Domenico Morrone 100512560 PIRATES OF SILICON VALLEY
1. Who did Steve Jobs think was the “enemy” and who was the real enemy? Support your answer with direct evidence from the film.
In the film, Pirates Of Silicon Valley, the character Steve Jobs believed that IBM was the so-called “enemy” to his dream and creation of Apple Computers. He thought this because IBM were the “men in suits” and had all the money. However, the real “enemy”, although not realized to Steve, was Bill Gates and Microsoft because although Microsoft didn't have the original advantage, Bill's business strategies and methods were much stronger. His employees were well treated and he had good intentions about his product and how he could prove to companies like IBM they they needed his G.U.I. (Graphical User Interface) to make their 'personal computers' function.
2. At the beginning of the film, Steve Jobs thanks Bill Gates for “standing with us”, why? Support your answer with references to sources of information from the internet.
At the beginning of the film, Steve Jobs thanks Bill Gates for “standing with us” because without Bill's business sense, Apple Computer Inc. as we knew it, would have been flushed down the drain. Steve spent too much time competing with himself and creating a battle of employees within his doors. He segregated the “Macintosh” brand team against the original “Lisa” team and would allow them to fight and dispute.
3. Who is Captain Crunch, what did he discover, and what was the frequency in Hertz of the device he used? Support your answer with references to sources of information from the internet.
Captain Crunch — as he was commonly know — is a gentleman by the name of John Draper. What John discovered was that the blue plastic whistle you would receive as a free gift inside the box of Captain Crunch cereal perfectly reproduced the 2600Hz frequency which would, in turn, unlock the AT&T phone network allowing him to place free long distance phone calls.
On one occasion, stated as being true according to various internet sites, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (famous pranksters) once used the Blue Box to place a call to Vatican City and Wozniak identified himself as Henry Kissinger and asked to speak to the Pope.
4. Steve Jobs considered himself to be spiritually enlightened. Considering his portrayal in the film, is that true? Support your answer with direct evidence from the film.
I do not believe that Steve Jobs considered himself to be spiritually enlightened because he, at no point in the film, was ever at piece with himself about anything. He wasn't happy when Wozniak wanted to stop building the Blue Boxes, he wasn't happy when Xerox came out with the first GUI, and he also wasn't happy with his employees. He expected them to create masterpieces and to be creative geniuses, while still expecting them to work 52 hour shifts.
On the other hand, Steve was also into taking acid (LSD) and cannabis to open his mind and get in touch with his spiritual side. So although he was trying, I don't believe he actually succeeded in the end.
5. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak built “Blue Boxes”. What is a “Blue Box” and how did making and selling “Blue Boxes“ contravene Steve Jobs' views about intellectual property theft? Support your answer with direct evidence from the film.
A “Blue Box”, as stated above, is a device used to interfere with AT&Ts long distance tone frequency of 2600Hz to allow the user to make free long distance phone calls. Making and selling these Blue Boxes did however contravene Steve Jobs' views about intellectual property because although he has no issues with selling these, in fact, in one instance he didn't want to stop making them, he attempted to copyright the “look and feel” of their G.U.I. when in reality, it was Xerox who invented the original G.U.I. with mouse and screen menus that Steve took and tried to call his own. Without the influence and informations of Xerox, Steve may have never succeeded.
6. Bill Gates quit Harvard before finishing his undergraduate degree in order to pursue his computer business but he did not know if he would be successful - he gambled. What in his personal history prepared him to be a gambler? Support your answer with references to sources of information from the internet.
Although Bill Gates quit the prestigious Harvard University before completing his undergraduate degree to pursue his computer business, he had good reason to not worry too much. He was an avid poker player. Not only did he play often, but he often won.
A great example of Bill's gambling ability is proven during a meeting with IBM where Bill pitched his product to them as being the only G.U.I. for personal computers (PC) known as DOS (Disk Operating System). IBM almost instantly awarded Microsoft with a contract without even knowing that Bill was just gambling. He had not yet have a functional operating system but he knew this would be his only chance to rise from a small player and become one of the major software vendors in the home computer industry.
7. What was it about the Microsoft deal with IBM that led to Microsoft's phenomenal success? Support your answer with direct evidence from the film.
Microsoft deal with IBM which lead to Microsoft's phenomenal success was a promise of having developed a G.U.I. purpose built for Personal Computers (PC) named DOS (or better known as MS-DOS). Once Bill Gates sold this sales pitch to IBM, he then had to somehow accomplish this task as he had not yet actually developed a G.U.I. of any kind. What he did was purchased a CP/M (Control Program for Microcomputers) called 86-DOS from Seattle Computer Products and integrated it for IBM use.
8. Where did Apple get the ideas for the Lisa and Macintosh computers and was the use of those ideas ethical? Support your answer with direct evidence from the film and, additionally, from at least one source of information from the internet.
Apple got the idea for the Lisa and Macintosh computers from the P.A.R.C. (Palo Alto Research Center... formerly Xerox PARC) meeting in which Xerox demonstrated the use of a “mouse” however this idea never did work for Xerox as they pitched the idea to IBM who didn't wan to be associated with a mechanical device known as a mouse.
The ideas in using this “mouse” design were most definitely not ethical, but seeing as how Xerox now considered their idea as a bust from the negative feedback from IBM, it was fair game for Apple to take and use. At that point the bottom line was that Xerox gave their ideas to Steve Jobs in a meeting they had together and they completely divulged all sensitive information which then created the first Apple personal computer known as Lisa (properly named after Steve's daughter).
9. Who would you rather work for: Bill Gates or Steve Jobs? Explain why and support your answer with direct evidence from the film.
Although I'm an avid Apple product user, if I had to make a choice of working for Bill Gates or for Steve Jobs, without second guessing, I'd be choosing Bill Gates and Microsoft Corporation. Reason being is that Bill Gates (according to evidence from the film) is much more ethical in his business sense and isn't afraid to take risks. He provides a controlled working environment and always had his eyes on the bigger picture.
On notes not directly related to the movie, Bill Gates is known as one the richest business moguls in the world and has made 4 men billionaires and an estimated 12,000 employees millionaires. With results like those, it's hard to compete.
10. What did you find interesting in the film PIRATES OF SILICON VALLEY? Explain/Discuss.
What I found extremely interesting about the film Pirates of Silicon Valley is the way Steve Jobs is portrayed as being a very rude, cruel and degrading person. The reason I find this so interesting is that if you compare Apple products to Microsoft products, almost all Apple products seem more user friendly, fun, colourful, bubbly, and graphically and visually more appealing. Items of this nature are normally created by people who are relaxed, mellow, and laid back such as artists, but this is most definitely not how Steve acted in the film.
As well, I really found it interesting how all of these characters seemed like regular University students, yet they all had these enormous goals set for themselves to be the best of the best of an industry that wasn't even created. It was merely a thought that none of them ever gave up on. They continued to push forward, and to this day, the only brands known for personal computers is Microsoft operating systems and Apple. Linux is most likely the 3rd in line, but it's only for a select number of users and is not mass marketed in nearly the same manner.