Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs leaves and rejoins Apple

By

Steve Jobs before and after, with maybe a little judgement about water sales.
Two significant days in Jobs' career took place on this day.
Photo: Fulvio Obregon

September 16: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs leaves and rejoins Apple September 16, 1985 and 1997: Twice on this day, Steve Jobs makes significant moves with regard to his career at Apple. In 1985, he quits the company he co-founded. Then, a decade and a half later, he officially rejoins Apple as its new interim CEO.

In terms of the emotions associated with those historic occasions, it’s hard to think of two more polarizing days in Jobs’ life.

Today in Apple history: One of Apple’s earliest rivals bites the dust

By

The Osborne 1 portable computer proved ahead of its time.
Remember the Osborne 1 computer?
Photo: Tomislav Medak/Flickr CC

September 13: Today in Apple history: Osborne Computer Corporation, one of Apple's earliest rivals, bites the dust September 13, 1983: Osborne Computer Corporation, one of Apple’s early rivals, declares bankruptcy.

Many consider the company’s Osborne 1 the world’s first truly portable, full-featured computer. It packed everything users needed to set up shop at home or on the road. Alas, it didn’t last!

Today in Apple history: Macintosh 512K, aka the ‘Fat Mac,’ quadruples the memory

By

Apple Mac
The "Fat Mac" solved one of the original Mac's biggest problems.
Photo: Apple

September 10: Today in Apple history: Macintosh 512K, aka the 'Fat Mac,' quadruples the memory September 10, 1984: Apple ships the Macintosh 512K, the first upgrade to the first-gen Macintosh 128K.

Coming less than eight months after the original Macintosh, the 512K Mac makes no sweeping changes to the computer’s form factor. Instead, the big upgrade is quadrupling the RAM. This leads Apple fans to refer to the computer as the “Fat Mac.”

Today in Apple history: Woz stages an epic concert

By

Unite US in Song
The Us Festival was Woz's first venture outside Apple.
Photo: Glenn Aveni/Kickstarter

September 3: Today in Apple history: Steve Wozniak stages athe first US Festival, an epic music and tech event September 3, 1982: The Us Festival, an extravagant music and technology event staged by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, kicks off in California. The fest costs $8 million to stage, and boasts appearances from some of the biggest musical acts of the day.

It’s a wild venture for Woz, who is on hiatus from Apple after surviving a serious plane crash in 1981.

Today in Apple history: Apple’s war with IBM commences

By

IBM PC 5150: The IBM Personal Computer
This unassuming IBM Personal Computer started the Apple-versus-PC feud.
Photo: Boffy B/Wikipedia CC

August 12: Today in Apple history: Apple's war with IBM commences with IBM Personal Computer launch August 12, 1981: The launch of the IBM Personal Computer ignites a long-running Apple-versus-PC rivalry.

Secure in the Apple II’s technical superiority over the new PC, Apple welcomes International Business Machines to the personal computing party in a full-page ad in the pages of The Wall Street Journal. Things won’t stay positive for long.

Today in Apple history: Mac marketing guru Joanna Hoffman is born

By

Kate Winslet (left) plays Joanna Hoffman (right) in Steve Jobs.
Kate Winslet (left) played Mac marketing guru Joanna Hoffman in Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs biopic.
Photos: Kate Winslet/Apple

July 27: Today in Apple history: Mac marketing guru Joanna Hoffman birthday July 27, 1955: Joanna Hoffman, who will join the original Macintosh and NeXT teams and become Steve Jobs’ first right-hand woman, is born in Poland.

Six months younger than Jobs, the marketing executive is one of the few people willing and able to stand up to the oftentimes-fierce Apple co-founder during the first part of his career.

Today in Apple history: Windows scores big victory over Mac

By

Windows used a number of elements of the Mac UI
Windows used a number of elements of the Mac UI.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

July 25: Today in Apple history: Windows scores big legal victory over Mac when judge throws out Apple's copyright infringement claims July 25, 1989: Apple suffers a major setback in its copyright-infringement lawsuit against Microsoft for allegedly stealing the Mac’s “look and feel” to create Windows.

Apple sued Microsoft on 189 counts of copyright infringement relating to Windows 2.0.3. The judge overseeing the case throws out 179 of them. This paves the way for Microsoft’s dominance over Apple in the coming decade.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs visits the Soviet Union

By

Soviet Apple flag
This was Steve Jobs' one and only trip to the Soviet Union.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

July 4: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs visits the Soviet Union July 4, 1985: Steve Jobs visits Moscow for the first time, with the aim of selling Macs to the Russians.

During his two-day trip, Jobs lectures computer science students in the Soviet Union, attends a Fourth of July party at the American embassy and discusses opening a Mac factory in Russia. He also reportedly almost runs afoul of the KGB by praising assassinated Marxist revolutionary Leon Trotsky.

Today in Apple history: Bill Gates urges Apple to license Mac OS

By

Bill Gates
Bill Gates took this strategy and made himself a multibillionaire.
Photo: Fulvio Obregon

June 25: Today in Apple history: Bill Gates urges Apple to license Mac OS June 25, 1985: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates sends a memo to Apple execs suggesting that Cupertino should license its Mac operating system and additional technology to other companies

Apple CEO John Sculley and Macintosh boss Jean Louis Gassée ignore the advice of the 30-year-old Gates, who at the time is best known as a Mac developer. Five months later, Microsoft releases Windows 1.0.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs says Apple is being run by ‘caretakers’

By

1984
Steve Jobs thought ditching ad agency Chiat/Day proved that Apple had lost its creative mojo.
Photo: Apple and Chiat/Day

May 27: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs says Apple is being run by caretakers May 27, 1986: An exiled Steve Jobs takes a shot at Apple after the company ditches Chiat/Day, the ad agency that created the iconic “1984” Macintosh ad.

In a full-page ad published in The Wall Street Journal, Jobs says the move to competing ad agency BBDO shows that “caretakers” rather than “builders” now run Apple. From his perspective, it confirms that Apple has lost its revolutionary spirit.