MacHEADS is an in-depth examination of what makes the Mac, the iPhone, and all Apple products in general a cultural phenomena rather than just consumer electronics, and explores the extraordinary loyalty to Apple products by their followers, as well as their obsession with those products. Written by
I suppose it often is the case that documentaries about a subject you know something about are unsatisfactory. You were there and built your own narrative that will be richer and make more sense to you than the one the filmmaker chooses.
The story here has a small group of technology revolutionaries, some in a company and others in a "community." As the company, Apple, becomes successful rather than beleaguered by IBM and Microsoft, it "turns it's back on" that community. Members of that community are interviewed, intercut with footage from MacWorld Expos.
The problems here are many. They missed the most interesting bits of the story. They chose uninteresting people as their talking heads. And the thing is poorly put together.
There are several communities in the history of Apple, running in parallel and having little to do with each other.
You have the guys here, the nerds, the hobbyists. The lifestyle people who buy into the revolution as a cultural thing, and who link that to assembling with others. You have what can fairly be called the "creative professionals," who then and now prefer the Mac. During the lean years, this was the true faithful, and they are far more interesting to encounter than what is now termed "fanboyz."
They instead include some nerdy folks who believe themselves to be creative geniuses. Why not interview some of the people who actually did change the world with these machines?
And then there is the third group, by far the most fascinating. Apple was not saved because Steve Jobs returned. Jobs frankly had messed up at Apple and was booted out. What saved Apple is that Jobs came back bringing the technology that is now the core of every Apple product, the NeXT. This was the company he formed after leaving Apple. They started from scratch.
Jobs had a specific designer computer in mind that he insisted be a perfect cube and matte black. The machine itself is long since forgotten, something of a design joke. But the software decisions that went into it were remarkably smart. Those decisions were not made by Jobs, or NeXT, they were made by massive investments by the intelligence community to build something that worked. Because the funding was cloaked (DARPA gets credit) and the management classified, this story will likely not be told.
BSD Unix, the MACH kernel, "Objects all the way down." These are elements that built the Mac, that in today's dollars is a huge amount in taxpayer investment, managed by hidden revolutionaries to make life better. Now that is a story.
Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
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