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Pirates of Silicon Valley

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Category: Entertainment
This film is the semi-humorous documentary about the men who made the world of technology what it is today, their struggles during college, the founding of their companies, and the ingenious actions they took to build up the global corporate empires of Apple Computer Corporation and Microsoft Inc.
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"A flawed but intriguing character study of two of the most extraordinary individuals of our modern technological era.

The movie is historically inaccurate. Nevertheless, it manages to capture the essence of how much of modern computing came to be: the cluelessness of Xerox about what its own computer scientists were doing; Steve Jobs' artistic vision at Apple; and Bill Gates' ruthless business practices at Microsoft. And you will be fascinated by how these men got where they are today.

The movie isn't very kind to either Jobs or Gates, emphasizing their negative qualities. Steve Jobs is presented as a visionary, but also as a slavedriver and someone who refuses to accept that he's the illegitimate father of a young girl.

Gates is portrayed in an even less flattering way--as some kind of outright sociopath who is driven to destroy all those who try to do business with him. Still, as long as you recognize that the portrayals are negatively slanted, you will be rewarded by witnessing the interplay among the famous triangle: Adele Goldberg (not explicitly named in the movie), the leader of Xerox's research team; Steve Jobs, who ripped her off and incorporated those technologies in the new Macintosh; and Bill Gates, who ripped off Jobs and incorporated those technologies in the newer Windows product.

The movie does suffer from several historical inaccuracies. I believe that at least some of those inaccuracies were deliberate--attempts to oversimplify the historical record in order to shorten the length of the movie. For example, the movie makes it appear that Apple's first attempt at a computer with a modern graphical user interface--the Lisa--was a tremendous success, when in fact it was a commercial failure. But portraying it as a success made it simpler to explain why Bill Gates got interested in dealing with Apple at that time.

While the movie is long, it would have been even better as a two-day or three-day miniseries. That would have enabled some of the historical record to be explored at greater depth, eliminating the need for this deliberate vast oversimplification."

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AlgoTrader Sacramento, CA

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Good film for entertainment value, but poor for historical r
I watched this film when it aired on TV several years ago. At that time I had little knowledge of the history behind Apple and Microsoft. However after several years of computer science studies, I am now more informed. This movie has good entertainment value, but that's about it. The facts that this movie tries to relay to the public are convoluted, out of order, or just dead wrong.

For example, the part where it portrays Bill Gates getting excited over the Lisa was wrong. In order to develop software for the original Macintosh, a person (or company) had to do the the coding on a Lisa. So Gates would have already had a Lisa to start with. A misconception that this film seems to support is that the Apple Lisa never saw the light of day when in fact it did. Apple release the Lisa to market in 1983 (one year before Macintosh). They continued to sell it for several more years. As I said before, all software development for the Macintosh and Macintosh 512k was done on the Lisa. Even after the Mac was released.

Then there was also a scene where Jobs went in the office late one night and unplugged one of the prototypes, trashing all the work the employee was doing. That too closely resemble the story that he was recruiting a guy from another department within Apple. The guy was doing some programming on the Apple II DOS OS, and Steve wanted him to work on the Mac. So Steve reached down and unplugged the Apple II and carried it into the Mac building and told him that Apple II DOS was not important and that he wanted him to forget about it,

Another factual error that the movie contains is the correlation between the release of Windows from Microsoft, and the Macintosh. The movies suggest that when the by the time the Mac was released Gates had windows already shipping. This is also incorrect. The Mac was shipping by the end of January 1984. Windows 1.0 wasn't released until 1985. Even then it didn't even resemble the Mac's system. It wasn't until the 1990's that Windows was developed enough to compete with the Mac system.

There are more stories from the actual employees who worked for Apple at during the time this movie is set. Visit www.folklore.org for some examples. Also search the web. I was amazed at the errors this film made about history. So if you want to watch it, go ahead, but remember that it's good for entertainment only.

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JS68 Cowley, Oxford

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Great Movie!
I must have watched this movie about a dozen times. It described the history of Apple and Microsoft. Very entertaining. You almost feel like you know Steve Jobs after this movie. Who knew Steve Jobs did acid....lol

Thanks,

Michael McDonald

"Trading Information @ Your Fingertips"

www.eyeintheskyscreener.com

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Mmcdonald2khome Brookings, Oregon

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The Rivalry that Started It All
If you are looking for a serious documentary on the early days of the PC area, look elsewhere. This is an artistic look of one of the most heated rivalries in all of computing. The Microsoft vs. Apple competition of the 1980's makes the dealings of Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Groupon look tame by comparison. But without Steve Jobs and Bill Gates trying to beat each other to PC supremacy the computing world would look very different (and probably not be as good) as it is today.

As time goes on the next generation of computer geeks will not understand their roots. They won't know that their decked out laptop came about because Bill Gates saw promise in a little blinking box on the cover of an engineering magazine. They won't know that their iPad came about because Steve Jobs always wants to make something insanely great. This movie, as dated and as corny as it is, shows our computing history and should be mandatory viewing for anyone who claims to be either a nerd or a geek.

This movie pits the driven businessman against the driven artist. At the time the movie was made, it looked like the driven businessman, Bill Gates, won the battle. You will almost laugh out loud watching the movie now considering that Apple is one of the largest tech companies in the world and has a cultural appeal that Microsoft will never have. Perhaps it is time for a sequel.

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Classic
Pirates of Silicon Valley is about the beginnings of Apple and Microsoft and how the got their start. Definitely a good documentary on the lives they led that helped start these giant companies. It is amazing how much the two interacted with each other, and how little Steve Jobs realized he was being manipulated. This movie brings out the good and the bad from the two entrepreneurs.

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TheSnowMan Houston, Tx

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«Apple» and «Microsoft» aka Bill and Steve battle
Firstly, this film is not about corporations «Apple» and «Microsoft». A film about people who did change the world. The film tells the story of how 5 people could not just become rich and famous, and the eclipse of such giants as «IBM». Of course, all attention is focused on 2 persons, Bill and Steve. The film conveys the essence of why a currently a monopolist is Microsoft, not Apple. Bill, first of all, a businessman. He knew how to behave, when to open his mouth and when to remain silent, when to wait and when to step. And its complete opposite - Steve. Impulsive, warm, emotional. He is not afraid of his ideas and not afraid to implement them. Watch it if you want to know how era of computerate began.

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A little bit of artistic licence used, but close enough!
Both the lead actors capture the annoying smugness of both Gates and Jobs perfectly. These young geniuses are portrayed in a believable way that brings the story or two rivalling tech start-ups to life. Excellent story with some shrewd business lessons thrown in too!

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This was great
Love the Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates development of the characters...... but it sort of made it look like Bill Gates 'won' and if you look at Apple now, it's passed Microsoft and is lengthening its lead.... so it's sort of missing a chapter.

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Luke11 Charleston, SC

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Great story and acting.
If you want to know more about the beginning of the PC era watch this movie. Great acting and a very good story, a lot of it true!

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Ferrarijack louisburg, NC

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Love it...
The movie reminds us that it takes a little umph to become successful. Gone are the days that 9 to 5's worked you up the corporate ladder to eventually leadership and welcome are the days that creativity can catapult you there within years...

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The11111111 pine lake , ga

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