The Macinstosh vs. the Shuffle

by Jack Richins

I watched a video today of Steve Jobs unveiling the first Macintosh. And the thought struck me of how contrasting this all was with the unveiling of the iPod and in particular the iPod shuffle. The Macintosh was going to change the world! Steve believed it, his team believed it, and most people who saw it believed it. The iPod shuffle is going to let you listen to music – randomly?

Partly I think this is a result of the success of the Macintosh and the computer industry in general. What new product do you actually believe is going to change the world today in the way it felt like the Macintosh was going to change things? But on the other hand, I can’t help but think the Steve Jobs of 1984 would be embarassed of the Steve Jobs of 2005. He’d wonder why he’d go off and make quiant little movies about toys instead of change the world. I mean, c’mon, how much better are movies or 99 cent songs than sugar water ;). At least he tried to change things with NeXT – it was revolutionary, though unsuccessful (did you know the web was invented on a NeXT?). But the iPod shuffle? You expect me to believe that the shuffle is "insanely great"? Well, at least Steve has his memories. I sometimes wonder if revolutionary changes like the Macintosh are even possible.

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