Pirates of Silicon Valley

To start with, you can just watch a trailer of this film or more precisely an excerpt about the Fair in 1977,  San Francisco, where Steve Jobs appears as a real businessman. If you click on the link here below you can watch the whole film with subtitles.

(See my summary of the film further down on this page and at about 36.37 minutes  you see the words in reference to the trailer.)

The whole film on You Tube!!! (it seems to have been cancelled!!!)

For more exercises see at the bottom of this site.

You can also download the film with torrent (http://torrentz.eu/319e4a1d7c40a943633f9101a1af0e843b77f3d8) on your computer and then download the subtitles as well. 

To watch the film with subtitles is, of course, much easier. (Subtitles are free.)

The Pirates of Silicon Valley-summary

This highly interesting video informs us about the breathtaking steps made by Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steve Anthony Ballmer and others in order to make a dent in the Universe or to create a new consciousness as Steve Jobs says. Computers are the big passion for this group of young people and, as we know, Bill Gates is now the richest man in the world.

As the video is quite long, I’ve tried to summarize it and you can maybe only watch it in parts, according to your interests.

At approx. 3.20 minutes

Steve Jobs is standing on a stage in Boston with Bill Gates (big brother) in his rear, where he says that the competition between him and Bill is over and that the world will become a better place. This speech seems weird. (This scene refers to the end of the story.)

At approx. 3.4 minutes

We are back in 1971 and there is a small scale riot going on in Berkeley. The students are demonstrating against the Vietnam war and the police launch tear gas. Steve Wozniak tells us about the strange places Steve Jobs has been to.

At approx.5.30 minutes

Jobs’ group figures out that the whistle in Captain Crunch’s cereal can be used for free long distance calls around the world. Unfortunately they get into trouble with the police because  they don’t know what a blue box is. Due to this Steve Wozniak start to work on something (computer) that doesn’t cause this kind of problem.

At approx. 8.40 minutes

Steve Jobs becomes very upset with his girlfriend Arlene because she tells him that he doesn’t know who he is.

At approx. 10.20 minutes

Altair is looking for somebody to figure out a language for it. Bill Gates and his friends are enthusiastic about the ad and take contact with the company.

At approx. 18.52 minutes

In 1976 Steve Wozniak presents his first personal computer in Berkeley. IBM becomes their enemy.

At approx. 22.14 minutes

Steve Wozniak has an agreement with Hewlett-Packard that they have precedence, but the company, fortunately enough, is not interested in Wozniak’s creation. Jobs wants to wipe out IBM.

At approx.23.23 minutes

Steve Jobs goes to the banks to get a loan, but in vain; his way of dressing  and personal computers don’t convince the bankers.

At approx. 24.54 minutes

Steve Jobs shaves his beard to become more businesslike and then APPLE is founded. Mike Markala turns up in their garage and offers a quarter of a million dollars as venture money. Steve takes drugs and escapes to wheat fields!

At approx. 28.35 minutes

In 1976 Bill and his friends  travel to Albuquerque where they want to sell royalties for the computer language BASIC. They pretend to be in the computer business and they succeed in concluding the deal with Altair.

At approx. 33.15 minutes

We see Microsoft’s first headquarters  (in his parents home) and how this crazy genius lived and also what crazy things Bill did, such as ruining his friend’s car with a bulldozer. It’s quite funny!

At approx. 36.37 minutes

Bill and friends are looking for a software company and they only find a dinky little company in New Mexico. In 1977 there is a Computer Fair in San Francisco and Steve changes into a real businesman and people come finally to see him and not the other way round.

At approx. 40.30 minutes

People are going nuts with Apple II.

At approx. 41.20 minutes

Steve Job’s girlfriend Arlene is pregnant but Steve vehemently denies being the father. He is getting more and more arrogant with his partners, friends or employees.

At approx. 47.50 minutes

Bill and his friends have to take a plane but they are late and Bill doesn’t have the tie with him. This is also very funny!. However they manage in the end to get on the plane.

During the meeting with the IBM managers, Bill tells them that they  can sell them an operating system called DOS, which they do not have at that moment. That is really a very important moment. Luckily Paul can buy it from somebody he knows for just US-S50’000.

At approx. 55.25 minutes

Steve Jobs becomes very famous and the new president of the company is Mr. Sculley from Pepsi-Cola. Steve Wozniak doesn’t agree anymore with Jobs’ behaviour.

Steve Jobs wants his baby being called LISA, despite the fact that he doesn’t recognize her. LISA is also the name of the new computer.

At approx. 1.01.11 minutes

Apple “steals” the mouse as well as the graphics from XEROX.

At approx. 1.09.54 minutes

Jobs presents Macintosh to Bill Gates and his surrounding. Bill Gates succeeds in convincing Steve that he would like to work for Apple and Job trusts him. He will regret this bitterly because Gates pirates Mac’s software and develops WINDOWS. Steve is getting more and more disgusting with his employees.

At approx. 1.31.50 minutes

There is Steve’s birthday party and it is difficult to find one person among all the present guests who makes a toast to him because of all the fights which have been going on at the company between the two teams. Jobs is even sacked but returned in 1997. His daughter Lisa lives now with her father’s new family.

I would like to add this link


because the video on  PBS is about innovators such as Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates or Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, and it motivates us, the spectators,  to become more audacious when we really want do something we’re passionate about and that’s normal that there will be set-backs!


Worksheet:The Pirates of Silicon Valley summary2

Some vocabulary:The Pirates of Silicon Valley2

This is an exercise (drag & ddrop) I prepared for you and which you can correct online http://langedi49.ch/PIRATES1.htm

I’ve also prapared you an exercise about the conditional and in connection with this topic.



3 replies »

  1. Hi Beard,
    thanks for your comment. I think it’s amazing that our new world or Yahoo, Google, Hewlet-Packard, Apple and Intel have developed from that region.
    San Francisco and, of course, the whole of California is always worthwhile a trip.


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