By Jim Karpen on Fri, 10/05/2012
If you go to Apple's website today, the home page is exclusively a 2-minute video honoring founder Steve Jobs on the anniversary of his passing. The menu bar across the top appears once the video finishes. After the video plays, the image fades and a message from CEO Tim Cook appears noting the anniversay of his death and praising what he achieved. It's a moving video, and all tastefully done -- a fitting tribute.
Also coinciding with this anniversary is the surfacing of an audio recording of a talk that Steve Jobs gave in 1983 in which he anticipated everything we're seeing today: mobile computing, connectivity, the App Store. The website Life, Liberty, and Technology has posted the recording along with a summary of Jobs's amazingly visionary comments. A portion of the talk had appeared online earlier this year, but this is the first time the whole recording has been posted.
The Macintosh wasn't even out yet in 1983, and the personal computing revolution was just barely beginning. It was audacious to assert that computers would become so common that people would spend more time interacting wtih them than with cars. He talked about the computer being a medium of communication, and this was before various networks around the country were unified into a single Internet, and a decade before the graphical web browser. Email was in use then but mainly by technical people and often just within mainframe and mini-computer systems. Yet he could see that everyone would have this technology, and that it would connect us all.
And he predicted that we'd have mobile devices with radio links such that we'd always be connected wirelessly -- and this was in 1983, years before cell phones were in common use.
His predictions regarding the merging of networks and their eventual ubiquity were quite accurate. He also described his vision of putting "an incredibly great computer in a book that you can carry around with you that you can learn how to use in 20 minutes." Sounds a lot like the iPad.