While you wait for tomorrow’s keynote…

I am like all of you guys (I assume) eagerly awaiting for tomorrow’s WWDC keynote. The rumor mill is acting crazy and I am sure I will spend the night dreaming of iClouded skies. Until this week, Steve Jobs news have been kind of slow lately — here’s a roundup of the information I’ve collected in the past month, that some of you may have skipped:

 

  • The New Yorker did a story on the history of the computer mouse, back to Xerox PARC and the famous Steve Jobs visit that supposedly inspired Lisa then Macintosh. One of the mouse’s inventors, Malcom Galdwell, recalls what we already know, that Apple didn’t “steal” the mouse from Xerox. Unfortunately the story can only be accessed by subscribers — I didn’t subscribe just to read it. The abstract is here (not very well done). It contains interesting old sketches and pictures of prototypes, as well as quotations from the piece, such as this one:

    “I had a series of ideas that I wanted to bounce off [Jobs], and I barely got two words out of my mouth when he he said, ‘No, no, no, you’ve got to do a mouse.’ I was, like,‘What’s a mouse?’ I didn’t have a clue,” Hovey told Gladwell.

    (via Cult of Mac)

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  • We’ve talked about it earlier: the building of the extension of Pixar’s Emeryville campus, Pixar Phase II, is now over. Check it out on the excellent Pixar blog.
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  • A curious piece of trivia, some study was made to prove that Apple had actually the same effect on fanboys that a religion (or, more appropriately, a cult) on its followers:

    As discussed in the new BBC documentary “Secrets of the Superbrands”, when you put an Apple fanatic under an MRI and start mentioning iPhone 5s and iPad 3s, neuroscientists found that Apple tends to stimulate the same parts of the brain as religious imagery does in people of faith.

    No news to me.

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  • And I thought I would never be able to find new keynotes… but no, two oldies came up this past month to add up to my impressive collection. I hope you guys take time to check them out, because they’re both pretty interesting.
    First, an interesting one (and in high quality, too) from 1996, where Steve Jobs still spoke as CEO of NeXT Inc. — but already famed CEO of Pixar — at a Microsoft Developers Conference, about NeXT’s server technologies, WebObjects. In the video he is a late speaker, which is a testament to how unimportant he seemed to be. He is also very casual and humble, as depicted in a number of articles from that time (he was just coming out of his wilderness years). Watch the keynote here (via Daring Fireball).
  • The second one I just found, and on YouTube, too! it’s a casual chat Steve Jobs had with then-struggling Mac developers at the end of the 1997 WWDC! Definitely worth a look if you’re interested in Steve Jobs history. Again, it is a testament to Steve’s unchanging character and principles. He stands by the same rules now as he did then,  including the most important one: building great products. He also mentions something I knew from a 1999 interview, quoted below:

    About 10 years ago I put in a T1 to my house. I’m actually getting ready to put a 45 mg fiber to my house, because I want to find out what that will be like, because everybody’s going to have that someday. But I have a pretty sophisticated setup; whether I’m at Apple or at Pixar or at my home, I log in and my whole world shows up on any of those computers. It’s all kept on a server. So I carry none of it with me, but wherever I am, my complete world shows up, all my files. Everything. And I have high speed access to all of it. So my office is at home too. And when I’m not in meetings, my work is fundamentally on email.

    in the aforementioned video, we discover Steve’s been working in such an environment since 1990. This is thanks to NeXT’s very advanced ‘inter-personal computing’ (i.e. networking) technology. So basically Steve’s been living ‘in the cloud’ for over 20 years, while we mere mortals will probably find out  what it’s like thanks to a product that he will introduce (if rumors are to be verified) tomorrow. The advancement of NeXT’s technology still continues to amaze me.

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  • Business Insider has published a thorough interview of Apple’s first CEO, Mike Scott. Honestly I haven’t had time to read it yet, so I wo’nt comment on it, but you can be sure I will pretty soon. (via TUAW) Same goes for the Fortune article Inside Apple, which I finally got my hands on last week, but haven’t yet had time to write about.
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  • Conan O’Brien dressed as  the iLeader in a baroque fresco by Fast Company: Continue reading

Quirky Steve Jobs news and trivia from last week

1. a hip-hop song apparently came out by a guy named “Fabolous” (don’t blame me if he’s super-duper famous because I’m not into rap). It’s called… wait for it… “Steve Jobs”. Excerpt from the chorus:

man used to be Mac’ing but now I’m Steve Jobbin’ man
got 2 choices
you can stay broke or grind

2. Steve sent an email last week about the future of Airplay to a guy asking for compatibility with Safari and 3rd party apps:

Yep, hope to add these features to Airplay in 2011.

3. I found this picture of a guy’s desk. See, I told you I wasn’t the fanboyest SJ fanboy on the planet! 😉

(Full gallery).

The important stuff is coming next.

Steve, a star for today’s teenagers

Steve v. MarkTechCrunch reports the results of a survey by Junior Achievement about entrepreneurs.

Junior Achievement surveyed 1,000 teens in the United States by telephone to get an idea of which entrepreneurs they admire most. Nearly a quarter of respondents named Jobs as the most admired entrepreneur, albeit down from 35% in the 2009 survey.

Even with Facebook at more than half a billion users, and the movie The Social Network taking the world by storm, Mark Zuckerberg only received 9% of votes for most admired entrepreneur, tying with skateboarding legend Tony Hawk.

Although it’s obvious to almost everybody, I’m still stunned by how mainstream Apple and Steve have become. The same thought came to my mind a couple of days ago. I was sitting at Starbucks in Paris, enjoying my morning latte. Next to me was a group of 5 teenage boys (probably in high school) They were talking about a parody of Steve Jobs that was broadcast on the most famous French satirical TV show (it’s a puppet show) last week. The piece showed Steve selling common objects by just putting an i in front of their name.

One of the boys said: “They’r exaggerating. We don’t buy anything Apple makes. It’s just that they make great stuff…”. He was identifying himself as part of that crowd ready to buy anything Apple. When I was their age, I was the only one in junior high who even knew the name of more than one Apple product. The PC was the norm and Macs were seen as expensive, weird-looking computers that were too slow and had no software. As for Steve Jobs, no one knew who he was – they only knew Bill Gates. I’m talking about 2000-2002 here.

Wow. Things really change fast in this world. I wonder what people will say of Apple and Steve ten years from today.