*notcot in tech , 20:19

The Fall Of Steve Jobs- 05.27.08

stevejobs1.jpgWe were cleaning out more of the log cabin, and when we started poking through desk drawers, dan and i both laughed when out popped Steve Jobs on the cover of the August 5, 1985 issue of Fortune Magazine - and the headline read “The Fall Of Steve Jobs”… funny article in retrospect too (see images on the next page)…filled with great pop cultural references of the time “John Sculley, 46, president and chief executive, ruefully remarked that Apple’s moves were attracting as much attention as an episode of Dynasty.” There were also statements like “No players in the drama have explained publicly why Jobs came to grief. But several of them, promised anonymity, have revealed the essential details to Fortune.” ~ can you imagine if any apple insiders were so bold today? Ah, how times have changed since 1985… Equally worthwhile, the ATT ad that runs next to the article… and the “Picture Phones: New Spin On An Old Idea” article that sits next to “Droids For Sale: Star Wars’ George Lucas if pushing new technology”… suffice to say, this is a quality issue of Fortune, and a nice way to get some perspective on exactly how far we’ve come in the last 23 years… See the details on the next page!


Unfortunately, still in the woods - and leaching internet in the nearby town… so no scanner, but here are a few pics i snapped ~ click to view larger, its not perfect, but readable…





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14 Notes

“The Edit Droid system mentioned in the George Lucas article was later sold and became the core of Avid’s editing technology.”

Peter Fasciano told me a somewhat different story over lunch one day. In the 1980’s, Peter owned VizWiz, a video post production company in Boston. He worked with Bill Warner on creating the technical foundation for the early Avid and is co-credited with its development. VizWiz served as a real life debugging arena for Bill with Peter providing valuable insight on how the system should work. The resulting Avid was shown privately at an NAB (or was it SMPTE?) conference in 1988 running on Apollo Computer hardware. Someone from Apple had seen the demo and approached them with the line “nice product, wrong platform”. Apple offered to help port the Avid to Apple hardware. Apple had much cleaner pathways in and out of the box than the Apollo for audio and video. Peter and Bill returned from the show to find several large boxes waiting at their office - a pair of just released Apple Mac IIx machines with dual monitors (I think he said there were two whole systems). A few days later, someone from Apple arrived, looked at the source code and rewrote it to work on the Mac. It took about a week to get it functioning well enough.

The Edit Droid was part of a different class of systems, like the Montage which initially used 20-ish Betamax machines to play virtually edited sequences in real time by rapidly shuttling all the machines to the next shot. Montage later went to Laser Disks as well but digital data on hard drives would rule. Eventually, the Avid took all of them out. Avid partnered with George Lucas in 1993, well after Avid was up and running, to combine some features of the Edit Droid with Avid’s - using SGI hardware. That’s where the handoff of Edit Droid happened for Avid with the goal of creating a feature film oriented editing system for George. I’ll resist the urge to continue…

----- Steve 01.06.08 20:02

D -

Oops, my bad! Can’t believe I got those two mixed up. ;)

----- Rich C 01.06.08 17:22

That is pretty funny, Rich. I was thinking the same thing myself - in one issue, we see Steve Jobs’ fall and, even though nobody involved at the time had any clue, the seeds for his spectacular rise.

But Fake Steve works for Forbes, not Fortune!


----- David H Dennis 01.06.08 08:52

The cover with Jobs in a tie was probably enough to make him never wear one again…

----- Jon T 01.06.08 05:22

The Edit Droid system mentioned in the George Lucas article was later sold and became the core of Avid’s editing technology. Of course now they battle head to head with Apple’s Final Cut Pro. So many interesting connections in the juxtaposition of these articles. Fascinating :)

----- Matt Large 01.06.08 04:10

So the Fortune issue announcing the career tailspin of Steve Jobs is the same Fortune issue announcing this new (movie-related) digital imaging company that shall be named “Pixar”. Ah, the irony is so thick I can waltz up to Fake Steve’s Fortune office and whack him over the head with it. :)

----- Rich C 01.06.08 03:39

Fortune’s site has the full text of the article you found in the cabin:


----- Jess Bowers 31.05.08 23:20

Great find! In looking for the article on Fortune’s site, I came across this one:


Dated 2/1996

Ah.. The reports of Apple’s death have been greatly exaggerated.


----- Jess Bowers 31.05.08 23:16

“That’s sad news. I hope this Steve Jobs gets back on his feet.”


----- nick 31.05.08 07:27

That’s sad news. I hope this Steve Jobs gets back on his feet.

----- Raphy L. 30.05.08 11:37

If you’re really curious about Steve Jobs and George Lucas during that time, you should read Droidmaker by Michael Rubin. I just finished reading it, and boy, it’ll bring a lot of context into picture re: the Pixar, Droid machines, and Steve Jobs.

----- getluky 29.05.08 11:40

That’s priceless! Bring it home, scan it & post a PDF of the full article? Or, start bidding for a snail mail reward. :D

----- The Slapster 28.05.08 17:04

the phonetic spelling was kosher back then, it was a particular Star Wars thing, on the backing cards for the toys they said something like:


brackets and all.

----- Kenn Munk 27.05.08 23:44

Personally I am more interested in that George Lucas article. “It will be called Pixar, after the Pixar image computer…”. Who knew it’d become what it is today?

And why did they spell out the phonetics for R2D2 and C3PO? Some kind of weird editorial policy?

----- icie 27.05.08 23:30

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