The Apple Two The iPad is Steve Jobs' final victory over thecompany's co-founder Steve Wozniak.

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Mike, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. Mike

    Mike Guest

    ByTim Wu,
    New America Foundation
    April 6, 2010 | Slate

    In 2006, professor Jonathan Zittrain of Harvard Law School predicted
    that over the next decade there would be a determined effort to
    replace the personal computer with a new generation of "information
    appliances." He was, it turned out, exactly right. But the one thing
    he couldn't forecast was who would be leading the charge. How, indeed,
    could anyone have guessed that Apple Inc., the creator of the personal
    computer, would lead the effort to exterminate it?

    There are many interesting things to be said about the iPad. It might
    save publishing, television, and journalism. It might overrun Sony and
    Microsoft in computer gaming.

    It also might turn Americans back into the passive couch potatoes they
    were in the 1950s. But perhaps the greatest story is of Apple itself,
    and the degree to which the iPad's design does battle with the
    company's own history and the computing legacy of its co-founder,
    Steve Wozniak.

    Apple is a schizophrenic company, a self-professed revolutionary that
    is closely allied with establishment forces like the entertainment
    conglomerates and the telecommunications industry. To understand this
    contradiction we need to look back to Apple's origins. Let's go back
    to a day in 1971 when we find a bearded young college student in thick
    eyeglasses named Steve Wozniak hanging out at the home of Steve Jobs,
    then in high school. The two young men, electronics buffs, were
    fiddling with a crude device they'd been working on for more than a
    year. That day was their eureka moment: Apple's founders had managed
    to hack AT&T's long-distance network. Their invention was a "blue box"
    that made long-distance phone calls for free. The two men, in other
    words, got started by defrauding the firm that is now perhaps Apple's
    most important business partner.

    The anti-establishment spirit that underpinned the blue box still
    gives substance to the iconoclastic, outsider image Apple and Steve
    Jobs have long cultivated. Back in the 1970s, the inventors reinforced
    their company's ethos with their self-styling as counterculturals.
    Both men had long hair and opposed the Vietnam War. Wozniak, an
    inveterate prankster, ran an illegal "dial-a-joke" operation; Jobs
    would travel to India in search of a guru.

    But the granular truth of Apple's origins was a bit more complicated
    than the simplifying imagery suggested. Even in these beginnings,
    there was a significant divide between the two men. There was no real
    parity in technical prowess: It was Wozniak, not Jobs, who had built
    the blue box. And it was Wozniak who conceived of and built the Apple
    and the Apple II—the personal computer that would be unquestionably
    the most important Apple product ever and arguably among the most
    important inventions of the latter 20th century. Jobs was the
    businessman and the dealmaker, essential as such, but hardly the
    founding genius of Apple computers, the man whose ideas became silicon
    and changed the world. That was Wozniak.

    Wozniak's Apple took personal computing, an obscure pursuit of the
    hobbyist, and made it into a culture-wide phenomenon, one that that
    would ultimately transform not just computing, but communications,
    entertainment, business—in short the whole productive part of American
    life. And in doing so he made the ideology he followed—"open
    computing"—America's ideology. Of course, such an idea didn't
    originate with Apple; it was at least as old the ideas of Man-Computer
    Symbiosis in the 1960s. By the 1970s, it was an orthodoxy of amateur
    societies, like the Bay Area's Homebrew Computer Club, where Wozniak
    offered the first public demonstration of the Apple I in 1976.

    Wozniak's design was open and decentralized in ways that still define
    those concepts in the computing industries. The original Apple had a
    hood, and as with a car, the owner could open it up and get at the
    guts of the machine. Although it was a fully assembled device, not a
    kit like earlier PC products, Apple owners were encouraged to tinker
    with the innards of Wozniak's machine—to soup it up, make it faster,
    add features. There were slots to accommodate all sorts of peripheral
    devices, and it was built to run a variety of software. Wozniak's
    ethic of openness also extended to disclosing design specifications.
    In a 2006 talk at Columbia University, he put the point this way:
    "Everything we knew, you knew." To point out that this is no longer
    Apple's policy is to state the obvious.

    While a computer you can modify might not sound so profound, Wozniak
    contemplated a nearly spiritual relationship between man and his
    machine. He held, simply, that machines should be open to their owners
    and that all power should reside in the user. That notion mattered
    most to geeks, but it expressed deeper ideas, too: a distrust of
    centralized power and a belief, embedded in silicon, that computers
    should be tools of freedom.

    In 2006, when Wozniak gave his talk at Columbia, I asked him what
    happened with the Mac. You could open up the Apple II, and there were
    slots and so on, and anyone could write for it, I said. The Mac was
    way more closed. What happened?

    "Oh," said Wozniak. "That was Steve. He wanted it that way."

    Apple's origins were pure Steve Wozniak, but the Mac, the iPod, the
    iPhone, and the iPad are the products of the company's other founder.
    Steve Jobs' ideas have always been in tension with Wozniak's brand of
    idealism and the founding principles of Apple. Jobs maintained the
    early, countercultural image that he and Wozniak created, but
    beginning with the Macintosh in the 1980s, and accelerating through
    the iPhone and climaxing with the iPad's release this month, he has
    taken Apple on a fundamentally different track, one that is, in fact,
    nearly the opposite of the Wozniak vision.

    Jobs believes in perfection, not muddling through. He would seem as
    much at home in Victorian England as behind the counter of a sushi
    bar: a man who believes in a single best way of performing any task
    and presenting the results. As one might expect, his ideas embody an
    aesthetic philosophy as much as a sense of functionality, which is why
    Apple's products look so good while working so well. But those ideas
    have also long been at odds with the principles of the early computing
    industry, of the Apple II, and of the Internet. The ideology of the
    perfect machine and open computing are contradictory. They cannot

    As Wozniak told me in 2006, it was the Macintosh, launched in 1984,
    that marked the first departure from many of his ideas as realized in
    the Apple II.To be sure, the Macintosh was a radical innovation in its
    own right, being the first mass-produced computer to feature a "mouse"
    and a "desktop," ideas born in the mind of Douglas Engelbart in the
    1960s and that had persisted without fructifying in computer science
    labs ever since. Nevertheless the Mac represented an unconditional
    surrender of Wozniak's openness, as was obvious from the first glance:
    There was no hood. You could no longer easily open the computer and
    get at its innards. And only Apple stuff, or stuff that Apple
    approved, could run on it (as software) or plug into it (as
    peripherals). Apple thus became the final arbiter over what the
    Macintosh was and was not, rather in the way that AT&T at one time had
    sole discretion over what could and could not connect to the telephone

    Now in 2010, the iPad takes the same ideas to their logical extreme.
    It is a beautiful and nearly perfect machine. It is also Jobs' final
    triumph, the final step in Apple's evolution away from Wozniak and
    toward a closed model. The main, and most important, concession to
    openness is the App Store, a creation that shows Jobs learned
    something from Apple's bitter defeat by Microsoft in the 1990s. You
    cannot run software Apple does not distribute itself. You cannot
    access the file system unless you hack the machine. You cannot open
    the hood; indeed, the machine lacks any screws. I compared my iPad to
    various appliances around the home—coffee machines, toaster, cameras—
    and the only thing comparably sealed was, well, an iPod. The iPad has
    no slots; its only interface is an Apple-specific plug. Oddly enough,
    this all means that the iPad is not a machine that Apple's founders,
    in the 1970s, would have ever considered buying.

    But this may not matter for many people, for the iPad is handy tool
    for getting well-produced content from the industries that make it.
    And even if it doesn't do everything a computer does, it still does
    most things. Still, it is meant for consumers not users, and as such
    has far more in common with the television than the personal computer.
    It is not meant for the Homebrew Computer Club—for tinkerers,
    hobbyists, or for that matter, creators.

    Steve Wozniak has said that he pre-ordered three iPads, two for
    himself and one for a friend. This is a testament to his incredible
    good nature and his loyalty both to the firm that marginalized him in
    the 1980s and to a friend, Jobs, who refused to write a foreword for
    his memoirs. Yet somewhere, deep inside, Wozniak must realize what the
    release of the iPad signifies: The company he once built now,
    officially, no longer exists.
    Mike, Apr 25, 2010
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  2. Mike

    J Burns Guest

    passive couch potatoes in the 1950s?
    In 1969, didn't Bill Clinton grow his hair and attend an antiwar
    demonstration so he would have a middle-of-the-road image when he ran
    for office? Were Jobs and Wosniak copying him?
    J Burns, Apr 25, 2010
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  3. None of these innovations are 'exterminating' personal computers.......
    John McWilliams, Apr 25, 2010
  4. Yes rather than exterminating Computers the iPod and I pad are adjuncts
    to computers, extension if you will. They all have there place. Just
    because I might want an iPad. I Still would mostly use a Computer.
    Phillip Jones, Apr 25, 2010
  5. Think of it as the handy computer. You know, while watching TV or
    reading a book (either on the iPad or paper) and there's the iPad
    waiting for an email check, or usenet, or web...
    Lloyd Parsons, Apr 25, 2010
  6. Mike

    Mr X Guest

    Yes, the Apple II was just an extension of the S-100 bus idea. What
    the article is missing about the DNA of Apple Computer is Jobs'
    attention to the aesthetics of computing.
    I got into PCs in 19981 and Apple was head and shoulders above the
    rest of the field, at least until Big Blue joined the party with the
    5150 and its marketing.

    In 1983 I got a day's detention in high school for leaving class 1
    minute before the period ended (hey it was lunch and I wanted to beat
    the rush). Our school had just gotten a single Apple II from the Kids
    Can't Wait deal and I took the manuals to read for that day. It was
    the start of a beautiful friendship. . . the graphic design of the
    spiral-bound manuals was nice & tight, the smell of the soy bean ink
    was addictively sweet, and the Apple II was still pretty much state-of-
    the-art, for what that was, in 1983.

    Apple's aesthetics extended through the organic plastic case of the
    Apple II, compared to the clunky predecessors and the cheap and
    sterile techno-industrial cases of the Tandies and PC clones that
    This is really dumb. Wozniak famously sold his TI-35 calculator to
    fund Apple. The TI-35 was not open. It was a tool. On the software
    side, the iPad is very open and anti-corporate at its very lowest
    levels -- the full BSD API (except fork()) is available to application
    programmers, as is OpenGL and OpenAL -- more than what Apple's nearest
    competitor can say with its coming offering full of proprietary API
    (Silverlight & XNA).
    That hobbyist hacker Apple died with the Apple IIc of 1984. No slots,
    just most every card installed in hardware.

    Jobs took the hacker spirit and put that energy in NeXT, where it was
    structured into a layered offering that leveraged the utility of BSD
    and the advancements of the following 20 years of industry experience,
    largely from Xerox. NeXT got a lot right, its adoption of Objective-C
    was the predecessor to Java and C#, the on-board networking
    facilitated the development of the www (no other platform on the
    market offered the robustness of Unix with the ease of use of AppKit
    and Objective-C). NeXT's main weakness was color, the lack of which
    made me totally uninterested in the box in 1989-90 (I got a IIcx

    Slots were a developmental dead end. They're good for users in that
    they allow them to customize their machines and keep them running as
    new technologies occur. I'm glad I got the last generation of
    ExpressCard MBPs and hope to see the slot supported throughout however
    long I keep the machine.

    But slots are bad for platforms in that they fragment its
    functionality, making it harder for app developers to target a known
    set of attributes.

    Platforms work best with mass conformity. Like the xbox 360 -- no
    slots, only Microsoft-blessed hardware expansion.

    After the NeXT takeover, Apple has been the most open tech company
    around. Microsoft is full of proprietary APIs and locked-in and fully
    monopolized software markets. You get Excel and you like it, or else.

    Apple has ditched its proprietary approaches and layered their stuff
    over BSD, and provide OpenGL as the API for advanced uses.
    Mr X, Apr 25, 2010
  7. Mike

    Tim McNamara Guest

    Depends on the use you need, of course.

    The iPad is just a little too small for what I want. If the screen was
    the size of my 12" iBook, it'd be perfect and I'd have bought one
    Tim McNamara, Apr 25, 2010
  8. Mike

    Steve Hix Guest

    I initially thought the same thing, but having used one (as long as I
    can keep it away from my wife), it turns out to not be a problem.

    Screen real estate just seems more available in use than a similar-size
    screen running a typical laptop OS.
    Steve Hix, Apr 25, 2010
  9. Mike

    Tim McNamara Guest

    Yeah, it's just that my primary use is peculiar. I am a jazz musician
    and haul about 750 pages of paper charts around with me when I play. I
    have about 8000 pages of song charts in PDF format, including virtually
    everything I have on paper, and it'd be great to be able to carry it all
    electronically. But the screen really needs to be 8.5 x 11 or very
    close for it to be practical, and thus far most of the things like the
    iPad and the Kindle have screens not much bigger than a trade paperback.

    The iPad could just about do most of the things I use my laptop for
    outside of work, except for the above which is the most important thing.
    If they make a bigger iPad at some point it would be a very viable
    Tim McNamara, Apr 26, 2010
  10. On 04/25/2010 08:27 AM, Mike wrote:

    Of course, what this article demonstrates is that Apple, despite the
    image it carefully maintains through tons of advertising, is all but
    revolutionary. *Self-professed* must certainly be stressed. Still, it's
    the image Maccies buy.
    For software, guess where "open-computing" ideology now is.

    Well, of course, you can install Fedora or Ubuntu and have just about as
    little to care about software as a Mac user. (Of course, you might have
    to install codecs or thinker a bit to adapt wifi to a peculiar hardware
    whose Linux compatibility you haven't checked. But this has not much to
    do with understanding the underpinnings.)

    OTOH, if you wish to get you hands dirty, you can also install Arch OS,
    Slackware, Gentoo or, better yet, Linux from Scratch! Even with a $200
    OLPC Linux computer you can write a bash script, take a look at python,
    learn C and make your way up to the kernel.

    The hood is still totally open. The real thing! Not work with this
    (Darwin), we deal with that (OS-X).
    My PC still has a hood that I can open in a matter of seconds but things
    got a tad more complicated lately. I can add a video or sound card,
    memory or HD, change the CPU, even built my computer, or have it built
    for me.

    Between the Mini and the Pro, choosing the components that fit your
    needs, you have a zillion possibilities at a very fair cost. You're not
    just buying a box that is best fitted to your wallet, hoping in vain you
    could get this or that.

    There are still quite a few open-hardware projects, though not that many
    in the computer field:

    Now that computers have become a consumer product, who doesn't? Ask Mark
    Shuttleworth :) The difference is that Jobs has decided to make things
    simpler for Apple by streamlining the line to 7 computers -- Mini, iMac,
    Pro, Macbook, Macbook Pro, Air, iPad -- made to HIS measure, so that
    stupid Maccies stop buying their monitors from anybody else than Apple
    on their iMac.

    Still, you sometimes wonder if Apple gives its software more than a very
    limited test on its very limited hadware. Check here all the problems
    with Snow Leopard 10.6.3:

    Sometimes you wonder if they even think twice before spec-ing their
    hardware. They end up with leaking G5, cracked, yellow tinged Lucky
    Goldstar screens, numerous heat problems, etc.

    But, who cares? You want a 3 year guarantee on a Mac? Just add extra
    dollars! ($169 on a $1,199 iMac !!!)

    But Maccies keep on buying. When big corporations get into it, the
    typical American buys anything. He buys cheap corn beers, Big Macs, $5
    toothbrushes, hoaxes like 9-11, wars, and the Mac.

    Anything goes... as long as it goes.
    Mark Subtlework, Apr 26, 2010
  11. Well, as you know, there are many conspiration theories about 9-11. I'm
    not into it. Here are the facts:

    So, it takes more than an hour before Flight 11 has been signaled as
    "probably been hijacked" and it makes a 100-degree turn, half an hour
    after it has effectively crashed into the WTC before the USAF intervenes.

    Two commercial aircrafts have time to crash into New York's highest
    skyscraper before the USAF comes to hover the wreckage and you believe
    somebody wasn't deliberately holding the RED alarm button to off?

    Shit, I do understand that Maccies are dumb as a pet rock but even pet
    rocks have more brains than this!

    Hoax: An act intended to deceive or trick.

    Why isn't 9-11 an hoax?
    It exists, but the spirit behind it is just the opposite that it was
    behind Apple and Apple II. It's not a Wozniak computer it's a Steve Jobs
    computer. The idea behind it is not to empower the user, just to get
    deeper into its pocket.

    The real heir to the Apple II is a PC with Linux.

    Hoax: An act intended to deceive or trick.
    Seems I did.
    Mark Subtlework, Apr 26, 2010
  12. Mike

    ZnU Guest

    Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by

    ZnU, Apr 26, 2010
  13. Their incompetence or your stupidity?

    Ok, let's give incompetence some leeway.

    8:14: Flight 11 fails to heed air traffic controller's instruction to
    climb to 35,000 feet.


    8:19: Betty Ong, a flight attendant on Flight 11 alerts American
    Airlines via an airphone, “The cockpit is not answering, somebody’s
    stabbed in business class—and I think there’s Mace(1) — that we can’t
    breathe—I don’t know, I think we’re getting hijacked.” She then tells of
    the stabbings of two flight attendants.

    (1) Mace: trademark used for an aerosol used to immobilize an attacker

    (Who cares about blood, there's soon be much more in the Towers, and so
    much more, for absolutely no reason in Iraq. See: )

    8:20: The Federal Aviation Administration's Boston Center flight
    controllers decide that Flight 11 has probably been hijacked.


    8:21 Flight 11's transponder signal is turned off

    (Transponders can go wrong, right? Sleep, sleep, sleep...)

    8:24 Flight 11 makes a 100-degree turn to the south heading toward New
    York City. A radio transmission comes from Flight 11: "We have some
    planes. Just stay quiet, and you'll be okay. We are returning to the

    8:24 Flight 11 makes a 100-degree turn to the south heading toward New
    York City.


    Ooops! Time to sum up!

    Was supposed to go up to 35,000 feet and didn't go up.

    Cockpit not answering, 1 passenger, 2 attendants stabbed. Unknown voice
    from cockpit.

    Plane veering to a 10 million population city.


    If this case of utmost emergency wasn't enough to send the USAF right
    away, cases of emergency do not exist. In the end, it took 12 minutes
    for the fighters to get over NY. Had they left at this time, the crash
    could have been prevented.

    Still, Flight 11 happily continues its journey for another 20 minutes
    before it crashes into the north face of the North Tower of the World
    Trade Center.

    ***8:46:40***: Flight 11 crashes

    But that's still not enough!

    9:03:04: Flight 175 crashes

    ***Only 10 minutes after this SECOND crash will the fighters leave***:

    9:13: The F-15 fighters from Otis Air National Guard Base leave military
    airspace near Long Island, bound for Manhattan.


    This can be adequately explained by incompetence?

    I'm glad to hear you otherwise agree with what Tim Wu is saying. This is
    a Mac group, right
    Mark Subtlework, Apr 27, 2010
  14. It is a sad world, where the bad become good just because it didn't
    change while all the others went worse.
    Pascal J. Bourguignon, Apr 27, 2010
  15. Mike

    Edwin Guest

    There's also the huge problem of shooting down a plane full of innocent
    people because of what the hijackers *might* do.

    Hindsight is 20/20. As you say, at the time nobody thought a plane would
    be hijacked for such a purpose. Are we supposed to shoot down every
    hijacked plane since this happened?
    Edwin, Apr 27, 2010
  16. Right. So, you clear the streets in NY and you shoot at the last minute.
    Mark Subtlework, Apr 27, 2010
  17. The kind of hole it also was as a justification for a war against Iraq.
    The kind of holes that serve a purpose and kill people.
    Mark Subtlework, Apr 27, 2010
  18. Mike

    Edwin Guest

    Too bad that's not as easy to do as it is to say.
    Edwin, Apr 27, 2010
  19. Mark Subtlework, Apr 27, 2010
  20. You send police and firemen on the streets, you shut electricity down on
    the metro rails and you shout "Highjacked plane heading for NY: head for
    the metro fast. You'll be safe there."

    I would possibily have cost some casualties, but certainly less than the
    crash on the North Tower.

    One wonders what TV, radio and civil emergency is for!
    Mark Subtlework, Apr 27, 2010
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