“It would have been fun if he had gotten to teach me how to use a mill and lathe. But unfortunately I never went, because I was more interested in electronics.”
One summer Paul took Steve to Wisconsin to visit the family’s dairy farm. Rural life did not appeal to Steve, but one image stuck with him.
He saw a calf being born, and he was amazed when the tiny animal struggled up within minutes and began to walk.
“It was not something she had learned, but it was instead hardwired into her,” he recalled.
“A human baby couldn’t do that. I found it remarkable, even though no one else did.” He put it in hardware-software terms:
“It was as if something in the animal’s body and in its brain had been engineered to work together instantly rather than being learned.”
In ninth grade Jobs went to Homestead High, which had a sprawling campus of two-story cinderblock buildings painted pink that served two thousand students.
“It was designed by a famous prison architect,” Jobs recalled. “They wanted to make it indestructible.”
He had developed a love of walking, and he walked the fifteen blocks to school by himself each day. He had few friends his own age,
but he got to know some seniors who were immersed in the counterculture of the late 1960s.
It was a time when the geek and hippie worlds were beginning to show some overlap.
“My friends were the really smart kids,” he said. “I was interested in math and science and electronics.
They were too, and also into LSD and the whole counterculture trip.”
His pranks by then typically involved electronics. At one point he wired his house with speakers.
But since speakers can also be used as microphones, he built a control room in his closet, where he could listen in on what was happening in other rooms.
One night, when he had his headphones on and was listening in on his parents’ bedroom, his father caught him and angrily demanded that he dismantle the system.
He spent many evenings visiting the garage of Larry Lang, the engineer who lived down the street from his old house.
Lang eventually gave Jobs the carbon microphone that had fascinated him,
and he turned him on to Heathkits, those assemble-it- yourself kits for making ham radios and other electronic gear that were beloved by the soldering set back then.
还让他迷上了希斯工具盒(Heath kits) ，当时广受欢迎的用来制作无线电设备或其他电子装备，但需要自己组装的工具套装。
“Heathkits came with all the boards and parts color-coded, but the manual also explained the theory of how it operated,” Jobs recalled.
“It made you realize you could build and understand anything. Once you built a couple of radios, you’d see a TV in the catalogue and say,
‘I can build that as well,’ even if you didn’t. I was very lucky, because when I was a kid both my dad and the Heathkits made me believe I could build anything.”