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Cringely's Lost Jobs Interview: Coming To a Theater Near You 206

A few weeks ago, Robert X. Cringely revealed that a long-lost, hour-long interview he conducted of Steve Jobs in 1995 had been found. Now, it seems the lost tape has found its calling: the movies. Says the linked Economic Times story: "The interview will be shown at Landmark theaters in 19 cities around the country beginning Nov 16."
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Cringely's Lost Jobs Interview: Coming To a Theater Near You

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  • Boring. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dondoet ( 2199592 )
    All this news about Steve Jobs is getting rather boring and repetitive.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by tsa ( 15680 )

      Yes, especially since there is no news about him anymore since he died. Even when he was alive we already knew he was a righteous asshole with a vision for shiny and user-friendly things who had great success in transforming the music- and mobile phone industry. I didn't buy the book because I thought the juicy details would be public in no time, and I was right. I don't need to see any documentary or read any book about SJ ever again. Everything is out in the open already.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 07, 2011 @05:22AM (#37971392)

        I just wish there were stories that put his innovation into perspective: he didn't do anything other than latch onto others creations and sell it.

        Steve Jobs was nothing more than a salesmen. A very good salesmen, but a salesmen never the less. True innovators usually go unnoticed because they're not good at self promotion and sales - usually.

        If he were to have settled somewhere else other than Silicon Valley, he would probably have a successful used car dealership or would have been a mortgage broker that contributed to this past real estate meltdown. Or maybe a timeshare salesmen. You know he could have sold ski resort timeshares in the South West desert.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by tsa ( 15680 )

          I don't entirely agree. Jobs hasn't invented much himself, true, but he was very good at combining other people's ideas and making something unique out of it.

          • by schnell ( 163007 ) <me.schnell@net> on Monday November 07, 2011 @01:14PM (#37974866) Homepage

            he was very good at combining other people's ideas and making something unique out of it.

            That's partly true but misses the big picture. If you read the biography - and I strongly recommend you do, it isn't just "Jobs is an a**hole" anecdotes, there's some really fascinating stuff in there - you see that Isaacson portrays Jobs as having two key strengths.

            The first was that Jobs had a strong intuition about what people wanted (e.g. a mass-market GUI computer with the Mac or a fully licensed, easy-to-use music download store with iTunes, etc.) so he pushed for Apple to build those things where they previously didn't exist. That's why he's cited as "innovative" even though other people did the actual work. The second was that he was a perfectionist - to the point of near-insanity actually - so he pushed people really hard to build stuff that it was so good that people didn't just like it, (some) people LOVED it... hence the Cult of Mac, etc. Very few if any big companies these days have perfectionists at the helm who insist they make things "insanely great" or don't make them at all, and that's why he was unique.

            The flipside to this is that, as Isaacson repeatedly shows, Jobs was more or less a complete fail as a human being. The book is pretty clear that his infantile and sociopathic behavior was tolerated throughout his life precisely because he was so good at the other two things, and it built his legacy at the expense of his ever "growing up" into a decent person. So it's a really nuanced picture of the guy and very very much worth a read if you're interested in a more sophisticated view of Jobs than "he didn't do anything but market shiny things and yell at people."

        • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

          I think that is sorta the point about why everyone is so fascinated in a sense. Steve was pretty much just a salesman, but he might well be the best one since Carnegie, who was a great deal more than just a salesman.

          What is really driving everyone crazy is most people don't think qualities like, demanding, exacting, difficult to work with, are commonly associated with salesmen. He certainly had some qualities like intensity and passion that are but Steve did it different. I have no personal love for the

        • by CrackedButter ( 646746 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @07:36AM (#37971756) Homepage Journal

          Even really good salesmen can't redesign a user interface for iDVD over a room full of designers and technicians.


          He was more than what you're trying to reduce him down to.

          • by hitmark ( 640295 )

            Redesign? Reads to me like drag and drop, something that has been with mouse based GUI since day one. Hell, how long have Apple used dragging and dropping the optical media icon to the trash bin as the eject media action? Reads to me like he is just reminding them about KISS. Thing is that when it comes to Apple, KISS ends up meaning that all users are locked out of tweaking the options. The proverbial hood is welded shut...

        • by tibit ( 1762298 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @10:55AM (#37972928)

          I think this is selling him short a bit. His contribution was entirely in what to sell, his insight was about why the products should be designed in a certain way. Yes, Apple got ideas from Xerox about basics of the GUI, but Xerox did not manage to fully realize the potential of the technology they had. Xerox's products were a flop, because they didn't understand what was it about them that could make them good, and thus never took advantage of their own innovation. It's no good if you have figured out something cool if you have no clue how to actually use it in a product.

          Never mind that Apple pretty much reimplemented all of Xerox's ideas from scratch. It's not like they went to Xerox, ripped some code, then tweaked it and sold it on. The original Mac and Apple II were quite revolutionary products. There was nothing quite like them on the market. Of course there were other "similar" products, but nothing that was designed with similar attention to detail and usability. Even "silly" stuff like Apple II's switching power supply was quite a breakthrough in an age where most computers had a transfomer, rectifier, and a linear regulator that ran pretty hot.

          Of course both Tek and HP sold oscilloscopes with such power supplies at the time, and probably some workstations and mainframes had switching supplies, but no consumer/hobbyist products at the time had that. Look, for example, at ABC-80 [], circa 1978. See the black radiator in the back? That's what the linear regulators were bolted to. It added to the cost and made for an unwieldy-looking thing. Perhaps in Swedish climate it made sense, though :)

          All those "little" things count, and that's why "quite like it" doesn't count.

          • by hitmark ( 640295 )

            The Parc people knew what they had, but the Xerox board on the other hand...

          • Yes, but he also wasn't Jonas Salk or Ghandi or Pasteur or Einstein or Justus von Liebig or any of a thousand others who had far greater impact of human life and culture and health. He had a brilliant design sense and he was a brilliant marketer but this whole "He changed the WORLD!" thing is more than a little overblown.

            He made better gadgets and made a metric crapload of money doing it. More power to him, but his contributions are incremental and not terribly important.

        • by wdef ( 1050680 )
          You fail to grasp that Jobs' rare combination of virtuoso entrepreneurship, drive and sheer smarts did indeed change technology. Both he and Gates had the gifts to create the future. It's not just hype. That's not to say that there aren't thousands of unsung talented people who also made this future we are now in.
        • by guidryp ( 702488 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @01:16PM (#37974912)

          I just wish there were stories that put his innovation into perspective: he didn't do anything other than latch onto others creations and sell it.

          Read the Biography. Jobs was much more than a salesman. He was intimately involved with the design of products from the Mac forward. Starting with the Mac he was constantly insisting on changes to the radius of curves in the plastic, he made so many suggestions about the design of the Mac Calculator that the engineer wrote a Calculator Construction kit, so Jobs could tweak the design until it was just right (which he did and this was the calculator for the next decade).

          These are just a couple of anecdotes, and there are many out there, but it isn't the anecdotes that bring this home. You really need to read the biography to really understand the bigger picture of Steve Jobs.

          Calling him just a salesman, is pure ignorance in action. Jobs was more intimately involved in product design than any CEO of his generation.

        • by Machtyn ( 759119 )
          I don't like Steve Jobs and the way he ran his company and treated his employees/customers. Having said that, I wouldn't simplify SJobs down to a salesman. He was a great motivator. He was able to move entire industries. And Silicon Valley remained where it is as a tech giant city due, in part, to Steve Jobs and Apple. If he had been anywhere else, that anywhere else would be like Seattle, WA - which is no slouch in the tech world.
      • I have the book and not all the details have made it online. I'd buy it for the quieter, more intimate and subtle stuff.

    • by gutnor ( 872759 )
      Milking the death. Everytime there is somebody famous (as in fox news famous, not lisp inventor famous) we need to get through the same repetitive shit. At least we won't have to suffer post death album.
    • Re:Boring. (Score:4, Funny)

      by arielsom ( 1636959 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @05:32AM (#37971420)
      Noooo! I'm going to get in line 2 days ahead so I can be the first in the theater!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by syousef ( 465911 )

      All this news about Steve Jobs is getting rather boring and repetitive.

      I turned to the discovery channel today and they had a special on Steve Jobs. They credited him with making Pixar the great success it was even though he did non of the technical work. They credited him with single handedly forcing the music industry to adopt $1/song pricing. They stopped just short of crediting him with inventing the mp3 player. I'm surprised at that restraint - I thought they were going to credit him for inventing oxygen and water! Mikio Kaku, both the Mythbusters, and lots of other guest

      • Why not? Lasseter (who DID the technical work) credited him with making Pixar what it was. Without Jobs, they'd still be doing contract work and/or shorts. In fact, Jobs was the one who said it was OK to produce shorts. More than likely, they would have been out of business.

      • As for Pixar, he didn't draw or render a single frame. However as CEO he hired the best people and put them in charge, Catmull and Lassetter. At first it sold hardware before changing directions and becoming an animation company. During the first 10 years, it lost money but Steve Jobs kept it open with his own money. Steve was not involved with the daily operations of Pixar but he was in charge of larger focus like what the company ultimately became and the deals with Disney.
        • by hondo77 ( 324058 )
          Exactly. Without Steve Jobs keeping it afloat, Pixar would have gone out of business.
        • by Machtyn ( 759119 )
          Well, you do have it a bit backwards; but, yes, Jobs did keep Pixar afloat long enough to create a great movie (Toy Story). Lassitter, et al. had founded Pixar long before, and were under the umbrella of LucasArts. LucasArts was getting tired of Pixar as it didn't fit in their model of business. If Jobs hadn't stepped in with funding, Pixar would have gone nowhere.
      • by hitmark ( 640295 )

        I checked the program out, and to me it was 25 mins of apple product ads with 5 mins of ranting against "pirates", or something in that ballpark...

        Hell, Hyneman seemed like he wanted to be anywhere but in front of the camera.

      • by Machtyn ( 759119 )
        What other influence forced the music industry to make and keep $0.99 songs? They were trying to push individual songs up to $2.99. Jobs put his foot down on the price. It was either that, or the pirates would run loose again.
    • And all the news either portrait him as a saint or a villin. Like all people he was both.

    • And unhealthily close to the obsession of a cult as well.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      All this news about Steve Jobs is getting rather boring and repetitive.

      • California Declares Today "Steve Jobs Day": 333 Comments
      • Jobs Wanted To Destroy Android: 333 Comments
      • Lost Hour-Long Jobs Interview Found: 120 Comments
      • How Steve Jobs Solved the Innovator's Dilemma: 424 Comments
      • Steve Jobs' Missing License Plate: 579 Comments

      Yeah, you guys are really bored with talking about Steve Jobs.

      • Did you read through those threads? They were comprised primarily of trolling, troll-feeding, and bad jokes. A thread can have an immense amount of posts and still be completely boring and content-free.
    • by stms ( 1132653 )

      Yeah but just think how awesome this would be in 3D and they could charge you an extra $3-$4 bucks.

    • All this news about Steve Jobs is getting rather boring and repetitive.

      Better than the way I mistakenly read the subject line at "Cringely's lost job interview"...not that would have been boring.

  • New idea (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 07, 2011 @04:12AM (#37971180)
    Apple stores show it in solo booths with tissue dispensers
  • At first I thought, that this Cringely guy was applying for a job at 1995, but lost.
    Then the Job was named Steve, so maybe Steve Jobs was applying for a job with Cringely. Or the other way around. That would have been fun. But why would someone tape that?
    In the end I guess it is just a plain old normal Interview... zzzZZzzz

  • Please (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @04:24AM (#37971212)

    Just let the guy rest in peace. Everyone needs to move on.

    • by martas ( 1439879 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @06:24AM (#37971564)
      If you are as sick of Apple/Steve Jobs stories as I am, there is only one thing you can do -- vote with your clicks! Resist the temptation to click on the stories and post comments, even if your comment is going to be "I am sick of Apple/Steve Jobs stories." Yes, I know, I'm violating my own advice right now, but I though it was worth it to get this message out. From now on, I will in no way interact with any Slashdot story about Apple or Jobs, unless it is truly interesting.
      • by mevets ( 322601 )

        How will you know if its truly interesting?

        • by martas ( 1439879 )
          I will guess based on summaries, and aim to err on the side of missing interesting stories rather than reading uninteresting ones; revolutionary approach, huh?
          • How will you know if it's interesting?

            I will guess based on summaries,

            You MUST be new here ...

      • by antdude ( 79039 )

        /. needs a up/down votes system for posted (queued) stories.

      • by asylumx ( 881307 )
        Yes! We will follow your lead and not read or comment on Steve Jobs articles, just like you are demonstrating here!

        Actually, I clicked the link thinking "Jobs" as in "Work opportunities" and not as in "Steve" I was quite disappointed when I read the rest of the summary.
  • by neoguri ( 632579 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @04:48AM (#37971298)
    Any cinema of repute would refuse to show material sourced from a VHS.
    • Any cinema of repute would refuse to show material sourced from a VHS.

      I used to be of this 'THX' mindset, but now I see it as folly to deny content over technical concerns. These theatres apparently agree - the content must be compelling enough that people will pay good money to see it, and the quality sufficient to not get in the way of the content.

      • Any cinema of repute would refuse to show material sourced from a VHS.

        I used to be of this 'THX' mindset, but now I see it as folly to deny content over technical concerns. These theatres apparently agree - the content must be compelling enough that people will pay good money to see it, and the quality sufficient to not get in the way of the content.

        Yep... also, Landmark theaters are an "art house" chain so they are quite used to a wide range of technical quality... some intentionally rough, some not.

      • Some of my all-time favorite music is poor quality live recordings.

        There's a 3 disc Velvet Underground live album (Quine Tapes, volume 1) that is just mind-blowing, despite being some of the worst audio quality I've ever heard on a commercial disc release (IIRC, it was recorded on a stereo reel-reel and transfered to cassette at some point in the 1970s when the original open reel tapes started falling apart).

        I have a couple of other bootlegs that might be worse, but not many. It seems like since the late 1

  • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @05:04AM (#37971346) Homepage
    Now, why does that South Park episode suddenly spring to mind?
  • religion (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hazel Bergeron ( 2015538 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @05:24AM (#37971396) Journal

    This is how a religion starts.

    • This religion started long before the messiah's death.

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )
      Hey, it's still an improvement over scientology.
    • There is already a book in the old testament about him; I think the religion started quite a bit ago.

      It is an ok read, but doesn't mention Apple, macintosh or iPods explicitly. An earlier book in the series has a bit about apples and the 'tree of knowledge'.

      I don't think it is meant to be taken literally. The whole bit about the righteous suffering is obviously a poke at windows users; and satan is obviously a stand-in for billg. I don't get who God represents - maybe Gerstner?

      Overall, a +1, it certain

  • Promises, promises (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Zubinix ( 572981 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @06:11AM (#37971538)

    Cringely reached his peak during the making of "Triumph of the Nerds" and the follow up series "Nerds 2.0.1". They were both some of the best historical documentaries ever done on the PC and Internet revolutions. Since then he has failed to deliver on subsequent projects.

    Here's hoping there is one more great documentary series left in the old Cringe!

  • by paiute ( 550198 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @06:33AM (#37971604)
    If only we had a way to distribute audiovisual files to people. Oh well, maybe in the 21st century.
    • Yeah, well, I think the hold up here was that Steve was concerned that people would have to decide when to hit pause and when to hit play and what on earth they should do with the volume. So, they took those choices away and made folks go to the theater to see it.

  • And so it begins: The Cult of Jobs
  • All audience members will also be provided with a life-like latex cast of steve's balls to gargle.

  • by beetle496 ( 677137 ) on Monday November 07, 2011 @09:52AM (#37972352) Homepage

    Cringely explains why on his blog: Seeking a final resolution []

    Also, he talks about technical bits about the digitization.

    • Not much why there. It looks more like rationalizing beating this dead horse showing 288 line analog VHS upconvert in a movie theater. Showing it in the theater gets more buzz (witness stories like this) for further monetizing it.

      I find it quite distasteful.

  • Enough Already!

I am more bored than you could ever possibly be. Go back to work.