The lights dimmed as Jobs reappeared onstage and launched into

The lights dimmed as Jobs reappeared onstage and launched into a dramatic version

of the battle cry he had delivered at the Hawaii sales conference. “It is 1958,” he began.

“IBM passes up a chance to buy a young fledgling company that has invented a new

 

technology called xerography. Two years later, Xerox was born, and IBM has been kicking

themselves ever since.” The crowd laughed. Hertzfeld had heard versions of the speech

both in Hawaii and elsewhere, but he was struck by how this time it was pulsing with more

passion. After recounting other IBM missteps, Jobs picked up the pace and

the emotion as he built toward the present:

It is now 1984. It appears that IBM wants it all. Apple is perceived to be the only hope to offer

IBM a run for its money. Dealers, after initially welcoming IBM with open arms, now fear an

IBM-dominated and-controlled future and are turning back to Apple as the only force who

can ensure their future freedom. IBM wants it all, and is aiming its guns at its last obstacle to

industry control, Apple. Will Big Blue dominate the entire computer industry? The entire

information age? Was George Orwell right?

As he built to the climax, the audience went from murmuring to applauding to a frenzy of cheering

and chanting. But before they could answer the Orwell question, the auditorium went black and

the “1984” commercial appeared on the screen. When it was over, the entire audience was on its feet cheering.

With a flair for the dramatic, Jobs walked across the dark stage to a small table with a cloth bag on it.

“Now I’d like to show you Macintosh in person,” he said. He took out the computer, keyboard, and mouse,

hooked them together deftly, then pulled one of the new 3?-inch floppies from his shirt pocket.

The theme from Chariots of Fire began to play. Jobs held his breath for a moment, because the demo

had not worked well the night before. But this time it ran flawlessly. The word “MACINTOSH” scrolled

horizontally onscreen, then underneath it the words “Insanely great” appeared in script, as if being slowly

written by hand. Not used to such beautiful graphic displays, the audience quieted for a moment.

A few gasps could be heard. And then, in rapid succession, came a series of screen shots: Bill Atkinson’s

QuickDraw graphics package followed by displays of different fonts, documents, charts, drawings, a chess game,

 

a spreadsheet, and a

rendering of Steve Jobs

with a thought bubble

containing a Macintosh.

shb419.com

Tags: , , ,