Monday, July 7, 2008

Apple History in Two Books and a Movie

I just finished watching (for about the hundredth time) The Pirates of Silicon Valley. This made-for-TV movies from about 10 years ago gives a pretty accurate account of Apple's early years and their tie-ins with Microsoft. Well acted and well directed with only Steve Wozniak (Woz) coming off as a truly likable character. I know all the fanboys think Steve Jobs is the greatest thing to happen to Apple, and perhaps as a business man he is, but I think I'd rather share a drink with Woz. It amazes me, when I talk to younger Mac fanboys or newer converts just how little they know of Woz's contribution to Apple. This is a must-see for all interested in Apple history.

On the other hand, the book (or audiobook in my case) iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It is just a little too self-indulgent for my taste. A little more self-scrutiny about why he walked away from the company, how he let Steve Jobs push him around and a little less repeated stories of pranks might have made this a better read. Still, it's a fair book and worth the the price of admission and a little time to explore.

iCon: Steve Jobs: The Second Greatest Act in the History of Business is not in the same class. It is an unauthorized biography and as-such provides little new insight into the man or the company that isn't already available in public record. I'd borrow this book from the library if you are interested in reading it for completions sake.

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