Larry Tesler, who managed application software for the Lisa, realized
that it would be important to design both machines to use many
of the same software programs. So to broker peace, he arranged
for Smith and Hertzfeld to come to the Lisa work space and
demonstrate the Mac prototype. Twenty-five engineers
showed up and were listening politely when,
Jobs’s craziness was of the cultivated sort. He had begun his lifelong experiments with compulsive diets, eating only fruits and vegetables, so he was as lean and tight as a whippet. He learned to stare at people without blinking, and he perfected long
silences punctuated by staccato bursts of fast talking. This odd mix of intensity and aloofness, combined with his shoulder-length hair and scraggly beard, gave him the aura of a crazed shaman. He oscillated between charismatic and creepy. “He
shuffled around and looked half-mad,” recalled Brennan. “He had a lot of angst. It was like a big darkness around him.”
Jobs had begun to drop acid by then, and he turned Brennan on to it as well, in a wheat field just outside Sunnyvale. “It was great,” he recalled. “I had been listening to a lot of Bach. All of a sudden the wheat field was playing Bach. It was the most
wonderful feeling of my life up to that point. I felt like the conductor of this symphony with Bach coming through the wheat.”
That summer of 1972, after his graduation, he and Brennan moved to a cabin in the hills above Los Altos. “I’m going to go live in a cabin with Chrisann,” he announced to his parents one day. His father was furious. “No you’re not,” he said. “Over my dead body.” They had recently
fought about marijuana, and
once again the younger
Jobs was willful. He just said
good-bye and walked out.
In late 1972, there was a fundamental shift happening in American campus life. The nation’s involvement in the Vietnam War, and the draft that accompanied it, was winding down. Political activism at colleges receded and in many late-night dorm
conversations was replaced by an interest in pathways to personal fulfillment. Jobs found himself deeply influenced by a variety of books on spirituality and enlightenment, most notably Be Here Now, a guide to meditation and the wonders of psychedelic drugs by Baba Ram Dass, born Richard Alpert. “It was profound,” Jobs said. “It transformed me and many of my friends.”
The closest of those friends was another wispy-bearded freshman named Daniel Kottke, who met Jobs a week after they arrived at Reed and shared his interest in Zen, Dylan, and acid. Kottke, from a wealthy New York suburb, was smart but low-
octane, with a sweet flower-child demeanor made even mellower by his interest in Buddhism. That spiritual quest had caused him to eschew material possessions, but
he was nonetheless impressed by Jobs’s tape deck. “Steve had a TEAC reel-to-reel and massive quantities of Dylan bootlegs,” Kottke recalled. “He was both really cool and high-tech.”
Jobs started spending much of his time with Kottke and his girlfriend, Elizabeth Holmes, even after he insulted her at their first meeting by grilling her about how much money it would take to get her to have sex with another man. They hitchhiked to the coast together, engaged in the typical dorm raps about the meaning of life,
attended the love festivals at the local Hare Krishna temple, and went to the Zen center for free vegetarian meals. “It was a lot of fun,” said Kottke, “but also philosophical, and we took Zen very seriously.”
Jobs began sharing with Kottke other books, including Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki, Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, and Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Ch?gyam Trungpa. They created a
meditation room in the attic crawl space above Elizabeth Holmes’s room and fixed it up with Indian prints, a dhurrie rug, candles, incense, and meditation cushions. “There was a hatch in the ceiling leading to an attic which had a huge amount
of space,” Jobs said.
“We took psychedelic drugs
there sometimes, but mainly
we just meditated.”
Friedland found Jobs fascinating as well. “He was always walking around barefoot,” he later told a reporter. “The thing that struck me was his intensity. Whatever he was interested in he would generally carry to an irrational extreme.” Jobs had honed his trick of using stares and silences to master other people. “One of his numbers was
to stare at the person he was talking to. He would stare into their fucking eyeballs, ask some question, and would want a response without the other person averting their eyes.”
According to Kottke, some of Jobs’s personality traits—including a few that lasted throughout his career—were borrowed from Friedland. “Friedland taught Steve the reality distortion field,” said Kottke. “He was charismatic and a bit of a con man and
could bend situations to his very strong will. He was mercurial, sure of himself, a little dictatorial. Steve admired that, and he became more like that after spending time with Robert.”
Jobs also absorbed how Friedland made himself the center of attention. “Robert was very much an outgoing, charismatic guy, a real salesman,” Kottke recalled. “When I first met Steve he was shy and self-effacing, a very private guy. I think Robert
taught him a lot about selling, about coming out of his shell, of opening up and taking charge of a situation.” Friedland projected a high-wattage aura. “He would walk into a room and you would instantly notice him. Steve was the absolute opposite when he came to Reed. After he spent time with Robert, some of it started to rub off.”
Friedland was four years older than Jobs, but still an undergraduate. The son of an Auschwitz survivor who became a prosperous Chicago architect, he had originally gone to Bowdoin, a liberal arts college in Maine. But while a sophomore, he was
arrested for possession of 24,000 tablets of LSD worth $125,000. The local newspaper pictured him with shoulder-length wavy blond hair smiling at the photographers as he was led away. He was sentenced to two years at a federal
prison in Virginia, from which he was paroled in 1972. That fall he headed off to Reed, where he immediately ran for student body president, saying that he needed to clear his name from the “miscarriage of justice” he had suffered. He won.
Friedland had heard Baba Ram Dass, the author of Be Here Now, give a speech in Boston, and like Jobs and Kottke had gotten deeply into Eastern spirituality. During the summer of 1973, he traveled to India to meet Ram Dass’s Hindu guru, Neem
Karoli Baba, famously known to his many followers as Maharaj-ji. When he returned that fall, Friedland had taken a spiritual name
and walked around in sandals and flowing Indian robes. He had a room off campus, above a garage, and Jobs would go there many afternoons to seek him out. He was entranced by the apparent intensity of Friedland’s conviction that
a state of enlightenment truly
existed and could be attained.
“He turned me on to a different level
of consciousness,” Jobs said.
Jobs’s engagement with Eastern spirituality, and especially Zen Buddhism, was not just some passing fancy or youthful dabbling. He embraced it with his typical intensity, and it became deeply ingrained in his personality. “Steve is very much Zen,” said Kottke. “It was a deep influence. You see it in his whole approach of stark,
minimalist aesthetics, intense focus.” Jobs also became deeply influenced by the emphasis that Buddhism places on intuition. “I began to realize that an intuitive understanding and consciousness was more significant than abstract thinking and
intellectual logical analysis,” he later said. His intensity, however, made it difficult for him to achieve inner peace; his Zen awareness was not accompanied by an excess of calm, peace of mind, or interpersonal mellowness.
He and Kottke enjoyed playing a nineteenth-century German variant of chess called Kriegspiel, in which the players sit back-to-back; each has his own board and pieces and cannot see those of his opponent. A moderator informs them if a move they want to make is legal or illegal, and they have to try to figure out where their
opponent’s pieces are. “The wildest game I played with them was during a lashing rainstorm sitting by the fireside,” recalled Holmes, who served as moderator. “They were tripping on acid. They were moving so fast I could barely keep up with them.”
Another book that deeply influenced Jobs during his freshman year was Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappé, which extolled the personal and planetary benefits of vegetarianism. “That’s when I swore off meat pretty much for good,” he
recalled. But the book also reinforced his tendency to embrace extreme diets, which included purges, fasts, or eating only one or two foods, such as carrots or apples, for weeks on end.
Jobs and Kottke became serious vegetarians during their freshman year. “Steve got into it even more than I did,” said Kottke. “He was living off Roman Meal cereal.”
They would go shopping at a farmers’ co-op, where Jobs would buy a box of cereal, which would last a week, and other bulk health food. “He would buy flats of dates and
almonds and lots of carrots, and he got a Champion juicer and we’d make carrot juice and carrot salads. There is a story about Steve turning orange from eating so many carrots,
and there is some truth to that.”
him having, at times,
a sunset-like orange hue.
On Sunday evenings Jobs and Friedland would go to the Hare Krishna temple on the western edge of Portland, often with Kottke and Holmes in tow. They would dance and sing songs at the top of their lungs. “We would work ourselves into an ecstatic
frenzy,” Holmes recalled. “Robert would go insane and dance like crazy. Steve was more subdued, as if he was embarrassed to let loose.” Then they would be treated to paper plates piled high with vegetarian food.
Friedland had stewardship of a 220-acre apple farm, about forty miles southwest of Portland, that was owned by an eccentric millionaire uncle from Switzerland named Marcel Müller. After Friedland became involved with Eastern spirituality, he turned it
into a commune called the All One Farm, and Jobs would spend weekends there with Kottke, Holmes, and like-minded seekers of enlightenment. The farm had a main house, a large barn, and a garden shed, where Kottke and Holmes slept. Jobs took on the task of pruning the Gravenstein apple trees. “Steve ran the apple
orchard,” said Friedland. “We were in the organic cider business. Steve’s job was to lead a crew of freaks to prune the orchard and whip it back into shape.”
Monks and disciples from the Hare Krishna temple would come and prepare vegetarian feasts redolent of cumin, coriander, and turmeric. “Steve would be starving when he arrived, and he would stuff himself,” Holmes recalled. “Then he
would go and purge. For years I thought he was bulimic. It was very upsetting, because we had gone to all that trouble of creating these feasts, and he couldn’t hold it down.”
Jobs was also beginning to have a little trouble stomaching Friedland’s cult leader style. “Perhaps he saw a little bit too much of Robert in himself,” said Kottke.
Although the commune was supposed to be a refuge from materialism, Friedland began operating it more as a business; his followers were told to chop and sell firewood, make apple presses and wood stoves, and engage in other commercial
endeavors for which they were not paid. One night Jobs slept under the table in the kitchen and was amused to notice that people kept coming in and stealing each other’s food from the refrigerator. Communal economics were not for him. “It started to get very materialistic,” Jobs recalled. “Everybody got the idea they were
working very hard for
Robert’s farm, and one
by one they started to leave.
I got pretty sick of it.”
he told an interviewer. “Once IBM gains control
of a market sector, they almost always stop innovation.
” Even thirty years later, reflecting back
on the competition, Jobs cast it as a holy crusade: “
IBM was essentially Microsoft at its worst. They were not a force for innovation;
they were a force for evil. They were like ATT or Microsoft or Google is.”
spiritual person, but he crossed the line from being charismatic to being a con man,” Jobs said.
“It was a strange thing to have one of the spiritual people in your young life turn out to be, symbolically and in reality, a gold miner.”
. . . drop Out
Jobs quickly became bored with college. He liked being at Reed, just not taking the required classes. In fact he was surprised when he found out that, for all of its hippie aura, there were strict course requirements. When Wozniak came to visit, Jobs
waved his schedule at him and complained, “They are making me take all these courses.” Woz replied, “Yes, that’s what they do in college.” Jobs refused to go to the classes he was assigned and instead went to the ones he wanted, such as a dance
class where he could enjoy both the creativity and the chance to meet girls. “I would never have refused to take the courses you were supposed to, that’s a difference in our personality,” Wozniak marveled.
Jobs also began to feel guilty, he later said, about spending so much of his parents’ money on an education that did not seem worthwhile. “All of my working-class
parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition,” he recounted in a famous commencement address at Stanford. “I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had
saved their entire life.
So I decided to drop out
and trust that it
would all work out okay.”
Reflecting its cheeky confidence, Apple took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street
Journal with the headline “Welcome, IBM. Seriously.” It cleverly positioned the upcoming computer battle as a two-way contest between
the spunky and rebellious Apple and the establishment Goliath IBM, conveniently relegating to irrelevance companies such as Commodore, Tandy, and Osborne that were doing just as well as Apple.
“The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting,” he said. Among them was a calligraphy class that appealed to him after he saw posters on campus
that were beautifully drawn. “I learned about serif and sans serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.”
It was yet another example of Jobs consciously positioning himself at the intersection of the arts and technology. In all of his products, technology would be married to great design, elegance, human touches, and even romance. He would be in the fore
of pushing friendly graphical user interfaces. The calligraphy course would become iconic in that regard. “If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the
Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them.”
In the meantime Jobs eked out a bohemian existence on the fringes of Reed. He went barefoot most of the time, wearing sandals when it snowed. Elizabeth Holmes made meals for him, trying to keep up with his obsessive diets. He returned soda
bottles for spare change, continued his treks to the free Sunday dinners at the Hare Krishna temple, and wore a down jacket in the heatless garage apartment he rented
for $20 a month. When he needed money, he found work at the psychology department lab maintaining the electronic equipment that was used for animal
would come to visit.
Apple became cocky, not realizing that corporate technology managers might feel more
comfortable buying from an established company like IBM rather than one named after
a piece of fruit. Bill Gates happened to be visiting Apple headquarters for a meeting
on the day the IBM PC was announced. “They didn’t seem to care,” he said. “
It took them a year to realize what had happened.”
attuned to the wavelengths of the subdivisions. There were quasi-academic groups doing studies on the effects of LSD; participants included Doug Engelbart of the Augmentation Research Center in Palo Alto, who later helped develop the computer mouse and graphical user interfaces, and Ken Kesey, who celebrated the drug with
music-and-light shows featuring a house band that became the Grateful Dead. There was the hippie movement, born out of the Bay Area’s beat generation, and the rebellious political activists, born out of the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley.
Overlaid on it all were various self-fulfillment movements pursuing paths to personal enlightenment: Zen and Hinduism, meditation and yoga, primal scream and sensory deprivation, Esalen and est.
This fusion of flower power and processor power, enlightenment and technology, was embodied by Steve Jobs as he meditated in the mornings, audited physics classes at Stanford, worked nights at Atari, and dreamed of starting his own business.
“There was just something going on here,” he said, looking back at the time and place. “The best music came from here—the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Joan Baez, Janis Joplin—and so did the integrated circuit, and things like the Whole Earth Catalog.”
Initially the technologists and the hippies did not interface well. Many in the counterculture saw computers as ominous and Orwellian, the province of the
Pentagon and the power structure. In The Myth of the Machine, the historian Lewis Mumford warned that computers were sucking away our freedom and destroying “life-enhancing values.” An injunction
on punch cards of the period—
“Do not fold, spindle or mutilate”
—became an ironic
phrase of the antiwar Left.
years later revised his famous mBy far the most important example of this involved the choice of a disk drive for the Macintosh. Apple had a corporate division that built mass-storage devices, and it had developed a disk-drive system, code-named Twiggy, that could read and write onto those
thin, delicate 5?-inch floppy disks that older readers (who also remember Twiggy the model) will recall. But by the time the Lisa was ready to ship in the spring of 1983, it was clear that the Twiggy was buggy. Because the Lisa also came with a hard-disk drive, this
was not a complete disaster. But the Mac had no hard disk, so it faced a crisis. “The Mac team was beginning to panic,” said Hertzfeld. “We were using a single Twiggy drive, and we didn’t have
a hard disk to fall back on.”antra to proclaim, “Turn on, boot up, jack in.” The musician Bono, who later became a friend of Jobs, often discussed with him why those immersed in the rock-drugs-rebel
counterculture of the Bay Area ended up helping to create the personal computer industry. “The people who invented the
twenty-first century were pot-smoking, sandal-wearing hippies from the West Coast like Steve, because they saw differently,” he said. “The hierarchical systems of the East Coast, England, Germany, and Japan do not encourage this different thinking. The sixties produced an anarchic mind-set that is great for imagining a world not yet in existence.”
One person who encouraged the denizens of the counterculture to make common cause with the hackers was Stewart Brand. A puckish visionary who generated fun and ideas over many decades, Brand was a participant in one of the early sixties LSD studies in Palo Alto. He joined with his fellow subject Ken Kesey to produce the
acid-celebrating Trips Festival, appeared in the opening scene of Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, and worked with Doug Engelbart to create a seminal sound-and-light presentation of new technologies called the Mother of All Demos. “Most of our generation scorned computers as the embodiment of centralized
control,” Brand later noted. “But a tiny contingent—later called hackers—embraced computers and set about transforming them into tools of liberation. That turned out to be the true royal road to the future.”
Brand ran the Whole Earth Truck Store, which began as a roving truck that sold useful tools and educational materials, and in 1968 he decided to extend its reach with the Whole Earth Catalog. On its first cover was the famous picture of Earth
taken from space; its subtitle was “Access to Tools.” The underlying philosophy was that technology could be our friend. Brand wrote on the first page of the first edition, “A realm of intimate, personal power is developing—power of the individual to
conduct his own education, find his own inspiration, shape his own environment, and share his adventure with whoever is interested. Tools that aid this process are sought and promoted by the Whole Earth Catalog.” Buckminster Fuller followed with
a poem that began: “I see
God in the instruments
that work reliably.”
working prototype, just a crude model. Jobs thought it was great, but Belleville was appalled. There was no way, he thought, that Alps could have it ready for the Mac within a year.
The final stop was the Sony factory, located in a drab suburb of Tokyo. To Jobs, it looked messy and inelegant. A lot of the work was done by hand. He hated it. Back at the hotel, Belleville argued for going with the Sony disk drive. It was ready to use. Jobs disagreed. He decided that they would work with Alps to produce their own drive, and he ordered Belleville to cease all work with Sony.
typewriter?” it asked. “If so, you might like to come to a gathering of people with like-minded interests.”
Allen Baum spotted the flyer on the HP bulletin board and called Wozniak, who agreed to go with him. “That night turned out to be one of the most important nights of my life,” Wozniak recalled. About thirty other people showed up, spilling out of
French’s open garage door, and they took turns describing their interests. Wozniak, who later admitted to being extremely nervous, said he liked “video games, pay movies for hotels, scientific calculator design, and TV terminal design,” according to
the minutes prepared by Moore. There was a demonstration of the new Altair, but more important to Wozniak was seeing the specification sheet for a microprocessor.
As he thought about the microprocessor—a chip that had an entire central processing unit on it—he had an insight. He had been designing a terminal, with a keyboard and monitor, that would connect to a distant minicomputer. Using a
microprocessor, he could put some of the capacity of the minicomputer inside the terminal itself, so it could become a small stand-alone computer on a desktop. It was an enduring idea:
keyboard, screen, and computer all in one integrated personal package. “This whole vision of a personal computer just popped into my head,” he said. “That night, I started to
sketch out on paper
what would later
as the Apple I.”