Chesapeake Home Theatre & Hi-Fi

Larry Dent is the owner of Chesapeake Home Theatre & Hi-Fi.

These articles were written for the Islander Weekly.

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Larry's Tech Talk


The passing of Steve Jobs last week marked the end of a brilliant man’s life whose career(s) changed the lives of many of us. Most of us heard of his many technical accomplishments on the news broadcasts covering his life.

I won’t repeat last week’s news but I will mention a few innovations that really grabbed my attention. The first was co-inventing the personal computer in his parent’s garage. C’mon man, how could anyone in my lifetime invent the personal computer? We all take PCs for granted these days, its hard to imagine a time without a computer. And how could someone born in the same month and year as myself be credited along with Steve Wozniak as inventing the personal computer? In his parent’s garage?? You gotta be kidding me!

He was able to take the PC and found Apple Computer. Back then people weren’t sure what to do computers, but Apple soon added application software that would change everything. Xerox had invented the first mouse driven graphical user interface (aka, GUI), and Steve Jobs saw the commercial potential. The first Macintosh computers were a huge hit. A lot of people might think that Microsoft’s Windows OS was the first GUI on the market, but that was not the case. Macintosh Computers were the first small computers employing a GUI.

In 1985 Apple was not doing very well. They brought in John Sculley, a Pepsi executive to turn things around. Acting just like a lot of predictable, insecure corporate executives, Sculley convinced the Apple Board of Directors to fire the man that founded the company. There is no loyalty in Corporate America and Apple did the unthinkable. Way to go Scully, you fired one of the most innovative men of our time! Forget loyalty and throw common sense out the window, Corporate America ultimately answers to Wall Street.

What did the unemployed Steve Jobs do then? How about one of the most incredible things of his time? He acquired the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm and called the new company Pixar Animation Studios. If you’ve ever seen Toy Story, Cars or any Pixar movie, you know how good a Pixar production can be. On today’s flat panel hi-def TVs, a Pixar movie is amazing. And the sound track is pretty special too.

OK, so lets see, he invented the Personal Computer and founded Pixar Animation and showed Hollywood how to improve movie production. Is that it dude? All in a days work right? Well no, that wasn’t it. After agreeing to handing over complete control, Apple brought Steve Jobs back making him the permanent CEO in 2000. We all know of the success of the “i” products, and today Apple Computer is the world’s largest technology company. Oh, I forgot to mention that along the way he became the largest stockholder of The Walt Disney Company. And it is rumored that there are at least 4 more years of his innovations waiting for production. Hey Sculley, way to go! That maneuver has to be right up there with the Red Sox selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees!

Yes, this past week was a sad one for the tech world. But let’s shift gears a little and go back 71 years from today. That was October 8, 1940. While German planes were bombing Liverpool, England, John Lennon was born. Happy Birthday John! Thanks to people like Steve Jobs, Lennon’s words, ideals and music will be with us forever. Lennon’s music and lyrics are on our iPods, iPads, iPhones, and available from iTunes. What good is technology without entertainment, music and culture. Known as the “outspoken” Beatle, John Lennon was way ahead of his time, just like Steve Jobs.