October 5, 2011 was a very sad day for the American computer industry: Steve Jobs - the creator of the first commercially successful lines of personal computers, the Apple II series - passed away after losing his battle with a rare pancreatic cancer. As one of the few, true innovators of our time, Jobs took his knowledge and creativity and built up a company that is now worth about $1 trillion.
Steve Jobs did many great things for the technological world, so as homage to a great man, we thought it would be interesting to talk a little about one of his first projects. You see, the first Macintosh computer Jobs designed was actually influenced by his Porsche 928.
Andy Hertzfeld, a member of the original Apple development team, recalls the discussion in March 1981 during a late night at the office. "It’s got to be different, different from everything else." said Jobs to James Ferris, Apple’s director of Creative Services. “For some reason, they were talking about cars,” Hertzfeld recalls.
"We need it to have a classic look, that won’t go out of style, like the Volkswagen Beetle", I heard Steve tell James.
"No, that’s not right.", James replied. "The lines should be voluptuous, like a Ferrari.”
"Not a Ferrari, that’s not right either", Steve responded, apparently excited by the car comparison. "It should be more like a Porsche!" referring to his Porsche 928.
“I thought it was kind of pompous to compare computers with sports cars, even metaphorically. But I was impressed with Steve’s passion for elegance in the industrial design and his powers of discrimination continually amazed me as the design took shape.” Hertzfeld said.
The design for the first Mac was released in February 1982. Jobs had worked tirelessly, attempting to produce the best Porsche-like design for the computer.
The world has lost a true inspiration. Steve Jobs will be missed.