Steve Jobs

Unheard tapes from Steve Jobs in 1988

It is a fascinating trip back in time, it takes us back in time to November 30, 1988, at the Boston Computer Society, when Steve had just launched his new company NeXT, this was the new venture for Jobs after being forced out of Apple in 1985. These unheard tapes from Steve Jobs in 1988 are part of wider treasure trove of vintage audio recordings the Powersharing Series.

I love hearing the preamble where the host talks about a future session where a presenter will show a pocket computer… But back to this story, Steve explains how he was building the NeXT computer for universities, a fast computer with lots of memory, it has to be UNIX but it has to usable by humans so build an interface that humans can use!

He continues on with the asks that people had requested of the NEXT computer eg What you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) screen, stable networking, excellent sound, and the ability to print to a laser printer. Amazing to think back that he was solving those problems back then, it is an excellent and amusing presentation.

The Powersharing Series has a huge range of vintage recordings all available on Soundcloud with interviews and presentations from

  • Alan Kay Xerox PARC 1985
  • Adam Osbourne on Software Bugs 1987
  • Dan Bricklin on Software Arts 1985
  • Tom Rattigan – Commodore Amiga, arguing how it is so much better than the Apple Mac – 1985

Listening to Steve he was an incredible presenter effortlessly running through technical details and clearly connecting with his audience. And wait for his classic ‘And there is one more thing…..’

Much of this incredible history is also available, the Boston Computer Society General Meetings were the largest in America and 21 of meetings have now been digitised on YouTube –

Synopsis from an article from Fast Company
This unheard Steve Jobs tape is part of an amazing trove of tech history
When Steve Jobs demoed his NeXT computer at a 1988 user meeting, Charles Mann was there to record it—along with dozens of other talks by computing pioneers.
by Harry McCracken
Published 16th September 2020

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