At the rehearsal the night before the launch, nothing was working well.
Jobs hated the way the animation scrolled across the Macintosh screen, and he kept ordering tweaks.
He also was dissatisfied with the stage lighting,
and he directed Sculley to move from seat to seat to give his opinion as various adjustments were made.
Sculley had never thought much about variations of stage lighting
and gave the type of tentative answers a patient might give an eye doctor when asked which lens made the letters clearer.
The rehearsals and changes went on for five hours, well into the night.
"He was driving people insane, getting mad at the stagehands for every glitch in the presentation," Sculley recalled.
"I thought there was no way we were going to get it done for the show the next morning."
Most of all, Jobs fretted about his presentation.
Sculley fancied himself a good writer, so he suggested changes in Jobs's script.
Jobs recalled being slightly annoyed,
but their relationship was still in the phase when he was lathering on flattery and stroking Sculley's ego.
"I think of you just like Woz and Markkula," he told Sculley.
"You're like one of the founders of the company. They founded the company, but you and I are founding the future."
Sculley lapped it up.
The next morning the 2,600-seat auditorium was mobbed.
Jobs arrived in a double-breasted blue blazer, a starched white shirt, and a pale green bow tie.
"This is the most important moment in my entire life," he told Sculley as they waited backstage for the program to begin.
"I'm really nervous. You're probably the only person who knows how I feel about this."
Sculley grasped his hand, held it for a moment, and whispered "Good luck."