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Steve Jobs Movie Clip Historically Inaccurate, Says Woz 330

Posted by Soulskill
from the movies-aren't-burdened-with-trivialities-like-accuracy dept.
Yesterday saw the release of a clip from the upcoming movie jOBS, a biopic about the life of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. The clip shows Jobs, played by Ashton Kutcher, having a conversation with Steve Wozniak, played by Josh Gad, about how influential an operating system for a personal computer would be. The real Steve Wozniak commented on the clip, saying the situation it portrayed was "totally wrong." He said, "Personalities and where the ideas of computers affecting society did not come from Jobs. They inspired me and were widely spoken at the Homebrew Computer Club. Steve came back from Oregon and came to a club meeting and didn't start talking about this great social impact. His idea was to make a $20 PC board and sell it for $40 to help people at the club build the computer I'd given away. Steve came from selling surplus parts at HalTed he always saw a way to make a quick buck off my designs (this was the 5th time). The lofty talk came much further down the line." Wozniak was quick to add that he isn't making any judgment on the quality of the movie based on a single, 1-minute clip, and that the rest of the movie may or may not be more accurate. He also says he hopes it's entertaining.
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Steve Jobs Movie Clip Historically Inaccurate, Says Woz

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  • by jlund (73067) on Friday January 25, 2013 @06:37PM (#42696841)

    My understanding is that Pirates of the Silicon Valley is fairly accurate. Does not paint Jobs in the best light.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0168122/

  • by icebike (68054) on Friday January 25, 2013 @06:42PM (#42696883)

    Ok, the Apple Mod Army will be here any minute now. Grab your ankles.

    Aggrandizement of Jobs was probably the only option open to the screenwriters.
    If the movie were written to show the real Jobs, they would have been sued into oblivion.

  • by Sheetrock (152993) on Friday January 25, 2013 @07:00PM (#42697079) Homepage Journal

    ...if you're a fan of late 70s/early 80s computer culture.

    Somebody gave me Steven Levy's Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution as a teen (thankfully missing the minefield of shitty books with the term "hacker" in their title) and it was amazing. Early days computer hobbyists, Paul Allen and Bill Gates writing BASIC for the Altair on a timeshare and dealing with the hobbyists who wanted to copy it instead of buy it, Ken and Roberta Williams and Sierra On-Line, and so much more.

    Also loved the more recent Commodore: A Company on the Edge by Brian Bagnall. Just captivates the imagination to read about people hand-drawing their CPUs. There's an enthusiasm in the early computer industry that seems to have dampened over the years, as startups and corporations begin with the money in mind rather than the starry-eyed idealism and hobbyist tendencies that powered the first personal computer businesses.

    Neither of these feature Ashton Kutcher, however, or even Steve Jobs to any great extent. But if your passion for computers is in their function rather than their form I highly recommend the above books.

  • by DarkOx (621550) on Friday January 25, 2013 @07:12PM (#42697179) Journal

    I don't know if you are being sarcastic or not but the two are hardly the same.

    Steve's idea was to sell something for $40 that the customer could build themselves for $20, a 100% markup. The idea the folks behind Raspberry Pi have is to order parts in a quantity of scale that allows them to build and sell you something you could not hope to put together yourself for that price.

    That is not the same thing at all.

  • by SolitaryMan (538416) on Friday January 25, 2013 @07:32PM (#42697371) Homepage Journal

    Well, sorta...

    It is still a movie and it dramatizes a lot of very simple Gates' and Jobs' actions. If you want a real history, I suggest going with documentary Triumph of the Nerds [wikipedia.org]

  • by emoreau (1247650) on Friday January 25, 2013 @07:33PM (#42697377)
    Sorry, no Yoda in episode IV. Yoda appeard in Episode V.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 25, 2013 @08:16PM (#42697719)

    [woz] invented, designed and built the personal computer

    Now that is just an outright pernicious rewrite of history. Scelbi, Altair, IMSAI, SWTPC, etc. Those companies put the foundations down. Not Apple. Not Woz. Not Jobs. I had a PC on my desk before the Apple-I prototype ever saw the light bulb in that garage.

    check it:

    1973

    Scelbi-8H

    Wang 2200

    1974

    Mark-8

    1975:

    MITS Altair 8800

    SwTPC 6800

    Sphere

    IMSAI 8080

    IBM 5100

    1976

    MOS KIM-1

    Sol-20

    Hewlett-Packard 9825

    PolyMorphic

    Cromemco Z-1

    ... all before Apple I.

    --fyngyrz (anon due to mod points)

  • by JoeWalsh (32530) on Friday January 25, 2013 @08:37PM (#42697835)

    Atari: Business is Fun is another worthy read. Well researched and thorough.

  • by dbIII (701233) on Friday January 25, 2013 @08:46PM (#42697883)
    No, his labs "did invent quite a few things on his own". He employed genius but was not a genius himself. The American hero worship and myth of the lone individual did the rest.
  • by pauljlucas (529435) on Friday January 25, 2013 @08:47PM (#42697891) Homepage Journal

    If you want a real history, I suggest going with documentary Triumph of the Nerds.

    It's better, but it completely omits the major role that Commodore played at the time [amazon.com]. To my knowledge, Commodore has never had any significant mention in any documentary or movie.

  • Re:Oops (Score:3, Informative)

    by Gothmolly (148874) on Friday January 25, 2013 @09:02PM (#42697949)

    Its not quibbling, its "totally wrong".

  • Annoying (Score:2, Informative)

    by BrunBoot13 (787805) * on Friday January 25, 2013 @10:37PM (#42698417) Homepage
    I hate how a lot of this history has been rewritten to make Jobs the genius and Woz just Jobs' partner. Woz built the early Apples, designing some components (like the floppy drive controller) from scratch, and Jobs just did the stuff that no self-respecting hardware guy would want to do, namely marketing and style.
  • by dryeo (100693) on Friday January 25, 2013 @10:39PM (#42698427)

    Aren't you being backwards? It was Woz who created the hardware without which Jobs would not have amounted to much more then another salesman and the reason that you're unaware of Wozniak's impressive work at Apple is that Jobs did his best to kill it.
    Killing superior hardware to stroke an ego is not a good trait.

  • by skidisk (994551) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @02:12AM (#42699035)

    ...read Andy Hertzfeld's site http://www.folklore.org/ [folklore.org] which contains stories from the people who actually designed and built the Mac. Some of these stories went into the book "Revolution in the Valley" which you can still buy on Amazon.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday January 26, 2013 @05:09AM (#42699485)

    Everything the Mac is, came from Apple engineers. Not Jobs.

    At least one mac engineer has a strongly different view [inventor-labs.com] than you.

    Not only did he know and love product engineering, it's all he really wanted to do. He told me once that part of the reason he wanted to be CEO was so that nobody could tell him that he wasn't allowed to participate in the nitty-gritty of product design. He was right there in the middle of it. All of it. As a team member, not as CEO. He quietly left his CEO hat by the door, and collaborated with us.

    I dislike the guy as much as anyone -- I believe that he is directly responsible for apple becoming exactly what their 1984 Mac commercial parodied and I think he was a giant prick for abandoning his daughter for the first two years of her life, making her mother live on welfare while apple was booming -- but I believe it is entirely possible for a person to have more than one side to their personality.

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