In February 1974, after eighteen months of hanging around Reed, Jobs decided to move back to his parents' home in Los Altos and look for a job.
It was not a difficult search.
At peak times during the 1970s, the classified section of the San Jose Mercury carried up to sixty pages of technology help-wanted ads.
20世纪70年代，《圣何塞水星报》(San Jose Mercury)的分类广告版面上，科技类的招工广告最多时曾达到60页。
One of those caught Jobs's eye. "Have fun, make money," it said.
That day Jobs walked into the lobby of the video game manufacturer Atari and told the personnel director, who was startled by his unkempt hair and attire,
that he wouldn't leave until they gave him a job.
Atari's founder was a burly entrepreneur named Nolan Bushnell, who was a charismatic visionary with a nice touch of showmanship in him
in other words, another role model waiting to be emulated.
After he became famous, he liked driving around in a Rolls, smoking dope, and holding staff meetings in a hot tub.
As Friedland had done and as Jobs would learn to do, he was able to turn charm into a cunning force,
to cajole and intimidate and distort reality with the power of his personality.
His chief engineer was Al Alcorn, beefy and jovial and a bit more grounded,
the house grown-up trying to implement the vision and curb the enthusiasms of Bushnell.
Their big hit thus far was a video game called Pong,
in which two players tried to volley a blip on a screen with two movable lines that acted as paddles.
(If you're under thirty, ask your parents.)
When Jobs arrived in the Atari lobby wearing sandals and demanding a job, Alcorn was the one who was summoned.
"I was told, 'We've got a hippie kid in the lobby. He says he's not going to leave until we hire him.
Should we call the cops or let him in?' I said bring him on in!"
Jobs thus became one of the first fifty employees at Atari, working as a technician for $5 an hour.
"In retrospect, it was weird to hire a dropout from Reed," Alcorn recalled.
"But I saw something in him. He was very intelligent, enthusiastic, excited about tech."
Alcorn assigned him to work with a straitlaced engineer named Don Lang.
The next day Lang complained, "This guy's a goddamn hippie with b.o.
Why did you do this to me? And he's impossible to deal with."
Jobs clung to the belief that his fruit-heavy vegetarian diet would prevent not just mucus but also body odor,
even if he didn't use deodorant or shower regularly. It was a flawed theory.