I bought the Pirates of Silicon Valley DVD from Amazon.com and it finally arrived this week. I’d seen it advertised on the AppleInsider web-site but I don’t think that I’d heard of it before, even though it had been available on VHS, it had somehow slipped under my radar.
Before I bought my first iMac I’d read Owen Linzmayer’s book Apple Confidential: The Real Story of Apple Computer, Inc. so I knew about Jobs and Woz building computers in a garage and how they had seen the first GUI and mouse at Xerox back in the day. But what comes over in this ‘made-for-tv’ film is how slippery and underhand Gates and Ballmer were, and still are, after all these years. At the time they sold an operating system to IBM, which they didn’t own, then they blatantly ripped off the first GUI Mac operating system after Jobs leant them a Lisa to develop software for. Even recently Ballmer has been quoted saying that he is going to ‘kill Google’. Going one better, and using industrial strength expletives, Gates said that Microshite® had been ‘fucked’ by the Chinese government and the Chinese people. Now that is a lot of people. Ballmer has now had to go one better saying that Microshite® ‘will win the web’. What he doesn’t know is that a lot of people dislike Microshite® and would love nothing more than seeing his company sink without trace. They may still have the toy market to fall back on.
I always liked Noah Wyle when he was in ER and he does a good job(!) here playing the role of Steve Jobs. So much so that he mentions in one of the extras that Steve phoned him up to ask if he would walk onstage at the next Mac Expo. This Noah did and apparently only the first few rows could tell who it really was.
The film is interesting if you have ever used a computer or if you have more than a passing interest in Apple Computers. It may not be historically accurate but then possibly only Jobs and Woz know the truth.