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Crispin's Crispian
10-05-2011, 06:53 PM
Apple Visionary Steve Jobs Dies at 56 (http://www.npr.org/2011/10/05/123826622/apple-visionary-steve-jobs-dies-at-56)


October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs the man who brought us the iPhone, the iPod and the iMac has died. The co-founder of Apple was 56 years old. Jobs had been battling a rare form of pancreatic cancer for years.

"It boggles the mind to think of all the things that Steve Jobs did," says Silicon Valley venture capitalist Roger McNamee, who worked with Jobs.

McNamee says that in addition to introducing us to desktop publishing and computer animated movies, Jobs should be credited with creating the first commercially successful computer.

"Any one of those would have qualified him as one of the great executives in American history," McNamee says, "the sum of which put him in a place where no one else has ever been before. To me he is of his era what Thomas Edison was to the beginning of the 20th century."

Jobs was just 21 when he co-founded Apple Computer in his garage in Cupertino, Calif., in 1976. The following year, when Jobs and his partner, Steve Wozniak, released the compact Apple II, most computers were big enough to fill a university basement or came from do-it-yourself kits for hobbyists with soldering irons.
Steve Jobs
Technology
Steve Jobs, The Man At Apple's Core

With sound and cutting-edge color graphics, Apple II was the first blockbuster desktop computer. Users could hook it up to their TV sets to play games, and its spreadsheet program made it popular with small businesses.

"It made Apple the biggest computer manufacturer in the nascent computer industry," says Leander Kahney, author of Inside Steve's Brain.

But in 1981, Apple got its first taste of serious competition, when IBM released its own personal computer. IBM had the advantage of a well-known, trusted name, and Jobs a California boy loathed the kind of conformist East Coast culture it represented.

So he countered with the Macintosh, the first computer to feature a mouse, pull-down menus and icons thus eliminating the command-line interface.

"Jobs' idea was that we'll make it easy enough that anybody can do it ... a grandmother, a kid, people who don't have any experience," Kahney says. The Mac was an example of the kind of product that would come to define Jobs' entire career: easy-to-use computers.

That's the message Jobs sent to millions when he released the Mac in 1984. In an ad that aired once during the Super Bowl, a woman dressed in brightly colored shorts runs into a room of gray-looking people and throws a sledgehammer at a screen where Big Brother read IBM is talking. The minute-long reference to George Orwell's 1984 became one of the most famous television commercials of all time.
Jobs leans on the new Macintosh personal computer following a shareholder's meeting in Cupertino, Ca., in 1984.
Paul Sakuma/AP

Jobs leans on the new Macintosh personal computer following a shareholder's meeting in Cupertino, Ca., in 1984.

It also illustrated Jobs' belief that computers were tools to unleash human creativity. In an interview for the 1996 PBS documentary Triumph of the Nerds, Jobs said, "Part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians and poets and artists and zoologists and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world."

In many ways Jobs was the poet of the computer world. He'd gone to India and become a Buddhist. He took LSD and believed it had opened his mind to new ways of thinking.

But Jobs' iconoclastic ideals did not always make him easy to work with.

"He was just a terrible manager and a terrible executive," says Trip Hawkins, the marketing director of Apple until 1982. "At that point in time I never really thought that he could be a CEO."

Jobs was eventually fired in a 1985 boardroom coup led by John Sculley the man Jobs himself had hired to be CEO of Apple. But Jobs was driven to make computers vehicles for creativity, and after he left Apple, he purchased a little-known division of Lucas film and renamed it Pixar.

In 1995, Pixar released the first animated feature to be done entirely on computers. That film, Toy Story, was a huge success, and Pixar followed it with other big hits including Monsters, Inc., The Incredibles and Finding Nemo.

But Apple didn't exactly thrive in the years after Jobs' departure. With less than 5 percent of the computer market in its possession and analysts predicting the company's demise, the board invited Jobs to come back and run his old business.

In 1998, as interim CEO of Apple, Jobs introduced the iMac and once again helped remake the computer industry. According to venture capitalist McNamee, the iMac was the first computer made to harness the creative potential of the Internet.

"The iMac reflected the transition of consumers from passive consumption of content to active creation of entertainment," McNamee says. "People could write their own blogs, make their own digital photographs and make their own movies. Apple made all the tools to make that easy and they did at a time when Microsoft just wasn't paying attention."

Three years after the iMac, Jobs announced Apple's expansion into the music industry with a breakthrough MP3 player the iPod.

"This is not a speculative market," he said as he introduced the iPod in 2001. "It's a part of everyone's life. It's a very large target market all around the world."

The iPod was a classic Jobs product easy to use and nice to look at. Apple sold tens of millions of iPods, and the iTunes store became the No. 1 music retailer.

Six years later, Apple released the iPhone a device whose elegance and user friendliness blew other phone/music players out of the water.

In 2010, Apple created yet another groundbreaking device with the introduction of the iPad. With its color touch-screen, the tablet gave users the ability to surf the Web, send e-mail, watch videos and read e-books.

Book publishers weren't the only ones to embrace the new tablet. A host of magazines, newspapers and broadcast news organizations, including The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal and NPR, created iPad-specific apps that helped showcase stories and images in a tabloid-style layout.

And in January 2011, Apple reached a milestone by surpassing 10 billion downloads from its App Store a sign of just how popular the company's devices have become with consumers.

"Simplifying complexity is not simple," says Susan Rockrise, a creative director who worked with Jobs. "It is the greatest, greatest gift to have someone who has Steve's capabilities as an editor and a product designer edit the crap away so that you can focus on what you want to do."

Rockrise believes Jobs touched pretty much anyone who has ever clicked a mouse, sent a photo over the Internet, published a book from a home computer or enjoyed portable music or a computer-animated movie.

She says they all have Jobs to thank for making it happen.

Wow. Knew he was sick, but not quite this bad!

Res_Ipsa
10-05-2011, 07:16 PM
Pancreatic Cancer is one of those cancers that you are just waiting to die. Very sad.

fdsaf3
10-05-2011, 08:21 PM
Such sad news. I know the "Apple cult" gets strong reactions for and against, but this is sad news for everyone. He was a true visionary.

tworiverswoman
10-05-2011, 08:33 PM
:( He was the heart and soul of Apple, really. His ability to see how to make technology accessible and easy to use was genius level. He will be remembered.

tworiverswoman
10-05-2011, 08:37 PM
One of the articles I read said he had a very rare type that could be treated, and he was actually considered a "survivor" of it. It was all the domino-effect health problems that seem to have truly taken him down. So damn sad. No matter which side of the PC/Mac divide you fall, his genius in presenting technology in such a way that even non-geeks got enthusiastic about it can't be denied.

Davian93
10-05-2011, 08:51 PM
Pancreatic Cancer is one of those cancers that you are just waiting to die. Very sad.

Pretty much. It has a survival rate of basically zero. I remember a few years back, I had some bloodwork come back iffy and one of the two major possibilities for the cause was pancreatic cancer. It was the longest 3 days of my life waiting to hear back on it. Turns out I just have Gilbert's Syndrome instead.


Huge loss and my condolences to his family. He was a great American.

Frenzy
10-05-2011, 10:04 PM
RIP Steve.

Turns out I just have Gilbert's Syndrome instead.
At least it isn't Gilbert & Sullivan's Disease

Mort
10-06-2011, 03:01 AM
RIP Steve Jobs...

Sei'taer
10-06-2011, 07:38 AM
iRIP

Juan
10-06-2011, 11:21 AM
I was never a fan of the guy. Nor of Apple. But I have admit, the guy was a genius. Respect.

Terez
10-06-2011, 12:34 PM
And now Westboro Baptist Church has announced they will be picketing his funeral.

GonzoTheGreat
10-06-2011, 12:38 PM
And now Westboro Baptist Church has announced they will be picketing his funeral.That's very Christian of them, isn't it?

Zombie Sammael
10-06-2011, 12:59 PM
That's very Christian of them, isn't it?

Westboro Baptist Church follow the teachings of Jesus to the letter.

Evil Nazi Jesus.

looqas
10-06-2011, 01:51 PM
I was never a fan of the guy. Nor of Apple. But I have admit, the guy was a genius. Respect.

Ditto.

It's a little bit scary and disconcerting to read the papers. Sounds like a cult thingie. Steve was a visionary, but he was still a man.

The Unreasoner
10-06-2011, 04:10 PM
I was never a fan of the guy. Nor of Apple. But I have admit, the guy was a genius. Respect.
Wonder of wonders, I agree with Juan.

He was a remarkable salesman, the sort that appears once a generation. Whatever else might be said of him, no one doubts that.

And I empathize with those close to me that thought the world of him

Terez
10-06-2011, 04:12 PM
I love The Onion (http://www.theonion.com/articles/last-american-who-knew-what-the-fuck-he-was-doing,26268/):

CUPERTINO, CA—Steve Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple Computers and the only American in the country who had any clue what the fuck he was doing, died Wednesday at the age of 56. "We haven't just lost a great innovator, leader, and businessman, we've literally lost the only person in this country who actually had his shit together and knew what the hell was going on," a statement from President Barack Obama read in part, adding that Jobs will be remembered both for the life-changing products he created and for the fact that he was able to sit down, think clearly, and execute his ideas—attributes he shared with no other U.S. citizen. "This is a dark time for our country, because the reality is none of the 300 million or so Americans who remain can actually get anything done or make things happen. Those days are over." Obama added that if anyone could fill the void left by Jobs it would probably be himself, but said that at this point he honestly doesn’t have the slightest notion what he’s doing anymore.http://o.onionstatic.com/img/icons/terminator.gif

The Unreasoner
10-06-2011, 04:14 PM
I love The Onion (http://www.theonion.com/articles/last-american-who-knew-what-the-fuck-he-was-doing,26268/):
Another wonder:
Me and Terez share this interest...

Frenzy
10-06-2011, 08:05 PM
And I empathize with those close to me that thought the world of him
One of my coworkers is going on and on and on and on about Jobs' passing. i'm ready to smack the guy.

Davian93
10-06-2011, 08:06 PM
One of my coworkers is going on and on and on and on about Jobs' passing. i'm ready to smack the guy.

Ask him/her if they've bought the new iCloud that Jobs came up with.


On a side note, I would just like to thank Mr. Jobs for doing an admirable job of completely stealing Sarah Palin's thunder with his death. She gets zero press as a result of that. Even at the end, he was a great man.

GonzoTheGreat
10-07-2011, 03:25 AM
On a side note, I would just like to thank Mr. Jobs for doing an admirable job of completely stealing Sarah Palin's thunder with his death. She gets zero press as a result of that. Even at the end, he was a great man.He probably was a liberal, which explains why he is oppressing the "real America" in this way.

The Unreasoner
10-23-2011, 04:40 PM
He probably was a liberal.
Maybe nominally. But from this article... (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/world-politics/barack-obama-a-one-term-chief-steve-jobs/story-fn9hkofv-1226174466108)
Jobs was reportedly unimpressed by the President, telling his biographer, Walter Isaacson, that he'd become "infuriated" by Mr Obama's constant focus on the reasons things could not get done. He warned him that "regulations and unnecessary costs" were hindering manufacturing in the US, describing how his company could build a factory in China much more easily than California, where Apple is based.


Jobs, however, reportedly offered to craft the advertisement and marketing side of Mr Obama's 2012 election campaign.


"He had made the same offer in 2008, but he'd become annoyed when Obama's strategist David Axelrod wasn't totally deferential," Isaacson wrote of the famously stubborn Jobs.


Jobs also delivered a harsh judgment on Bill Gates, who left Microsoft to work on his charitable foundation. Despite the entreaties of Mr Gates and his fellow philanthropist, Warren Buffett, Jobs never pledged his personal fortune to charity.


"Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which is why I think he's more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology," Jobs said of the man who made billions from the Windows operating system, allegedly adapted from the original Apple design.


"He just shamelessly ripped off other people's ideas."


Jobs expressed his despair over the US education system, saying that "until the teachers' unions were broken, there was almost no hope for education reform". He proposed scrapping the tenure system, allowing principals to hire and fire on merit.

Jobs also revealed to Isaacson that he had spurned potentially life-saving surgery in favour of alternative remedies, a decision he later regretted.

...it looks like some liberals only acknowledge him because he's a celebrity. Some of his views are hardly mainstream liberalism. Although I agree with him on teacher's unions, and think of myself as a liberal.

On another note, not to speak ill of the dead, but wtf is his problem? Had he never heard of grace? Apple invented all of three things. Microsoft has done a great deal more. Gates is definitely imaginative, although he lacks Jobs's work ethic to make much of it a reality. Jobs's greatest talent is marketing bullshit, not creation.

Davian93
10-23-2011, 04:56 PM
On a personal level, from all accounts, Jobs was pretty much a giant prick.

On a professional level, he was a pretty huge innovator and great CEO.

yks 6nnetu hing
10-24-2011, 07:38 AM
On a personal level, from all accounts, Jobs was pretty much a giant prick.

On a professional level, he was a pretty huge innovator and great CEO.

which is why it's hilarious to come across iPhone toting Che T-shirt wearing "hipster" squatters. Against The Man, man...