Today in Apple history: Toy Story 2 arrives in theaters

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Toy Story 2 coincided with the start of Jobs' own career second act.
Photo: Pixar

Nov24November 24, 1999: Steve Jobs gets another feather in his cap when Toy Story 2, the sequel to the original 1995 Pixar hit, debuts in theaters — becoming the first animated sequel in history to gross more than the original.

While more a piece of Steve Jobs history than Apple history, the release of Toy Story 2 caps off a spectacular year for Apple’s CEO.

Today in Apple history: Toy Story arrives in theaters

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The movie which helped make Steve Jobs a billionaire.
Photo: Pixar

Nov22November 22, 1995: Pixar’s first feature-length animated movie Toy Story arrives in theaters.

The more successful of Steve Jobs’ business ventures during his wilderness years outside Apple, the box office smash hit makes Jobs’ belief in the power of computer graphics pay off in a big way.

How big? A cleverly-timed decision to time the movie’s launch with Pixar’s public offering turns 40-year-old Jobs into a billionaire.

Jony Ive’s design book is much more than an ego trip

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Designed by Apple in California book
Apple's Industrial Design team has published a book of its work over two decades: Designed by Apple in California.

Increasingly, some Apple fans think Jony Ive has lost it.

He’s killing ports and headphone jacks left and right. The latest MacBooks value form over function. He’s designing gold watches for the 1 percent.

And now his glossy new photo book, Designed by Apple in California, looks like a $300, linen-bound ego trip.

Jony Ive goes inside Apple’s design lab in new video

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Not a single detail goes unnoticed at Apple.
Photo: Apple

Going inside Apple’s design lab is a rare privilege some Apple execs don’t even get, but Jony Ive is giving the world a glimpse inside his lab to celebrate the company’s new book.

In Apple’s latest video, Jony Ive’s disembodied voice floats through his Industrial Design Studio while describing the processes for making the company’s iconic gadgets. Shots of Apple’s prototyping machines can be seen, as well as the product benches where every single detail of a product is analyzed and reconsidered.

Take a look:

Today in Apple history: Apple begins retail venture inside CompUSA

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Apple wanted more control over how it sold its computers.
Photo: Coolcaesar/Wikipedia CC

Nov4November 4, 1997: Apple announces a new deal to give it a mini “store within a store” in CompUSA outlets around the United States.

In a step toward the official Apple stores that would launch four years later, Cupertino staffs these mini-stores with Apple-trained employees. The move gives Apple a bit more control over the way its products get displayed and demoed to consumers.

How this money man helped Steve Jobs turn Pixar into a powerhouse [Kahney’s Korner podcast]

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Lawrence Levy former Pixar CFO
Lawrence Levy, Pixar's former CFO and author of To Pixar and Beyond.
Photo: Lawrence Levy

In the early ’90s, Pixar was in the middle of creating its first movie, Toy Story, but the company was in disarray. It was bleeding cash and floundering around looking for a business model.

To help turn it around, Steve Jobs hired Lawrence Levy, a former corporate lawyer, to help figure out how to make Pixar a real business.

In this week’s episode of Kahney’s Korner, I talk to Levy about how exactly he and Jobs made Pixar into one of the most successful movie studios in history.

New book paints intimate portrait of Steve Jobs at work [Review]

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To Pixar and Beyond by Lawrence Levy
In To Pixar and Beyond, Lawrence Levy offers an insider look at Steve Jobs' early struggles at the animation studio.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

After his death, Steve Jobs became mythic. He’s remembered as an asshole and a technology seer: a Tony Stark-like figure who could uniquely divine the sci-fi future, conjuring magical products from whole cloth almost single-handedly.

He’s also seen as infallible: a business and technology genius with powers of divination beyond those of us mere mortals.

But To Pixar and Beyond, a new book by Lawrence Levy, the former CFO of Pixar, paints a very different picture.