The 70-minute Q&A with Jobs was conducted by Robert X. Cringely[*] for his 1996 PBS documentary "Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires." Only ten minutes of the original conversation were used for the documentary. But Cringely was able to able to get the rest of it from director Paul Sen, who had made a VHS copy of it that he kept in his garage.
[*] Aka tech journalist Mark Stephens. Other tech columnists have also used the pseudonym over the years.
"Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview" made its debut across Landmark theaters last November but seems to have remained under wraps since then, at least until now.
Cringely spoke with Jobs just after he was kicked out of Apple and trying to run NeXT Computer and Pixar, obviously a difficult and challenging time in his life. So the typical Jobsian humor and crabbiness are apparently on display.
Cringely himself noted the documentary's move to iTunes but said that Apple isn't promoting it as the company reportedly sees it as too controversial.
"My little film about Steve Jobs has finally made it to iTunes (YouTube as well!) as a $3.99 rental, but you wouldn't know it," wrote Cringely on his blog site. "Deeming the film 'too controversial,' Apple has it on the site but they aren't promoting it and won't. The topic is 'too sensitive,' you see. It isn't even listed in the iTunes new releases. You have to search for it. But it's there."
Cringely insists that there's nothing "controversial"or "insensitive" about the interview, calling it "a different look at an interesting guy." He also believes Apple's attitude about the film says more about the company than about the documentary itself.
"This is the most valuable company on earth and when you get that big all news you don't absolutely control [what] is assumed to be bad news," he added. Even Jobs' widow, Laurene Jobs, has a Blu-ray copy of the film sent to her by Cringely at the request of one of her friends.
Apple may not be promoting the film. But those of you curious about all the alleged controversy can now pony up the $3.99 to see for yourself.