Die Geschichte des Apple Macintosh – Buchtipps

Von | Apple, Tech History

Update: Zu Geschichte des Apple Macintosh habe ich inzwischen eine eigene
Website, Mac History, eingerichtet.

Eine Übersicht der wichtigsten Bücher zur Entwicklung des Macintosh, der Geschichte Apple Computer und der Entwicklung der Computer-Industrie in den 70er und 80er Jahren:

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Steve Jobs und die Erfolgsgeschichte von Apple
An Steve Jobs scheiden sich die Geister. Die Apple-Gemeinde verehrt den Mitbegründer des kalifornischen Hightech-Unternehmens als Visionär und geschmackvollen Computerpionier. Etliche Zeitbeobachter und Journalisten halten den Chef von Apple Computer dagegen für einen durchtriebenen Egomanen mit schlechten Manieren, der seine Erfolge fast immer auf Kosten seiner Mitarbeiter erzielt hat. Die Autoren Jeffrey S. Young und William L. Simon gehören zweifelsfrei zu den Kritikern von Steve Jobs.

Als im Frühjahr 2005 in den USA die nicht autorisierte Biografie „iCon“ von Young und Simon erschien, entsprach die Reaktion von Jobs dem Bild, dass die beiden Autoren von dem Apple-Boss gezeichnet hatten. Tobend vor Wut verbannte Jobs mit einer persönlichen Anweisung sämtliche Titel des Verlags John Wiley & Sons aus den firmeneigenen Apple-Stores, darunter die populäre „Dummies“-Reihe. Schon der Titel des Buchs empfand Jobs als Provokation. „iCon“ heißt zum einen „Ikone“, kann als „I con“ aber auch „Nein-Sager“ sowie als „Hochstapler“, „Bauernfänger“ oder „Schwindler“ gelesen werden.

Der Frankfurter Scherz-Verlag, der rechtzeitig zum 30-jährigen Firmenjubiläum von Apple Computer am 1. April 2006 die deutsche Übersetzung des Buches auf den Markt gebracht hat, will diesen Angriff nicht schon auf dem Buchcover führen. „Steve Jobs und die Geschichte eines außergewöhnlichen Unternehmens“ lautet der harmlose Titel der deutschen Ausgabe und zeigt die Silhouette von Jobs vor dem Apple-Symbol. Dabei beschäftigt sich das Buch nicht nur mit Apple, sondern mit drei Unternehmen: Apple, NeXT und Pixar.

Charlotte Lyne, die „iCon“ aus dem Amerikanischen übersetzt hat, verliert denn auch in dem Firmengeflecht den Überblick und ordnet zum Börsengang von Pixar auf Seite 317 vier führende Mitarbeiter des Studios fälschlicherweise Apple zu. (Aus „Within the company, four man were blessed by the IPO but not through Steve’s willing generosity.“ wird in der deutschen Ausgabe „Bei Apple gab es vier Männer, für die sich der Börsengang als ein Segen erwies, aber das hatten sie keinesfalls Steves Großzügigkeit zu verdanken.“)

Der erste Teil des Buches stützt sich weit gehend auf die Recherchen des Journalisten Michael Moritz, der schon in der Neujahrsausgabe des Time Magazine 1983 Steve Jobs als charismatisches, aber charakterschwaches Computer-Wunderkind porträtiert hatte. Time wollte damals eigentlich Steve Jobs zum „Mann des Jahres“ auf das Titelblatt heben, rückte aber nach warnenden Hinweisen ihres Silicon-Valley-Korrespondenten Moritz von diesem Plan ab und ernannte den Personal Computer zur „Maschine des Jahres“. Die Schilderungen von Moritz, die dieser später in seinem Buch „The Little Kingdom“ ausarbeitet hatte, werden von Young und Simon durch dünn belegte, unappetitliche Details ergänzt. Jobs ist der junge Schnösel, der zu beschäftigt ist, die Toilettenspülung zu bedienen. Der nicht weiß, wann man sich mal besser duschen sollte. Der Tyrann, der Mitarbeiter mit obszönen Bemerkungen provoziert.

Young und Simon versuchen zwar auch, das Charisma von Jobs zu beschreiben, mit dem dieser seine Ingenieure zu Höchstleistungen antreibt, Finanzmogule um den Finger wickelt oder seine Kunden in den Bann zieht. Doch schnell landen die beiden Autoren wieder im kritischen Stakkato. Wer diese Seite von Steve Jobs näher kennen lernen möchte, kann sich beispielsweise auf der Website www.folklore.org ein Bild machen. Hier hat Andy Hertzfeld, einer der maßgeblichen Schöpfer des ersten Apple Macintosh, Episoden aus dieser frühen Apple-Geschichte gesammelt.

Der zweite Teil des Buchs orientiert sich dagegen so stark an der Biografie „The Second Coming of Steve Jobs“ von Alan Deutschmann, so dass der Reporter des US-Magazins „Fast Company“ sich lautstark über die Übernahme kompletter Textpassagen durch Young und Simon beschwerte. Im Mittelpunkt steht hier der spannende Abschnitt der Karriere von Jobs, nachdem er 1985 vom damaligen Apple-Chef John Sculley gefeuert worden war.

Mit seinem Geld aus dem Börsengang von Apple gründete Jobs die Computerfirma NeXT und kaufte die Trickfilmabteilung von George Lucas, aus der dann das Animationsstudio Pixar wurde. Nach einem holprigen Weg und kurz vor der persönlichen Pleite gelang es Jobs dann, Pixar mit Trickfilmen wie „Toy Story“ und „Findet Nemo!“ zum Erfolg zu führen. Das letzte Kapitel dieses Stücks, der Verkauf von Pixar an Disney, ging dann nach der Drucklegung des Buches über die Bühne.

1996 wurde Steve Jobs von Apple in das krisengeschüttelte Unternehmen zurückgeholt. Mit Hilfe des Designcomputers iMac und der unglaublichen Erfolgsgeschichte des Musikplayers iPod führte er dann Apple wieder in die erste Reihe der Hightech-Gesellschaft zurück. Diese Phase wird von den beiden Autoren vergleichsweise wohlwollend begleitet. Sie haben auch eine Ursache für die Erfolgssträhne von Steve Jobs ausgemacht: das Familienglück mit Laurene Powell, die er im März 1991 heiratete, und den drei Kindern.
Steve Jobs und die Erfolgsgeschichte von Apple (Broschiert)
von Jeffrey Young und William L. Simon

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Der Computer der die Welt veränderte
January 1994 marks the 10th anniversary of this personal computer breakthrough. A household word now, the Mac phenomenon marked a watershed point in techno-popular culture as it pointed the way for all future machines. It raised the standard of what one could demand of a personal computer, raised the number of people who could master the use of a more capable, user-friendly one, and raised the stakes of what competing computer companies (like Bill Gates of the emerging Microsoft) could produce, sell and earn in the rapidly developing area of PC programming and research. It catapulted the computer industry into an uncharted territory, a mix of technics, economics and show biz.
Steven Levy: Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything
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Wie Xerox die Zukunft verspielte
Ask consumers and users what names they associate with the multibillion dollar personal computer market, and they will answer IBM, Apple, Tandy, or Lotus. The more knowledgable of them will add the likes of Microsoft, Ashton-Tate, Compaq, and Borland. But no one will say Xerox. Fifteen years after it invented personal computing, Xerox still means “copy.”

Fumbling the Future tells how one of America’s leading corporations invented the technology for one of the fastest-growing products of recent times, then miscalculated and mishandled the opportunity to fully exploit it. It is a classic story of how innovation can fare within large corporate structures, the real-life odyssey of what can happen to an idea as it travels from inspiration to implementation.

More than anything, Fumbling the Future is a tale of human beings whose talents, hopes, fears, habits, and prejudices determine the fate of our largest organizations and of our best ideas. In an era in which technological creativity and economic change are so critical to the competitiveness of the American economy, Fumbling the Future is a parable for our times.
Douglas K. Smith, Robert C. Alexander: Fumbling the Future: How Xerox Invented, Then Ignored, the First Personal Computer Bei Amazon bestellen

Die Irrfahrt des John Sculley
This is an autobiography-cum-business book by John Sculley, one of the most successful businessmen in America, who became Pepsi’s president and CEO at the age of 38. At the height of his success with Pepsi he joined the high-risk young Apple, co-founded by a young genius named Stephen Jobs.

This book describes the turbulent relationship between Jobs and Sculley, their break-up over the future of Apple, and the eventual transformation of Apple into one of the most unconventional and dramatic success stories in business history. It offers an insight into the emotions and personal drama of life at the top. John A.Byrne is management editor of “Business Week” magazine. He is also the author of “The Headhunters”.
John Sculley (mit der Hilfe von John A. Byrne): Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple
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Die Geschichte des modernen Computing

This history covers modern computing from the development of the first electronic digital computer through the dot-com crash. The author concentrates on five key moments of transition: the transformation of the computer in the late 1940s from a specialized scientific instrument to a commercial product; the emergence of small systems in the late 1960s; the beginning of personal computing in the 1970s; the spread of networking after 1985; and, in a chapter written for this edition, the period 1995-2001. The new material focuses on the Microsoft anti-trust suit, the rise and fall of the dot-coms and the advent of open-source software, particularly Linux. Within the chronological narrative, the book traces several overlapping threads: the evolution of the computer’s internal design; the effect of economic trends and the Cold War; the long-term role of IBM as a player and as a target for upstart entrepreneurs; the growth of software from a hidden element to a major character in the story of computing; and the recurring issue of the place of information and computing in a democratic society. The focus is on the United States (though Europe and Japan enter the story at crucial points), on computing per se rather than on applications such as artificial intelligence, and on systems that were sold commercially and installed in quantities.
Paul E. Ceruzzi: A History of Modern Computing (History of Computing S.)
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Wie im Silicon Valley alles anfing
In the early 1970s, while Silicon Valley was designing the latest generation of digital wristwatches and pocket calculators, a ragtag group of college dropouts, hippies, and electronics hobbyists were busy creating the future in their garages. What they built was the personal computer, but what they were aiming for was something much more ambitious: a revolution. Fire in the Valley is the story of their efforts, and in particular, the contributions of an informal think tank called the Homebrew Computer Club. Its technically gifted community, comprising sci-fi aficionados and Berkeley counterculturists, believed computers could usher in an age of human empowerment, perhaps even a utopia.

The club’s most famous member is Steve Jobs of Apple, whose story is told here, as is Bill Gates’s, who was strongly influenced by Homebrew. What sets Fire in the Valley apart from the many other books about early days at Apple and Microsoft, though, is its focus on the brilliant engineers and coders who built the foundation that would eventually support those two companies. They included ex-Berkley Barb editor and hardware designer Lee Felsenstein, who was adamant about using computers for populist ends; Adam Osborne, who took PCs to the next level by making them portable; hacker legend John “Captain Crunch” Draper, who used telephony for his own mischievous purposes; and activist Ted Nelson, the Thom Paine of the computer revolution.

The cast of characters is sometimes tough to keep track of, and authors Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine have wisely included a graphic timeline in the first pages of the book that readers will find useful. It stretches from 1800 to 1999, encompassing events that have occurred since Fire in the Valley’s original 1984 publication. This second edition includes new chapters and photographs to document the last 15 years, but they serve as more of an epilogue than a new act in this drama. The Homebrew Club’s mark on personal computing history is cemented, and Fire in the Valley is an engaging account of it, one that should inspire readers everywhere.
Paul Freiberger, Michael Swaine: Fire in the Valley: The Making of the Personal Computer
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Die historischen Vorläufer
This history of the computer explores the roots of the industry’s phenomenal development, tracing not only the development of the machine itself–beginning with Charles Babbage’s well-known 1883 mechanical prototype–but also chronicling the effects of manufacturing and sales innovations by such companies as Remington and National Cash Register that made the boom possible. The authors recount the transition from slow mechanical computers to the vacuum-tubed electronic computers, ENIAC and EDVAC, pioneered by a team led by mathematician John von Neumann during World War II. Later innovations made the computer a mass-market item, and now, the authors suggest, freedom of access to the technology is constrained only by the imperative of computer companies to make money.
Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray: Computer: A History of the Information Machine
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Die wahre Geschichte von Apple
Owen Linzmayer’s Apple Confidential is subtitled The Real Story of Apple Computer, Inc., and while nobody will ever know the complete, “real” story about Apple, Linzmayer’s is probably as close as they come. Having covered Apple news since 1980, he offers extensive insider details about Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, John Sculley, Gilbert Amelio, Bill Gates and other major players whose lives were (and are) intertwined with Apple’s history. And along the way, we also learn about lesser-known figures whose stories have remained hidden in the Apple myth: Ronald Gerald Wayne, for example, who was actually a partner with Wozniak and Jobs in the original incarnation of the company, but who sold his share when he realised he would be financially vulnerable if it should fail.

Linzmayer’s tale does have a few drawbacks. Because he mixes a chronological narrative with chapters that focus on key points in the Apple story, he sometimes repeats himself. Case in point: the chapter “Big Bad Blunders” makes a great record of Apple’s failures, but the story of the exploding Powerbook 5300s is duplicated at later points. Nonetheless, Apple Confidential is rife with gems that will appeal to Apple fanatics and followers of the computer industry. Especially enjoyable are the revelation of “Easter eggs” that are hidden in several versions of the Mac operating system; the many screen shots, timelines and telling quotes from Jobs, Gates, Wozniak and others that populate the margins and concluding sections of each chapter; the “Code Names Uncovered” section that makes public the monikers of several secret Apple projects; and Bill Gates’s 1985 letter to John Sculley and Jean Louis Gassee pleading for Apple to license Mac technology and develop a “standard personal computer.”
Owen Linzmayer: Apple Confidential: the Real Story of Apple Computer Inc.
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Die zweite Karriere des Steve Jobs
For the legions who revere Apple Computer’s high-profile cofounder as a godlike figure, the aptly titled Second Coming of Steve Jobs will prove an intriguing picture of a seminal time in their deity’s roller-coaster life. It should emphatically vindicate their deeply held faith in the man and his ideas. But even for those with a lesser opinion, Alan Deutschman offers an interesting and enlightening look at the crucial period from Jobs’s unceremonious Apple exit through his triumphant return. Deutschman, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair magazine and longtime Silicon Valley correspondent, interviewed nearly 100 colleagues and friends to draw this portrait of a bewilderingly complex and notoriously private man–albeit one whose talents, personality traits, and idiosyncrasies have long been on public display. “He succeeded in becoming the Jackie Kennedy Onassis of business and technology,” Deutschman writes, “a figure who was ubiquitous as a symbol of his times but little known as a human being.” To change that, he looks into Jobs’s ill-fated first post-Apple endeavor at the Next computer company, his return to undeniable respectability with Pixar and the two Toy Story movies, and finally, his ultimate absolution with a very successful reclamation of the Apple crown. It’s a revealing account of a singular individual during a remarkable time.
Alan Deutschman: The Second Coming of Steve Jobs
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Der Marketing-Guru Kawasaki erläutert das Apple-Prinzip
Guy Kawasaki was one the most powerful person in the Macintosh industry, largely for his well-developed ability to inspire and leverage fervor and zeal. His first book, The Macintosh Way, chronicles the dawn of Apple’s life-changing computer, including the software evangelism program, and extrapolates therefrom the guerrilla marketing principles he’s been developing in subsequent books (most recently, How To Drive Your Competition Crazy). Over the years he’s headed one software company and been associated with others, written columns in outlets from MacUser to Forbes, and provided a rallying point for Macintosh lovers in good times and bad.
Guy Kawasaki: The Macintosh Way
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Intrigen, Egomanen und haarsträubende Business-Fehlleistungen
Computer users who favor Macintosh products are truly enthralled with their machines. But after reading Apple: The Inside Story of Intrigue, Egomania, and Business Blunders, even the most zealous may be hard-pressed to defend the company that produces them. Here, Wall Street Journal technology reporter Jim Carlton chronicles the missteps that have befuddled the fallen giant of Cupertino between the initial and current regimes of cofounder Steve Jobs. Carlton combines a keen sense of observation with a slew of previously undisclosed facts to produce a damning history that will leave many wondering how the firm has managed to survive.
Jim Carlton: Apple – The Inside Story of Intrigue, Egomania, and Business Blunders
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Zufall, alles nur Zufall
Robert X. Cringely manages to capture the contradictions and everyday insanity of computer industry empire building, while at the same time chipping away sardonically at the PR campaigns that have built up some very common businesspeople into the household gods of geekdom. Despite some chuckles at the expense of all things nerdy, white, and male in the computer industry, Cringely somehow manages to balance the humor with a genuine appreciation of both the technical and strategic accomplishments of these industry luminaries. Whether you’re a hard-boiled Silicon Valley marketing exec fishing for an IPO or just a plain old reader with an interest in business history and anecdotal storytelling, there’s something to enjoy here.
Robert X. Cringely: Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition and Still Can’t Get a Date
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