Nina's Reading Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Jobs’

Steve Jobs

Posted by nliakos on December 27, 2013

by Walter Isaacson (Simon & Schuster 2011)

I am not a “Mac person,” although my very first computer was a Mac Plus, and I do have an iPod Nano. I’ve always chosen cheaper over better, as I have long presumed Apple products to be; most people say they are, anyway. Walter Isaacson’s 2011 biography of Steve Jobs, written during the last two years of Jobs’ life, examines how Jobs created Apple and its iconic products: the Macintosh, iPod, iPhone, and iPad, all of which were revolutionary in their own way. Isaacson looks unblinkingly at Jobs’ infamous personality, his design genius, his ability to bridge the gap between technology and the humanities, his passion for a totally integrated product, his rejection of open, shared systems, and his uncanny ability to figure out what people wanted before they knew they wanted it. It helped me to understand the Apple appeal and also explained why, when my daughter’s iPod Shuffle battery died, I couldn’t just go to the store and buy another battery to replace it, which annoyed me mightily at the time (we ended up purchasing a new device for almost the same price as sending the Shuffle to the factory for a new battery): Jobs refused to allow anyone inside the devices Apple produced in case they were able to copy, clone, or tinker with them. He even went so far as to design a new screwdriver so that unauthorized people would not be able to open up his products! It seems a little absurd, but according to Isaacson, that is how far his passion for the products went.

It was very interesting, but could have done with a bit less detail and repetition (571 pages is really long!). I guess it will be the definitive, authorized (but apparently unread by the subject) biography of Steve Jobs, because it’s really thorough!


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