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Steve Jobs Says PC Folks' World Is Slipping Away 1067

theodp writes "Provoked by an iPad ad promising a 'revolution,' Valleywag's Ryan Tate fired off a late-night missive to Steve Jobs. Jobs responded, and the two engaged in an after-midnight e-mail debate over lockdown, Cocoa vs. Flash, battery life, and whether 'freedom from porn' is a bug or a feature. 'The times they are a changin',' quipped Jobs, 'and some traditional PC folks feel like their world is slipping away. It is.' Tate was unswayed by the Apple CEO's reality distortion field, but did come away impressed by Jobs' willingness to spar one-on-one over his beliefs — at two in the morning on a weekend."
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Steve Jobs Says PC Folks' World Is Slipping Away

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  • Re:From: "PC Folk" (Score:2, Informative)

    by maxume ( 22995 ) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @09:52PM (#32223762)

    I'm somewhat skeptical that they can continue to execute, but doing the math, a couple of million iPads is only about 5% of their revenues (likely less, it takes aggressive price estimates to get that high), so who knows.

    It also depends on how fast their hardware markets cycles, I'm not sure that the majority of people buying iPads today are going to be ready to buy a new one in 2 or 3 years (but maybe people really are that spendy; I'm typing this on a 4 year old laptop that replaced a 1997 desktop...).

  • by nickdwaters ( 1452675 ) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @10:04PM (#32223846)
    The only thing I see slipping is Steve's grip on reality. The Apple world is infitesimal compared to PC.
  • Re:Benefits (Score:3, Informative)

    by Antisyzygy ( 1495469 ) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @10:15PM (#32223938)
    You can build a PC that will wipe the floor with any Mac for 900 bucks.
  • by marmoset ( 3738 ) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @11:28PM (#32224368) Homepage Journal

    Just because someone checks Facebook using their iPhone doesn't mean that things have really changed, mobile devices are still crappy for doing just about anything on the internet. Yeah, I might read a blog or two, check the news, etc. but its painful to do so, even on the best devices.

    Not trying to be snarky here, but have you actually spent any real time browsing on an iPad? A couple of months ago I might have agreed with you about the quality of the web browsing experience on mobile devices, but now I've owned an iPad for a month and use it full time at night and on weekends. The big reveal is with a fast browser on a large enough screen, mobile browsing really isn't painful. Browsing on the iPad really is a desktop quality experience for anyone who can't be arsed with Flash (I use a blocker on the desktop)

  • Re:Benefits (Score:3, Informative)

    by Totenglocke ( 1291680 ) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @11:40PM (#32224444)

    Sounds to me like you want a laptop, not an iPad. Due to this, I'd suggest getting a laptop, not an iPad, since the iPad doesn't seem to fit your use case.

    And that's where my issue with Apple lies in regards to the iPad. IMO, Apple is blatantly misrepresenting the iPad as a computer, when in fact, it's not. They want to make it out to be a device that will do all of your computing needs when, even if you just browse the web, the lack of flash alone prevents it from doing that due to the prominence of flash on the internet (I'm not saying anything for or against flash, simply stating a fact that there are a LOT of sites that use flash, including youtube). I'm well aware that us nerds will research the iPad and make a decision to buy one - however, by their own admission for a long time, Apple's target audience is those who aren't too bright and sure as hell won't research a product before buying it. THAT is what irks me, is that they'll market the iPad to Technology-incompetent Tobi as being the device to do everything she could ever want and then she'll buy one, then find out after the fact that it DOESN'T do that (hell, without a COMPUTER to go with it, you can't even put movies / music on it that you don't download through iTunes because it has no usb / card reader).

    I may not like the iPad, but I'm not going around telling people not to buy one or that they're stupid for buying one. But I sure wish Apple would be more honest in their marketing, though that goes for a lot of companies....

  • by mosb1000 ( 710161 ) <> on Sunday May 16, 2010 @01:05AM (#32224948)

    Just because no one else has said it:

    You don't actually need to buy it. So this is a new choice, something you can choose to buy. Obviously, Steve has not required you to use it. So if you want to choose those things buy an iPad, otherwise, don't.

  • Re:Sounds to me... (Score:2, Informative)

    by node 3 ( 115640 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @01:06AM (#32224952)

    In other words, you want to read Apple stories with nothing but negative comments towards Apple. I like Apple's products, and the direction they are taking the state of the art in computing. If you think the fact that my words have annoyed you is going to change what I do with my spare time, you're in for a disappointment.

  • Re:Sounds to me... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Teufelsmuhle ( 849105 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @01:38AM (#32225110)
    Jobs didn't design those products, he merely oversaw those who did. Jonathan Ives (amongst others) deserves much of the design credit. And Ives got most of his design ideas from Dieter Rams, who's designs date back to the 50's. Apple's done very little truly unique over the years -- their primary accomplishments are in marketing.
  • silly (Score:4, Informative)

    by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @03:19AM (#32225552) Homepage Journal

    I am no apple user (no iToys of any kind) but this is just silly.

    Talking about Freedoms with a corporation about a product they roll out as if those are real Freedoms.

    Carlin was right: It is all an illusion, an elaborate illusion of Freedom. You have no Freedoms. You have a Freedom to chose between Government parties, both of which will fuck you, the difference is that one will be Fucking you and enjoying it, the other will be Fucking you and probably bitching about how they really Love you.

    Freedom of choice is not about gadgets, it's not about the latest iFad bullshit. It is really about your economic and political Freedoms and in a world with real Freedoms you'll find a stupid PAD that you personally like from some company who will inevitably produce one.

    'Consumption Based Economy' - what a load of croak. Any retarded pissing himself idiot can consume. Production is the only way to generate wealth and the money is not wealth but only a medium of exchange. Wealth is in production. Consumption always comes as a response to production.

    What an amazing world we live in. People used to die for Freedom - as in dying for Freedom not to be fucked over by someone's idea of how to run their lives and today we are talking about a stupid fake computer with limited capabilities as if a company locking out applications on it is the most serious violation of Freedoms. I guess we have figured out all of the other Non-Freedoms, like the Governments printing money and taking away the value of it from everyone, like the Corporations buying the Governments and destroying competition and becoming gigantic Monopolies that run everything. Where is your iFreedom, is it in the Apple store? Don't they have an app for that?

  • Re:Sounds to me... (Score:5, Informative)

    by MCSEBear ( 907831 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @04:51AM (#32225934)
    It's pretty obvious that you've never actually seen video of a Xerox Alto in action, or you wouldn't claim the Mac interface was a copy of the Alto. The two are very different.

    It's also very obvious that you aren't aware that Douglas Engelbart [] at the Stanford Research Institute [], not Xerox, invented the mouse and the windowed user interface as part of a system known as NLS [] . (NLS was also the first system with: bit-mapped displays, remote procedure calls, collaboration software, hypertext, remote graphical access, the chording keyboard, presentation software, and others)

    The unveiling of NLS to computer scientists in 1968 is referred to as the Mother of All Demos [].

    See for yourself [].
  • Re:haha (Score:5, Informative)

    by macs4all ( 973270 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @05:17AM (#32226046)

    Enough metaphors. If you don't know how to use a computer, Apple is for you. If you know how, you don't need the crap that they're trying to sell you

    As an embedded developer for the past 30 years, and an Apple user since 1976, I can assure you that your statement is utter rubbish.

    I use Macs because I don't WANT to fuck around inside my computer. I got all that out of my system about 20 years ago with my Apple ][s, which lived perpetually with their lids off, so that I could tinker.

    Now, I'd prefer my computers to be as APPLIANCE-LIKE as possible. Not because I "don't know how"; but rather, because I have better things to do. Apple (mostly) achieves that goal. I guess I can understand why others don't feel like I do, which is more than I can say for most of the people commenting here.

    But don't ever mistake "don't want to" with "don't know how".

  • Re:Benefits (Score:2, Informative)

    by perryizgr8 ( 1370173 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @05:29AM (#32226104)
    you're wrong. go to and configure a mac book with 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB 320GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    now go to and configure a studio 14 with 2.26GHz Intel Core i5, 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM, 320GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
    please note that the processor in dell is much much better than that in apple. and that the hdd is 7200 instead of 5400. everything else is more or less same. but the dell has 14" screen compared to 13" in apple.
    mac book= $1149
    studio 14=$774
    i hope this silences all those spouting the 'Mac machines aren't that much more expensive than their PC counterparts spec-wise' nonsense. but i know it won't.
  • Re:Sounds to me... (Score:3, Informative)

    by ChienAndalu ( 1293930 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @06:54AM (#32226408)

    He didn't even say porn is a bad thing. He said porn in his app store is a bad thing.

  • by AnonymousClown ( 1788472 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @07:20AM (#32226512)

    This is easily one of the stupidest fucking discussions I have ever seen on this site. Every dumb ass analogy there is has been used. Every unnecessary soap box has been stood on.

    See, its like this. Imagine if you see folks driving a car to go and pick up a pizza with a Nazi....

  • Re:Sounds to me... (Score:2, Informative)

    by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Sunday May 16, 2010 @08:57AM (#32226886) Homepage Journal

    Apple's UI accomplishments over the years are obvious, but I guess I'll have to list a few since you are so used to a post-Apple world that you don't realise what they've done.

    good luck.

    They were (one of) the pioneers of graphical interfaces in the 80s, and it took until Windows 95 for Windows to come anywhere near Mac OS (but it was still awful).

    Apple still forces you to resize windows from the lower-right corner. When I tried to install the hack to get around this, it didn't work, and lots of people have complained about the hack tool making your system unstable anyway. Forcing the user to do things Steve's way is not a benefit to the user. In terms of learning curve, their interfaces are slightly ahead. In terms of productivity, their interfaces are years behind. They took NeXTStep's dock and ruined its defaults for prettiness instead of muscle memory, for example. And you have to move the mouse farther (and on a large display, actually refocus your eyes) to use the single menu bar. And until OSX, Apple didn't even have minimize/maximize, instead using the same multifinder approach they've been using (annoyingly) for years.

    Apple have really driven UI design in several ways over the years. It's not being argumentative to say that, it's argumentative to try and deny it.

    I'm still waiting for you to "list a few". So far you've listed zero. How did you get 5, Insightful? Oh yeah, Apple fanboys with modpoints. All you did in your comment was praise Apple with no examples.

  • Re:Sounds to me... (Score:5, Informative)

    by MCSEBear ( 907831 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @10:21AM (#32227268)
    Xerox PARC [] was certainly responsible for many innovations, nobody can deny that. However, claims that Xerox single handedly invented the WIMP interface [] (Windows, Icons, Pointer, Menus) and that Apple copied that interface exactly as created by Xerox are simply incorrect.

    Englebart's NLS created the first implementation of Windows, and of using a Pointer to access Menus. The only addition made by Xerox PARC was the addition of Icons. NLS had bitmapped WYSIWYG graphics, but did not come up with the idea of using Icons to represent commands, using text based menus instead.

    Here is a bit of Alto History [] for you:

    The Alto was first conceptualized in 1972 in a memo written by Butler Lampson, inspired by the On-Line System (NLS) developed by Douglas Engelbart at SRI, and was designed primarily by Chuck Thacker.

    Going back farther, NLS was inspired by work done by Ivan Sutherland [] who created a program called Sketchpad [] as his Ph.D thesis.


    is considered to be the ancestor of modern computer-aided drafting (CAD) programs as well as a major breakthrough in the development of computer graphics in general. For example, the Graphic User Interface was derived from the Sketchpad as well as modern object oriented programming. Ivan Sutherland demonstrated with it that computer graphics could be used for both artistic and technical purposes in addition to showing a novel method of human-computer interaction.

    Some video [] of Sketchpad in action is available online. (Jump to the four minute mark.)

    Going back still farther, Everyone I've mentioned points back to an article by Vannevar Bush [] published in 1945 describing an imaginary personal computer called the Memex [] as a huge inspiration.

    The Memex (a portmanteau of "memory" and "index", like Rolodex an earlier index portmanteau common at the time) is the name given by Vannevar Bush to the theoretical proto-hypertext computer system he proposed in his 1945 The Atlantic Monthly article As We May Think. The memex is a device in which an individual compresses and stores all of their books, records, and communications which is then mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. A document can be given a simple numerical code that allows the user to access it after dialing the number combination. Documents are also able to be edited in real-time. This process makes annotation fast and simple. The memex is an enlarged intimate supplement to one's memory.

    To sum things up...

    Ivan Sutherland's Sketchpad was inspired by Vannevar Bush's idea of the Memex.

    Douglas Engelbart at SRI was inspired by Sutherland's Sketchpad when he created NLS.

    Xerox was inspired by NLS when they created Alto.

    Apple was inspired by Alto when they created Lisa and Macintosh.

    None of these was a direct copy of the other. Learn some history, and STAY OFF MY LAWN!

    (BTW - Neither Alto nor Macintosh were written in an object oriented programming language.)

  • Re:haha (Score:3, Informative)

    by daviddennis ( 10926 ) <> on Sunday May 16, 2010 @10:41AM (#32227394) Homepage

    It was a genuine virus that propagated via Bluetooth and MMS. The phone was a Nokia 6600, a device so confusing it took me forever to figure out how to run the web browser. I remember it was an odd sliver of an unmarked button that did it.

    The virus spewed advertisements for some sexual web site and was a big embarrassment to my friend, who was a middle-aged female. It was all pretty funny until she got the bill.


  • Re:Benefits (Score:1, Informative)

    by Totenglocke ( 1291680 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @11:03AM (#32227530)

    Also, stop taking marketing so seriously. It makes you sound like a fool. Everyone knows that marketing is exaggeration at best.

    If you'd bothered to read my post, you'd have noticed that I said how nerds like us will research a product and decide if it fits our needs, but the average technologically incompetent person won't do that and will be mislead by the BS advertising and lies told by salespepole.

    And no, I'm not imagining Apple marketing it as a computer - they never use the word "computer" but they talk about how it'll do "everything you need", which again if you bothered to read my post, it can't, especially since it needs to be synced with a computer to get files to / from it due to the design of the iPad.

    Buy one if you want one, don't buy one if you don't - but don't try to tell everyone that the ads from Apple proclaiming the iPad to be the greatest thing since the birth of Christ don't exist, when we can see them on tv and the internet daily.

  • by javajeff ( 73413 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @12:29PM (#32228010)

    Just because they are gaining market-share, they can lose it just as fast. When a new restaurant opens up, everyone goes to try it out. What can happen is that people realize that Apple is no different than every other technology company. Their stuff breaks, other products are incompatible, and getting stuff fixed can be expensive. People will realize after a while, that they cannot do everything they want to do and go back to what they had before. Trends are just trends.

  • Re:Sounds to me... (Score:3, Informative)

    by mfnickster ( 182520 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @12:55PM (#32228158)

    When I click an icon on the dock, I don't know if I'm clicking on a task or a launcher.
    ...Well I guess there's a little dot beside the icon when its a task

    You said it yourself... the dot tells you whether it's running or not. Is that difficult to understand?

    but that just indicates the app is loaded, not that I've had it open...

    Not sure what you mean here by "had it open" - maybe you mean it stays there after you quit the program? Try right-clicking (or Ctrl-left-clicking) the program when it's running and select "Keep in Dock"

    many of those dots are there because MacOS decided to start that app at boot.

    No, the OS only launches Finder at boot unless you add programs to your startup preferences. Right-click the program in the Dock and choose "Open at Login."

    If you have more than one window open in a single app, There's no easy way to switch between them.

    Command-~ (tilde) or use the "Window" menu. Most apps support this. Some used tabbed windows or a "set of pages" format like Preview. Try the arrow keys or page-up and page-down.

    When you use expose the windows are always in a different spot so you have to re-orient yourself everytime you use it. With a real taskbar, the button for your window is always in the same location.

    Try it the old-fashioned way, use Command-tab to switch to the program you want. Then use Command-~ to switch to the window you want or click the Window menu, which also has a "Bring all to front" command.

    If I want to open a new window for an app, I have to check for a tiny dot. If there isn't one then just click the icon on the dock. If there is a dot, then I have to right-click and select new window.

    Command-tab to the app, then Command-N to get a new window. Easy and quick.

    I guess you're not supposed to have more than one window open for a single app in MacOS.

    Almost every Mac app supports multiple windows open at once, which is why the Dock isn't littered with window items like in Windows. Recently iLife apps like iMovie and Garage Band have moved away from this standard, allowing only one project open at a time (and quits if you have none open) which really really bugs me as a long-time Mac user. Also bugs me that Windows apps quit when you close the last window. They pretty much have to because the app menus are tied to the windows, unlike on the Mac.

    ...except if you want to move a file to a different folder you have to have two finder windows open because MacOSX doesn't allow you to cut and paste files.

    True, you can't cut and paste, but drag and drop is not hard. If you make a shortcut to the destination folder in the Sidebar or Dock, it's even easier.

    You need to right-click more often in MacOSX than any other OS

    No, you don't, if you know what you're doing.

    The dock makes it difficult to manage an application that has more than one window open, so it discourages you from having multiple windows open for a single app

    The Dock is not for managing windows. That's why they introduced Expose and Spaces, but as I said you can still do it the old-fashioned way with Command-tab and Command-tilde.

    My experieince with MacOSX in general is that if you do things the way Steve Jobs thinks you should be doing things, everything works fine. But if you stray from that path, everything becomes unnecessarily difficult. The Apple slogan shouldn't be "think different" it should be "think like steve jobs".

    Be fair here - EVERY operating system makes you do things the way the designers think. It's different from Windows and Linux, but I find Mac OS much more ple

  • Re:Sounds to me... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Bigjeff5 ( 1143585 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @02:26PM (#32228866)

    However, claims that Xerox single handedly invented the WIMP interface [] (Windows, Icons, Pointer, Menus) and that Apple copied that interface exactly as created by Xerox are simply incorrect.

    I think you're the only one who has said that so far, everyone else just stuck to the GUI (which is the first implementation of WIMP as an interface). Xerox invented the GUI, but not the mouse. They were the ones who came up with point-and-click as well as a menu and icon driven user interface. NLS had windows, but all commands were text based, like a classic CLI. The mouse existed to click on hyperlinks, which were another NLS first, along with windows.

    The only addition made by Xerox PARC was the addition of Icons. NLS had bitmapped WYSIWYG graphics, but did not come up with the idea of using Icons to represent commands, using text based menus instead.

    That's not quite correct - NLS was not WYSIWYG, What You See Is What You Get means everything you can access on the system is available on-screen. Most of what you did with NLS was done with complicated CHORD commands or punch cards (in off-line mode).

    It had some very neat things, including multiple windows and editable 2d graphics, but a graphical user interface it was not, it was very much still a command driven interface with occasional graphical components. Sort of a transition OS between a CLI and a GUI. Windows and menus in NLS were more like the windows and menus available in DOS. Yeah, they existed, and they were probably more heavily used than those in DOS (and more feature rich, by the look of things), but they still were not GUIs.

    Actually a good comparison of how the NLS UI worked is the Hyperwords addon for Firefox. It's built around text hyperlinks and such. Like all great text-based interfaces, it had a steep learning curve but allowed for great productivity once mastered.

    In any case, the Alto was the first OS with an actual GUI. NLS was a text based UI with some graphics to make it pretty.

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears