Just a quick post to remind everyone on here that they should immediately go out and watch Pirates of Silicon Valley. Ok, it stars that guy from ER and one of the geeks from the 80s movie "Weird Science", but for any true computer nerd, this movie is a kind of pilgrimage. Telling the story of the rise of the personal computer by charting the rise and fall (and subsequent re-rising) of Steve Jobs and Apple, as well as the rise of Bill Gates and Microsoft.
Yes, it's a bit lightweight in parts and smacks faintly of the "made for TV movie", but on the whole it's a good movie if you're not into computers and a really interesting Biopic and Historic piece if you are. It glosses over a lot of things, but definitely cuts to the chase regarding the personality types - Woz is an innocent with a love of electronics who never really sees where his eager tinkering is going to lead until it's all gotten too big for him to cope with. Steve Ballmer is the bullish guy, in it for the money, but with no real understanding of the product, Gates is the guy with a vision for software - the single-minded nerd with a head for seeing what deal will be huge in ten years but is laughable now. Licensing to the Altair, then licensing DOS to IBM, as opposed to taking the money upfront for selling th royalties. His poker skills must have been honed to perfection as he essentially bluffs with no cards in his hand whilst negotiating with a multi-billion dollar leviathan. Then Steve Jobs, the visionary, the geeks' messiah - not caring about the technology required, but focussing on what it can do. His drive and evangelism for the Macintosh cost him his job and very nearly brought Apple to its knees, but he was proven right and even reconciles the Mac/PC war in '97 by simply stating that PC won, but that Mac has a place within the market that PC isn't close to touching. It's that kind of Zen outlook that stopped the death spiral of Apple and continues to show up Microsoft today, as Vista struggles to implement useability features that OS X had in 2001.
Seriously, if you're a Mac fan, or a computer nerd, or even just struggling to fill a sunday afternoon, look this film up - it's on Youtube in bits, you can probably get it elsewhere and I think it costs about £4 on Amazon.