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Ex-Apple CEO John Sculley Dishes On Steve Jobs 417

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the still-rich dept.
digitaldc writes "Here's a full transcript of the interview with John Sculley on the subject of Steve Jobs. It's long but worth reading because there are some awesome insights into how Jobs does things. It's also one of the frankest CEO interviews you'll ever read. Sculley talks openly about Jobs and Apple, admits it was a mistake to hire him to run the company and that he knows little about computers. It's rare for anyone, never mind a big-time CEO, to make such frank assessment of their career in public."
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Ex-Apple CEO John Sculley Dishes On Steve Jobs

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  • Control (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @09:37AM (#33945404)

    His tradeoff was he believed that he had to control the entire system. He made every decision. The boxes were locked.

    It wasn't only back then, it's especially true today. I don't know why everyone on slashdot seems to give him a free pass but say DRM, locked-down hardware, restrictions, end user licenses and so on are bad. Apple and Steve Jobs is basically everything that we should be against. Even Windows is open, even if you don't get the source code. Linux is obviously the best choice.

    Steve Jobs still is extremely fanatic about having full control in everything. So much for all us geeks who like to play around with the hardware and learn things. If everything back in the day was as closed as Steve Jobs wants it to be now, do you think we geeks could have learned so much ourself? Just to code some simple hello world application you would have needed to buy a "coding" license from Apple. Not really feasible for a 10 year old kid who is just starting to learn programming.

    • Re:Control (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Pojut (1027544) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @09:42AM (#33945458) Homepage

      I don't know why everyone on slashdot seems to give him a free pass

      One word: Shiny.

      • Re:Control (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @10:07AM (#33945724) Homepage Journal

        When did nerds stop saying "wow, technically impressive" and start saying "ooh, shiny?" I always thought it was the artsy types that went for Apple, not nerds. When did nerds start caring what they looked like or what normal people thought about us or how pretty our computers were? I mean, a cool looking handmade computer case is one thing, but fashion?

        • Re:Control (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Pojut (1027544) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @10:16AM (#33945828) Homepage

          I wish I could tell you...finding people that are more impressed by what's inside a computer than outside is getting harder and harder.

        • by bberens (965711)
          Apple products aren't "technically" impressive. They don't have the most power, they don't have the largest feature set, etc. Apple excels at technology integration (itunes musc store for example) and UI design. That's why for Apple products "Ooh, shiny" is more appropriate. Business-wise I would agree Apple is pretty innovative, but from a geeky technology standpoint they're kind of meh.
        • I mean, a cool looking handmade computer case is one thing, but fashion?

          Stepping back for a moment, I'm failing to see the difference between the two.

          You're attaching value to the pedigree of the object instead of its function. Caring about how the computer case was made instead of the end result isn't really any different from gushing over the designer label on your handbag.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by mcgrew (92797) *

            Yes, it is, in my mind at least. the hand-made custom case isn't fashion, it's art. The designer label is just commercial snobbery.

        • Re:Control (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Jugalator (259273) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @10:33AM (#33946040) Journal

          When did nerds stop saying "wow, technically impressive" and start saying "ooh, shiny?"

          The same geeks never stopped or started.

          There's the Linux crowd who prefer openness and always did, believing that the best way to stay on the technological frontier and staying out of bueracracy is to stay open and close to the community.

          And then there's the Apple crowd who prefer coherence and functionality whatever the cost. It's not as important to those to always do the very latest hip stuff technology-wise, but the stuff should always work and it should be an ultra-smooth experience that may very well be the result of an iron fist. They also agree with the iron fist's philosophy in design, minimalism, and ease-of-use. There's no reality distortion field. That's an annoying myth. There's an agreement in philosophy though, a philosophy that is miles away both the Linux one and the Windows one.

          And then there's Windows. Windows is neither open, on the technological edge, coherent, or well-engineered. So there's no surprise here that it's bashed from both sides.

          I don't think many Linux users jump ship to Apple or vice versa though, as you seem to believe.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jgtg32a (1173373)
          It was shortly after Apple's Marketing Department redefined the word Nerd to include "artsy people" who know nothing about technology.
        • by swb (14022)

          When did nerds stop saying "wow, technically impressive" and start saying "ooh, shiny?" I always thought it was the artsy types that went for Apple, not nerds.

          About 1998, when the Internet picked up steam and the computing universe became filled primarily with people accomplishing non-computing (ie, not math, engineering, science or data processing) tasks.

          Now the computing universe if full of people who apparently "do things" with computers who have no idea how they work, just how to accomplish things with

        • It's because the competition sucks so much. The general public want PCs that look nice and just work. It's not just design, it's also.. design.

          - most hardware is fugly, or as overpriced as apple stuff
          - other OSes and Apps are screwier than Apple's. My WinMob 6.5 phone can't synch mail with my Win7 desktop, and never will... no wonder Apple sounds so polished...

          Computers are today's cars... nerds pretend they're looking for cool tech stuff. In truth, they're looking for social recognition and a comfort zone.

        • There used to be a time when one person could understand the entire machine. I had a C64. It came with a single instruction manual which described the hardware board, the chip interrupts, and how to program in BASIC (which came built in). Today things are not that simple anymore. This means people are increasingly turned off by computers. Even computer "experts" usually only know a narrow niche. There are few generalists with good all around knowledge.

          As computers get more mobile they are also turning mo

        • Re:Control (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Low Ranked Craig (1327799) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @11:32AM (#33947006)

          Let me see if I can explain. I do software development for a living. I used to build my own computers and that used to take a lot of time. Now, all nerds know that the "it just works" mantra of Apple is pretty much bullshit, all computers have issues at some point, but I have to say that I spend far less time screwing around with the OS using OSX on Apple hardware than I did with windows or Linux. It's not that it's trouble free, it's that it's a lot less trouble, in my personal experience. Plus under the hood it's basically UNIX and since I was using UNIX before windows even existed I can use all the shell scripting stuff I learned in the 80's. (yes, I can use it with Linux as well, refer to prior statement). And there is nothing wrong with ascetics either. I appreciate the machined aluminium case of my MBP. I've watched the videos of the CNC machines making the cases, plus the case is exceptionally rigid. If hunting down videos of how the case is machined isn't nerdy, I'd like to know what is.

          For me the Mac is the best tool for the job, and the 25% premium I paid over a comparable Windows machine has been more than repaid by the time I didn't spend uninstalling crap ware and dealing with typical window maintenance issues, and for me, using an environment that lets me work how I want to work. There are always going to be a large number of people what buy something because of how it looks. How many people actually take their 335is or M3 to a track for example? Personally I don't really care what anyone thinks of my choice of computer, car, watch, cell phone, whatever. I use what works best for me, and right now that is OS X on Apple hardware. If that changes in the future I will too.

        • Re:Control (Score:5, Interesting)

          by BlackPignouf (1017012) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @12:21PM (#33947956)

          Why does every single discussion about Apple on Slashdot has to be so polarized?
          Why don't you make any effort to understand why nerds could like Apple products?

          I'm a nerd, and I like my Mac Mini because:
          * it doesn't consume much power
          * Lightroom/Photoshop work flawlessly
          * Portal/Counter Strike work
          * I have access to a yakuake-like terminal, and I can administrate my Linux servers with ssh+zsh+vim without having to install any third party app on my client. Last time I tried, cygwin & putty terminals on Windows were close to unusable in comparison.
          * I know how to build a computer from scratch, install any Linux flavor on it with virtual machines in order to be able to do all the above. Been there, done that, but sometimes I want to get things done instead of experimenting with yet another setup.
          * If I want to feel good, I go write some bug reports for Ubuntu or answer newbie questions on forums.

          See? I suppose those points could be valuable for nerds, and I didn't mention any "ooooohh, shiny!" factor.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Hatta (162192)

          When Apple started selling certified UNIX, that's when.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Bemopolis (698691)
        A different word: Works.
    • Re:Control (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JackieBrown (987087) <dbroome@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @09:50AM (#33945538)

      I don't know why everyone on slashdot seems to give him a free pass

      I don't know what comment threshold you browse at to think that EVERYONE (or even close to that) gives Jobs a free pass.

    • Re:Control (Score:5, Insightful)

      by onionman (975962) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @09:51AM (#33945550)

      His tradeoff was he believed that he had to control the entire system. He made every decision. The boxes were locked.

      It wasn't only back then, it's especially true today. I don't know why everyone on slashdot seems to give him a free pass but say DRM, locked-down hardware, restrictions, end user licenses and so on are bad. Apple and Steve Jobs is basically everything that we should be against. Even Windows is open, even if you don't get the source code. Linux is obviously the best choice.

      Not really feasible for a 10 year old kid who is just starting to learn programming.

      I think the reason that Apple is so celebrated here is that OS X provides what many long-time Linux users/developers have wanted: a highly functioning unix-like system under the hood with a nice polished user interface.

      I do all of my "real work" on Linux systems, but my desktop and laptop are Macs because for most needs, it just works and I get a full bash shell and unix OS when needed. Yes, I pay a premium for that shiny hardware, but for me it's worth it not to have to deal with finding device drivers or re-compiling kernels, and it's nice to be able to view all forms of media, too.

      Don't get me wrong. I still believe that Apple's DRM is evil and I wish that ever format was open and non-proprietary. I used to fight that fight when I was younger. But, now that I'm old, working full time, and have a family, I just don't have any energy left to get into fights with my desktop OS just to get some Dora The Explorer video to play for my kids.

      • "now that I'm old, working full time, and have a family, I just don't have any energy left to get into fights with my desktop OS just to get some Dora The Explorer video to play for my kids."

        My sentiments exactly. Wish I had mod points!

      • Re:Control (Score:5, Informative)

        by the_humeister (922869) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @10:46AM (#33946194)

        I do all of my "real work" on Linux systems, but my desktop and laptop are Macs because for most needs, it just works and I get a full bash shell and unix OS when needed. Yes, I pay a premium for that shiny hardware, but for me it's worth it not to have to deal with finding device drivers or re-compiling kernels, and it's nice to be able to view all forms of media, too.

        Ever since Ubuntu came out, I've never had to recompile a kernel or find device drivers myself. I can still view any media I want, have a bash shell, and have a unix-like OS. I was amazed at how the Ubuntu installation found all drivers (even wireless!) for my wife's HP laptop with a Broadcom wireless chip (and that was 3 years ago on a fairly new laptop).

        • by dubbreak (623656)

          Ubuntu installation found all drivers (even wireless!) for my wife's HP laptop with a Broadcom wireless chip (and that was 3 years ago on a fairly new laptop).

          Really? Until 10.4 I have always wrestled with wireless drivers for my wife's laptop (uses a broadcom chip). I've been wrestling with broadcom drivers for a decade it seems (then they finally opened their specs).

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Over the past seven Ubuntu releases, I've needed to (a) dick about with partitions to allow the upgrade packages to fit in /var, (b) never had an upgrade of X that didn't trash my video and make me dick about with xorg.conf, or (c) dick about with fstab to get the system to recognize existing partitions. And don't get me started on the sound software which only started to work about two releases ago. And even then, the players still have no decent networking interface unless you mount your audio file serv

      • I haven't had to find device drivers or recompile kernels for about 5 years now. Perhaps you should just try a modern Linux distribution. If you want to view all forms of media just install VLC. I see people on Windows and MacOS X using it as well.

        I have replaced the applications I use on Windows with open source versions. If it wasn't for games I would have left the Windows platform a long time ago.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tmalone (534172)
        Just to add to this, I think we also have to acknowledge that fascism just works. Frankly, a lot of the technology that Apple adds to OS X is hardly earth shattering, but they can make it work and get it adopted by a large audience with surprisingly few problems because they have total control. I'm no expert, but I have been using Linux for over a decade (Slackware 96 was my first distro and I even used a version of Debian with a Linux 1.x kernel), and I have witnessed many attempts to get new and interesti
    • by Jon Abbott (723)

      Somebody earlier this year wrote an article about this very topic: http://diveintomark.org/archives/2010/01/29/tinkerers-sunset [diveintomark.org]

    • Re:Control (Score:4, Insightful)

      by synthesizerpatel (1210598) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @10:21AM (#33945886)

      If everything back in the day was as closed as Steve Jobs wants it to be now, do you think we geeks could have learned so much ourself? Just to code some simple hello world application you would have needed to buy a "coding" license from Apple. Not really feasible for a 10 year old kid who is just starting to learn programming.

      Hmm. Apple provides XCode and examples for free, installs perl, python, and a variety of other programming languages for free by default..

      I think you might be mistaken about what Steve Jobs is trying to control. The handset market? Sure.The desktop market? .. Not as much as you'd like to lead us to believe.

    • ...but those guys don't sit around all day and whine that they're not allowed to tinker with the engine on their United Airlines flight.

      Your example about software is absurd--you don't have to buy a "coding" license to write hello world on a Mac box. Absolutely absurd. I've compiled open source apps on my MacBook and I never gave Steve Jobs an extra dime for the privilege.

      Wanting a phone or a computer that "just works" for nontechnical family members or even myself doesn't make me less of a nerd than you.

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @09:37AM (#33945406)

    Steve Jobs is a minimalist, heavy-handed, hard-driving, design-obsessed prick?!? Not exactly news.

    And I'll say it once again. Considering the observation that Sculley makes that MS is all about hiring geeks and smart people and Apple is all about hiring designers and marketers ("Apple is a designers company, not an engineers company," as he says), it still amazes me that MS is so bashed on /. and Apple so celebrated. You would think the opposite would be true here. Are we still longing to sit at the cool kids' table or something, or have we just bought into that "lifestyle" shit too?

    • by spiffmastercow (1001386) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @09:42AM (#33945460)
      It's because of two things.. 1.) It's Unix. All geeks worth their 2 ft. long beards love Unix. and 2.) geeks appreciate good design, even if they believe that sort of work is beneath them.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by wmac (1107843)
        So basically if someone takes Unix/Linux , puts a beautiful layer on it and sells it even more expensive that the other company (e.g. MS) which has developed everything, it is fine with you.

        ven worse, if the company closes the hardware, forces everyone to buy every piece of hardware from them, it is ok, but if someone else tries to support every hardware provider, we call it a close system and we condemn it.

        Are these the new type of judgments from technical people nowadays?
        • by spiffmastercow (1001386) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @10:30AM (#33946014)
          You should note that not all techies care about the ideological stuff (or care all that much). All else being equal, I'll choose FOSS over proprietary, but it's not the only thing that factors into my evaluation of software. I love Unix for the command line. I like Apple's design, but not enough to pay $2500 for a desktop (my wife, on the other hand...). And for a development environment, I've become quite fond of the .NET environment. I use all 3 at home, and each fills its niche quite nicely.
        • I started using Linux in 1993. This summer I switched to Mac OS X in frustration over usability issues, despite my technical preferences. I'd gladly pay $$$$ for a Linux based system with the integration, polish, and commercial-product-availability of Mac OS.

          Unfortunately, such a system doesn't exist and is unlikely ever to exist, which is why I am now a Mac OS user.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @10:53AM (#33946290)

          I think a large amount of confusion here is the use of the word "Design." Design is mistakenly interpreted by some as the way something looks. Design is actually the way something WORKS (as well as looks). How I interact with a tool can be as important as how well it works.

          If you had 2 hammers, one with a rubberized grip on the handle, and another with metal spikes on the handle, I'd choose the rubberized one because it's more comfortable for me to use, even though both can drive a nail effectively. I'll respect everyone's intelligence enough to not continue the metaphor - but you get the idea. When Apple talks about design, they are not talking about making something that looks good and works terrible, they are talking about something that is thoughtful, inside and out.

          I would say that Dell actually does more 'flashy" designs designed to catch the eye, but on the inside, it's still the same old rotten crap.

        • Sorry, "the other company that developed everything"? Don't quite get what you mean there. MS developed "everything" branded as MS, they had nothing to do with *nix based systems. And yes, I could roll my own version of Linux and sell it for whatever I wanted.

          Closed hardware? Custom *nix systems are very often embedded in custom chips to do very specific things, it's about as closed as you get.

          Limited hardware, closed *nix system: Apple.
          Varied hardware, open *nix system: Linux
          Varied hardware,
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mcgrew (92797) *

        geeks appreciate good design

        How is a phone with an easily shorted antenna good design? How is making what should be a durable object (a phone) with a glass front and back "good design?"

        When form doesn't follow function it's not good design. If you'd have said "geeks appreciate a good interface" I'd agree with you.

      • I guess geeks don't like VMS then since Dave Cutler, the main guy associated with VMS development, went to MS and oversaw development of Windows NT.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by pandrijeczko (588093)

        It's Unix.

        And just how many Apple users know how to write a simple shell script? Or do regular expression matching/text replacement in sed & awk? Or even know how to use vi or emacs?

    • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @09:44AM (#33945476) Homepage Journal

      Obviously Apple isn't "all about hiring designers and marketers". All the designers in the world can't create a working product. That still takes engineers, programmers, etc.

      What Apple does is come up with a nice design and have the technical people make it real. Most other companies have the techs make a product then have designers spray perfume on it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        All the designers in the world can't create a working product. That still takes engineers, programmers, etc.

        Sorry, but I call BS on this.

        I'm not an engineer, but I've designed a lot of products, and have several patents. Don't assume engineers can't design and designers can't engineer. The best people tend to be multi-talented (programmer/musician, engineer/photographer).

        I have noticed that a LOT of people attribute their success to their degree, and wrongly assume someone with no degree cannot be successful. I think your "without engineers..." line of thinking smacks of this.

        But you are spot-on about most com

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by 0olong (876791)

      Considering the observation that Sculley makes that MS is all about hiring geeks and smart people and Apple is all about hiring designers and marketers ("Apple is a designers company, not an engineers company," as he says), it still amazes me that MS is so bashed on /. and Apple so celebrated.

      That's because Microsoft has been too busy proving the opposite of the infinite monkey theorem: "Thousands of smart geeks typing on thousands of typewriters for an infinite amount of time will almost surely create the shittiest piece of work known to man."

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by j00r0m4nc3r (959816)
      it still amazes me that MS is so bashed on /. and Apple so celebrated. You would think the opposite would be true here. Are we still longing to sit at the cool kids' table or something, or have we just bought into that "lifestyle" shit too?

      Ignoring your blatant trolling there, Apple may not be perfect, but they are certainly not as evil as M$. Apple wants you to use their hardware, they don't force you to use their software, which I'm ok with. Microsoft on the other hand tries as hard as they possibly can
      • by elrous0 (869638) *

        Apple wants you to use their hardware, they don't force you to use their software

        I have a two word response to that: App Store.

        • The App Store is overwhelmingly dominated by non-Apple software.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by elrous0 (869638) *

            But Apple has to approve it or you can't use it.

            And, BTW, since when has MS "forced" me to use Windows or any other MS application? Last time I checked, I'm free to install whatever OS I want on my computer. I'm free to install whatever apps I want in Windows too. When Netscape was suing MS in the 90's, even they acknowledged that MS never tried to block anyone from installing Netscape (or any other browser) in Windows--which they could have. I've never once had MS tell me I *had* to use any of their softwa

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by the_humeister (922869)

              As much as I don't like Apple, you're comparing the wrong things. You can also install whatever you want on the Apple computers you buy. You can even install Windows on the Mac now.

              With the new Windows Phone 7 phones, there's probably going to be an app store and no sideloading, just like the iPhone. And because of that I have an Android phone instead.

            • Not only do they have to approve it, but you have to pay to get your apps onto the store at all.
            • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @11:24AM (#33946832)

              But Apple has to approve it or you can't use it.

              Apple has to approve every OS X application? Since when has this been true? Oh wait you're talking about iOS which is a different area than their desktop. And BTW, MS has decided to used the walled garden approach with Windows Phone 7 so your point is moot.

              . When Netscape was suing MS in the 90's, even they acknowledged that MS never tried to block anyone from installing Netscape (or any other browser) in Windows--which they could have.

              Were you following the same antitrust trial I was following?

              • At first MS met with Netscape trying to convince them not to go into the Win95 market. MS also issued them an ultimatum that Netscape would be destroyed if Netscape didn't agree. Such behavior may be considered illegal collusion.
              • Then MS gave away IE for free. Netscape's browser at the time was free for personal use. Companies had to license it (but it was on the honor system). The licensing wasn't outrageous so many companies did license it. Giving it away free would dry up Netscape's revenue.
              • Then MS bundled IE into Windows. Particularly they built Windows so that it would not function without IE. Most other desktop OS's today do not require a browser. OS X has Safari but it can be removed. Linux, BSD, etc does not need Mozilla, Opera, or whatever.
              • Lastly MS cut off Netscape's distribution of ISPs and OEMs. Some examples:
                • Signing exclusive deals with ISPs
                • Earthlink described Microsoft's pressures and tactics as 'medieval.'
                • OEMs were required to keep the IE icon on the desktop
                • various financial incentives were offered to OEMs to get them to 'prefer' IE over Navigator
                • subtle and not-so-subtle verbal pressure was put on the OEMs not to have anything to do with Netscape
                • Microsoft had threatened to terminate Compaq's Windows license over Navigator.

              Then there's the Java. Among other things, Intel wanted to develop a JVM for Java on their processors. MS hinted that AMD would get "preferential" treatment in their next version of Windows if Intel did that.

              I've never once had MS tell me I *had* to use any of their software. There have always been competing OS's and applications, and no computer manufacturer has ever blocked them (nor has Windows ever blocked applications that competed with Internet Explorer, Office, etc.).

              You know when I tried to load Mozilla onto my Mac it plain refused to work. VLC doesn't work either. MSN Messenger is completely nonfunctional. OpenOffice does nothing--Oh wait--none of that is true--they all work.

            • by Bemopolis (698691) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @11:28AM (#33946910)

              But Apple has to approve it or you can't use it.

              Yeah, that's bullshit — I have a metric crapload of UNIX apps on my Mac.. Oh wait, you're talking about native apps in iOS? But you can't be, because then you go on to babble about desktop computers. Conflating the two would lead to a comment from me about the XBox, but that would be too easy.

              And, BTW, since when has MS "forced" me to use Windows or any other MS application?

              They don't — in fact, they can't, since they don't make the computers. However, 90 of the PCs you order have it already installed, which means that you've paid for Windows whether you use it or not, so why would they care at that point?

              I'm free to install whatever OS I want on my computer.

              Windows runs on a Mac box, and so do flavors of Linux. And, much to my personal advantage, BSD UNIX is pre-installed.

              I've never once had MS tell me I *had* to use any of their software.

              The phrase "embrace and extend" comes to mind. That is to say, it's a waste of time telling you that you "have" to use something when you can make your product the only one that works de facto.

              There have always been competing OS's and applications, and no computer manufacturer has ever blocked them.

              No, they've just used their monopoly for many years to block the major OEMs from selling Linux pre-installs, lest they lose their preferential pricing on Windows.

            • I guess you do not know the history of Microsoft against Digital Research. Microsoft purposely crippled Windows so it would not run on DR-DOS at one time. This sabotage strategy was detailed in leaked Microsoft memos which were trialed on the Microsoft antitrust case, which Microsoft lost. Microsoft also exerted an extraordinary amount of power to displace Netscape from the desktop, much like they displaced BeOS before. Microsoft likes to threaten vendors with MS Windows/Office license hikes in case they al
      • by puto (533470)
        Actually, I think it as around 2003 when 10.3 had support for reading NTFS partitions. 7 years, and on the mac is it still done through a driver/plugin. So seven years does not relate to over a decade.
      • Ignoring your blatant trolling there, Apple may not be perfect, but they are certainly not as evil as M$.

        Would you like to back that up? So far your defense is, "I like Apple, so they're less evil, and when they do bad things, it's because I deserve it or for my own good.", which makes you one black eye from Steve Jobs away from being the basis of a Lifetime movie of the week.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Jazz-Masta (240659)

      Steve Jobs is a minimalist, heavy-handed, hard-driving, design-obsessed prick?!? Not exactly news

      In your professional assessment, you forgot "turtleneck-wearing"...

      What I find interesting is that his followers are materialistic, light-handed, lazy, status-obsessed pricks.

      Not quite the opposite, but tangential in some ways.

      • by elrous0 (869638) *
        Uh oh, I think you just really pissed off an art major in a coffee shop somewhere.
      • by BasilBrush (643681) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @10:22AM (#33945904)

        What I find interesting is that his followers are materialistic, light-handed, lazy, status-obsessed pricks.

        Ah, the whine of someone who can't afford something.

        I couldn't give a damn about status or materialism. I don't buy designer labels or expensive watches, and don't even own a car any more. But when it comes to computing, I want the best tool for the job, and because I haven't been lazy, I can afford it. For about 7 years now, that's meant buying Apple.

        • What I find interesting is that his followers are materialistic, light-handed, lazy, status-obsessed pricks.

          Ah, the whine of someone who can't afford something.

          I couldn't give a damn about status or materialism. I don't buy designer labels or expensive watches, and don't even own a car any more. But when it comes to computing, I want the best tool for the job, and because I haven't been lazy, I can afford it. For about 7 years now, that's meant buying Apple.

          Actually, it was meant as a joke. Perhaps my subtle sarcasm about the "professional assessment" and "turtleneck" wasn't enough. I actually own an iPhone 4, iPod, and have a Mac mini at home. I also own a few Windows machines. Both machines have their strengths, but Apple is the #1 pusher of their products as a status symbol.

          The reason why I purchased an iPhone 4 after my Blackberry was the email support. As a sysadmin, I push Blackberry at work because of the exchange, vpn, and admin functions. The reason w

    • by molnarcs (675885) <molnarcs@NOspAm.gmail.com> on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @10:11AM (#33945784) Homepage Journal

      Steve Jobs is a minimalist, heavy-handed, hard-driving, design-obsessed prick?!? Not exactly news.

      And I'll say it once again. Considering the observation that Sculley makes that MS is all about hiring geeks and smart people and Apple is all about hiring designers and marketers ("Apple is a designers company, not an engineers company," as he says), it still amazes me that MS is so bashed on /. and Apple so celebrated. You would think the opposite would be true here. Are we still longing to sit at the cool kids' table or something, or have we just bought into that "lifestyle" shit too?

      Well, there is more to the interview than that, although I'd say yours is a fair summary. Still, I'd recommend everyone RTFA, it's an interesting, deeply personal account of the way Jobs works, and the reasons for Apple's phenomenal success. It is even more interesting how Jobs has changed in the past few years compared to Scully's account. One point that stands out in this interview is Jobs rejection of looking at anything the competition does, or others do in general. Yes, he had his own heroes like Akio Morita and SONY, but generally he was far less obsessed with what others do than today.

      His attack on Android in the latest quarterly earnings press conference was positively hysteric:

      "We think Android is very, very fragmented"

      "We think integrated will trump fragmented"

      "... we will triumph over Google's fragmented approach"

      "...where PCs have the same interface, Android is very fragmented

      The new bogeyman: fragmented FRAGMENTED FRAGMENTED!!!

      There's a nice spin in there. At any given time, all important apps will be present in all markets (or at least the top three markets). What really happens here is that markets are actually forced to compete with each other a) for developers b) for users (markets that would demand exclusivity would simply die, even if anyone was stupid enough to pull something like that). This is good news for everyone, and the antithesis of everything Apple stands for. No matter how much he SJ tries to spin it, fragmentation is not a problem. Here's another real jam, the app itself (TweetDeck) was discussed earlier here on Slashdot.

      "Twitter client, Twitter Deck [sic], recently launched their app for Android. They reported that they had to contend with more than 100 different versions of Android software on 244 different handsets. The multiple hardware and software iterations present developers a daunting challenge." Steve Jobs

      Here is what the developers had to say about Jobs' remark:

      Did we at any point say it was a nightmare developing for Android? Errr nope, no we didn't. It wasn't."

      Indeed I recall reading their blog post about this, and the tone was more along the lines of "look how cool it is that TweetDeck runs on the craziest, wackiest combinations of ROMS and hardware. Looking at the list, it's amazing indeed (10 NOKIA N900, and even a few iPhone 3GS ... wtf?).

    • by Pop69 (700500)
      Apple had Woz, that was more than enough to make up for all the smart geeks MS could hire
      • by elrous0 (869638) *
        Alas, the Wizard of Woz is long gone. I always thought the real tragedy of Apple was that, of the two Steves, it should be Jobs that has continued and Woz that left. I often wonder what Apple would have looked like in an alternate history where Jobs walked and Woz was put in charge.
        • I often wonder what Apple would have looked like in an alternate history where Jobs walked and Woz was put in charge.

          Apple products (if they existed at all) would be sold out of 1969 Volkswagen vans by couples with long hair and beards (male and female). The products would be powered by solar cells created out of fair trade hemp.

          They would boot up using a special floppy.

          There would be no iPod.

          Bill Gates would be Sauron and Steve Ballmer would be Saruman.

          You will be eaten by a Grue.

    • Some of us older geeks have trouble bashing Apple because we remember the Apple of Woz's day. It breaks my heart when, in a moment of nostalgia, I cry out "Apple ][ Forever!" and people think that means I like Macs. As far as I'm concerned, Apple stopped being Apple when Woz left, and I totally agree that Mac et al are about as closed architecture as you can get.
    • Girls like Macs and Ipods and iphones. The nice thing about girls with macs is they dont bother you asking for free tech support since they rarely
      need it and when they do they go to the apple store. They love their macbook with the same intensity as they love their cats. If a girl lets
      you touch her macbook you know you are in a serious relationship. If a girl shows you her macbook she is expecting a compliment like complimenting
      her shoes or her dress, it is not a random piece of technology for her it is a l

      • by Jugalator (259273)

        I agree; this may sound like a shallow idea of why Apple is so popular, but there is little disagreement that women care more for style and fashion than men. I think this has been a driving force for several thousand years during evolution, in order to maintain healthy homes and so on (evolution doesn't care for the current trends in gender equality politics). Heck, the biological differences go so far as to make women more sensitive to smells. So it's not just esthetics.

        So I also think that Apple gain a qu

    • by Sloppy (14984)

      it still amazes me that MS is so bashed on /. and Apple so celebrated

      Apple, unlike Microsoft, sometimes brings some pretty good pieces of ideas to market. Their products aren't anything I'd want, but they are fascinating and inspiring technological previews.

      Take the iPhone. People have long known that really neat phones will be on the market any-day-now (whenever the hell that'll be) but the iPhone really showed that some day, someone really could make a phone that doesn't suck. It's not a mere idea any

  • And on the other hand he would be almost merciless in terms of rejecting their work until he felt it had reached the level of perfection that was good enough to go into – in this case, the Macintosh.

    So what the hell happened with System 7 and then OS 8? So much for "perfection."

  • I didn't know really anything about computers nor did any other people in the world at that time.

    Just because Sculley didn't know about computers at the time, he assumes that nobody did?

  • by Jon Abbott (723) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @10:12AM (#33945792) Homepage

    Bloomberg recently posted a 48 minute video of Apple's history here [bloomberg.com]. A lot of Sculley's interview comments made it into this video as well.

  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @10:16AM (#33945830)
    FTA: "A big part of it was that we had to learn to make products the way the Japanese wanted products. We were assembling products in Singapore and sending them to Japan. And the first thing the customer saw when they opened the box was the manual, but the manual was turned the wrong way around – and the whole batch was rejected. In the United States, we’d never experienced anything like that. If you put the manual in this way or that way — what difference did it make? Well, it made a huge difference in Japan. Their standards are just different than ours. If you look at Apple and the attention to detail. The “open me first,” the way the box is designed, the fold lines, the quality of paper, the printing — Apple just goes to extraordinary lengths. It looks like you are buying something from Bulgari or one of the highest in jewelry firms. At the time, it was the Japanese."

    These standards create better products that are deemed superior. Once that catches on, then others trying to compete will HAVE to match those standards in order for them to sell. This is a good thing for everyone. For example, Japanese cars were (and some still argue are) far superior than US cars. In order to stay in business US car manufacturers HAD to improve their design and quality standards to even compete with the Japanese. Now, US cars are much better quality than they were in the 70s, 80s and 90s and this is a good thing for everyone.
    • by molnarcs (675885)

      These standards create better products that are deemed superior. Once that catches on, then others trying to compete will HAVE to match those standards in order for them to sell. This is a good thing for everyone. For example, Japanese cars were (and some still argue are) far superior than US cars. In order to stay in business US car manufacturers HAD to improve their design and quality standards to even compete with the Japanese. Now, US cars are much better quality than they were in the 70s, 80s and 90s and this is a good thing for everyone.

      While we are at cars, lets take the analogy a bit further. What if American manufacturers, instead of competing and trying to improve their products, started litigating against Japanese companies, asking the courts to ban imports of cars with infringing technologies. What if the courts granted their requests. Fast forward to today's patent wars. APPLE wants HTC gone from the US market. Nevermind that HTC was first one of the first companies to develop wireless touch devices, and that they designed the Palm

  • Say what you want, but the fact remains that Apple's stock is at an all-time high, and that it tripled in value since January 2009, vastly outperforming the stock indices. Someone must be doing something right. Jobs may know little about computers, but so do a majority of Apple's customers (yes I know a lot of geeks own macs but they're still a minority in Apple's clientele). What Jobs does know is what his customers want. It's probably extremely challenging for a more technically inclined person to work fo
    • Say what you want, but the fact remains that Apple's stock is at an all-time high, and that it tripled in value since January 2009, vastly outperforming the stock indices.

      Ahem. [bbc.co.uk]

  • by rAiNsT0rm (877553) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @10:30AM (#33946020) Homepage

    I dislike Steve Jobs a ton, I dislike the overly proprietary nature of Apple devices, I dislike most of my alternative options more. I've been into Linux since 1995, I've been in IT even longer, I appreciate open standards and things that work properly and freely. My next laptop and computer? Macbook Pro and an iMac. This coming from someone who has built computers since the 386 days.

    I can still run Windows or Linux on them, they are solidly built with all of the features I need, real battery life on the MBP, iLife which is perfect for my photos and music hobby work, my graphics apps run better, no antivirus/malware/B.S. All this comes at about a few hundred dollar premium, but the time not spent delousing an infection here and there over a few years alone makes up for it.

    The problem is that I used to love to hack and play and even if things were kludgy or inelegant, they worked. As I've gotten older I really don't need 4,000 choices, I just want one that works like it should the first time and every time. Does that mean I'd ever think of renting movies/TV from Apple or play into any number of their lifestyle and hip and trendy stuff? No. It's simply the right tool for the job for me and denying it for image or trend reasons is silly. If a purple hammer sunk a nail each and every time on the first blow, I'd happily use the purple hammer.

  • Incorrect details (Score:5, Informative)

    by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @10:36AM (#33946078) Journal

    He's also wrong on many details. The one that's most jarring to me is:

    "... Herman Hauser, who had started Acorn computer over in the U.K. out of Cambridge university. And Herman designed the ARM processor, and Apple and Olivetti funded it."

    Herman Hauser was a VC. He was one of the people who set up Acorn, but he didn't design the ARM CPU. The ARM CPU was principally designed by Sophie Wilson (instruction set) and Steve Furber (hardware architecture). Herman Hauser bankrolled it, he didn't design it.

    • by Spectre (1685) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @11:38AM (#33947146)

      He's also wrong on many details. The one that's most jarring to me is:

      "... Herman Hauser, who had started Acorn computer over in the U.K. out of Cambridge university. And Herman designed the ARM processor, and Apple and Olivetti funded it."

      Herman Hauser was a VC. He was one of the people who set up Acorn, but he didn't design the ARM CPU. The ARM CPU was principally designed by Sophie Wilson (instruction set) and Steve Furber (hardware architecture). Herman Hauser bankrolled it, he didn't design it.

      Here is where the geeks (engineers, programmers, etc) don't see the viewpoint of the suits (marketers, C-suite people).

      He PAID for it, so it is HIS, all the work is HIS. HE did it, 'cause he financed it.

      That is just how suit-thinking works, and it is why geeks and suits are never going to see eye-to-eye on IP.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Well, how about this one: "Normally you will only see a handful of software engineers who are building an operating system. People think that it must be hundreds and hundreds working on an operating system. It really isn’t. It’s really just a small team of people." May be true at Apple. MS, on the other hand, has dozens, perhaps hundreds of teams and committees working on Windows. Of course, he does say you only need a few people to build a great product, so perhaps Windows isn't the best cho
  • It's rare for anyone, never mind a big-time CEO, to make such frank assessment of their career in public."

    That's not true, but it does reflect the media's obsession and perception of CEOs are rock stars, even using the reference to conjure the image of larger than life these people who head companies.

    Frankly the truth is that business media, which is rarely actually news oriented (as in novel events and objective reporting; versus press release regurgitation), doesn't actually investigate the non-celebrity business leaders. In the present day United States they are mostly limited to privately held corporations,

  • RTFA (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Frankie70 (803801) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @01:22PM (#33948952)

    Atleast slashdot editors should RTFA

    This is for all the folks who aren't going to RTFA

    - When Sculley says it was a mistake to hire "him" - he means it was a mistake to hire Sculley
    - Sculley doesn't diss on Steve Jobs in the interview.
    - The whole interview is a love poem about Jobs by Sculley.

  • Power PC Processor (Score:4, Insightful)

    by scharkalvin (72228) on Tuesday October 19, 2010 @01:35PM (#33949130) Homepage

    I think it is a bit unfair to call the choice of the Power PC processor a mistake. At the time the 68K family was running out of gas and Motorola and IBM were pouring lots of money into the development of the RISC processor. RISC is a confusing acronom. What's important about RISC ISN'T the limited instruction set, but the fact that the small instruction set allows hardwiring of the processor rather than having to use a rom driven micro sequencer and lots of micro code. As Moore's law progressed and more transistors could be stuffed onto a chip you could build a CISC processor the same way. As a result the advantage the PPC had was slowly eclipsed and Intel's x86 designs pulled ahead. But there was a window of time where the PPC was a more powerfull choice. And Apple was in that window.

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