I am not a writer, nor am I a critic, so if you’re looking for either of these things look elsewhere, to read this you must overlook the obvious run on sentences, missing punctuation, and misspellings. What I am however is a computer programmer/hobbiest that started with an Apple II. Granted I was very young, my guess I was using the Apple II in 1985 or 1986, playing Reader Rabbit and Oregon Trail. It was the first computer I ever saw anywhere, I was the only person I knew with a computer.
When I was 12 the family computer got updated to a Tandy 425 sx, even though it was actually a 486 sx 25, the name was taken so radio shack had to rename it, but anyways I digress, at this time the old Apple II was retired to my room, it had 2 5 1/4 disk drives, I could copy disks!!! It had games and things, but it had this one interesting disk called “Operating System” I was tired of all the old games so I popped it in, and this, is where the adventure begins “]” that is what I saw, that one bracket (and a cursor, but I can’t make that ;). I asked my Dad about this mysterious “]” I saw, and instead of explain it to me, he handed me some books (that’s right kids computers used to come with operating manuals), the books were spiral bound, and they taught basic.
10 print "hi" 20 goto 10
Wow, a whole new world opened to me. I could put dots on the screen, anything I dreamed I could create… WOW!
A lot of choose your own adventure games were made (boy would I love to find those disks).
I had that computer for a whole two years before I got into the Tandy more, then finally my parents bought me a Packard Bell Wal-mart special. I would say for a long time I shied away from Apple, and Macintosh, for mostly monetary reasons. But my love for programming never stopped, ever, When I was around 19 I created an instant messenger, just for fun, I ran the server on an old p75 in my closet of my apartment. I would get emails from people that were using it. One I remember in particular was a lady from Australia, her mail read in part, “Thank you so much for your instant messenger I make all of my students use it, as MSN messenger will not work over my satellite connection” I was floored by this email, my little program made in visual basic changed the way someone went about there day to day life, it was profound to me. (I did eventually switch back to Apple 🙂
And that is what I wanted to see in Jobs, I wanted to see passion. I wanted to see Steve berating his employees for not working 80 hours a week, I wanted to see up close, the John Scully he was able to manipulate, I wanted to see Steve while he was ousted from Apple, and helped Pixar, and started NeXT I wanted to see his mania go a little deeper, when he insisted on straight lines, and such attention to detail that the solder part of the board (backside) had to be perfect. I didn’t see the passion I was expecting, the passion I felt when my parents told me to go to bed, but then I would stay up all night making games on my II. I know Jobs was a complicated man that would be hard to see in 2 hours and 2 minutes, but the movie left so many unanswered questions. Where was Xerox? Why did Gates steal from Apple? How would Microsoft even know what the OS even looked like when the Mac wasn’t yet released?
I guess the question everyone wants the answer to is, should I go see the movie? in short my answer would be yes, if your looking for an entertaining movie about a group of people that changed the way we use computers, If you like watching people in a board room argue, you should see it.
If you are looking for a movie about Steve Job’s life, and early years, then no, read the book and watch the TNT special.
“Here’s to the crazy ones”