the two of us

May 31st, 2007


It’s horribly nerdie to admit, and it shows my age a little, but I’m really enjoying D5’s coverage of the interview with Steve Jobs & Bill Gates. Along with Colecovision, Transformers, and Pink Floyd, this is a chunk of my childhood, right here; and as a life-long Mac fan in a Mac-fan family, seeing Gates and Jobs together on stage speaking calmly and reasonably to each other hits the same notes as seeing Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader host a Christmas special together.

And sure, you could watch just the highlight reel and catch all the +5 snarky Mac v. PC barbs, but watching the entire interview gains you a sense of the personalities of these guys — both towards the ends of hugely influential careers, both looking back at just how far we’ve all come in the past twenty years. Jobs comes off as he always does: clever, witty, and heroic (but IRL? probably kind of a pain-in-the-ass), and Gates comes off as he always does: kind of shy, rambling, nerdie, but with an unexpected left-field “everyman” quality that almost lets you forget the piles of money that run hot and cold from his every faucet.

But: there’s no denying that these two guys have really changed our world, in a very real sense. No matter if you’re a Hodgman or a Long, their products have become an integral part in all of our daily lives, and watching them on stage reminiscing about old times — why, I remember when operating systems fit in ~20K! — is poignant and unexpectedly sweet.

~Jeff

4 Responses to “the two of us”

  1. cubeXpert says:

    ldopa.net » archive » the two of us

  2. cauley says:

    I admit it: I watched the highlight reel. Was it me, or did Jobs seem to choke up a little after his Beatles quote at the end?

    FWIW, I grew up without computers in my home (and, largely, without them in school) and only knew of them peripherally until college. I am a lightweight (figurative) user. Still, I found this interview, and these two guys, interesting.

  3. Jeff says:

    I don’t think it was as much that Jobs was about to choke up, as much as he seemed genuinely afraid that the entire hall was going to giggle at his naked Beatle-fan sincerity. It was a touching little moment.

  4. Gene says:

    Perhaps this is a bizarre tangent, but I was interested to note that in terms of attractiveness, the two have switched places for the most part. Steve Jobs has lost his 1980s good looks, while Bill Gates has finally grown into his nerdish face and looks young for his age…