Steve’s emails of the week

The blog posts are getting shorter because I have a full-time job, and I am finishing up all about Steve Jobs.com super exciting new update. So here’s the lowdown on the new rush of emails from Steve Jobs this week:

Oct 22: on removing Java from the new Macbook Air

Mr. Jobs:

I am the CTO and founder of a Software company based in Philadelphia. We create and sell Enterprise software into the health care space.

Our software is Java based, and runs on both the server and the desktop. We have been in business for over 12 years now, and are a healthy growing company with about 180 employees.

I am a big Apple customer, as is my company. We love developing and testing Java based software on OS X.

Today in the news were stories like this: www.theregister.co.uk/2010/10/21/apple_threat ens_to_kill_…
and here’s another example: news.cnet.com/8301-31021_3-20020338-260.html

I am hoping you would consider commenting either to me or via your PR channels what are the future plans for the Java programming language and platform on OS X?

One last note – a growing trend over the last few years at all the software conferences I attend is the popularity of the Macbook laptops. Go to any non-Microsoft focused developers conference and the rooms are typically dominated by Mac laptops. One major reason for this is that OS X is a great platform for Java developers.

thanks,
Scott Fraser
CTO, Portico Systems


Sun (now Oracle) supplies Java for all other platforms. They have their own release schedules, which are almost always different than ours, so the Java we ship is always a version behind. This may not be the best way to do it.

Sent from my iPhone


Oct 23: on iPad’s side switch button

In IOS 4.2 for iPad is the switch on the side going to be the mute and not screen orientation lock from now on?
Yep.
Sent from my iPhone
Are you planning to make that a changeable option?
Nope.

(source)

Oct 29: on USB 3

We don’t see USB 3 taking off at this time. No support from Intel, for example.

(source)

so there you have it.

About that “Back to the Mac” keynote

As I’ve stated before, this blog is not about the Mac, but solely about Steve Jobs. So I won’t go back on the details of the latest keynote’s announcements.

My only thoughts :

  • The photos of both the keynote and the new MacBook Air will all be on the new version of all about Steve Jobs (going live any day now)
  • Once again, Tim Cook has been given the “state of the Mac” part of the keynote, which used to be a Steve Jobs favorite. This is to me an indication that after Steve leaves, Tim Cook will probably handle the “business” part of Apple’s future keynotes (I guess the “new products” part will be divided between Phil Schiller and Scott Forstall… god I hope that day never happens)
  • On that Mac OS X Lion UI: if Steve Jobs’ past is any indication, it’s very likely that the future OS will not look at all like what was presented today. The UI is always the lastest thing that Steve shows in a new OS – because it’s the easiest to copy, but I guess also because it’s his favorite part.
  • Article on TUAW whose title I find funny: Can you trust a Steve Jobs email? “Nope.” because it’s true that Steve denied there would ever be a Mac AppStore a couple of months ago (although when you read it again, he denied there would be an exclusive Mac AppStore, so technically, he wasn’t lying……. yet nothing forced him to write back so it’s obvious he wanted to trump the rumor sites).

John Sculley loves Steve Jobs

John Sculley met with Cult of Mac chief editor Leander Kahney for an extensive interview about his tenure at Apple and his views on Steve Jobs.

John Sculley on Steve Jobs, the full interview

If you have time, I suggest you read it. But I wouldn’t go as far as John Gruber and call it “fascinating”. For one I didn’t learn anything, apart from a couple of anecdotes. But most importantly, it confirms what I thought of John Sculley. He is a bitter old man who regrets what he’s done to Apple and Steve. The lengths to which he goes to show how much he loves Steve are so great it’s ridiculous. Examples:

It’s okay to be driven a little crazy by someone who is so consistently right.
I don’t take any credit for it. What Steve’s brilliance is, is his ability to see something and then understand it and then figure out how to put into the context of his design methodology — everything is design.
All the design ideas were clearly Steve’s. The one who should really be given credit for all that stuff while I was there is really Steve.

The there’s the part where he sounds like an ex lover:

Q: People say he killed the Newton – your pet project – out of revenge. Do you think he did it for revenge?

Sculley: Probably. He won’t talk to me, so I don’t know.

Same goes for the Bloomberg interview where he speaks of Steve seducing him to make him come to Apple: “He had dark, long hair at this time”… All of this reminded me of this old Fake Steve post, which, once more, though intended as hilarious, is in fact quite realistic.

The one point I did find interesting in the Kahney interview was how he describes how power was distributed at Apple:

Remember, he was the chairman of the board, the largest shareholder and he ran the Macintosh division, so he was above me and below me. It was a little bit of a façade and my guess is that we never would have had the breakup if the board had done a better job of thinking through not just how do we get a CEO to come and join the company that Steve will approve of, but how do we make sure that we create a situation where this thing is going to be successful over time?

I had never thought of it before. Mainly because Steve being “chairman of the board” was just a title for PR, and did not reflect his true role at Apple. Otherwise, Jobs could have imposed himself as a CEO. And I never knew he was still the largest shareholder either. Anyway, I totally disagree on his idea that Steve shouldn’t have been fired, because as I’ve stated before it is probably the best thing that ever happened to him — we wouldn’t have Pixar otherwise.

Finally, here’s an anecdote I found funny:

Sometimes… he was wrong tactically on a number of things. He wouldn’t put a hard drive in the Macintosh. When someone asked him about communications, he just threw a little disk across the room and said, “That’s all we’ll ever need.”

It’s the only part where John Sculley admits Steve can be wrong once in a while…

About that Bloomberg TV special

Here’s the full video of the Bloomberg TV special on Steve Jobs: Full video

While I was looking at the titles, I thought: OH SHIT! I know this stuff!!! I know what this is.

Indeed, in December 2009, I was contacted by a guy named Ruth O’Neill who said to me:

I’m a researcher on a new documentary series for Bloomberg Television. “GAMECHANGERS” (working title) is a half hour documentary program that explores the complex careers of the executives and thought leaders who have defined the world of technology, finance, politics and culture.

Well, I never thought it took so long to make a TV documentary. Almost a year! I thought the project had been abandoned. I helped Ruth on finding pictures of Steve and he said he loved the site (yes he did say it). How do you know it’s true? Well have a look at the yearbook photo used in the documentary. It’s got the exact same noise as the one on the website. It’s because i’s where it’s from! I know it because I scanned it myself from the book The Journey Is the Reward. That’s right, a picture I scanned from a book ended up on national television! 🙂

Seriously, I think the documentary picked the best people to talk about Steve Jobs, namely: Robert X Cringely (who did Triumph of the Nerds), Michael Moritz, Alan Deutschman (I love The Second Coming of Steve Jobs) and Leander Kahney (although he did make one mistake saying Steve was living in his Woodside mansion “developing the Mac” – he bought it in November 1984, 10 months after the Mac  was launched). These are exactly the same people I would have chosen, and their books are all well rated on all about Steve Jobs’ sources/bibliography page. I don’t know if this is related to Ruth, but since he repeatedly said he loved the site, I’d like to think it is.

One-hour TV special about Steve on Bloomberg

I don’t live in the US and I don’t get Bloomberg, so I’m not overly concerned by this, but AppleInsider reports that Bloomberg will broadcast a one-hour TV special on Steve tomorrow.

Money quote:

In an email to AppleInsiderBloomberg said the special will trace Jobs from his start-up years in the family garage to his recent transplant surgery and release of the revolutionary iPad, examining his early success and subsequent exile from Apple, his failure at NeXT, his redemption at Pixar and his triumphant return to the company he created.

I’m honestly curious how they’re gonna do that without the usual 20 seconds on NeXT (i.e. 12 years of Steve’s life). We’ll see… when it shows up on YouTube 🙂 I, for one, have always thought that Steve deserved at least a Hollywood trilogy, maybe even more.

Trailer here.

Steve emails on Meizu

Steve is back with an email to delight us all.

This one is about a Chinese consumer electronics brand, Meizu, which has specialized in making copycat replica of several Apple products. Their new M8 phone steals from the iPhone 4. On a forum dedicated to the Meizu company, reader Elliot from the UK explains the exchange he’s had with Apple’s CEO:

I have heard that you are taking action against the Chinese electronics manufacture Meizu and you have successfully managed to stop the manufacture of the Meizu M8. I would like to know why your company has decided to take action against Meizu when there are many phones out there which are designed to be clones of your iPhone. I am quite fond of the Meizu M8 and your iPhone, i own an M8 and an iPhone 3GS but i do not see many purposely placed similarities on the M8.

Steve’s supposed reply:

Sounds legit; that’s pure SJ style.