This video of Steve Jobs giving the closing keynote of the 1997 Worldwide Develops Conference (via) is awesome on 2 levels.
First, it’s awesome on the macro level. Jobs on the mic – showing clarity of vision, expressing that vision clearly and concisely and showing he understands the technology space. For anyone who’s seen any of his other keynotes over the years, this isn’t shocking, but it’s just fun to watch him command the stage.
The second level of awesome is on the micro level and it happens at around the 14:40 mark (my emphasis):
Ok, let me describe the world I live in. About 8 years ago we had high speed networking connected to our now obsolete NeXT hardware, running NeXTSTEP at the time and because we using NFS, we were able to take all of our personal data, our ‘home directories’ as we called them, off of our local machines and put them on a server. And the software made that completely transparent and because the server had a lot of RAM on it, in some cases it was actually faster to get stuff from the server than it was to get stuff off your local hard disk because in some cases it was cached in the RAM of the server if it was in popular use.
But what was really remarkable, was that the organization could hire a professional person to back up that server every night and could afford to spend a little more on that server so maybe it had redundant disk drives and redundant power supplies. And you know, in the last seven years, you know how many times I have lost personal data? ZERO. Do you know how many times I have backed up my computer? ZERO. I have computers at Apple, at NeXT, at Pixar and at home. I walk up to any of em, and log in as myself. It goes over the network, finds my home directory on the server and I’ve got my stuff wherever I am.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but he’s just described iCloud. But in 1997. I understand what he described in the keynote was networked storage, and not actually downloading things locally to your device(s), but the experience he describes is the heart of iCloud – “It goes over the network, finds my home directory on the server and I’ve got my stuff wherever I am.”
Here we are in 2011, just now catching up to Jobs’ vision.