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Hired by Jobs in to develop Apple's stores. Jobs's closest friend at Reed, fellow pilgrim to India, early Apple employee. Cofounder and creative force at Pixar. First big Apple investor and chairman, a father figure to Jobs. Publicity whiz who guided Jobs early on and remained a trusted advisor. Early Macintosh marketing director.
Jobs's Memphis-born friend and lawyer. Legendary tech investor, early Apple board member, Jobs's father figure. Brought in by Markkula to be Apple's president in to try to manage Jobs. Wisconsin-born biological mother of Steve Jobs, whom she put up for adoption, and Mona Simpson, whom she raised. Biological full sister of Jobs; they discovered their relationship in and became close. A cofounder of Pixar who clashed with Jobs. Brilliant, troubled programmer on the original Mac team, afflicted with schizophrenia in the s.
Met Jobs at Atari, became first partner with Jobs and Wozniak at fledgling Apple, but unwisely decided to forgo his equity stake. The star electronics geek at Homestead High; Jobs figured out how to package and market his amazing circuit boards and became his partner in founding Apple.
He had been scattershot friendly to me over the years, with occasional bursts of intensity, especially when he was launching a new product that he wanted on the cover of Time or featured on CNN, places where I'd worked. But now that I was no longer at either of those places, I hadn't heard from him much. We talked a bit about the Aspen Institute, which I had recently joined, and I invited him to speak at our summer campus in Colorado. He'd be happy to come, he said, but not to be onstage.
He wanted instead to take a walk so that we could talk. That seemed a bit odd. I didn't yet know that taking a long walk was his preferred way to have a serious conversation. It turned out that he wanted me to write a biography of him. I had recently published one on Benjamin Franklin and was writing one about Albert Einstein, and my initial reaction was to wonder, half jokingly, whether he saw himself as the natural successor in that sequence.
Because I assumed that he was still in the middle of an oscillating career that had many more ups and downs left, I demurred. That was not the way I wanted my students to behave. And sure enough, in a day or so the parts arrived by air freight. I didn't like the way he had done it, but I had to respect his results: Electronics had begun to lose its appeal, and swimming team practice at the Mountain V iew Dolphins took up too much time, so he switched to water polo. But that was a. He found that he just didn't have the aggressive killer instinct that it took to "be a jock.
I was always a loner. Something interesting. A shop in Mountain V iew called Haltek was full? In Silicon Val ley, components could be rejected for any number of reasons: More often than not, these orphaned parts showed up at Haltek-and so did all the garage designers and high school kids working on their own projects or experiments. Steve managed to talk his way into a weekend job there during high school. W hen Fernandez shared details about the computer that he and Wozniak were building, Steve was already employed at Haltek on weekends and had started to develop a nose for electronics components and their prices that would stay with him for years.
The Fernandez-Wozniak project caught his interest, and Jobs started to spend more time at the Fernandez garage. A friendship began to flourish between him and Woz. They bonded in part over their love for pranks.
Woz would design a scheme, and Jobs, with his almost compulsive willingness to be an out law, was more than willing to carry it out. His friendship with renowned prankster Wozniak gave him a certain cachet among his peers.
By age sixteen, Steve Jobs wore his hair shoulder-length, and his appearances in school became more and more rare. Dubbed "phreaks;' the youngsters had learned techniques for completing calls by playing certain frequencies of tones into telephone receivers. One of the most infamous of these phreaks was a character nick named Cap'n Crunch, who discovered that a whistle included in boxes of the cereal could fool the phone company's computers. Steve wanted to meet him, so he tracked him down.
Eventually Crunch showed up and took the two amateur outlaws, Steve and Woz, through the world of phone phreaking, spending an evening calling all over the world for. The two decided they would build their own electronic machine to do the same thing that Crunch did with a whistle. One approach for doing this involved a homemade device called a blue box. After some research in the Stanford Linear Accelerator library and a number of false starts, Woz came up with a design for a better blue box than any that the other phreaks were using.
This kind of innovation would characterize a Wozniak design for years to come. They showed the prototypes to friends, and the interest was obvious and immediate. Everybody wanted one, and the two Steves, now full fledged phreaks themselves, garnered all sorts of attention.
Jobs, with the gift of persuasion he'd learned from his father, con vinced Woz that they should start selling the units.
With Jobs using his nose for bargains in downloading the parts, their out-of-pocket cost for the: Woz, now attending the University of Cali fornia at Berkeley, did the assembly work in his dorm room; Steve sold the units throughout the buildings on campus. Students, however, still qualified for the original price.
His princely income was a major factor in Jobs's declining interest in finishing high school. It was around this time that he met Chris-Ann Brennan, a fellow student working on her own animated movie who avoided any school supervision of the project by doing much of her work at night.
In this rejection of authority, Jobs saw a like mind. Soon they were lovers, and he and Chris spent many afternoons taking long walks, drinking wine, and smoking pot.
One day, choosing a wheat: It was the most wonderful. I felt like the conductor of this symphony with Bach coming through the wheat field: His idea of a good time was to talk about esoteric points of electronics. Their blue box venture had been fun at the outse, but the scene quickly began to change.
The phone company took aggressive steps to combat the scam, and things turned'dangerous. One evening Steve was making a sale in a pizza parlor parking lot.
I handed over the box: He was interested in expanding his vistas and making money, while searching for answers to something that smoldered inside him. They weren't answers he could discover with a blue box. Jobs made the journey from Silicon Valley to Berkeley two or three times a week. The ambience in the heart of hippiedom was to his lik ing, as he traveled through the Bay Area, delving into ideas, practices, and people he rarely encountered in Silicon Valley.
Jobs would soon be heading off to college himself, and what he saw in Berkeley profoundly influenced the type of place he chose. Private and expensive, it has always had a reputation for attracting and fostering brilliance and individuality. His parents were aghast-not only at the price, but at the distance from home. Still, "Steve said that Reed was the only college he wanted to go to;' recalled his mother, "and if he couldn't go there, he didn't want to go anywhere.
They bit the bullet, dipped into their savings, and sent him off to Reed. Steve managed to leave his mark at Reed, not academically but through the sheer force of his personality.
His studies came in a distant second to other pursuits. By autumn of , Steve decided to abandon his experimentation with hallucinogens and opted instead for the philosophies of the East as a path to higher awareness. Yet he remained on campus, living in dorm rooms vacated by other stu dents who'd left to pursue other interests.
Reed, being a good liberal school, didn't mind, especially since Jobs had become friends with Jack Dudman, the school's dean of students. He refused to accept auto matically received truths.
He wanted to examine everything himself: When the next school year started, he continued to live at Reed. Something else was driving him. I think being an orphan drove Steve in ways that most of us can never understand. While idly leafing through the. Atari, a company that, even in forward-looking Silicon Valley, was con sidered a bit outrageous. Because of the stunning success of the com pany's landmark video game Pong-the game's installation at one tavern in Sunnyvale caused block-long lines-Atari was in need of electronic technicians.
In an ad that became famous in the world of high tech, the company offered the opportunity to "have fun and make money: At the time, Atari was experiencing an exponential growth spurt. AI Alcorn, the chief engineer, remembers, "We were used to folks showing up and saying, 'Hi, I'm going to work for you: It was part of.
Atari was growing fast, I'd hear what their skills are and more often than not I'd say, 'That's it, you're great, you've got a job. We either call the cops or hire him: An eighteen-year-old drop-out of Reed College. I don't know why I hired him, except that he was determined to have the job and there was some spark.
I really saw the spark in that man, some inner energy, an attitude that he was going to get it done.
And he had a vision, too. You know, the definition of a visionary is 'someone with an inner vision not sup ported by external facts. Except that he believed in them. He has b. Jobs could come in at night and wouldn't bother anybody. Then one day he came to Alcorn requesting to be allowed to go to India "to see his guru. Alcorn decided that Steve could correct whatever problems the Germans had on his way East. So Alcorn gave Steve a quick primer on the situation at the German facility and sent him to the last place you'd expect to find a juvenile hippie who was en route to search for a mystic.
Alcorn recalled, "Here are the Germans, you know, 'Snap to! Kottke was as unusual in his own way as Steve was. Soft spoken, diffident, and gentle, with a cascade of frizzy, tangled hair that surrounded his head like a mane, he was a superb pianist his cousin is the pop guitarist Leo Kottke and was smart enough to have won a National Merit Scholarship. What's more, he wasn't a Californian but hailed from the New York area.
Steve's devotion to the philosophies of the East seemed to be tied to his quests for other truths-the absolutes and the loopholes of science and electronics-and tied as well to his own identity.
He was "totally determined to go;' said Kottke of the planned trip to India. That was the same period that he hired a private investigator to try and track down his mother. He was obsessed with it for a while: So he offered to pay my air fare, which was very generous. And indeed, had he not offered it, the trip probably wouldn't have happened.
I was very dubious about it, and he said 'Come on, I'll pay your way; because he wanted someone to travel with. So I called up my parents and told them, 'I'm going to India with my friend, and he's going to pay my ticket: So, of course, my par ents, who were worried that I would never come back, gave me a round-trip ticket and plenty of money.
This was how he chose to dress, as an expression of a spe cific ideal or aesthetic. In India he was confronted for the first time with people who were poor-not the way California hippies were poor, by choice, but poor by fate.
It was an eye-opener for him, as it had been for numerous others before him. The complete contrast with the material comforts of American life was intense and shocking, and it challenged everything he thought he knew up to that moment.
His clothes may have been ragged, but they were Western clothes, and he had something more than "going native" in mind. His idea was to make the journey as a mendicant-a spiritual beggar dependent on the kindness of strangers. He immediately traded his T-shirt and jeans for a lunghi, a loincloth that is the traditional Indian garb for mendi cants, and gave away everything else he had.
Joined by Kottke, he headed north from Delhi toward the Himalayas, the legendary center of spirituality in India. They slept in abandoned buildings and bought what food they could in the villages they passed through. True to form, Jobs bargained hard. He didn't want to be ripped off," recalled Kottke. His aggressiveness with. Completelycby chance, the two lucked upon a guru and his follow ers in the mountains. As Jobs told the story: There was this baba, a holy man, who was the holy man of this particular festival with his large group of followers.
I could smell good food. I hadn't been fortu nate enough to smell good food for a long time, so I wandered up to pay my respects and eat some lunch. He didn't speak much English and I spoke only a little Hindi, but he tried to carry on a conversation and he was rolling on the ground with laughter. Then he grabbed my arm and took me up this mountain trail. It was a little funny, because here were hundreds of Indians who had traveled for thousands of miles to hang out with this guy for ten sec onds and I stumble in for something to eat and he's dragging me up this mountain path.
We get to the top of this mountain half an hour later and there's this little well and pond at the top of this mountain, and he dunks my head in the water and pulls out a razor from his pocket and starts to shave my head. I'm completely stunned. I'm nine teen years old, in a foreign country, up in the Himalayas, and here is this bizarre Indian baba who has just dragged me away from the rest of the crowd, shaving my head atop this mountain peak.
It was one of the first times that I started to realize that maybe Thomas Edison did a lot more to improve the world than Karl Marx and Neem Kairolie Baba put together: It was the summer high season when India is hottest.
The dust was in their teeth and their hair, and they had grown weary of the poverty they saw everywhere. It would always be remembered by both travelers as a country of constant hassles. Kottke took up the narrative: He's a well-known mystical yogi who keeps reincarnating and [he's] hundreds of years old.
And that was a real quest. It was a ten-mile hike up a dry desert riverbed, over boulders and along a trail that was almost impossible to follow, and our feet were rubbed raw from the sandals, and all we had on were the lunghi, so the sun was merciless.
And finally we found this cliff, with a stairway up, and it was the ashram. Even though when we got there we both thought the guy was a bit of a bozo. After a couple of days we had had enough.
I'm sure he was a very far-out guy, but he was very much into wearing col orful saris, he was really into his wardrobe, changing his clothes all the time. And he was very flowery with his language too. All 'the essence of existence is so and so. So when we left, even though we knew it was a long journey, we did so in the afternoon.
Then that night, as we were sleeping in the dry creek bed, along came a thunder storm. And I mean a real thunderstorm, like nothing I'd ever seen before. There we are in our flip flops and thin cotton shawls and the rain is beating on us, and the thunder is roaring, and the lightning is breaking all over us. And it got so intense, and the two of us were both so kind of out of it, that we decided to cover ourselves in the sand.
I'm sure that was the high point of the trip, because I remember us praying. Out there in the dry creek bed, in the middle of India, completely disoriented, all our rhythms and beliefs shattered, where we were sure a flash flood would come through any moment, the two of us praying to any god that could hear us: I promise.
They ate food in bazaars. Kottke finally cut all his hair, not out of some inappropriate fashion statement but because the lice and the fleas and the filth drove him to it. They wanted to see Tibet, so they headed up the mountains. But Kottke also had his traveler's checks stolen.
This was the end of the journey. When he went to the bank in New Delhi, it refused to refund the checks to him. The whole experience in India had been intense and disturbing. It had been entirely different from anything Jobs had expected, anything he had known in booming Silicon VaHey. But it had not been the answer. The inner fire wasn't satisfied. Jobs came back determined to work toward the root of things in a different way. When Steve returned, he was rather distant and very spaced out.
Wear ing saffron robes and sporting a shaved head, he drifted into Atari and asked for his job back. This blissed-out kid in an orange toga might have prompted most companies to call for security as soon as he approached the door, but this was Atari, in California, in the 1 s.
Atari said, "Sure. He remained true to the hippie aesthetic, which was easy enough because Silicon Valley was so close to the hip pie meccas of San Francisco and Berkeley. He renewed his relationship with Woz, though soon he slyly began to redefine the relationship, trumping Woz's technical knowledge with his own business skills.
Woz, now working at HP, took advantage of his friend's being back at Atari. The company had put out a game called Gran Track, "the first driving game with a steering wheel;' explained Jobs.
Then when I came upon a stumbling block on a project, I would get Woz to take a. It was a great way to get terrific engineering for free: Woz had no hunger for glory; all he wanted was to do something neat, like design a computer or play more video games. Jobs was the hustler, the man with the plan, the man who knew how to generate the income. There was something about Jobs that Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, responded to.
Uiked that;' said Bushnell. One day, according to Alcorn, Bushnell "grabbed Jobs and made a deal on the side.
On his blackboard, Nolan defined the game of Break Out, how the game would work, the details. Then Alcorn, the head of engineering, took over with the logistics-Jobs could build it as long as he worked at night when none of the other engineers were around.
Mastering the game turned out to require total concentration upon the task at hand, determination to succeed, and a driven attitude-all of which Jobs and Woz had in their blood.
The design for Break-Out was completed in one forty-eight-hour stretch. The company thought Jobs was designing it, but it was entirely Woz's work. True to his past achievements, Woz managed to do the work using a ridiculously small number of chips. He gave Woz his "half: Afterward, Alcorn found that he had a problem. And since Jobs didn't really understand it and didn't want us to know that he hadn't done it, we ended up having to redesign it before it could be shipped.
On an airplane, Woz spotted Al Alcorn and went over to talk to him. Enough time had passed that Woz thought he could admit that he was the one who had designed the circuitry for the Break-Out game that had used so few.
The knowledge was so painful, one source said, that it made Woz cry. According to Alex Fielding, a longtime friend of bo! Steve Jobs was in a fantastic frame of mind as he headed north. He was working in the electronics industry, realizing his lifelong dream. Finally, he was actually doing something, actually helping to build something. With his nose for component prices-the result of his time at Haltek, the blue box period, and his father's example in rebuilding and selling cars-plus Wozniak's uncanny abilities, they had a good thing going.
They'd done it once before with the blue boxes, so it seemed as if they could probably build something else and sell it. But what should it be? With the publication of a. All it did was light up a string of bulbs across its front to demonstrate the answers to binary arithmetic questions that had been laboriously hand-coded into the machine's memory banks with a series of switches.
But one local teacher with foresight, Bob Albrecht, decided with some cohorts that it was time to issue a call to form a club.
Menlo Park was the hub of the "Free University" movement, which Albrecht had spearheaded, devel oping it out of the offices of the. Age manifesto and how-to guide to the back-to-the-earth sustainabil ity movement.
Together with a few like-minded enthusiasts, they put together a computer hobbyists' group to share tips and information, calling it the Homebrew Computer Club. Because of the hefty price tag the kits carried, the members decided that people who already had machines would share them with others who were not so fortunate.
Membership quickly ballooned from the original thirty members to more than one hundred enthusiasts, and the meetings were moved from an alternative school housed in an old mansion in Menlo Park to the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center's auditorium on the edge of the Stanford University campus. In early 1 , as more of the kits appeared, Steve Jobs was already thinking about how he and Wozniak could profit from this new field. He had to find an angle. When he discovered it, the magic came about pretty much by chance.
The best engineers don't fit any mold. He was. Jobs began to attend meditation retreats while employed at Atari. During his spiritual reading period at Reed, Steve had been drawn by the emphasis on experience, intuition, and self fulfillment through inner consciousness. Zen was not an exterior reli gious structure, and it suited his quest for something more-.
He'd been left emotionally reeling from many unsatisfactory answers about his parents and was searching for spiritual truths. Zen Buddhism provided satisfactory substitute answers.
Steve and I used to go visit him a lot, mostly in his house, which was near the zendo. And we would have tea, and sit, and talk. So we would sit there and listen Well, I thought it was sort of fun and took the whole thing as a kind of light-hearted interlude. But Steve was really serious about it all.
This was the time in his life when he became really serious and self important and just generally unbearable. You know, doing things fast? But Kobin just looked at him and started to laugh, which is what he did whenever he thought that something was irrelevant.
I thought it was pretty irrelevant, too: He studied with Chino for several years and considered him one of the most important influences in his life.
Years later, Chino became the official "roshi" of Jobs's sec0nd company, NeXT, and eventually officiated at Steve's marriage. The Zen master's secret-the ability to answer a question with whatever is on his mind, impulsively-became a lifelong habit for Jobs. Some people might say that his management style started with Chino, because his study of Zen began the year before he founded Apple. Zen, with its emphasis on the spontaneous and the intuitive, synchronized smoothly with the chaotic style of Nolan Bushnell at Atari, which was the only place Jobs ever really worked.
To a personality that already was essentially unbridled and uncen sored, a personality looking for a method to make sense of the madness of the universe and to answer some deep-seated questions, the attrac tion of Zen Buddhism was enormous. It offered a self-directed approach to religion, which was crucial to a terribly self-important young man. He had no need to depend on anyone else for guidance.
Zen fought rational, analytic thinking by elevating intuition and spon taneity. For a young man who had essentially no formal education in anything, this was important. And Zen was mystical and concerned with the big issues-Zen koans like the "journey is the reward" appealed to Steve's sense of truth.
He embraced Zen Buddhism more deeply than ever, and Kobin Chino became his master. At the same time, however, Steve wanted to be a businessman. He wanted a business of his own.
Too young and definitely too inexperienced to know what he couldn't achieve, and ruled by the passion of ideas, he had no sense of why something was impossible. This made him willing to try things that wiser people would have said couldn't be done. The willingness to attempt the unlikely or the unachievable was one trait-perhaps one of the few-that he and Steve Wozniak shared. Woz delighted in doing something better, with fewer parts and more elegant engineering than anyone believed possible.
He would go to one of the biweekly Homebrew meetings, pick up an idea or be spurred by a chal lenge that someone had posed, and work feverishly on a new schematic so that he could stand up and talk about it at the next meeting. By the fall of 1 , Woz was proudly showing the pieces of a new printed circuit board, and by the end of the year he had built the sec ond of two boards, both designed to drive a color display. Steve Jobs was impressed. Maybe this was what he had been looking for-maybe here was a product that he could build a business around.
Of course, in the hothouse environment of the Homebrew Club, Woz was just another energetic enthusiast, and as other members started to mount businesses built around making personal computers, Woz's rough "breadboards" engineering slang for rough mock-ups of products attracted little attention.
Steve knew better, and he had faith in his friend's engineering prowess. He talked to Woz about turning it into a business, and Woz agreed to build printed circuit boards that a hobbyist could download and then load up with components to create a "computer.
When they were selling the blue boxes, everyone just called them by that name-"blue boxes"-but other hobbyists were already selling circuit boards. Wozniak and Jobs would need a name, a challenge that proved tougher than they'd imagined. Wozniak had his head in circuit design. Steve Jobs, the marketing guy, couldn't come up with anything that either of them much liked. One idea was a second-string choice that grew out of Jobs's admiration for pop lyrics and all the time he'd spent with back-to-the-earth friends on the apple farm in Oregon.
Besides, "Apple" would come before "Atari" in the phone book. In the. Eventually Apple would fight a long-running battle with the Beatles over the name, a battle that grew much worse once the iPod made its appear ance and Apple moved to dominate the music industry.
Wozniak bought in on the name but still had doubts about the partnership. Steve Jobs, the hard charger, had to keep his partner pumped up about the project. Woz didn't want to give up his day job, and his family questioned whether Steve Jobs was someone they wanted their son to hang out with, much less start a business with.
Jerry Wozniak couldn't understand why his son should have to go fifty-fifty with a kid "who hadn't done anything. On April 1 , April Fools' Day-Wozniak finally gave in, sign ing the ten-page document that gave him and Steve Jobs equal shares in the company, with 1 0 percent going to Ron Wayne, a Jobs buddy from Atari who had agreed to lend a hand.
But none of the three, not even Steve Jobs, saw this as any grand venture. They hoped to make enough of a profit to earn back what they'd already spent on having Woz's circuitry turned into a professional design for a circuit board that could be built for sale.
Still, they weren't blind to the future possibilities. They called their first product the Apple I, clearly announcing their sense of more apples to fall not far from the tree. The first challenge facing the intrepid entrepreneurs was the same one that has faced most entrepreneurs before and since: Steve Jobs sold his Volkswagen bus for twice that, but the downloader paid only half because the van blew its engine within weeks of the sale.
Together, this added up to a very meager bankroll. The picture didn't look any brighter when they took their printed circuit board to a Homebrew meeting one Thursday in April. Woz stood up, showed the board, talked about the features, and sat down to a thunderous lack of interest.
Then the situation suddenly brightened, setting the stage for every thing that lay ahead. It had not dawned on us until then" that the boards might have a bigger market if the downloadr didn't have to solder parts in place himself. The offer was all the more surprising because the man Steve was talking about-Paul Terrell, who had started what would become the first chain of retail computer stores, the Byte Shops-had met Steve at Homebrew meetings and had always avoided him.
The Byte Shop needed product. Terrell was impressed by one demo at a Homebrew meeting and told Steve to "keep in touch. Jobs was bowled over by the response. Terrell said he would. Or almost. Before they could build the computers, they had to have parts, and before they could download the parts, they had to have money or at least credit. With the order in his back pocket, Steve traveled tire lessly all over the Valley, looking for funding.
After a string of turn downs, he approached a big supply house, Kierulff Electronics. Bob Newton, the Kierulff manager, remembers Steve as "an aggressive little kid who didn't present himself very professionally. Anyone less determined than Steve Jobs would have said, "Okay, I'll call back in a few days;' and left.
Steve refused to leave until Newton had made the call. That was good enough. Newton gave Steve a credit line to. Somehow, Steve would have to either deliver fin ished computers and collect the money to pay for parts or come up with another source of money within a month. Either too rash to understand the risk or too unconcerned to care that he might not be able to raise the money in time, Steve accepted the terms. Perhaps the best description of high tech in that era came from Dick Olson, whose company assembled circuit boards by "stuffing" attach ing electronic components to them.
The barefoot Steve Jobs, in his usual torn jeans, walked in one day to download Olson's services on credit. Olson wasn't put off, commenting later, "I had learned one thing about the electronics business by then: Terrell was not happy.
It was a small matter of miscommunica tion: What Steve tried to deliver were plain boards. No cases. No power supplies. No keyboards.
As far as Steve and Woz were concerned, a fully loaded circuit board was "a computer: Wozniak made almost as much from Apple as he had from his day job at HP. Yet he had no thoughts of walking away from the security of the regular HP paycheck. In the fall of 1 , Steve Jobs worked very long days at finding the best hardware deals and drumming up new retail outlets.
He was also look ing for investors and for reliable people to help build the growing com pany. He was back together again with his high school girlfriend, Chris-Ann. She and Steve were still pursuing the way of Zen Bud dhism, and at the zendo they occasionally ran into California governor Jerry Brown, another Zen devotee. By this time, the Apple I wasn't selling very well at the Byte Shops, and Paul Terrell was thinking of dropping the line. That didn't deter. Competitors were making headway, and he was determined to outdo them.
Meanwhile, Woz, much to the continuing chagrin of his wife, had covered nearly every surface in their kitchen with pieces for the new computer he was designing, which eventually became the Apple II. He had come up with a clever way to send color signals to a television set and was determined to provide plenty of extra expansion slots that would enable users to add cards to increase the functionality of their machines.
That turned out to be a brilliant decision, but not for a reason anyone would have guessed at the time. The expansion slots would give developers an opportunity to coattail on the success of the Apple II by providing cards for the computer, increasing the value of the downloadr's machine while building huge revenues for one com pany after another.
Woz and Jobs also made a key decision about the operating system. The two Steves determined to provide a language that would be free to the user and would be stored on a chip on the cir cuit board. Instead of the customer having to first load the operating system each time he or she turned on the computer, before being able to do anything useful, the Apple II would load its operating system automatically, making startup much easier and more intuitive for the nontechnical user. This made the Apple machine the toast of a new generation of hackers who could write programs for the computer as soon as they unpacked it and set it up.
Another key innovation grew out of Steve Jobs's decision that the new computer should be quiet: That was a fairly radical notion. Anyone else might have thought the idea absurd, but Steve just charged ahead.
His conviction grew as a result of all the time he'd spent studying Zen and meditating. He found the noise of a fan distracting and, in his intuitive way, was certain that consumers would be much more willing to download a computer that didn't sit on the desk and churn loudly.
The main source of heat in a computer was the power supply. Getting rid of the fan wouldn't be possible without a different type of power sup ply. There was just one problem: That didn't deter Steve. He simply went on a hunt to find somebody who. Absolutely no problem;' Steve assured him, even though they were essentially out of money. Undeterred by reality, Steve was.
And work he did days, nights, and weekends. Week after week, the time that Holt ordi narily would have been out racing motorcycles he instead spent inventing a new power supply for Steve Jobs. To replace the conven tional linear unit, which was heavy, hot, and based on technology more than fifty years old, Holt struck out in a new direction.
He created a switching power supply that was much more complex but was also lighter, smaller, and cooler. The design substantially reduced the size required for the computer's case and met Steve Jobs's demand of mak ing a fan unnecessary.
Punky engineer brought to Apple in to develop the iPod. Chief of Apple's mobile device software. Reed student, proprietor of an apple farm commune, and spiritual seeker who influenced Jobs, then went on to run a mining company.
Apple's manager in France, took over the Macintosh division when Jobs was ousted in The other computer wunderkind born in Playful, friendly software engineer and Jobs's pal on the original Mac team. Original Mac team member with the spirit to stand up to Jobs.
Daniel Kottke's girlfriend at Reed and early Apple employee. Chief designer at Apple, became Jobs's partner and confidant. Syrian-born graduate student in Wisconsin who became biological father of Jobs and Mona Simpson, later a food and beverage manager at the Boomtown casino near Reno.
Daughter of Armenian immigrants, married Paul Jobs in ; they adopted Steve soon after his birth in Middle child of Laurene Powell and Steve Jobs. Youngest child of Laurene and Steve. Adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs two years after they adopted Steve. Wisconsin-born Coast Guard seaman who, with his wife, Clara, adopted Steve in Oldest child of Steve Jobs and Laurene Powell.
Hired by Jobs in to develop Apple's stores. Jobs's closest friend at Reed, fellow pilgrim to India, early Apple employee. Cofounder and creative force at Pixar.
First big Apple investor and chairman, a father figure to Jobs. Publicity whiz who guided Jobs early on and remained a trusted advisor. Early Macintosh marketing director. Jobs's Memphis-born friend and lawyer. Legendary tech investor, early Apple board member, Jobs's father figure. Brought in by Markkula to be Apple's president in to try to manage Jobs. Wisconsin-born biological mother of Steve Jobs, whom she put up for adoption, and Mona Simpson, whom she raised.
Biological full sister of Jobs; they discovered their relationship in and became close. A cofounder of Pixar who clashed with Jobs. Brilliant, troubled programmer on the original Mac team, afflicted with schizophrenia in the s. Met Jobs at Atari, became first partner with Jobs and Wozniak at fledgling Apple, but unwisely decided to forgo his equity stake. The star electronics geek at Homestead High; Jobs figured out how to package and market his amazing circuit boards and became his partner in founding Apple.
He had been scattershot friendly to me over the years, with occasional bursts of intensity, especially when he was launching a new product that he wanted on the cover of Time or featured on CNN, places where I'd worked.
But now that I was no longer at either of those places, I hadn't heard from him much. We talked a bit about the Aspen Institute, which I had recently joined, and I invited him to speak at our summer campus in Colorado.
He'd be happy to come, he said, but not to be onstage. He wanted instead to take a walk so that we could talk. That seemed a bit odd. I didn't yet know that taking a long walk was his preferred way to have a serious conversation. It turned out that he wanted me to write a biography of him. I had recently published one on Benjamin Franklin and was writing one about Albert Einstein, and my initial reaction was to wonder, half jokingly, whether he saw himself as the natural successor in that sequence.
Because I assumed that he was still in the middle of an oscillating career that had many more ups and downs left, I demurred. Not now, I said.