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Review: Steve Jobs: The Last Interview

Will Coviello on the documentary featuring a 1995 interview with the man who was about to save Apple


Walter Isaacson was in town recently to discuss his biography of Steve Jobs, the cofounder and guru of Apple. His take on Jobs is that the entrepreneur was able to combine a vision of the art and science of computers, someone who understood both the technology and the need to make a product desirable and useful to consumers. Isaacson has much more to say in his 656 page book. In Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview, Jobs sums it up simply: asked if he is a nerd, he responds that he's a hippie, an experimenting dreamer.

  Not so much a documentary as the full run of an hour-long interview (by Robert Cringely for a series about the birth of the PC), the film presents a remarkably concise and compelling look at the world that made Jobs and the way he changed it. Given Jobs' amazing insight into both the technology of computers and software and the functioning of a large company, it almost comes off like a thriller. Perhaps most remarkable is that the interview took place in 1995, 10 years after Jobs left Apple following a bitter battle with CEO John Sculley, who he brought into the company. It's also shortly before Jobs sold his company NeXT to Apple and rejoined the company, when it was within 90 days of bankruptcy.

  There's no doubt about what he contributed to Apple, but the interview ends with his forecast about how important the Internet would become, then in its commercial infancy. In hindsight, he was right about a lot of things, but it's amazing to watch him predict computing and market developments long before any of Apple's iproducts were developed. — Will Coviello

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