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Early Apple employees Kottke, Fernandez comment on new film 'Jobs'

Daniel Kottke and Bill Fernandez were around in the early days of Apple, and the two former Cupertino employees sat down recently to talk about what the new Ashton Kutcher film "Jobs" got right and wrong about the founding of one of the world's largest companies.

A good deal of the scenes in Jobs, which opened on Friday, played out differently than in real life than they do on the screen, according to Kottke and Fernandez. The two worked with Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Kottke on the hardware end and Fernandez on user interfaces.

Speaking with Slashdot, the two laughed and discussed what the film got right and where it was off base.

For starters, the previously released footage showing Jobs trying to convince a reluctant Wozniak of the value of a home computer "really rings false," according to Kottke. The movie does, though, apparently portray "the emotional note of the guy who was the co-founder [Woz] and feels betrayed by Steve Jobs lying to him about the payment for designing 'Breakout'."

Also dramatized for the sake of the script was the scene where Wozniak leaves Apple, which Kottke calls the most poignant in the film, even though "that never happened at all," Kottke says. "At all. That was a complete fabrication."

Fernandez, who hasn't seen the film, said he felt it likely that it wouldn't dwell enough on the actual personal computing environment surrounding the founding of Apple.

"A lot of people were doing personal computing at the same time," Fernandez said, "and Apple wasn't a shoo-in to win the race."

Fernandez said that he is reluctant to watch the new film, saying that it would be "too weird" to see someone else playing the late Apple co-founder.

"It seems to me that there's a lot of fan fiction about Apple Computer and about Steve Jobs," Fernandez elaborated, "and i think that this is the biggest, flashiest piece of fan fiction that there's been to date."

The film has had a bumpy path since it was announced. It in some ways competes against another as-yet-untitled Jobs biopic, that one to be penned by Aaron Sorkin. Initially slated to open on April 16 to commemorate the 37th anniversary of Apple's founding, the film was pushed back to August in March.

Speaking earlier this year at Macworld, Ashton Kutcher and Josh Gad addressed criticisms of the film head-on.

"This was done," said Kutcher, "with the utmost love, admiration, and respect.