what Steve is doing on The Cloud – Day 24 of 30

Friday 28 September – Day 24 of 30

Steve woke up this morning and reached for the notepad he now kept by his mat. It had come in handy for quickly recording dreams before they faded. He knew he had waked sometime in the night and scribbled something important, but he couldn’t remember what.

“AD FP” printed in ragged block capitals. At first he couldn’t make sense of this, then suddenly he knew what it meant. He’d been worrying about how to deliver the invitations to his Deathday party. These were initials—the initials of Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect. The two of them had acted as his messengers when he called the first genius meeting, and they had successfully found everyone in less than a day. But Arthur and Ford never did anything without permission from their creator, Mr. Adams.

Well, Steve was planning to find Douglas Adams this morning anyway, to set up a time when they could discuss communications issues. Now he would also ask if Arthur and Ford could be released for the day. Adams was always somewhere in the iTower writing sequels to his Hitchhiker’s Guide trilogy.

Sure enough, when Steve had a work break and rode the glass elevator up and down a few times, he spotted Adams just sitting down at a large table on the second floor. He got off on the ground floor, ran up the stairs, and accosted Doug.

“Can you let Arthur and Ford go for the day?” he asked, without even giving a reason.

At this point in their friendship, Douglas Adams was used to this kind of officious treatment from Steve, and he didn’t mind the abrupt manner or the question.

“Sure!” he told Steve. “Take them off my hands! They’re right over there,” he said, pointing to a sofa in the reading area. “Just get them back here by closing time.”

Steve had no trouble persuading Arthur and Dent to be his errand boys. They loved getting out from under Mr. Adams’ constant supervision. Yes, they remembered the names and descriptions of almost all fourteen geniuses. Yes, they would get the invites delivered today.

Relieved that the invitations would get to the invitees, Steve went back to work. At lunchtime he went up to the tenth floor to check the news, hoping to find that the situation at Apple had improved. No, it had gotten worse.

Tim Cook had released a letter of apology on the company website and it was all over the news. He not only apologized for the poor Maps app in iOS6, he suggested that customers should use their competitors’ maps—and he named Google, Microsoft, Nokia!

Steve scanned the letter again to make sure he had it right. Tim had released iOS6 with a faulty Maps, removed the really good Google maps application, and then told customers to use Google while he worked on improving Maps.

“We are extremely sorry”…”we fell short on our commitment”…”we know you expect our products to be the best in the world”…”we will keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard”.

Apple was in deep, deep trouble, and Steve knew it was now absolutely imperative for him to take charge. He had to find a way to communicate with Tim.

But how?

(to be continued tomorrow)

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