The "Battleship"

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Back when I was a student, I had Steve Jobs over for a fireside chat. When I asked my childhood hero if he would sign my Apple Extended keyboard, he looked a little surprised to see Woz’s signature already there, and then he exclaimed “This keyboard represents everything about Apple that I hate. It’s a battleship. Why does it have all these keys? Do you use this F1 key? No.” And with his car keys he pried it right off.

Alan Deutschman reported the moment in his book, culminating in Jobs' comment: “I’m changing the world, one keyboard at a time.”

For the relevant page in the book, enter the word “lotus” in the "Search Inside the Book" box.

jens kuu, julian9, filo666, and 113 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 20 more comments

  1. Hélio Sassen Paz ages ago | reply

    The Apple USB Keyboard from the PowerMacs G3 (blue) is the best keyboard Apple ever made. The ergonomics is perfect: the touch and the size of the keys were simply the best.

    Nowadays, the actual white keyboards from Apple are not so strong and the keys are too loose.

  2. tsevis ages ago | reply

    Thanks for sharing this story and this photo with us, jurvetson.

  3. BenODen ages ago | reply

    He pried your F1 off!? eeesh! Interesting story though. He hates things that didn't go his way, even though they didn't really have a measurable effect on the success of the product! That's sure and unshakable. Perhaps to a fault...

    I agree with some of the others though.. I use my F1 key in Sql Query Manager and the IDE and that's about all... But maybe I'd be just as happy with ctrl1 or Alt-1.

  4. benjiman ages ago | reply

    Great story!

  5. tesselator ages ago | reply

    heyotwell: yeah, the caps lock key is useless. That's why there's supposed to be a ctrl key there.

  6. Greg Adams Photography ages ago | reply

    This is great!!! Though I have to admit that I'm typing this on an Apple keyboard that still has an F1 key...

    Seen on the Scientists Photographers page...

  7. Todd Huffman ages ago | reply

    Looks like Steve (the 'boom' one, not you) is still losing. I am looking at a F1 key right now.

  8. shadynfreude ages ago | reply

    Steve might say "The Devil in is the DETAILS"...

    I'd have to say the DEVIL is IN S. Jobs! ;-0

    (You should have busted HIS F-1 & F-2 TeeTh out if he broke your keyboard like that! THEN signed his pompous FACE with the EL MARKO! ;-)

    "Le Enfant (eFFeKeye) Terrible"

  9. bsmargiassi ages ago | reply

    Some days I feel like the only person who uses the caps lock key. Maybe not every day, but at least 5 times a week. No, holding down shift isn't the same for various reasons.

  10. Laydros ages ago | reply

    I recently picked up the new Aluminum Wireless Keyboard, largely BECASUSE it lacks the numpad and other keys. I live and play on a MacBook and a ThinkPad, so I'm trying to wean myself off of the extra keys. I use to look for a keyboard with as many keys as possible, but now I think Steve was right.

  11. Greg Adams Photography ages ago | reply

    I agree!

    I also agree that this is "Priceless!!"

    Seen in Scientist Photographers Group

  12. Chris[topher] Lin 120 months ago | reply

    Nice one!

    I've seen lots of passwords under keyboards, and a lot of gross junk as well. This is the coolest thing I've seen in that location.

    Seen in a discussion of Scientist Photographers. (?)

  13. jurvetson 116 months ago | reply

    Oh... Why are all our heroes so imperfect
    Jill Sobule

    The Woz, Dancing With the Stars!

    and practicing...

  14. mkikuchi 85 months ago | reply

    Wow! This is worth a fortune!

    You are the man with the memorabilia. I remember you and I got Andy Grove to autograph a couple of silicon wafers (pentium) that Gordon Moore passed out in our investment class. Do you have a museum at home?


  15. jurvetson 85 months ago | reply

    Hola Masato! Tangible mementos from the Burgelman Grove class.

    Yes! These artifacts are next to each other on my shelf at work:

    Andy Grove

  16. jurvetson 85 months ago | reply

    masato - perhaps the keyboard is more rare than I realized.... From the NYT piece, Woz wrote to me on Facebook:

    "I hope he didn't include me in that comment! There was plenty to hate about that keyboard though. You may well have the only Apple device with both our signatures on it."

    BusinessWeek will also be running the story in their Friday special edition.

  17. scleroplex 84 months ago | reply

    hang on to it for the rest of your life :-)

  18. 一格 84 months ago | reply

    My English is poor.Recently I read Steve Jobs :A Biography.I very curious that the signature of the keyboard. Can see the front of the keyboard?Want to see Which keys are pulled

  19. imnieves 76 months ago | reply

    hello! would you consider posting a picture of the front of the keyboard?

  20. jurvetson 16 months ago | reply

    It's the standard front. Meanwhile, Woz just said something interesting about innovation in the Valley:

    Steve Wozniak has admitted that Apple, the company he co-founded, is no longer the biggest innovator in Silicon Valley.

    When asked in an interview with Bloomberg which company is most likely to spearhead the next major technological breakthroughs, the tech icon responded that Tesla is moving in the “best direction” because it “put an awful lot of effort into very risky things,” such as electric and self-driving cars, ahead of the competition.

    “I’m going to bet on Tesla,” he said.

    From Investopedia

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