Stephen Fry schreibt – wie immer sehr persönlich – für Time über das iPad: The iPad Launch: Can Steve Jobs Do It Again?

“In 1984, Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, was the first person in Britain to own a Macintosh computer, and I was the second. Goodbye, glowing green command line; hello, mouse, icons and graphical desktop with white screen, closable windows and menus that dropped down like roller blinds. Throughout the next decade I would regularly go round to Douglas’ London house, floppy discs under my arm, and ring the doorbell.

“Is he in?” I would pant excitedly. Douglas’ wife Jane would point with resigned amusement to the stairs, and I would hurl myself up them to swap files and play. We were like children with toy train sets. And that was part of the problem. It was such fun. Computing was not supposed to be fun.

(…) back in those days the Mac was derided as a toy, a media poseur’s plaything and a shallow triumph of style over substance by those with a belief that computers, as utilitarian tools performing serious functions for business, should be under the control not of the user but of IT technicians and systems engineers. Despite the PC’s eventual adoption of a Mac-style graphical user interface with the release of Windows 95, the damage had been done to Apple. By 1997, the company was in deep crisis. Douglas and I got used to the gloating sympathy of exultant PC users. “You’ll soon be getting your spare parts and upgrades from hobbyist outlets and mail order,” they chuckled. The specialist and business magazines agreed.

But not so fast; hold your horses: one of the most extraordinary pages in America’s corporate history was about to be written. Apple’s “mercurial” co-founder Steve Jobs (people like Jobs always find themselves tagged with words like that) was fired from his own company just a year after the Mac’s release. In exile he created Pixar Animation Studios and the NeXT computer. His return to Apple in 1997, after it purchased NeXT, is now the stuff of legend. In the design department, Jobs saw the work of a young Briton called Jonathan Ive and asked for a meeting. Ive, underused and ignored for a year, turned up with a resignation letter tucked into the back pocket of his jeans. He left with instructions to unleash his talent. The result was the iMac, an all-in-one computer in a white-and-Bondi-blue transparent housing as far removed from the standard beige box of the day as could be imagined. Ive’s next major designs would be the iPod and then the iPhone. Apple’s transformation from underdog to the biggest beast in the jungle was under way. And look what’s iPadding through the undergrowth toward us now.”