Unlike Isaacson’s biography, we get a better sense of Jobs’ earliest encounters with a computer:
There are two things that really, really bug me about this documentary.
Jobs is shown being prescient about the role of computers in society. That’s swell. But it’s based on the Command-Line Interface of the original AppleDOS.
As if that ever had a future!
People learning a list of commands? It’s as ridiculous a proposition as Doug Engelbart …
… thinking people are going to learn a massive manual:
For Engelbart, simple user interfaces were beside the point. At one meeting of the Augment programmers, he posed the question, “When NLS is complete, how many instructions will it have?” He went around the room and asked everyone to answer. They were, of course, all wrong. The right answer was that NLS would eventually have fifty thousand instructions! That would require learning a language a significant fraction the size of English.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
What Apple is known for today — user-friendlinesss based on a graphics user interface —
… was created at and by Xerox PARC. And that’s never mentioned at all!
Absolutely none of the thinking done at PARC was ever even a mild notion over at Apple.
Which ties into this point that really, really, really bugs me (abridged here; see the entire documentary):
Jobs thought he was enlightened?! And proof of that was a material thing?
That would be like Mother Theresa becoming a televangelist and hawking her own brand of Lydia Pinkham’s tonic as “proof” of being chosen by God.
I would grant that Jobs was “enlightened” in a materialistic sense that served him very, very well:
And for most people, that’s enough.
And that’s sad.
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