Saturday, March 24, 2012

An Apple A Day

Will set you back nearly a million dollars if it's a 17 inch MacBook Pro, and Apple Shareholders will be forever grateful. Of course you should still get a small plaque for as little as $18K (a shuffle a day). What?, that's talking about fruit? My Bad.

I have recently been reading Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. It is a book which I would highly recommend to everyone, especially if you are among the Apple Haters (You know who you are).

By way of full disclosure, I would be considered among the Apple "Faithful". The first time I ever touched a PC (I'm not including the mainframe DEC VOX2000), it was a Mac SE, and though I spent a long time using pen paper and typewriter after college, my first computer, which has served me very well, is my bondi blue clamshell iBook. My only regret with that computer is that I never understood Apple's release schedule before I bought it, and so soon after I did, a new model came out. Other than that...No Complaints.

Courtesy Amazon
 All that is in introduction to this. I have been reading Steve Jobs the biography by Walter Isaacson. It is an eye opening read to be sure, and I highly recommend it to everyone, especially to the legions of "Apple Haters" out there. Now before I got a hold of a copy I had heard that It wasn't a rah-rah book and that there a lot of things in the book that may shock the average apple fan, and that was true in some respects, but in a good way. The biggest revelation of all to some could be that Steve Jobs was human. To most people today he would be called an abusive employer unconcerned about his employees feelings, but he also wound up being a great motivator. Those who learned to push back and were not easily cowered wound up staying with him and created "Insanely Great" products such as the Macintosh, the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

It was interesting to read about how the Macintosh came about, about the ill fated Lisa (which I found out was named after his "illegitimate" daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs.  As much as I think I follow apple events, I never knew he had a child (he had three others in addition to Lisa) or a family (he was married to Laurene Powell) until after this book came out. For a public figure he was able to retain a personal level of privacy even the average Joe has a problem maintaining.

I also learned that corporate history rarely moves in a straight line. Everybody knows Apple's release history. Mac, iPod, iPhone, iPad. Wrong. Actually, based on R&D, it's Mac, iPod, iPad, iPhone. Jobs and crew started out with the concept for the iPad at first, but due to the opportunity in the Cell Phone market, decided to test the idea with the iPhone first, so those statements about "Apple is not considering the tablet market", pure jobsian spin.

The story of his cancer treatment was a big downer (no big surprise), but that doesn't kick in until the end. The Real (Toy) Story of Pixar and the NeXT misfire are real revelations if all you think of with Steve Jobs is Apple.

As a Biography I would give Steve Jobs 5 Emeralds. Even the haters might be convinced. Support the Night Beat buy buying a copy at Amazon. You can get it in Hardcover, Kindle, or even Audio CD. I will return Monday with more music, and until then I am Awaiting Your Reply.