Listen to Steve Jobs hype up the NeXT Computer in 1988

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One of the launch ads for the NeXT Computer.
One of the launch ads for the NeXT Computer.
Image: NeXT

Most Apple fans have heard Steve Jobs’ introduction of the original 1984 Macintosh. But far fewer are familiar with the initial public demonstrations of the NeXT Computer, the first of two NeXT machines Jobs launched during his years outside Apple.

However, 32 years down the line, an audio recording of one such speech, from the Boston Computer Society, has shown up online. Check it out.

The speech is one of a number of a recordings made by attendee Charles Mann. It’s currently available to listen to on SoundCloud, part of a larger collection of talks given to the Boston Computer Society and other organizations available to purchase on Amazon for $60.

If you’re a fan of tech history, a cursory look through the list of names reveals the likes of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, as well as seminal names like AI pioneer Seymour Papert, Pixar co-founder Alvy Ray Smith, and others.

The NeXT Computer and other innovations

In an article for Fast Company, technology editor Harry McCracken recalls hearing the Steve Jobs address about the NeXT Computer:

“At $6,500, it was so far out of my price range that desiring one was purely aspirational, like lusting after a Lamborghini. (Not yet a tech journalist, I had no reason to expect I’d get to touch one in a professional capacity—in fact, I still haven’t.) But at evening’s end, as we streamed out of Jobs’s reality-distortion field back into the chilly Boston air, each of us got a NeXT product to take home: a glossy poster depicting the cube in all its unattainable glory. I tacked mine up next to my desk at work the next morning, and remain sorry that I didn’t keep it.”

Another audio clip shared on SoundCloud features Jobs talking about the NeXTstep operating system, the revolutionary OS that powered the NeXT Computer. (And that ultimately was what Apple acquired in the deal that brought Jobs back to Apple.)

Then there’s a 1982 talk from Jobs and Woz at Applefest. That looks to be just scraping the surface…

Definitely one for the computer history watchers out there. (And, on a self-serving note, if anyone reading this happens to have a NeXT Computer they’re interested in parting with, drop me a line! For my money, this is one of the most stunning personal computers in history.)

Source: SoundCloud

Via: Fast Company