Archive for the ‘Apple’ Category

On January 22, 1984, the famous “1984” television commercial introducing the Macintosh personal computer ran during the third quarter of the Super Bowl.  Many people think that this is the only time it ever ran.  But, it was also run by the Chiat/Day, the ad agency that created it, on December 31, 1983 right before the 12:00 midnight sign-off on KMVT in Twin Falls, Idaho, so that it could qualify for the 1983 advertising awards. The ad was so successful, that it never really needed to be run again as the media coverage it got generated a lot of free airtime.  And, people are still talking about it 30 years later.

The ad is based on the book, “1984” by George Orwell which introduced the concept of “Big Brother”.  The ad refers to IBM as “Big Brother” and the Apple Macintosh computer as the individual challenging a society of people who don’t behave as individuals.  Interestingly, the estate of George Orwell and the television rights holder to the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four considered the commercial to be a copyright infringement and sent a cease-and-desist letter to Apple and Chiat/Day after the ad ran which generated even more publicity.



Here’s Director Ridley Scott discussing the making of the famous 1984 Macintosh commercial.  [This is excerpted from an Apple promotional video.]



The “1984” ad was shown at the 20th anniversary celebration of the Macintosh in 2004  There was also an updated version of it created for the iPod launch.  Was it one of the best ads ever?  That’s up for debate.  But, as a marketer, I’d give it an award for one of the top 10 product launches ever.

— Carole Gunst


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Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

Regarded by many as one of the greatest commencement addresses in U.S. history, by someone who admittedly never graduated from college himself. At just over 15 minutes in length, Steve Jobs neatly, yet forcefully encapsulates his family history, professional history, and general philosophy of life. It could easily be boiled down to a mere two word phrase: “Don’t settle.”

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life … remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose … there is no reason not to follow your heart.”

Farewell, Steve Jobs. One of history’s giants who made this world dramatically better because he had lived.

-Chris Hartman

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On October 12, 1988, Steve Jobs unveiled the NeXT Computer at Symphony Hall in San Francisco. A day or two later, I was among a standing-room only crowd at Boston’s Symphony Hall admiring the all-black, beautifully-designed “workstation” with a brand-new optical drive (no hard disk drive in the computer of the future according to Jobs) that played a duet with a human violinist.

That night I sent a gushing memo to my colleagues at DEC, telling them that the future has arrived and that Jobs education-sector-first marketing strategy was brilliant. Indeed, CERN was one of the early adopters and Tim Berners-Lee developed the first WWW browser/editor on the NeXT workstation. But NeXT Computer, Inc. went on to sell only 50,000 beautifully-designed “cubes,” getting out of the hardware business altogether in 1993.

For many years, I have kept in my office the “Computing advances to the NeXT level” poster I got that night as a reminder that forecasting the next big (or small) thing in technology is tough, even impossible. And yet, many people believe that technology marches according to some “laws” or pre-defined trajectory and that all we have to do is decipher the “evolutionary” path technology (or the economy or society) is destined to follow.

Jobs went on to introduce the iPod and  the iPad, industry-changing devices whose invention was made possible, among other things, by a tiny disk drive. The possibility of a significant boost to the simultaneous shrinking (of size) and enlarging (of capacity) of disk drives was known since the discovery of the giant magnetoresistance effect in the very same year the NeXT Computer was introduced, 1988. Still, no one predicted the iPod.  Similarly, in 1990 no one predicted how the Web will change our lives or in 2000, how virtualization will change the lives of IT managers, although both technologies existed at the time.

To quote Ebenezer Scrooge,who had the opportunity to meet his future, “Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if preserved in, they must lead. But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change.” We cannot predict our future. But, like Steve Jobs, we can create it.

–Gil Press

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Steve Jobs and Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel co-founder Robert Noyce, 1975. Noyce was both friend and mentor to Jobs. Courtesy, startup-book.com.

Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs said yesterday in a letter released by Apple Inc. that he was no longer able to meet his duties as CEO of the company and was resigning, effective immediately. Tim Cook, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, becomes its new CEO. Jobs now becomes Apple’s chairman, a position that did not exist previously.

Jobs is the subject of a forthcoming authorized biography by noted biographer and historian Walter Isaacson, which reportedly is on schedule to meet its original release date of November 21. The book promises to be an unusually open and revealing portrait of Jobs, including not only the results of hours of interviews Isaacson conducted with him, but also the perspectives of his ex-girlfriends, former (and fired) employees, foes, friends and family, as well as details of the resignation itself.

Isaacson is presently completing the last chapter of the book, and in somewhat surprising fashion, the famously secluded Jobs has reportedly kept the project at arms length, giving Isaacson room for largely unfettered research. It already promises to be one of the most talked about and in-demand biographies to come out in recent years and can be pre-ordered through Amazon.com.

Click here for a slideshow of “The greatest victories of Steve Jobs’ career” courtesy of PCmag.com

-Chris Hartman

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Malcolm Gladwell writes in the May 16 issue of The New Yorker magazine about how the very inexact science of innovation occurs. From the late 1960s when Cal Berkeley-trained engineer Douglas Englebart first developed the computer “mouse,” to how colleagues of his at Xerox PARC passed on their knowledge to Apple Inc.’s Steve Jobs (in exchange for some very valuable Apple stock) in the late 1970s, it’s a fascinating study of the evolution of technology and how it is developed over time. The link above is to an abstract of the more detailed article, which is available both in hard copy and via its iPad application. The issue is definitely worth picking up.

Chris Hartman

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Thirty-five years ago today, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne signed a partnership agreement that established the company that will become Apple Computer, Inc. on January 3, 1977. (Wayne left the company eleven days later, relinquishing his ten percent share for US$2300). Steve Jobs told Stephen Segaller in Nerds 2.0.1:  (more…)

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On August 31, 2010, Autodesk announced AutoCAD for the Mac.  This version of AutoCAD, runs natively on Mac OS X. The company also announced AutoCAD WS mobile application, a new app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch that will allow users to edit and share their AutoCAD designs in the field.

The New York Times quoted Amar Hanspal, senior vice president, Autodesk Platform Solutions and Emerging Business as saying “Autodesk could no longer ignore Mac’s comeback.”   The New York Times article also said that “The Mac was once a popular platform for AutoCAD. But Apple’s share of the personal computer market dwindled in the early 1990s, so Autodesk made its last version of AutoCAD for the Mac in 1992, and stopped supporting it in 1994. The company continued to make other products for the Mac, including software used in the entertainment industry.”

The Mac’s comeback is hard to ignore.  In May 2010, Apple passed Microsoft in market cap.  Earlier this month, Fortune reported that over the last five years, “Apple has switched places with Dell as the laptop of choice.”  The New York Times article says “The Mac accounted for nearly 10 percent of all PCs sold around the world in the first quarter, according to Gartner, or more than double its share just a few years ago. In the most recent quarter, Apple sold nearly 3.5 million Mac computers, a 33 percent increase from the same quarter a year earlier. That rate of growth far exceeded the overall PC market.”

AutoCAD for Mac Built for Mac OS X

According to the Autodesk press release, AutoCAD for Mac makes available many of the powerful AutoCAD features and functionality. The software takes full advantage of Mac OS X, and it offers easy collaboration with suppliers, customers, clients and partners regardless of platform. Files created in previous versions of AutoCAD will open  in AutoCAD for Mac.

AutoCAD Extended to iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch

Autodesk also announced the AutoCAD WS mobile application that will extend AutoCAD to Apple’s iOS. The AutoCAD WS app lets AutoCAD users edit and share AutoCAD files on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

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