The unveiling of the black perfect cube would occur on a starkly minimalist stage setting with a black background,
a table covered by a black cloth, a black veil draped over the computer, and a simple vase of flowers.
Because neither the hardware nor the operating system was actually ready, Jobs was urged to do a simulation.
But he refused. Knowing it would be like walking a tightrope without a net, he decided to do the demonstration live.
More than three thousand people showed up at the event, lining up two hours before curtain time.
They were not disappointed, at least by the show.
Jobs was onstage for three hours, and he again proved to be, in the words of Andrew Pollack of the New York Times,
"the Andrew Lloyd Webber of product introductions, a master of stage flair and special effects."
Wes Smith of the Chicago Tribune said the launch was "to product demonstrations what Vatican II was to church meetings."
Jobs had the audience cheering from his opening line: "It's great to be back."
He began by recounting the history of personal computer architecture,
and he promised that they would now witness an event "that occurs only once or twice in a decade
a time when a new architecture is rolled out that is going to change the face of computing."