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To think they can change 8 page

pane of backlit Plexiglas with Janoff’s new logo. They put on display the only three Apple IIs that

had been finished, but empty boxes were piled up to give the impression that there were many

more on hand.

Jobs was furious that the computer cases had arrived with tiny blemishes on them, so he had his

handful of employees sand and polish them. The imputing even extended to gussying up Jobs and

Wozniak. Markkula sent them to a San Francisco tailor for three-piece suits, which looked faintly

ridiculous on them, like tuxes on teenagers. “Markkula explained how we would all have to dress

up nicely, how we should appear and look, how we should act,” Wozniak recalled.

It was worth the effort. The Apple II looked solid yet friendly in its sleek beige case, unlike the

intimidating metal-clad machines and naked boards on the other tables. Apple got three hundred

orders at the show, and Jobs met a Japanese textile maker, Mizushima Satoshi, who became

Apple’s first dealer in Japan.

The fancy clothes and Markkula’s injunctions could not, however, stop the irrepressible

Wozniak from playing some practical jokes. One program that he displayed tried to guess people’s

nationality from their last name and then produced the relevant ethnic jokes. He also created and

distributed a hoax brochure for a new computer called the “Zaltair,” with all sorts of fake ad-copy

superlatives like “Imagine a car with five wheels.” Jobs briefly fell for the joke and even took

pride that the Apple II stacked up well against the Zaltair in the comparison chart. He didn’t

realize who had pulled the prank until eight years later, when Woz gave him a framed copy of the

brochure as a birthday gift.

Mike Scott

Apple was now a real company, with a dozen employees, a line of credit, and the daily pressures

that can come from customers and suppliers. It had even moved out of the Jobses’ garage, finally,

into a rented office on Stevens Creek Boulevard in Cupertino, about a mile from where Jobs and

Wozniak went to high school.

Jobs did not wear his growing responsibilities gracefully. He had always been temperamental

and bratty. At Atari his behavior had caused him to be banished to the night shift, but at Apple that

was not possible. “He became increasingly tyrannical and sharp in his criticism,” according to

Markkula. “He would tell people, ‘That design looks like shit.’” He was particularly rough on

Wozniak’s young programmers, Randy Wigginton and Chris Espinosa. “Steve would come in,

take a quick look at what I had done, and tell me it was shit without having any idea what it was or

why I had done it,” said Wigginton, who was just out of high school.

There was also the issue of his hygiene. He was still convinced, against all evidence, that his

vegan diets meant that he didn’t need to use a deodorant or take regular showers. “We would have

to literally put him out the door and tell him to go take a shower,” said Markkula. “At meetings we

had to look at his dirty feet.” Sometimes, to relieve stress, he would soak his feet in the toilet, a



practice that was not as soothing for his colleagues.

Markkula was averse to confrontation, so he decided to bring in a president, Mike Scott, to

keep a tighter rein on Jobs. Markkula and Scott had joined Fairchild on the same day in 1967, had

adjoining offices, and shared the same birthday, which they celebrated together each year. At their

birthday lunch in February 1977, when Scott was turning thirty-two, Markkula invited him to

become Apple’s new president.

On paper he looked like a great choice. He was running a manufacturing line for National

Semiconductor, and he had the advantage of being a manager who fully understood engineering.

In person, however, he had some quirks. He was overweight, afflicted with tics and health

problems, and so tightly wound that he wandered the halls with clenched fists. He also could be

argumentative. In dealing with Jobs, that could be good or bad.

Wozniak quickly embraced the idea of hiring Scott. Like Markkula, he hated dealing with the

conflicts that Jobs engendered. Jobs, not surprisingly, had more conflicted emotions. “I was only

twenty-two, and I knew I wasn’t ready to run a real company,” he said. “But Apple was my baby,

and I didn’t want to give it up.” Relinquishing any control was agonizing to him. He wrestled with

the issue over long lunches at Bob’s Big Boy hamburgers (Woz’s favorite place) and at the Good

Earth restaurant (Jobs’s). He finally acquiesced, reluctantly.

Mike Scott, called “Scotty” to distinguish him from Mike Markkula, had one primary duty:

managing Jobs. This was usually accomplished by Jobs’s preferred mode of meeting, which was

taking a walk together. “My very first walk was to tell him to bathe more

often,” Scott recalled. “He said that in exchange I had to read his fruitarian diet book and

consider it as a way to lose weight.” Scott never adopted the diet or lost much weight, and Jobs

made only minor modifications to his hygiene. “Steve was adamant that he bathed once a week,

and that was adequate as long as he was eating a fruitarian diet.”

Jobs’s desire for control and disdain for authority was destined to be a problem with the man

who was brought in to be his regent, especially when Jobs discovered that Scott was one of the

only people he had yet encountered who would not bend to his will. “The question between Steve

and me was who could be most stubborn, and I was pretty good at that,” Scott said. “He needed to

be sat on, and he sure didn’t like that.” Jobs later said, “I never yelled at anyone more than I yelled

at Scotty.”

An early showdown came over employee badge numbers. Scott assigned #1 to Wozniak and #2

to Jobs. Not surprisingly, Jobs demanded to be #1. “I wouldn’t let him have it, because that would

stoke his ego even more,” said Scott. Jobs threw a tantrum, even cried. Finally, he proposed a

solution. He would have badge #0. Scott relented, at least for the purpose of the badge, but the

Bank of America required a positive integer for its payroll system and Jobs’s remained #2.

There was a more fundamental disagreement that went beyond personal petulance. Jay Elliot,

who was hired by Jobs after a chance meeting in a restaurant, noted Jobs’s salient trait: “His

obsession is a passion for the product, a passion for product perfection.” Mike Scott, on the other

hand, never let a passion for the perfect take precedence over pragmatism. The design of the

Apple II case was one of many examples. The Pantone company, which Apple used to specify

colors for its plastic, had more than two thousand shades of beige. “None of them were good

enough for Steve,” Scott marveled. “He wanted to create a different shade, and I had to stop him.”

When the time came to tweak the design of the case, Jobs spent days agonizing over just how

rounded the corners should be. “I didn’t care how rounded they were,” said Scott, “I just wanted it

decided.” Another dispute was over engineering benches. Scott wanted a standard gray; Jobs

insisted on special-order benches that were pure white. All of this finally led to a showdown in

front of Markkula about whether Jobs or Scott

had the power to sign purchase orders; Markkula sided with Scott. Jobs also insisted that Apple

be different in how it treated customers. He wanted a one-year warranty to come with the Apple

II. This flabbergasted Scott; the usual warranty was ninety days. Again Jobs dissolved into tears

during one of their arguments over the issue. They walked around the parking lot to calm down,

and Scott decided to relent on this one.

Wozniak began to rankle at Jobs’s style. “Steve was too tough on people. I wanted our

company to feel like a family where we all had fun and shared whatever we made.” Jobs, for his

part, felt that Wozniak simply would not grow up. “He was very childlike. He did a great version

of BASIC, but then never could buckle down and write the floating-point BASIC we needed, so

we ended up later having to make a deal with Microsoft. He was just too unfocused.”

But for the time being the personality clashes were manageable, mainly because the company

was doing so well. Ben Rosen, the analyst whose newsletters shaped the opinions of the tech

world, became an enthusiastic proselytizer for the Apple II. An independent developer came up

with the first spreadsheet and personal finance program for personal computers, VisiCalc, and for

a while it was available only on the Apple II, turning the computer into something that businesses

and families could justify buying. The company began attracting influential new investors. The

pioneering venture capitalist Arthur Rock had initially been unimpressed when Markkula sent

Jobs to see him. “He looked as if he had just come back from seeing that guru he had in India,”

Rock recalled, “and he kind of smelled that way too.” But after Rock scoped out the Apple II, he

made an investment and joined the board.

The Apple II would be marketed, in various models, for the next sixteen years, with close to six

million sold. More than any other machine, it launched the personal computer industry. Wozniak

deserves the historic credit for the design of its awe-inspiring circuit board and related operating

software, which was one of the era’s great feats of solo invention. But Jobs was the one who

integrated Wozniak’s boards into a friendly package, from the power supply to the sleek case. He

also created the company that sprang up around Wozniak’s machines.

As Regis McKenna later said, “Woz designed a great machine, but it would be sitting in hobby

shops today were it not for Steve Jobs.” Nevertheless most people considered the Apple II to be

Wozniak’s creation. That would spur Jobs to pursue the next great advance, one that he could call

his own.

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHRISANN AND LISA

He Who Is Abandoned . . .

Ever since they had lived together in a cabin during the summer after he graduated from high

school,

Chrisann Brennan had woven in and out of Jobs’s life. When he returned from India in 1974, they

spent time together at Robert Friedland’s farm. “Steve invited me up there, and we were just

young and easy and free,” she recalled. “There was an energy there that went to my heart.”

When they moved back to Los Altos, their relationship drifted into being, for the most part,

merely friendly. He lived at home and worked at Atari; she had a small apartment and spent a lot

of time at Kobun Chino’s Zen center. By early 1975 she had begun a relationship with a mutual

friend, Greg Calhoun. “She was with Greg, but went back to Steve occasionally,” according to

Elizabeth Holmes. “That was pretty much the way it was with all of us. We were sort of shifting

back and forth; it was the seventies, after all.”

Calhoun had been at Reed with Jobs, Friedland, Kottke, and Holmes. Like the others, he

became deeply involved with Eastern spirituality, dropped out of Reed, and found his way to

Friedland’s farm. There he moved into an eight-by twenty-foot chicken coop that he converted

into a little house by raising it onto cinderblocks and building a sleeping loft inside. In the spring

of 1975 Brennan moved in with him, and the next year they decided to make their own pilgrimage

to India. Jobs advised Calhoun not to take Brennan with him, saying that she would interfere with

his spiritual quest, but they went together anyway. “I was just so impressed by what happened to

Steve on his trip to India that I wanted to go there,” she said.

Theirs was a serious trip, beginning in March 1976 and lasting almost a year. At one point they

ran out of money, so Calhoun hitchhiked to Iran to teach English in Tehran. Brennan stayed in

India, and when Calhoun’s teaching stint was over they hitchhiked to meet each other in the

middle, in Afghanistan. The world was a very different place back then.

After a while their relationship frayed, and they returned from India separately. By the summer

of 1977 Brennan had moved back to Los Altos, where she lived for a while in a tent on the

grounds of Kobun Chino’s Zen center. By this time Jobs had moved out of his parents’ house and

was renting a $600 per month suburban ranch house in Cupertino with Daniel Kottke. It was an

odd scene of free-spirited hippie types living in a tract house they dubbed Rancho Suburbia. “It

was a four-bedroom house, and we occasionally rented one of the bedrooms out to all sorts of

crazy people, including a stripper for a while,” recalled Jobs. Kottke couldn’t quite figure out why

Jobs had not just gotten his own house, which he could have afforded by then. “I think he just

wanted to have a roommate,” Kottke speculated.

Even though her relationship with Jobs was sporadic, Brennan soon moved in as well. This

made for a set of living arrangements worthy of a French farce. The house had two big bedrooms

and two tiny ones. Jobs, not surprisingly, commandeered the largest of them, and Brennan (who

was not really living with him) moved into the other big bedroom. “The two middle rooms were

like for babies, and I didn’t want either of them, so I moved into the living room and slept on a

foam pad,” said Kottke. They turned one of the small rooms into space for meditating and

dropping acid, like the attic space they had used at Reed. It was filled with foam packing material

from Apple boxes. “Neighborhood kids used to come over and we would toss them in it and it was

great fun,” said Kottke, “but then Chrisann brought home some cats who peed in the foam, and

then we had to get rid of it.”

Living in the house at times rekindled the physical relationship between Brennan and Jobs, and

within a few months she was pregnant. “Steve and I were in and out of a relationship for five years

before I got pregnant,” she said. “We didn’t know how to be together and we didn’t know how to

be apart.” When Greg Calhoun hitchhiked from Colorado to visit them on Thanksgiving 1977,

Brennan told him the news: “Steve and I got back together, and now I’m pregnant, but now we are

on again and off again, and I don’t know what to do.”

Calhoun noticed that Jobs was disconnected from the whole situation. He even tried to

convince Calhoun to stay with them and come to work at Apple. “Steve was just not dealing with

Chrisann or the pregnancy,” he recalled. “He could be very engaged with you in one moment, but

then very disengaged. There was a side to him that was frighteningly cold.”

When Jobs did not want to deal with a distraction, he sometimes just ignored it, as if he could

will it out of existence. At times he was able to distort reality not just for others but even for

himself. In the case of Brennan’s pregnancy, he simply shut it out of his mind. When confronted,

he would deny that he knew he was the father, even though he admitted that he had been sleeping

with her. “I wasn’t sure it was my kid, because I was pretty sure I wasn’t the only one she was

sleeping with,” he told me later. “She and I were not really even going out when she got pregnant.

She just had a room in our house.” Brennan had no doubt that Jobs was the father. She had not

been involved with Greg or any other men at the time.

Was he lying to himself, or did he not know that he was the father? “I just think he couldn’t

access that part of his brain or the idea of being responsible,” Kottke said. Elizabeth Holmes

agreed: “He considered the option of parenthood and considered the option of not being a parent,

and he decided to believe the latter. He had other plans for his life.”

There was no discussion of marriage. “I knew that she was not the person I wanted to marry,

and we would never be happy, and it wouldn’t last long,” Jobs later said. “I was all in favor of her

getting an abortion, but she didn’t know what to do. She thought about it repeatedly and decided

not to, or I don’t know that she ever really decided—I

think time just decided for her.” Brennan told me that it was her choice to have the baby: “He

said he was fine with an abortion but never pushed for it.” Interestingly, given his own

background, he was adamantly against one option. “He strongly discouraged me putting the child

up for adoption,” she said.

There was a disturbing irony. Jobs and Brennan were both twenty-three, the same age that

Joanne Schieble and Abdulfattah Jandali had been when they had Jobs. He had not yet tracked

down his biological parents, but his adoptive parents had told him some of their tale. “I didn’t

know then about this coincidence of our ages, so it didn’t affect my discussions with Chrisann,” he

later said. He dismissed the notion that he was somehow following his biological father’s pattern

of getting his girlfriend pregnant when he was twenty-three, but he did admit that the ironic

resonance gave him pause. “When I did find out that he was twenty-three when he got Joanne

pregnant with me, I thought, whoa!”

The relationship between Jobs and Brennan quickly deteriorated. “Chrisann would get into this

kind of victim mode, when she would say that Steve and I were ganging up on her,” Kottke

recalled. “Steve would just laugh and not take her seriously.” Brennan was not, as even she later

admitted, very emotionally stable. She began breaking plates, throwing things, trashing the house,

and writing obscene words in charcoal on the wall. She said that Jobs kept provoking her with his

callousness: “He was an enlightened being who was cruel.” Kottke was caught in the middle.

“Daniel didn’t have that DNA of ruthlessness, so he was a bit flipped by Steve’s behavior,”

according to Brennan. “He would go from ‘Steve’s not treating you right’ to laughing at me with

Steve.”

Robert Friedland came to her rescue. “He heard that I was pregnant, and he said to come on up

to the farm to have the baby,” she recalled. “So I did.” Elizabeth Holmes and other friends were

still living there, and they found an Oregon midwife to help with the delivery. On May 17, 1978,

Brennan gave birth to a baby girl. Three days later Jobs flew up to be with them and help name the

new baby. The practice on the commune was to give children Eastern spiritual names, but Jobs

insisted that she had been born in America and ought to have

a name that fit. Brennan agreed. They named her Lisa Nicole Brennan, not giving her the last

name Jobs. And then he left to go back to work at Apple. “He didn’t want to have anything to do

with her or with me,” said Brennan.

She and Lisa moved to a tiny, dilapidated house in back of a home in Menlo Park. They lived

on welfare because Brennan did not feel up to suing for child support. Finally, the County of San

Mateo sued Jobs to try to prove paternity and get him to take financial responsibility. At first Jobs

was determined to fight the case. His lawyers wanted Kottke to testify that he had never seen them

in bed together, and they tried to line up evidence that Brennan had been sleeping with other men.

“At one point I yelled at Steve on the phone, ‘You know that is not true,’” Brennan recalled. “He

was going to drag me through court with a little baby and try to prove I was a whore and that

anyone could have been the father of that baby.”

A year after Lisa was born, Jobs agreed to take a paternity test. Brennan’s family was surprised,

but Jobs knew that Apple would soon be going public and he decided it was best to get the issue

resolved. DNA tests were new, and the one that Jobs took was done at UCLA. “I had read about

DNA testing, and I was happy to do it to get things settled,” he said. The results were pretty

dispositive. “Probability of paternity . . . is 94.41%,” the report read. The California courts ordered

Jobs to start paying $385 a month in child support, sign an agreement admitting paternity, and

reimburse the county $5,856 in back welfare payments. He was given visitation rights but for a

long time didn’t exercise them.

Even then Jobs continued at times to warp the reality around him. “He finally told us on the

board,” Arthur Rock recalled, “but he kept insisting that there was a large probability that he

wasn’t the father. He was delusional.” He told a reporter for Time, Michael Moritz, that when you

analyzed the statistics, it was clear that “28% of the male population in the United States could be

the father.” It was not only a false claim but an odd one. Worse yet, when Chrisann Brennan later

heard what he said, she mistakenly thought that Jobs was hyperbolically claiming that she might

have slept with 28% of the men in the United States. “He was trying to paint me as a slut or a

whore,”

she recalled. “He spun the whore image onto me in order to not take responsibility.”

Years later Jobs was remorseful for the way he behaved, one of the few times in his life he

admitted as much:

I wish I had handled it differently. I could not see myself as a father then, so I didn’t face up to it. But

when the test results showed she was my daughter, it’s not true that I doubted it. I agreed to support her

until she was eighteen and give some money to Chrisann as well. I found a house in Palo Alto and fixed

it up and let them live there rent-free. Her mother found her great schools which I paid for. I tried to do

the right thing. But if I could do it over, I would do a better job.

Once the case was resolved, Jobs began to move on with his life—maturing in some respects,

though not all. He put aside drugs, eased away from being a strict vegan, and cut back the time he

spent on Zen retreats. He began getting stylish haircuts and buying suits and shirts from the

upscale San Francisco haberdashery Wilkes Bashford. And he settled into a serious relationship

with one of Regis McKenna’s employees, a beautiful Polynesian-Polish woman named Barbara

Jasinski.

There was still, to be sure, a childlike rebellious streak in him. He, Jasinski, and Kottke liked to

go skinny-dipping in Felt Lake on the edge of Interstate 280 near Stanford, and he bought a 1966

BMW R60/2 motorcycle that he adorned with orange tassels on the handlebars. He could also still

be bratty. He belittled waitresses and frequently returned food with the proclamation that it was

“garbage.” At the company’s first Halloween party, in 1979, he dressed in robes as Jesus Christ,

an act of semi-ironic self-awareness that he considered funny but that caused a lot of eye rolling.

Even his initial stirrings of domesticity had some quirks. He bought a proper house in the Los

Gatos hills, which he adorned with a Maxfield Parrish painting, a Braun coffeemaker, and

Henckels knives. But because he was so obsessive when it came to selecting furnishings, it

remained mostly barren, lacking beds or chairs or couches. Instead his bedroom had a mattress in

the center, framed pictures of Einstein and Maharaj-ji on the walls, and an Apple II on the floor.

CHAPTER EIGHT

XEROX AND LISA

Graphical User Interfaces

A New Baby

The Apple II took the company from Jobs’s garage to the pinnacle of a new industry. Its sales rose

dramatically, from 2,500 units in 1977 to 210,000 in 1981. But Jobs was restless. The Apple II

could not remain successful forever, and he knew that, no matter how much he had done to

package it, from power cord to case, it would always be seen as Wozniak’s masterpiece. He

needed his own machine. More than that, he wanted a product that would, in his words, make a

dent in the universe.

At first he hoped that the Apple III would play that role. It would have more memory, the

screen would display eighty characters across rather than forty, and it would handle uppercase and

lowercase letters. Indulging his passion for industrial design, Jobs decreed the size and shape of

the external case, and he refused to let anyone alter it, even as committees of engineers added

more components to the circuit boards. The result was piggybacked boards with poor connectors

that frequently failed. When the Apple III began shipping in May 1980, it flopped. Randy

Wigginton, one of the engineers, summed it up: “The Apple III was kind of like a baby conceived

during a group orgy, and later everybody had this bad headache, and there’s this bastard child, and

everyone says, ‘It’s not mine.’”

By then Jobs had distanced himself from the Apple III and was thrashing about for ways to

produce something more radically different. At first he flirted with the idea of touchscreens, but he

found himself frustrated. At one demonstration of the technology, he arrived late, fidgeted awhile,

then abruptly cut off the engineers in the middle of their presentation with a brusque “Thank you.”

They were confused. “Would you like us to leave?” one asked. Jobs said yes, then berated his

colleagues for wasting his time.

Then he and Apple hired two engineers from Hewlett-Packard to conceive a totally new

computer. The name Jobs chose for it would have caused even the most jaded psychiatrist to do a

double take: the Lisa. Other computers had been named after daughters of their designers, but Lisa

was a daughter Jobs had abandoned and had not yet fully admitted was his. “Maybe he was doing

it out of guilt,” said Andrea Cunningham, who worked at Regis McKenna on public relations for

the project. “We had to come up with an acronym so that we could claim it was not named after

Lisa the child.” The one they reverse-engineered was “local integrated systems architecture,” and

despite being meaningless it became the official explanation for the name. Among the engineers it

was referred to as “Lisa: invented stupid acronym.” Years later, when I asked about the name,

Jobs admitted simply, “Obviously it was named for my daughter.”

The Lisa was conceived as a $2,000 machine based on a sixteen-bit microprocessor, rather than

the eight-bit one used in the Apple II. Without the wizardry of Wozniak, who was still working

quietly on the Apple II, the engineers began producing a straightforward computer with a

conventional text display, unable to push the powerful microprocessor to do much exciting stuff.

Jobs began to grow impatient with how boring it was turning out to be.

There was, however, one programmer who was infusing the project with some life: Bill

Atkinson. He was a doctoral student in neuroscience who had experimented with his fair share of

acid. When he was asked to come work for Apple, he declined. But then Apple sent him a

nonrefundable plane ticket, and he decided to use it and let Jobs try to

persuade him. “We are inventing the future,” Jobs told him at the end of a three-hour pitch.

“Think about surfing on the front edge of a wave. It’s really exhilarating. Now think about dogpaddling

at the tail end of that wave. It wouldn’t be anywhere near as much fun. Come down here

and make a dent in the universe.” Atkinson did.

With his shaggy hair and droopy moustache that did not hide the animation in his face,

Atkinson had some of Woz’s ingenuity along with Jobs’s passion for awesome products. His first

job was to develop a program to track a stock portfolio by auto-dialing the Dow Jones service,

getting quotes, then hanging up. “I had to create it fast because there was a magazine ad for the

Apple II showing a hubby at the kitchen table looking at an Apple screen filled with graphs of

stock prices, and his wife is beaming at him—but there wasn’t such a program, so I had to create

one.” Next he created for the Apple II a version of Pascal, a high-level programming language.

Jobs had resisted, thinking that BASIC was all the Apple II needed, but he told Atkinson, “Since


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