Business-like, isn't he?


 

 



An Apple story

                              By Alan Zisman (c) 2000. First published in Toronto Computes, September 2000

                              The story of Apple Computer is the stuff of legend. It's the archetypal tale of
                              two guys named Steve, a garage, and a big idea that quickly grew to become
                              a billion dollar corporation.

                              Like any good saga, that wasn't the end of the story.
                              Instead, success was corrupted, leading to decline, a
                              near-death experience, and finally, a resurrection. Pretty
                              mythic.

                              Of course, reality was more complex. Yes, there were
                              two guys named Steve. But there were also others
                              around at or near the beginning, without whom Apple
                              Computer would never have become a success.

                              A book blurb about Owen Linzmayer's Apple Confidential, claims it "debunk[s]
                              many of the myths and half-truths surrounding Apple.

                              The book lives up to this promise, offering respect for Apple's real
                              accomplishments yet cutting through the hype.

                              In a highly readable fashion, Linzmayer shows both the genius of the people
                              behind Apple and the many opportunities they missed: The Apple III, the rise
                              of Windows, the on-again/off-again clone policies, Newton, the search for an
                              operating system, and more.

                              Filled with hundreds of photos, the book also includes timelines at the end of
                              each chapter, loads of delicious quotations, and enough Apple trivia to satisfy
                              even the most Mac-addicted amongst us.

                              Find out about Apple's code names, or view the signatures of the orignal Mac
                              team, inscribed inside the cases of the first-generation Macs.

                              "The Greatest Commercial That Almost Never Aired" tells the inside story of
                              Apple's TV ad promoting the not-yet-released Macintosh, directed by Blade
                              Runner's Ridley Scott, with a 1984-like theme. It was shown during the 1984
                              Superbowl, ironically, alongside an ad premiering IBM's lamentable PC-Jr.

                              Apple's story isn't over. Apple Confidential takes the tale up to January 1999,
                              at which point the company, back in the hands of an older and perhaps wiser
                              Steve Jobs, is once again profitable. Linzmayer's conclusion: "... if the past is
                              any guide, you can be sure that Apple's future will be anything but dull."

                              Anyone with an interest in Apple, Macintoshes, or the history of personal
                              computing will find Apple Confidential anything but dull.



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Alan Zisman is a Vancouver educator, writer, and computer specialist. He can be reached at E-mail Alan