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The Mac at 30: Tales from the Berkeley Mac Users Group

Dan Miller,Christopher Breen | Jan. 27, 2014
Before the Genius Bar and before Apple's own online forums, when the Mac was young and its users needed help, there were user groups

David Schwartz: The most memorable thing about Michael Spindler is him giving a keynote address wearing polyester pants that had been left in the dryer 30 minutes too long (laughing). Steve never had that problem.

David Morgenstern: He [Jobs] was a miserable human being at times. I remember seeing him after some keynote address, not long after he came back to Apple, sitting in the lobby of one of the hotels [near the event]. He was mad about something that a press person or analyst had said — maybe it was the keynote itself, I don't know — but he was hugely mad. And all these Apple people were standing around, a whole ring of people around him, maybe 20 feet away, but nobody would look at him. They didn't want to get fired or have him throw something at them.

I remember talking to one of the lead engineers of the Apple II, and he told me that he knew he was finished at Apple when Steve Jobs looked at the Mac II motherboard and said, "You have to change that resistor because I don't like the color of it." Because when he looked at the motherboard, he wanted it to look a certain way.

The iPhone and beyond

Ron Hipschman: I just watched the keynote where Jobs introduced the iPhone the other night, and I noticed that he simply kept repeating, over and over, "iPod, phone, Internet access. iPod, phone, Internet access." And that's actually what it did. It really is the Internet in your pocket — the ubiquitous Internet that we'd all been lusting after, right in front of us.

David Schwartz: When the iPad came out, I remember getting a lot of pushback from people saying, "Oh, it's just a big iPhone." And I was like, "You obviously don't get it." I had to explain to them, "It's a platform. The hardware is great. But it's really what you choose to use with it. It's a platform for applications, it's a platform for productivity."

"How do you like your iPad?" — that's a foolish question. "How do you like using Safari on the iPad, how do you like getting mail on the iPad, how do you like reading news or using this or that third-party app on the iPad?" Those are the real questions.

Duane Straub: The thing is, it's brought Apple back into business, along with cool Macintoshes. The phone and the iPad bring all these people into the Macintosh now. Now, the Macintosh is huge. It's accepted in business. It's fantastic. It's a new golden age for Macintosh now.

Cal Simone: I remember when I was in a hospital and saw people taking medical histories with an iPad. That was remarkable. The iPad got into places that no Apple product had ever been able to seep into. You started seeing it everywhere. For me, it was less about it as a personal device than [the way] it just seeped into the way we operate as a society, in a way that we hadn't before.


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