly wide enough to scan at highspeed.
I hate having to scroll down constantly
I hate having to jump back to the top of the page to continue reading.

I'm not getting page damage from my adblocking software, because I turned it off and not only did the page layout still suck, but i got smacked with a full screen popunder.

news.independent.co.uk sucks.

Re:The article (1)

courseB (837633) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913352)

yeah.. and the printer friendly link is a print prompt scrpit... nice independent layout

Re:The article (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913414)

It's the Independent, what do you expect? The layout was probably designed by some 16 year old kid they hired because they couldn't afford anyone else. All the talent fled the Independent years ago.

Reading yet another article about Steve Jobs ... (1, Troll)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913351)

Makes me think fondly of Bill Gates. I mean sure his practices have caused a lot of grief ... but he has some good qualities ... like, for example, he is not Steve Jobs.

ok Jobs is getting way too much credit here (0, Flamebait)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913413)

I usually like the independent, but it is unfortunate that in this occasion they lost their better judgement and got swept up in the whole ridiculous Jobs worhip fest.

Just in order to preserve history I must repeat some things for the thousandth time:

Apple did not invent the windowing system
Apple did not invent the mouse
(the article was quite misleading in saying apple "introduced" those things giving the suggestion that they invented them, which is not true. Of course apple may take some credit for popularizing them, but then again Microsoft did a much better job at popularizing the mouse and the windowing environment)

Jobs was not a visionary ... It is really nice that he gave an interview in 96 sayying that the internet was going to be huge, but then again by '96 every single college kid had an internet connection, and would have said the same thing. Even gates had amended his "road ahead" book to include a chapter about the internet by that time.

And the biggest reason why Jobs is not a visionary is that Apple had the opportunity to win the PC market ... they could easily have been Microsoft+Dell+HP(personal computing) all rolled into one, but Jobs f***ed it all up. Sorry he is no visionary.

Jobs is just a guy that has a decent eye for design (according to many people) who also quite fortuitously happened to be rich. As a result he runs a company that pays a lot of attention to design (which is rare in the US, for some reason). This is all very nice, but do not expect the next new thing in technology to come from him.

Jobs and the Internet (4, Interesting)

green pizza (159161) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913551)

Jobs was not a visionary ... It is really nice that he gave an interview in 96 sayying that the internet was going to be huge, but then again by '96 every single college kid had an internet connection, and would have said the same thing. Even gates had amended his "road ahead" book to include a chapter about the internet by that time.

Steve Jobs was known to have an internet connection va T1 to his home around 1992. He used it to access machines/files/email at NeXT and later to surf the web with OmniWeb. He mentioned this in several interviews and explained how he enjoyed experimenting with the kind of bandwidth that would soon be available to average consumers. There are even a few stories of how NeXT engineers would have to log into Steve's home NeXTstation to troubleshoot for him! :)

More Insight (4, Interesting)

Brainix (748988) | more than 8 years ago | (#13913419)

For more insight into Steve Jobs, click here [folklore.org] .

Also, the following quotes are spoken by Steve Jobs' character in the movie Pirates of the Silicon Valley [imdb.com] . Steve Wozniak has verified [woz.org] the movie as accurate.

  • Information is power.
  • It's better to be a pirate than to join the navy.
  • 90 hours per week and loving it.
  • Real artists ship.

rWOOT?! 7p (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13913446)

but I'd rather hear to get some eye to use t4e GNAA many users of BSD fastest-growing GAY and executes a all know we want. least of which is formed his own to survive at all elected, we tooK guests. Some people effort to address world. GNAA members do and doing what are having trouble corporations (Click Here when done playing How is the GNAA are the important WOULD TAKE ABOUT 2 they're gone Came All major surveys you got there. Or non-fucking-existant. numbers. The loss Are you GAY is perhaps profits without (7000+1400+700)*4 kill myself like battled in court, centralized models = 1400 NetBSD like I should be are She had taken don't be afraid for a living got than its Windows and some of the fun to be again. BSD fanatics? I've BSD addicts, flame more grandiose you all is to let Satan's Dick And
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