iBook Turns 20: Watch Steve Jobs Unveil the World’s First Notebook With Wireless Internet

Upon returning to Apple in the late 1990s, Steve Jobs came up with a 2×2 product grid in an effort to simplify Apple's then-bloated lineup of computers. The grid was split into four quadrants, including a professional desktop, a consumer desktop, a professional portable, and a consumer portable.


Today marks the 20th anniversary of Jobs unveiling the fourth and final product in the grid, the iBook, at the 1999 Macworld Expo in New York City.

Targeted at consumers and students, the iBook easily stood out from other notebooks of its era with its unique clamshell-like design, consisting of hard, translucent plastic casing topped with soft, colorful rubber. Initial colors included Blueberry and Tangerine, with later models available in Graphite, Indigo, and Key Lime.


The original iBook, priced from $1,599, was equipped with a 12.1-inch display with an 800×600 resolution, a full-sized keyboard, and a trackpad. It also featured a retractable handle along its hinge, with Apple calling it an "iMac to go," although it was decently heavy at 6.7 pounds — even for its time.


Above all, the iBook was the first mass consumer product with support for wireless networking, with the 802.11b standard allowing for speeds up to 11 Mbps. Wireless support was not built in and required purchasing an optional $99 AirPort wireless card and a $299 AirPort base station.

Jobs demonstrated the iBook's wireless networking by walking across the stage with the notebook while loading a website, with the audience erupting in cheers. He then placed it through a hula hoop to prove there were no cables attached.


Memorably, a younger Phil Schiller even jumped from a height while holding the iBook as it wirelessly transferred accelerometer data. Referencing the 30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing, Schiller quipped "this is definitely one small step for man, and one giant leap for wireless networking."


Other tech specs included a 300MHz PowerPC G3 processor, 3.2GB hard drive, 32MB of RAM, ATI Rage Mobility graphics, 10/100 Ethernet, a CD-ROM drive, and up to six hours of battery life. To keep costs down, it had no FireWire port, video out, or microphone, and only one speaker and one USB port.

Apple went on to introduce a redesigned iBook with a more traditional notebook design in May 2001, followed by the white polycarbonate MacBook in 2006, but the original will always be an important part of Apple's history.

Last year, YouTubers iJustine and MKBHD teamed up to unbox an original, sealed iBook:


For more nostalgia:
We invite any readers who still own an iBook to share a photo in the comments section.


This article, "iBook Turns 20: Watch Steve Jobs Unveil the World's First Notebook With Wireless Internet" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Steve Jobs Criticized Tim Cook as ‘Not a Product Person,’ Says Biographer Walter Isaacson

"Steve Jobs" biographer Walter Isaacson was on Squawk Box this week, and in an interview he mentioned that he "softened" parts of the book when it came to certain Jobs quotes (via CNBC).


Particularly, Jobs was said to have criticized current Apple CEO Tim Cook for not being a "product person." According to Isaacson, "Steve says how Tim Cook can do everything, and then he looked at me and said, 'Tim's not a product person.'"

Isaacson said that he wanted to soften certain things that he thought were too harsh in his biography of Steve Jobs. The book first launched in October 2011, just 19 days after Jobs died from pancreatic cancer.
“Sometimes when Steve was in pain ... and he was angry, he would say more things that [Cook] was not a product person,” recalled Isaacson. “I felt I would put in the specific things that were relevant to the reader but not the complaints.”
Cook was also mentioned in a recent piece by The Wall Street Journal, which focused on Jony Ive, who reportedly became "dispirited" because of Cook's lack of interest in the product development process. Ive announced that he will leave Apple later this year and start his own design studio, with Apple as one of its primary clients.


Isaacson has been critical of Apple as a whole in the past, believing in 2014 that Amazon and Google had overtaken Apple to become the most innovative technology companies of the modern day. At the time, he specifically referenced virtual assistants as a space where Apple needed improvement.

Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs went on to be the basis for Aaron Sorkin's screenplay of the Danny Boyle-directed film "Steve Jobs." The film was well received by critics, earning four Golden Globe Award nominations and two Academy Award nominations.


This article, "Steve Jobs Criticized Tim Cook as 'Not a Product Person,' Says Biographer Walter Isaacson" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Today Marks Steve Jobs’ 64th Birthday as MacRumors turns 19

Former Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs was born on February 24, 1955 and if he were still alive, today would mark his 64th birthday.

Jobs not only founded Apple alongside Steve Wozniak in 1976 and directed the development of some of the first personal computers, but he also brought Apple back from the brink of failure even after being ousted from the company he created.

In the 2000-2010s, Jobs was responsible for not only saving Apple, but then building it into one of the largest companies in the world. The introduction of the iPod in 2001 and iPhone in 2007 represented industry changing products that have sold hundreds of millions of units.

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs passed away on October 5th, 2011 at the age of 56. Jobs had been suffering with complications related to pancreatic cancer in the years leading up to his death. Jobs has obviously affected the world with his contributions to Apple, and his death impacted us all. The article of his passing cites many reactions and photos from around the world.

Coincidentally, MacRumors shares the same birthday as Steve Jobs and was created on February 24, 2000. Today, the site turns 19 years sold, and we are grateful for our dedicated readers, community members, and volunteers.


This article, "Today Marks Steve Jobs' 64th Birthday as MacRumors turns 19" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Macintosh Turns 35

Today marks the 35th anniversary of Apple's late co-founder Steve Jobs unveiling the original Macintosh.


Jobs pulled the Macintosh out of a bag during Apple's annual shareholders meeting on January 24, 1984 at the Flint Center in Cupertino, California, grinning from ear to ear as the crowd erupted in applause.


Macintosh's very first words:
Hello, I'm Macintosh. It sure is great to get out of that bag.

Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking, I'd like to share with you a maxim I thought of the first time I met an IBM mainframe: NEVER TRUST A COMPUTER YOU CAN'T LIFT!

Obviously, I can talk, but right now I'd like to sit back and listen. So, it is with considerable pride that I introduce a man who's been like a father to me… STEVE JOBS.
Two days earlier, Apple teased the Macintosh's introduction with its iconic "1984" ad during Super Bowl XVIII on CBS:


And here's a lesser-known video of Jobs introducing the Macintosh to the Boston Computer Society on January 30, 1984:




This article, "Macintosh Turns 35" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

New York Times Article Explores Apple’s Failed Attempt to Build the Macintosh in California

The New York Times today printed an interesting article exploring how Apple co-founder Steve Jobs set up a Macintosh manufacturing plant in Fremont, California in the 1980s that failed early on into its tenure.

Titled "When Apple Was Homegrown," the piece by John Markoff offers an insight into Jobs' fascination with Henry Ford's mass automobile manufacturing in Detroit and the high-quality manufacturing capabilities of Japanese companies like Sony, and how Jobs aimed to synthesize the two cultures in a "highly automated" Mac factory.

Apple's ill-fated California Macintosh facility (Credit: Terrence McCarthy for NYT)
"Steve had deep convictions about Japanese manufacturing processes," recalled Randy Battat, who joined Apple as a young electrical engineer and oversaw the introduction of some of the company's early portable computers. "The Japanese were heralded as wizards of manufacturing. The idea was to create a factory with just-in-time delivery of zero-defect parts. It wasn't great for business."
Construction of the plant, located just across San Francisco Bay from Apple's headquarters, began in 1983. The first reporters to tour it were told that factory labor would account for 2 percent of the cost of making a Macintosh, thanks to its state-of-the-art production line. Expectations were therefore high, but the practical realities of working at the plant were markedly different.
Mr. Gassée, a French specialist in office automation, had just been promoted to president of Apple’s product division by John Sculley, then Apple's chief executive, and was responsible for the company's engineering and manufacturing work. When he first started, Mr. Gassée decided to spend two days learning how the company actually built its products by working on a factory production line.

[...]

"I embarrassed myself attaching a display to the computer bezel with a screwdriver," Mr. Gassée recalled in a recent interview. At the end of his shift, Mr. Gassée grabbed a broom and swept up the parts that had fallen off the production line. "It was really shameful," he said of the noticeably slipshod process.
Lacking the requisite schooling and subcontractors, Apple's Macintosh manufacturing in California was unable to reach the production volume that Jobs had envisioned. Eight years later, the plant was shuttered.

Jobs made a second attempt to establish a manufacturing culture in Silicon Valley shortly after leaving Apple. In 1990 he oversaw another $10 million plant to build his Next personal workstation. The facility featured robotic devices, but it too was unable to produce in quantities that would support a long-term assembly operation, and it failed just like its Apple predecessor.

Jobs' thinking on manufacturing had changed by the time he returned to Apple in 1997, and the next year he hired veteran supply chain overseer Tim Cook as Apple's senior VP for worldwide operations. Apple's manufacturing outsourcing quickly expanded to form a sprawling ecosystem of global suppliers.
"When I started my career, all my flights were to Japan," said Tony Fadell, one of the hardware designers of the iPod and iPhone at Apple. "Then all my flights went Korea, then Taiwan, then China."
In recent years under Cook's watch as CEO, Apple's complex web of global suppliers has boomed in response to the demand of making products like the iPhone for mass markets. "You can't bring manufacturing back because of those webs," said Andrew Hargadon, a former Apple product designer who worked on the Macintosh Powerbook Duo in the early 1990s. "You would have to bring the entire community back," he told Markoff.

Recently, Apple announced plans to build a new $1 billion campus in Austin, Texas, as well as plans for a general expansion of operations over the next three years in cities across the United States. The plans are expected to create thousands more jobs, although the large majority of them aren't thought to be in manufacturing. Apple says it is on track to create 20,000 jobs in the U.S. by 2023.

Interested readers can find John Markoff's full New York Times article online but with the alternative headline, "Apple Computers Used to Be Built in the U.S. It Was a Mess."

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.


Discuss this article in our forums

Someone Just Paid Over $6,000 for a Steve Jobs Business Card

Earlier this month, we told you about an auction for a Steve Jobs business card listing him as Chairman of the Board at Apple Computer. The business card features Apple's classic rainbow logo and an address of 20525 Mariani Avenue, across the street from Apple's Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino, California.


Boston-based RR Auction has since announced that the business card, estimated to fetch a modest $500, was sold for a considerably larger sum of $6,259 this week. For that price, one might think it was signed by Jobs, but it was not.

During the same auction, a copy of the February 1984 premiere issue of Macworld magazine signed by Jobs sold for $47,775, easily topping its $10,000 estimate. Limited copies of the issue are still in circulation, and Jobs was typically reluctant to provide his autograph, making it even more of a collectible.


Jobs signed the magazine at the grand opening of Apple's iconic Fifth Avenue store in New York in May 2006, writing "to Matt, steven jobs" on the front cover, which features a photo of himself next to a trio of original Macintosh computers.

Earlier this year, a rare employment questionnaire filled out by Jobs in 1973 was auctioned off for an impressive $174,757.


Discuss this article in our forums

Premiere Issue of Macworld Magazine Autographed by Steve Jobs Headed to Auction

A copy of the February 1984 premiere issue of Macworld magazine signed by Apple's late co-founder Steve Jobs will be up for auction on the RR Auction website between December 6 and December 13.


Jobs signed the magazine at the grand opening of Apple's iconic Fifth Avenue store in New York on May 19, 2006, writing "to Matt, steven jobs" on the front cover, which features a photo of Jobs posing with a trio of original Macintosh computers. The magazine is listed in fine condition with light handling and edge wear.

The premiere issue of Macworld magazine is considered to be scarce and desirable in its own right, while Jobs was often reluctant to provide his autograph, so this is a rare collectible estimated to fetch at least $10,000 at auction.

There is both photo and video proof of Jobs signing the magazine, along with letters of authenticity from verification services Beckett and PSA/DNA.


Also up for auction at RR Auction beginning tomorrow is a Steve Jobs business card listing him as Chairman of the Board at Apple Computer. The business card features Apple's classic rainbow logo and an address of 20525 Mariani Avenue, across the street from its Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino, California.


The business card is not signed by Jobs, but it is still a nice collectible and is estimated to fetch at least $500 at auction.


Discuss this article in our forums

Tim Cook Tweets in Memory of Steve Jobs, Who Passed Away Seven Years Ago Today

Apple CEO Tim Cook has tweeted in memory of his former boss and mentor Steve Jobs, who passed away on October 5, 2011. Today marks the seventh anniversary of the Apple co-founder's death. He was 56 years old.


"Steve showed me—and all of us—what it means to serve humanity," tweeted Cook, alongside a photo of Steve.

Here's what Cook said on the day of Steve's death:
Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple. […]

No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve's death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.
We rounded up many other comments in our 2011 article for those who wish to look back, while Apple still has a Remembering Steve page on its website with condolences and memories from customers.

Steve Jobs narrated this unaired version of Apple's famous Think Different ad in 1997:


Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech, where he addresses his mortality:




Discuss this article in our forums

Seven Years Ago Today: Steve Jobs Resigns as CEO of Apple, Tim Cook Named His Successor

Today marks the seventh anniversary of the late Steve Jobs resigning as CEO of Apple. In a letter addressed to Apple's Board of Directors, dated August 24, 2011, Jobs strongly recommended then-COO Tim Cook be named his successor.


Letter from Steve Jobs:
To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.

Steve
Apple's Board of Directors approved the request, effective immediately, with Jobs elected Chairman of the Board. Jobs reportedly remained closely involved with Apple's strategic decision-making until passing away October 5, 2011.


Discuss this article in our forums

Lisa Brennan-Jobs Discusses ‘Coldness’ and ‘Moments of Joy’ She Had With Steve Jobs in Upcoming Memoir ‘Small Fry’

In just a few weeks, Lisa Brennan-Jobs will launch "Small Fry," a memoir about her life that includes a focus on the tumultuous relationship she held with her father, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. As the book launch grows closer, Brennan-Jobs is in the midst of a publicity tour and today her latest interview has been shared by The New York Times, which also provides a few snippets from the book.

Naturally, much of Brennan-Jobs' overview of her childhood includes numerous passages regarding her father's "coldness." Still, the author doesn't want "Small Fry" to be regarded as a tell-all about Steve Jobs, but as more of a "nuanced portrait of a family," as well a book about her own story and not her father's.

Images of Lisa Brennan-Jobs and Small Fry via NYT

Brennan-Jobs says she began work on what would eventually become "Small Fry" in 2011, not long after Jobs passed in October of that year. She returned to Silicon Valley over the years, interviewing her family, her mother's ex-boyfriends, and Jobs' own ex-girlfriend. In an effort to ensure she'd finish the book on her own terms, she took a 90 percent cut in her book advance and switched from Penguin Press to a smaller publisher named Grove.

Brennan-Jobs focuses much of the memoir on her parents, and her mother Chrisann Brennan has already read the book:
Her mother, Ms. Brennan, is portrayed as a free spirit who nurtured her daughter’s creativity — but could be mercurial, hot-tempered and sometimes neglectful. “It was horrendous for me to read,” Ms. Brennan said in an interview. “It was very, very hard. But she got it right.”

Ms. Brennan said that her daughter has, if anything, underplayed the chaos of her childhood. “She didn’t go into how bad it really was, if you can believe that,” she said.
She also recounts numerous instances when her father would "frequently" use money to "confuse or frighten her," during the years when he claimed paternity:
Ms. Brennan-Jobs describes her father’s frequent use of money to confuse or frighten her. “Sometimes he decided not to pay for things at the very last minute,” she writes, “walking out of restaurants without paying the bill.” When her mother found a beautiful house and asked Mr. Jobs to buy it for her and Lisa, he agreed it was nice — but bought it for himself and moved in with his wife, Laurene Powell Jobs.
Brennan-Jobs also recounts "moments of joy" that she had with Jobs, stating that ultimately she has forgiven her father, and her goal is that she wants the reader to forgive him too:
But “Small Fry” also contains moments of joy that capture Mr. Jobs’s spontaneity and unparalleled mind. When Ms. Brennan-Jobs goes on a school trip to Japan, he arrives unannounced and pulls her out of the program for a day. Father and daughter sit, talking about God and how he sees consciousness. “I was afraid of him and, at the same time, I felt a quaking, electric love,” she writes.

Triumphantly, she loves him, and she wants the book’s scenes of their roller skating and laughing together to be as viral as the scenes of him telling her she will inherit nothing.

“Have I failed?” she asked, in one of our conversations. “Have I failed in fully representing the dearness and the pleasure? The dearness of my father, and the outrageous pleasure of being with him when he was in good form?”
According to Brennan-Jobs, her father did grant her a "movie ending" by apologizing to her toward the end of his life for not spending more time with her, disappearing during her adulthood, forgetting birthdays, and not returning phone calls. She recalls the moment, stating that Jobs claims he acted the way he did in her adulthood because he was offended that she "didn't invite" him to a matriculation event at Harvard during her first year. He ultimately stated "I owe you one."

"Small Fry" will be available to buy on September 4, and you can read more from The New York Times' interview with Lisa Brennan-Jobs right here.


Discuss this article in our forums