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The charisma of Steve Jobs (video roundup)

Here's a look back at Steve Jobs' career at Apple, in videos that capture his ability to grab an audience.

Edward Moyer Senior Editor
Edward Moyer is a senior editor at CNET and a many-year veteran of the writing and editing world. He enjoys taking sentences apart and putting them back together. He also likes making them from scratch. ¶ For nearly a quarter of a century, he's edited and written stories about various aspects of the technology world, from the US National Security Agency's controversial spying techniques to historic NASA space missions to 3D-printed works of fine art. Before that, he wrote about movies, musicians, artists and subcultures.
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Edward Moyer
3 min read

Borrowing the idiosyncratic (and some would say infectious) phraseology of Steve Jobs himself, admirers speak of his "insanely great" presentation skills. With Jobs' resignation yesterday as Apple's CEO, we offer a roundup of video clips that capture his ability to grab an audience.

1983: Taking on Big Blue, er, Brother

"Was George Orwell right about 1984?" During a keynote speech not long before the debut of the Mac, Jobs offers one answer to that question by unveiling the famous Ridley Scott-directed Big Brother commercial.

Credit: The Apple History Channel (not affiliated with Apple)

1984: Launching the Mac, changing history

At Apple's 1984 shareholder's meeting, Jobs lets the Mac out of the bag--and the crowd goes wild.

This once "lost" video exists because not all shareholders could get into the meeting and Apple was required by law to broadcast it on public TV. Scott Knaster had his Betamax at the ready and years later converted the tape to digital. Check out Jobs' gigantic smile as he (and the Mac) get a standing ovation. (Prepare to get a little choked up.)

Note: The video cannot be played when it is embedded on this site. Click here or on the screen capture below to watch the video on YouTube.

Credit: Scott Knaster, Macessentials

1990: Computers are a 'bicycle for our minds'

In this short clip from a documentary called "Memory & Imagination: New Pathways to the Library of Congress," Jobs is already sporting the look that would later become a trademark: jeans and a black mock turtleneck.

Credit: Michael Lawrence Films

1997: Just do it: Think different.

While introducing Apple's "Think Different" campaign, Jobs delivers an exemplary primer on branding and talks about Apple's central values. He also underlines his (and Apple's) hippie-humanitarian roots by sporting Birkenstocks.

Credit: fredburt2005

1998: Bashing the beige box

Dismissing the traditional PC as "ugggg-ly," Jobs unveils his (and Jony Ive's) translucent, kandy-kolored iMac baby. The look of computers (not to mention staplers, tape dispensers, clothes irons, and just about anything else you can imagine) is never the same again.

Credit: The Apple History Channel (not affiliated with Apple)

2001: Finding the recipe for digital music

The idea of explaining the virtues of the iPod seems quaint now, but here's Jobs smoothing the way for Apple's game-changing, iconic MP3 player.

Credit: The Apple History Channel (not affiliated with Apple)

2005: Goofing with Photo Booth

Jobs introduces the then-new iMac and gets into some photographic high jinks with the then-new PhotoBooth app--bulging, squeezing, and Light Tunneling his famous face.

Credit: CNET video

2005: 'Stay hungry, stay foolish'

Delivering a commencement speech at Stanford University, Jobs talks about dropping out of college, getting fired from the company he founded, and being told he had three months to live (an obviously incorrect diagnosis). He also leaves the students with a quote from the last issue of Stewart Brand's "Whole Earth Catalog."

Credit: The Apple History Channel (not affiliated with Apple)

2006: Steve's podcast

Long before the Gizmodo-iPhone pother, Jobs takes a playful swipe at the Apple rumor mill as he demonstrates a podcasting feature in the GarageBand app.

Credit: CNET video

2007: Jobs and Gates--The happy couple

During the D5 confab, All Things Digital brings Jobs together with his old nemesis Bill Gates for some great moments. These guys should have taken this show on the road.

Credit: AllThingsD

2009: 'Happy to be here'

At Apple's traditional fall entertainment event, Jobs makes his first public appearance after his initial medical leave and his liver transplant.

Credit: BNet video

2010: The Post-PC Era

Jobs talks with D8's Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher about the genesis of the iPad and the coming shift in the computing landscape.

Credit: AllThingsD

2010: Cool, great, simple, great, very nice, great, gorgeous

Praising the iPad at its launch, Jobs and friends unleash the adjectives in this rapid-fire vid from artist Neil Curtis.

Credit: Neil Curtis