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Karen Ocamb

Sneak Peek at New Book on Steve Jobs

Filed By Karen Ocamb | October 23, 2011 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: Apple, Simon & Schuster, Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson

Politico provided a sneak peek at the new book Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson Steve-Jobs-book.jpg(Simon & Schuster, 630 pp., out Monday):

Jobs had many other ideas and projects that he hoped to develop. He wanted to disrupt the textbook industry and save the spines of spavined students bearing backpacks by creating electronic texts and curriculum material for the iPad. He was also working with Bill Atkinson, his friend from the original Macintosh team, on devising new digital technologies that worked at the pixel level to allow people to take great photographs using their iPhones even in situations without much light. And he very much wanted to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players, and phones: make them simple and elegant. 'I'd like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,' he told me. 'It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud.' No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. 'It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.'

More after the break.

But by July 2011, his cancer had spread to his bones and other parts of his body, and his doctors were having trouble finding targeted drugs that could beat it back. He was in pain, sleeping erratically, had little energy, and stopped going to work. He and [his wife Laurene] Powell had reserved a sailboat for a family cruise scheduled for the end of that month, but those plans were scuttled. He was eating almost no solid food, and he spent most of his days in his bedroom watching television.

In August, I got a message that he wanted me to come visit. When I arrived at his house, at mid-morning on a Saturday, he was still asleep, so I sat with his wife and kids in the garden, filled with a profusion of yellow roses and various types of daisies, until he sent word that I should come in. I found him curled up on the bed, wearing khaki shorts and a white turtleneck. His legs were shockingly sticklike, but his smile was easy and his mind was quick. 'We better hurry, because I have very little energy,' he said. He wanted to show me some of his personal pictures and let me pick a few to use in the book. Because he was too weak to get out of bed, he pointed to various drawers in the room, and I carefully brought him the photographs in each. As I sat on the side of the bed, I held them up, one at a time, so he could see them.
When our discussion turned to the sorry state of the economy and politics, he offered a few sharp opinions about the lack of strong leadership around the world. 'I'm disappointed in Obama,' he said. 'He's having trouble leading because he's reluctant to offend people or piss them off.' He caught what I was thinking and assented with a little smile: 'Yes, that's not a problem I ever had.'

After two hours, he grew quiet, so I got off the bed and started to leave. 'Wait,' he said, as he waved to me to sit back down. It took a minute or two for him to regain enough energy to talk. 'I had a lot of trepidation about this project,' he finally said, referring to his decision to cooperate with this book. 'I was really worried.' 'Why did you do it?' I asked. 'I wanted my kids to know me,' he said. 'I wasn't always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did. Also, when I got sick, I realized other people would write about me if I died, and they wouldn't know anything. They'd get it all wrong. So I wanted to make sure someone heard what I had to say.'

He had never, in two years, asked anything about what I was putting in the book or what conclusions I had drawn. But now he looked at me and said, 'I know there will be a lot in your book I won't like.' It was more a question than a statement, and when he stared at me for a response, I smiled, and said I was sure that would be true. 'That's good,' he said. 'Then it won't seem like an in-house book. I won't read it for a while, because I don't want to get mad. Maybe I will read it in a year - if I'm still around.' By then, his eyes were closed and his energy gone, so I quietly took my leave.'" Later that month, Jobs resigned as Apple CEO.

$17.88 on Amazon

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