"We are inventing the future," Jobs told him at the end of a three-hour pitch.
"Think about surfing on the front edge of a wave. It's really exhilarating.
Now think about dog- paddling at the tail end of that wave. It wouldn't be anywhere near as much fun.
Come down here and make a dent in the universe."
Atkinson did. With his shaggy hair and droopy moustache that did not hide the animation in his face, Atkinson had some of Woz's ingenuity along with Jobs's passion for awesome products.
His first job was to develop a program to track a stock portfolio by auto-dialing the Dow Jones service, getting quotes, then hanging up.
"I had to create it fast because there was a magazine ad for the Apple II showing a hubby at the kitchen table looking at an Apple screen filled with graphs of stock prices,
“我必须尽快完成，因为一本杂志刊登的Apple II广告上出现了这样的场景：丈夫在厨房的餐桌旁盯着满是股价图表的Apple II屏幕，
and his wife is beaming at him--but there wasn't such a program, so I had to create one."
Next he created for the Apple II a version of Pascal, a high-level programming language.
Jobs had resisted, thinking that BASIC was all the Apple II needed, but he told Atkinson, "Since you're so passionate about it, I'll give you six days to prove me wrong."
He did, and Jobs respected him ever after.
By the fall of 1979 Apple was breeding three ponies to be potential successors to the Apple II workhorse.
There was the ill-fated Apple III. There was the Lisa project, which was beginning to disappoint Jobs.
And somewhere off Jobs's radar screen, at least for the moment, there was a small skunkworks project for a low-cost machine that was being developed by a colorful employee named Jef Raskin, a former professor who had taught Bill Atkinson.
Raskin's goal was to make an inexpensive "computer for the masses" that would be like an appliance--a self-contained unit with computer, keyboard, monitor, and software all together—and have a graphical interface.
He tried to turn his colleagues at Apple on to a cutting-edge research center, right in Palo Alto, that was pioneering such ideas.