Decades Before The iPad, Steve Jobs Rode A BMW

Two years before even the original Macintosh was introduced, Apple’s then-and-current CEO was pictured for a National Geographic Magazine feature on Silicon Valley, riding a 1966 BMW motorcycle.

Twenty-seven years old, sporting long hair, fancy tan boots and no black turtleneck, Jobs is very much a sidebar in Moira Johnston’s piece “High Tech, High Risk, and High Life in Silicon Valley,” published in the October 1982 issue of the magazine, which focuses on the cultural changes the machines then still called microcomputers would bring on the world in general and Silicon Valley in particular.

Jobs is not the only man featured with a fancy vehicle (identified by our Wes Siler as a 1966 BMW R60/2). Also pictured are two employees of Monolithic Memories, H.T. Chua and John Birkner, designers of the Programmable Array Logic—abbreviated PAL, as you can see on Birkner’s Porsche 928 and Chua’s bumper-happy Mercedes, received from the company as awards for designing PAL.

Incidentally, Monolithic Memories was founded by the same Ze’ev Drori who served for most of 2008 as CEO of Tesla Motors, the Silicon Valley automotive startup that lost three senior engineers in a plane crash this Wednesday.


Because of Silicon Valley’s location in the state of California, the article also has pictures of bearded men and hot tubs, which you can study in detail if you instruct your microcomputer to follow the hyperlink to an internet page on the weblog Modern Mechanix, where you can read the whole thing.


Also, no, Steve Jobs does not now ride an iPad.


Photo Credit: Charles O’Rear/National Geographic Magazine

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