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A MACINTOSH USED BY STEVE JOBS AT NEXT, INC. Macintosh SE Computer, Cupertino, CA, Apple Computer, late 1987, image 1
A MACINTOSH USED BY STEVE JOBS AT NEXT, INC. Macintosh SE Computer, Cupertino, CA, Apple Computer, late 1987, image 2
A MACINTOSH USED BY STEVE JOBS AT NEXT, INC. Macintosh SE Computer, Cupertino, CA, Apple Computer, late 1987, image 3
A MACINTOSH USED BY STEVE JOBS AT NEXT, INC. Macintosh SE Computer, Cupertino, CA, Apple Computer, late 1987, image 4
A MACINTOSH USED BY STEVE JOBS AT NEXT, INC. Macintosh SE Computer, Cupertino, CA, Apple Computer, late 1987, image 5
A MACINTOSH USED BY STEVE JOBS AT NEXT, INC. Macintosh SE Computer, Cupertino, CA, Apple Computer, late 1987, image 6
Thumbnail of A MACINTOSH USED BY STEVE JOBS AT NEXT, INC. Macintosh SE Computer, Cupertino, CA, Apple Computer, late 1987, image 1
Thumbnail of A MACINTOSH USED BY STEVE JOBS AT NEXT, INC. Macintosh SE Computer, Cupertino, CA, Apple Computer, late 1987, image 2
Thumbnail of A MACINTOSH USED BY STEVE JOBS AT NEXT, INC. Macintosh SE Computer, Cupertino, CA, Apple Computer, late 1987, image 3
Thumbnail of A MACINTOSH USED BY STEVE JOBS AT NEXT, INC. Macintosh SE Computer, Cupertino, CA, Apple Computer, late 1987, image 4
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Thumbnail of A MACINTOSH USED BY STEVE JOBS AT NEXT, INC. Macintosh SE Computer, Cupertino, CA, Apple Computer, late 1987, image 6
Lot 1094
A MACINTOSH USED BY STEVE JOBS AT NEXT, INC.
Macintosh SE Computer, Cupertino, CA, Apple Computer, late 1987,
Amended
25 October 2022, 11:00 PDT
New York

Sold for US$126,375 inc. premium

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A MACINTOSH USED BY STEVE JOBS AT NEXT, INC.

Macintosh SE Computer, Cupertino, CA, Apple Computer, late 1987, with 20MB internal hard drive, keyboard, mouse and with additional backup hard drive.
Provenance: Given by Steve Jobs to the present owner, an employee at NeXT, Inc.

THE TOOLMAKER'S TOOL.
When Steve Jobs first happened upon the Macintosh project after being removed from the Lisa team, he saw the future of Apple. Jobs quickly inserted himself and took over the project from originator Jef Raskin in January of 1981 and changed the direction. He wanted to build a "friendly" computer—the personal computer as a tool for personal empowerment. He engendered a non-conformist attitude in his team and a shared vision of a product that was "insanely great." It was an approach that he utilized years later when Jobs returned to save Apple with the iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad. "The best products, he [Jobs] believed, were 'whole widgets' that were designed end-to-end, with the software closely tailored to the hardware and vice versa" (Isaacson p 137). The Macintosh would take the GUI (graphical user interface) that Steve Jobs and the Lisa developers had borrowed from Xerox PARC as well as the WYSIWIG (what you see is what you get) approach also pioneered at Xerox PARC and make it accessible to the masses.

Steve Jobs was pushed out of any meaningful role at Apple in mid-1985 and after a trip to Moscow and Europe he began to consider his next steps. A conversation with Stanford biochemist Paul Berg led him to recall a project that he had been pushing while at Apple: dubbed the Big Mac, it was to be a powerful workstation with a UNIX operating system, but with the friendly Macintosh user interface. It would be targeted toward the academic marketplace. The project was cancelled after Jobs was kicked out of the Macintosh division. "Berg described how difficult it was to do experiments in a biology lab, where it could take weeks to nurture an experiment and get a result. 'Why don't you simulate them on a computer?' Jobs asked. Berg replied that computers with such capabilities were too expensive for university labs. 'Suddenly, he was excited about the possibilities,' Berg recalled. 'He had it in his mind to start a new company. He was young and rich, and had to find something to do with the rest of his life'" (Isaacson pp 211-212).

Jobs began to enlist some of the disgruntled employees from Apple's Macintosh division, several of whom had been urging him to start a new company and offering to join him. He had struck upon the idea of "starting a company to build a powerful but personal workstation" (Isaacson p 212). Jobs resigned from Apple in September of 1985 and began NeXT directly afterwards bringing some of those key members of the original Macintosh team with him.

The NeXT Computer was not introduced until October of 1988. In the meantime, Jobs could have purchased any computer that he wanted so it's telling that he choose to stock his new company with this Macintosh. Jobs had always been very deliberate with the items he chose to surround himself with - to the point that his houses were largely unfurnished until he found the perfect piece to fit each space. Even after the NeXT Computer was released, Jobs continued to use this Macintosh as it likely fit certain needs far better than a UNIX-based workstation (or "personal mainframe" as Jobs himself called it during the October 1988 launch) and it still represented an achievement of which he was proud. The Macintosh SE retains the same artfully compact form factor and ease of use as the original Macintosh, but has increased power and memory and a hard drive.

The present computer was initially set up for use by his assistant in late 1987/early 1988. She had been with him since 1986 and remained in the position until late 1989/early 1990. The hard drive provides much insight into Steve Jobs' work at NeXT including his weekly tasks, recruiting, travel and even a missed meeting with King Charles III (then Charles, Prince of Wales). The computer also saw the move from the original NeXT office on 3475 Deer Creek Road in Palo Alto to 900 Chesapeake Drive in Redwood City as evidenced by the inventory of Jobs' office that is present. It was still on Steve Jobs desk when the current owner began working with him in 1993. Jobs was still using it for tasks such as accessing his private rolodex. Between 1990-1993, there is also compelling evidence that Jobs' daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs used it when she visited the office. The InterMail system is registered under the name "Lisa" and Microsoft Word was registered in 1992 under the name "Lisa / Life." In 1993, Jobs' executive assistant transferred his private rolodex to Jobs' NeXT computer and the Macintosh SE was taken out of his office. It was last used for a marketing project that he oversaw in 1994. Jobs offered it to the present owner later that year, mentioning that it may have value someday.

It cannot be overstated how important a time this was for Steve Jobs' development. While his early success at Apple made him millions, jump started the personal computer revolution and brought accessibility to that market with the Macintosh and its graphical user interface (GUI), it was everything that he had learned from his struggles at NeXT and Pixar that led to the world-changing company that he built after his return to Apple. "'The best thing to ever happen to Steve is when we fired him, told him to get lost,' Arthur Rock later said" (Isaacson p 219).

Randall Stross in his 2010 New York Times article on Jobs perhaps captured it best: "Kevin Compton, who was a senior executive at Businessland during the Next years, described Mr. Jobs after returning to Apple: 'He's the same Steve in his passion for excellence, but a new Steve in his understanding of how to empower a large company to realize his vision.' Mr. Jobs had learned from Next not to try to do everything himself, Mr. Compton said." And this Macintosh SE was there for much of that important time, bearing evidence of his transformation.
Isaacson, Walter. Steve Jobs. NY: 2011.; Stross, Randall. "What Steve Jobs Learned in the Wilderness" in The New York Times October 2, 2010.

Footnotes

This lot is being offered as an antique and collectible only. Electronic or mechanical items or parts, and any software or hardware, are being sold for their artistic, historical or cultural interest, and may not operate or comply with current requirements or technical standards. This means, among other things, that the lot may no longer be operational or fit for its original purpose.

Bonhams and the consignor expressly disclaim all warranties, whether express or implied, including but not limited to any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, non-infringement, or the continuous, uninterrupted, error-free, virus-free, or secure access to or operation of the software or hardware comprising the lot, and the accuracy or completeness of any content or data included with or accessed by using the software or hardware.

There are no express or implied warranties that the copying, disclosure, publication, use, commercial use, or sale of the content or data included with or accessed by using the lot, will not violate or infringe any patent, copyright, trademark or other proprietary, personal or consumer rights.

Please refer to the Conditions of Sale and in particular the section entitled "Limitation of Liability" and the disclaimers of warranties therein. Except as may be expressly provided otherwise, all property is offered and sold "AS IS." The foregoing is in addition to and does not limit the terms set forth in the Conditions of Sale with respect to this lot.

Saleroom notices

This lot is being offered as an antique and collectible only. Electronic or mechanical items or parts, and any software or hardware, are being sold for their artistic, historical or cultural interest, and may not operate or comply with current requirements or technical standards. This means, among other things, that the lot may no longer be operational or fit for its original purpose. Bonhams and the consignor expressly disclaim all warranties, whether express or implied, including but not limited to any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, non-infringement, or the continuous, uninterrupted, error-free, virus-free, or secure access to or operation of the software or hardware comprising the lot, and the accuracy or completeness of any content or data included with or accessed by using the software or hardware. There are no express or implied warranties that the copying, disclosure, publication, use, commercial use, or sale of the content or data included with or accessed by using the lot, will not violate or infringe any patent, copyright, trademark or other proprietary, personal or consumer rights. Please refer to the Conditions of Sale and in particular the section entitled "Limitation of Liability" and the disclaimers of warranties therein. Except as may be expressly provided otherwise, all property is offered and sold "AS IS." The foregoing is in addition to and does not limit the terms set forth in the Conditions of Sale with respect to this lot.

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