Steve Jobs? Past Revealed In Memo From 1974 As Apple CEO Tim Cook Looks Toward The Future

 @LisaEadicicco on May 28 2012 7:31 PM
Tim Cook(L) and Steve Jobs
Tim Cook(L), Steve Jobs Reuters

The name Steve Jobs has become synonymous with Apple Inc., but some may not know that the late co-founder and former CEO of the iPhone manufacturer once worked for iconic game-maker Atari.

Sotheby's in New York is taking Apple and Atari fans back in time by auctioning a handwritten memo penned by Jobs himself and addressed to his former supervisor at Atari.

The memo was written in 1974, and it describes changes Atari could make to its World Cup Soccer arcade game, according to CNet. Jobs was 19 at the time, and he worked as a game designer for the innovative company responsible for the classic Pong game.

The four-page-long document is expected to bring in between $10,000 and $15,000, reported PC Mag.

The present report, written for [Jobs'] supervisor Stephen Bristow, was meant to improve the functionality and fun of World Cup, a coin arcade game with four simple buttons and an evolution from Atari's Pong game, reads the Sotheby's description. Jobs report is stamped 'All-One Farm Design,' a name appropriated from the commune he frequented at the time, and the address of the Jobs family in Los Altos. At the bottom of the stamp is the Buddhist mantra, gate gate paragate parasangate bodhi svahdl.

The auction is set for June 15 at 10 a.m. EDT, when Sotheby's will also be auctioning a functional Apple-I motherboard. Only 50 units of this generation computer are thought to have survived, with only six in working condition, according to CNet. This offering is predicted to bring in between $12,000 and $150,000.

Jobs worked night shifts at Atari in the 1970s, isolating himself from the other employees, PCMag reports. He frequently referred to these colleagues as dumb s--ts, Sotheby noted. Jobs' biographer Walter Isaacson wrote that Jobs appreciated the simplistic nature of Atari, which he sought to bring to Apple.

Although some auctioneers are ready to delve into Apple's past, most other people are focusing on the company's future under CEO Tim Cook. Apple is already seeing some differences under its new leader, according to CNN Money, whether for good or  bad.

One difference between the two Apple chiefs is that Cook is willing to release a product that is less than perfect. The prime example of this is the virtual personal assistant Siri, which can be found on the iPhone 4S. CNN Money reported that Siri was released at the end of last year while still in the beta stage -- which would not have happened under Jobs' watch.

People are embarrassed by Siri, one former Apple insider said to the publication. Steve would have lost his mind.

Since Cook took over as CEO last August, however, Apple's share price has skyrocketed. Jobs' successor has demonstrated the intention to communicate with Wall Street, and he has already issued a dividend. This is much different than approach taken by Jobs, who always loathed investors and the stock market, Jeffrey Van Camp of Digital Trends wrote.

Cook is clearly leaving his mark on the mobile and electronics industry through Apple, but it is too soon to tell exactly what this means for the company's future. The influence of Jobs most likely will not be forgotten any time soon, as numerous auctions provide a constant reminder of his contributions.

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