Steve Wozniak On Steve Jobs, Apple’s Early Days


And we do it with a little device called
a “mouse.” We call it a mouse because it has this little wire that runs back to
the computer. And we can make the Macintosh do different things just with
the click of the mouse. At Apple computers annual meeting, Apple founder and chairman, Steven jobs unpacked Macintosh. In 1970, in between
college years when I was working at a company to earn money for college,
I managed to get the parts given to me to build a computer of my own design. The friend, down the block that helped me do this, also knew Steve Jobs. And he
introduced us he said you’ve got to meet Steve Jobs because he knows this digital
electronics. He builds devices with flashing numbers that can count strings
on a guitar and what note they’re playing and things like that. And he
likes to play pranks. I was a very much a fun humorist all my life. And Wow! So Steve Jobs came by and I would have been too shy to go meet him but he came
by and we started talking and sure enough we hit it off. He could describe
things that he had done in electronics. I could just describe myself and my
computer interest in designs. And we just became, you know, best friends for a long
time. The Apple I is a bad comparison to today’s computer. Partly because it
was not designed as a computer. It was taking a little device that was designed
to talk to computers by typing on a keyboard and getting your answers back
in text over a slow modem. And it was designed to save cost in parts to work
very slowly. Now the Apple II is a better example of – compared to today’s
computer and it was very different. You would turn it on. Beep! It would boot up
and it would be ready for you to start typing in the computer language. They
were not finding files or anything. Files were stored on a cassette tape. One at a
time. Every tape was just one little file. One program. Was a very infantile
computer. What it did bring to the world was the idea that computers can have
color. They can have human appreciative things. Color! They can have graphics. So
they can play like arcade games. They can even have pixels— individual dots on the
screen for higher resolution pictures that look more natural. They can have
game controls and games are okay to build into computers. The Apple II set a
big tone on that world that helped be a step towards today’s computers. But
today’s personal computers are based on much deeper thinking. First of
all prices of memory to run today’s computers would have made the Apple— if we tried to build that computer back, instead of the Apple II, it would have
cost like 50,000- 100,000 of today’s dollars to buy it.
It was unachievable then. But as Moore’s Law caused the price of silicon chips
and especially memory to fall, and fall, and fall, the computer like say the
Macintosh became possible. In the meantime, Microsoft came about. And IBM invent started up with a computer based around Intel chips and Intel
microprocessors. And they basically hooked them together in the standard way. They worked very much like the Apple I and the Apple II. They they incorporated
eventually a little graphics and eventually they got up to the Apple II
level of graphics even. But you would type in commands. You would think them
out. You would memorize how to use a computer and you would use it. You had to teach yourself. You had to take a little personal course to even know how to use
a computer. Today computers are almost like telephones. You kind of walk up, turn
it on and you start looking around and you’ll find little clues on the screen
that lead you to the actions that make them work. In the timeframe, of the Apple
II being such a wonderful world that had really excited people about how
beautiful and colorful and fun computers could be and then IBM had jumped in with
their PC. And they never to this point in time had done quite as good a job. They
weren’t as well accepted in schools, in the homes. But they had marketing inroads into the enterprise. Into the big businesses that, all of a sudden, could
justify a thousand computers at once to purchase unheard-of numbers. So we kind of saw them as just marching in and just trying to use their prowess to take over
the business and we were the rebels who had created it all. Who were really
leading the world and people were looking to us for leadership. It’s almost
like today’s Apple. And so Steve called me over to the Macintosh building one
night and said you got to watch this commercial. And he put in a tape
into a U-matic machine. And I watched the 1984 commercial where this this young
colorful, you know, woman is running and she throws an anvil And it hits the
screen. On the screen, it’s somebody that sort of reminds you of
those big companies. (Robotic voice:) “There will be no contrary thought.” You know, they do all the thinking for you. And blew it up. And, you know, it
basically it meant it symbolized what we were. You know, we were talking about, you know, we stand for getting rid of the past. And you don’t have to go down the
roads that everybody says you do. And there’s a new brighter future. And we’re
the leaders in it. That’s what it said to me. And I turn to Steve and I said “Wow
we’re gonna show this on the Superbowl?” and when he said that “No, the board had
voted against it.” And why and one of the reasons was money, I said, well, I’ll tell
you what I’ll put up $400,000, if you’ll put up $400,000. And that was half-and-half. And we could show this commercial. It
should be shown because this is who we are. And I said that to Steve. I was so
naive thinking that’s how the world worked and that’s how boards worked. And that it was that simple. It was just a matter of money. But, eventually thank
God, there were a lot of creative people in our advertising agency that knew how
great an ad that was. It won all the awards to this day. The Clio award for “Best Ad of the Year.” It’s won the “Best Ad of the Millennium.” Unbelievable science fiction mentality behind it. And the creative people that
produced it did everything they could to make sure that, you know, we still had a
chance to show it on the Super Bowl. Which we did.

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