Ancient video of Steve Jobs launching the first Apple Mac found
Long-lost footage resurfaces after 30 years
Long-lost footage of Steve Jobs launching the first Apple Macintosh in 1984 has been dug out of storage and shown in full for the first time in 30 years.
The video shows the Apple godhead addressing the Boston Computer Club just days after his famous speech to shareholders at Cupertino.
Time magazine journalist Harry McCracken tracked down Glenn Koenig, a Boston-based video-maker who had stored the footage on a defunct format called U-matic. Koenig knew that Dan Bricklin, co-inventor of VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet programme for the Apple II, and Jonathan Rotenberg, president of the computer club, had also shot their own films.
The Computer History Museum collected together the footage, which has now been premiered on the Time website.
Rotenberg said the video shows a more "intimate" product launch than the one given to shareholders at Cupertino, which was so busy that some people turned away.
It’s about the users, which is what you don’t get at the shareholder meeting," he said.
“This one was Steve really selling,” added Bricklin. “This is the Steve that we’ve now known for many years announcing other products. This is that Steve, giving the talk he’s given so many times that he knows it cold. It really makes a difference.”
“You get to see Steve when Steve became the Steve Jobs. Seeing him smiling up there is the way a lot of us would like to remember him.”
The dimly-lit video has an eerie quality about it, with Jobs' face falling into shadow at times.
Essentially, it's based on the same script as his famous Cupertino speech, although Jobs doesn't bother reciting Bob Dylan lyrics at the beginning, perhaps reckoning they'd be lost on the audience. He instead launches in with a broadside against IBM, which he accused of a brazen lack of innovation.
There's also a Q&A at the end, which is gatecrashed by Steve 'Woz' Wozniak, who flew in to take questions. In this Q&A, Jobs was asked if he was going to just abandon all the people who had bought the Apple II. His answer is a telling prediction of Apple's future strategy of endless updates and the brutal culling of old tech – like the 30 pin iPhone plug, for instance.
"The big question is actually when we are going to sell of more of these?" he replied, patting the new Macintosh. ®
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