One table featured software moguls, including Bill Gates and

One table featured software moguls, including Bill Gates and Mitch Kapor.

Another had old friends such as Elizabeth Holmes, who brought as her date

a woman dressed in a tuxedo. Andy Hertzfeld and Burrell Smith had rented

 

tuxes and wore floppy tennis shoes, which made it all the more memorable

when they danced to the Strauss waltzes played by the San Francisco

Symphony Orchestra.

 

Ella Fitzgerald provided the entertainment, as Bob Dylan had declined. She sang

mainly from her standard repertoire, though occasionally tailoring a song like

“The Girl from Ipanema” to be about the boy from Cupertino. When she asked

for some requests, Jobs called out a few. She concluded with

a slow rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

Sculley came to the stage to propose a toast to “technology’s foremost visionary.”

Wozniak also came up and presented Jobs with a framed copy of the Zaltair hoax

from the 1977 West Coast Computer Faire, where the Apple II had been introduced.

The venture capitalist Don Valentine marveled at the change in the decade since

that time. “He went from being a Ho Chi Minh look-alike, who said never trust

anyone over thirty, to a person who gives himself a fabulous thirtieth

birthday with Ella Fitzgerald,” he said.

Many people had picked out special gifts for a person w

ho was not easy to shop for.

Debi Coleman, for example, found a first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Last

Tycoon. But Jobs, in an act that was odd yet not out of character, left all of the

gifts in a hotel room. Wozniak and some of the Apple veterans, who did not take

to the goat cheese and salmon mousse that was served, met after

the party and went out to eat at a Denny’s.

“It’s rare that you see an artist in his 30s or 40s able to really contribute something

amazing,” Jobs said wistfully to the writer David Sheff, who published a long and

intimate interview in Playboy the month he turned thirty. “Of course, there are

some people who are innately curious, forever little kids in their

awe of life, but they’re rare.” The interview touched on

 

many subjects, but Jobs’s

most poignant ruminations

were about growing old

and facing the future:

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