While many of us are used to seeing the black mock-turtlenecked Steve Jobs at mammoth Apple presentations over the past decade, a newly released video from around 1980 shows Jobs at a Silicon Valley conference with a full head of hair, a button-down shirt and yet, the same infectious spirit that has come to characterize his company's forward-thinking, people-centric vision.
The video hails from the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., not too far from Apple HQ. (Coincidentally, the museum is hosting a talk tonight with Walter Isaacson, whose biography of Jobs is No.1 on Amazon's bestselling book list of 2011.)
When Steve Jobs died, all kinds of video surfaced of now well-known speeches, moments that capture that elusive quality of charm and leadership he possessed.
The video — which you can view here, by scrolling down the page about halfway — at about 25, Jobs had a way of commanding an audience, opening with a puckish apology about being late despite driving 90 mph, then leaving them hanging on what his next big project was — what comes after the Apple II.
But he also has that almost childlike ability to appreciate the next generation's comfort with computers, talking about a group of schoolchildren using Apples and beating him at video games.
What comes through in the video is Jobs' focus on removing the barrier between man and machine, toward making computers as accessible as possible to those children, and their parents (including making the price point appealing). As he put it, "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." In this video, he mentions one-on-one rather than group interaction several times, a hallmark of later "personal" computing.
He also mentions a little bit about how his preference for apples led to the name.
Watching this video, it's no wonder that by the time I got to college, 10 years later, Apples — particularly Macintoshes — would be a staple for incoming students.
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