Steve Jobs as FDR: The Complete Epic

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Network World

Shortly after Steve Jobs died last October, an entrepreneur and former Apple employee named Craig Elliott was nice enough to let me share a memorable film which Apple’s employees made for Jobs’ 30th birthday celebration. It featured numerous rarely-seen images and video clips of Apple’s co-founder, and the oddest of them all may have been the one at the end, obviously from an in-house film of some sort, featuring Jobs dressed as Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Now Elliott is sharing another goody from his collection of Apple memorabilia: the full version of the WWII-themed training movie that prompted Jobs to get dolled up as FDR. It was aimed at the sales force responsible for convincing corporate America to choose Macs over IBM PCs; you can watch the whole thing over at Network World inside a story on the film by Paul McNamara.

Like most spoofs made to rile up salespeople, it’s not exactly a laugh riot for those of us on the outside. Most of the humor involves in-jokes about Apple circa 1984 — my favorite is the one about the famously unsuccessful Apple III. But for computer history nerds, it’s a fascinating find. And it’s nice to see Jobs, a man so famous for being wound so tight, showing that he had a silly side.

I’m glad that Elliott kept the film safe for all these years, and I hope that other stuff of this sort from Apple and other companies is preserved somewhere. Most of these movies aren’t anywhere near as interesting as this one — and some of them are downright bizarre — but they’re all part of the story of the personal technology revolution.