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Steve Jobs Steps Down
August 24, 2011 3:44 PM   Subscribe


 
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posted by elsietheeel at 3:46 PM on August 24, 2011


Wow. The day has come. What a career. Jesus.
posted by ReeMonster at 3:46 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


the pancreas stuff is hard to beat. I hope he's going to be ok. Jobs is board chair, effective today.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:46 PM on August 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


My first thought was that his health problems must've become very serious.
posted by gyc at 3:46 PM on August 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


.
posted by killdevil at 3:47 PM on August 24, 2011


Damn.
posted by ignignokt at 3:47 PM on August 24, 2011


Don't waste time posting this, lohmann - get rid of those shares quick!
posted by sleepcrime at 3:48 PM on August 24, 2011


The king is dead! Long live the king!
posted by dibblda at 3:48 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank you, Steve. That is all.
posted by mrbarrett.com at 3:49 PM on August 24, 2011 [12 favorites]


Whoa.
posted by limeonaire at 3:49 PM on August 24, 2011


I'm impressed that MeFi beat most other reblogs on this one.

Anyway, that was not a very optimistic-sounding resignation letter. It was downright depressing.

Good luck with your health, Steve.
posted by GuyZero at 3:49 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hope he gets the time to recover. Good luck Steve.
posted by arcticseal at 3:49 PM on August 24, 2011


#tech9/11
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:49 PM on August 24, 2011


I'd like to think this won't hurt Apple all that much. He seems to have a pretty good successor in Cook.

Hell of a run though. Hell of a run.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:49 PM on August 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


His letter
posted by Stewriffic at 3:49 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Aw, no.

C'mon, Steve, you can beat this.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:50 PM on August 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


It was as if a million Apple nerds cried out and were suddenly silenced.

Good show, Mr. Jobs. Thanks for helping bring me my first computer, and enabling so many schools and classrooms to get their first computers, too. I may not agree with your megalomania and hard business style, but you sure know how to get things done.
posted by loquacious at 3:50 PM on August 24, 2011 [8 favorites]


I heard the news while on my MacBook, listening to my iPod Touch, writing my iOS software.
posted by i_have_a_computer at 3:51 PM on August 24, 2011 [18 favorites]


Rather inappropriately, my first thought was to wonder whether the stock went up. Remember how the stock used to go down every time Steve Jobs made an announcement?

I do hope he's all right, though.
posted by hoyland at 3:51 PM on August 24, 2011


Damn
posted by tyllwin at 3:51 PM on August 24, 2011


Also, fuck you, cancer.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:52 PM on August 24, 2011 [104 favorites]


Goddamn.
posted by rtha at 3:52 PM on August 24, 2011


I can't say that this isn't a major blow for Apple, but I also think that it isn't a terrible time for him to step back. Steve Jobs is the reason that Apple is iconic, but Tim Cook is a huge reason why it is so profitable. He will be around and, I am sure, very influential.

I never met him, but putting every penny I could save at my first paying job into AAPL a bit more than a decade ago pretty much put college in reach for me. So, thanks.
posted by roquetuen at 3:53 PM on August 24, 2011 [13 favorites]


Wow. So sudden, too. I wonder what happened.
posted by Sangermaine at 3:53 PM on August 24, 2011


.
posted by run"monty at 3:54 PM on August 24, 2011


Yeah, probably a big selloff tomorrow--but Apple is in good hands with Cook.

I find Steve Jobs endlessly inspiring. His return to Apple is one of the great second acts in business and tech, and what he's done with Apple is almost miraculous--from a PC also-ran to, briefly, the most valuable company in the entire world. Astonishing.

Be well, Steve.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 3:55 PM on August 24, 2011 [8 favorites]


Not sudden. Not unexpected. Nonetheless, a bummer.
posted by ambrosia at 3:56 PM on August 24, 2011


Holy shit, off to unload some stock.
posted by Sphinx at 3:56 PM on August 24, 2011


I closed my E*Trade account years ago and don't have an active brokerage account. Is there a reasonable way to be able to purchase shares at open tomorrow?
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 3:57 PM on August 24, 2011 [8 favorites]


Well, it was a hell of a run. I was there with Apple from the very beginning, and I was pissed when Jobs came back and killed off the clones (my beloved PowerComputing!) But I have to admit that the man had a vision and he brought around one of the biggest underdogs of all time.

For better or worse, the powerhouse that Apple is today wouldn't exist without Jobs, and he can retire knowing that he changed the very face of computing as we know it, several times over.
posted by quin at 3:57 PM on August 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


Even if you're not an Apple fan or think Jobs is a dick you have to respect what he's done. He's made everyone work harder from the lowliest Apple employee to the CEOs of competing companies and its all been good for us. Take your well earned break Steve, I'm sure you be back in due time.
posted by MikeMc at 3:58 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah. News hit my iPhone while I was facetiming on my pad about my brothers Xcode issues. Sooo you've touched my life and culture as a whole, Steve. Thanks for all of that

(quietly hoping they burn 1 billion or so of that capital and put his brain in an Adrienne Barbeau-Bot as "one more thing")
posted by cavalier at 3:58 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


After apparently staring down pancreatic cancer for seven years, I was holding out hope at this point that Steve was more god than man after all.
posted by silby at 3:58 PM on August 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


My Twitter timeline just exploded.

I don't really give a shit about Apple, but I don't get why people would sell their shares over this. Apple is still stupidly profitable, with a huge hold on key growth areas and that's unlikely to change.

Even if Jobs his gone, it's hard to imagine that he hasn't set out a path for the next couple of years anyway - it's hardly like the company is suddenly rudderless.
posted by sycophant at 3:59 PM on August 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah, probably a big selloff tomorrow--but Apple is in good hands with Cook.

Which is really, really stupid. As influential and guiding as anyone may have been, even Steve Jobs was a cog in the machine. Regardless of whether he may have designed the machine; if it was worth building, then it should be able to run with replacement parts. I have no other way to phrase this.
posted by Dark Messiah at 3:59 PM on August 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


Holy shit, off to unload some stock.
posted by Sphinx at 3:56 PM on 8/24
[+] [!]


You do realize that millions of other people are thinking the same thing, thus making your collective returns even smaller?

Christ human beings have no foresight. Jobs being a notable exception.
posted by Avenger at 3:59 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


All we did was fly to the moon.
posted by nickrussell at 3:59 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sphinx does have a point. It's time to unload some dead weight in my portfolio and grab some AAPL tomorrow.
posted by eyeballkid at 4:00 PM on August 24, 2011 [10 favorites]


What's with all the periods? He didn't die.
posted by jessssse at 4:00 PM on August 24, 2011 [8 favorites]


What's with the people posting dots, as though he's already dead?
posted by StrikeTheViol at 4:01 PM on August 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


Jeez. To quote a friend of mine after his mother died, "fuck cancer and the cancer horse it rode in on."

Hopefully he's still got a lot of years left in him, and just thinks it's best for the company if Cook takes over the day-to-day CEO duties, which is what an optimistic read of the press release reads like. If he thinks he's only got a few months or whatever then ordering his own chairmanship is just kicking the turmoil down the road a piece.

Cook is, indeed, a solid replacement, but with someone as iconic as Jobs still around in some capacity I imagine it'll be a long time before Cook makes any big decisions without running them by Jobs first. Jobs and Cook managed to make something out of Apple that would have been tough to imagine 15 years ago. But now they've entered into this patent war with Google, and over hardware of all things. Looks like Jobs was waiting until he could see the landscape of that, and get past the Lion release, before making this move. It doesn't seem sudden to me, in other words. I think he's been sitting on this for a while.

He's a fighter.

.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:01 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I suspect they mean it's a loss for the company/world.
posted by Stewriffic at 4:01 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, tomorrow seems like a good day to buy Apple stock. This plus the general down mood right now is going to make it a bargain.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:01 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tim Cook has been running Apple for years. This changes nothing.

Steve will still be around for awhile in the keynote visionary marketing role, so they have some time to figure out who is going to step up to try to fill his very singular shoes.
posted by killdevil at 4:02 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have a very bad feeling about this. I don't think he would've done this unless he's very close to death, but I would be more than happy to be proven wrong.
posted by mogget at 4:03 PM on August 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


Wow.
posted by Xany at 4:03 PM on August 24, 2011


I wish I could give my old IIe a consolatory hug right now.
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:03 PM on August 24, 2011 [10 favorites]


I've seen reports that he was immediately elected Chairman of the Board (as he requested in his letter) and Tim Cook named CEO. Probably a pre-programmed auto-cron-job, but good, immediate action. And as long as he's breathing, I'm sure Cook will pass every major decision past him for a sign-off.

Tomorrow should be interesting. The sell-off will be spectacular - and short-lived - followed by an almost-equally spectacular rebound. The challenge will be to get a buy order in during a window that may be SECONDS long.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:04 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's with all the periods? He didn't die.

No, but even with my reluctance to diagnose people from afar and given his appearance, as well as all the past history, I fear he won't be with us too long.
posted by TedW at 4:05 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm thinking the same thing, mogget. I can't imagine he would have made this announcement if he expected to get better. A sad day. He's only 55.
posted by something something at 4:05 PM on August 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yipe.
posted by Space Kitty at 4:05 PM on August 24, 2011


I hate cancer.
posted by mazola at 4:05 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is a volatile time to be making big changes.
posted by bwendo at 4:06 PM on August 24, 2011


What's with the dots? He's not dead (yet)! Sheesh.
posted by cheaily at 4:06 PM on August 24, 2011


I hope this is not as bad as it sounds, but the timing is nagging at me. 5 pm is one thing, but why 5 pm midweek? To get the stock sale over with is one thing, but the other option is that it couldn't wait and I really hope that's not the case. On the other hand, as someone said upthread, kicking him upstairs is a (relatively) hopeful move, and I'll be clinging to that.
posted by immlass at 4:07 PM on August 24, 2011


Bummer.
posted by safetyfork at 4:08 PM on August 24, 2011


Not really all that fond of Apple but you have to respect what he did. He changed the game and forced a lot of companies to make better and competitive products.

Also he's not dead, no need for the dots, but cancer can go ahead and die.
posted by lilkeith07 at 4:08 PM on August 24, 2011


Good luck, Steve.
posted by neuromodulator at 4:08 PM on August 24, 2011


What was the time frame between Jack Layton stepping down and dying? 30 days. You can't avoid thinking it's looking inevitable.

Still, the RIP dots are premature and inappropriate here.

!
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:08 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is a historic event. People want to talk about it. Also, please please PLEASE sell off your stock so I can buy it at an even better price!
posted by basicchannel at 4:08 PM on August 24, 2011


Good luck, and thanks for all the Macs.
posted by whuppy at 4:09 PM on August 24, 2011 [13 favorites]


Rest easy, you magnificent bastard. Stick around as long as you can please.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:09 PM on August 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


eh klangs, given the jibber-jabber that tends to spring up around Apple stuff, I'd rather have this be the thread than if it had sixteen links to tech journos being inappropriately morbid or something.
posted by silby at 4:09 PM on August 24, 2011


"As influential and guiding as anyone may have been, even Steve Jobs was a cog in the machine. "

Kinda like Warren Buffet is a cog in the Berkshire Hathaway machine. A giant solid platinum cog at the heart of the machine.
posted by MikeMc at 4:10 PM on August 24, 2011 [10 favorites]


Not unexpected but major bummer. I guess it was inevitable. He looked extremely frail back in June during the WWDC.

Yes, Tim Cook is a great CEO, but he's no Steve Jobs. Tim Cook is a fantastic process man - nobody can organize production like he can. But Steve Jobs had a unique combination of traits - visionary insight coupled with a relentless focus. You either have that or you don't, and I'm afraid it's rare enough, that it would defy the odds for Apple to find another person with such gifts who commands such loyalty. And while Steve certainly did his best to imprint his DNA on the Apple organization, you can only do so for the process, not the inspiration.

This means, from today, Apple is aging. Entropy will take some time to become evident - Apple is in an excellent position at the moment. But it's inevitable.

We were privileged to watch a legend in our lifetimes. People will speak of Steve Jobs and what he did in historical terms. Ford, Watson, Jobs etc.. His management style will be studied for a long time.
posted by VikingSword at 4:10 PM on August 24, 2011 [30 favorites]


Whoa, that hit me WAY harder than I expected.

An amazing man, with an amazing legacy. I hope he is around for a long, long time, even if he can't contribute as much as he would like.
posted by The Deej at 4:11 PM on August 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


Stolen from Twitter: "Steve Jobs' text was meant to say: "I reign as CEO of Apple" Damn you autocorrect!"

Seriously... sad day for Apple and for all of the tech industry, frankly.
posted by RyanAdams at 4:11 PM on August 24, 2011 [27 favorites]


.
posted by salishsea at 4:11 PM on August 24, 2011 [47 favorites]


What's with the people posting dots, as though he's already dead?
posted by StrikeTheViol at 4:01 PM on 8/24
[1 favorite +] [!]


He probably wouldn't have admitted to being incapable of running the company unless he was either badly debilitated or very close to death.

This was his goodbye letter.
posted by Avenger at 4:11 PM on August 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


Not an Appolyte, but I respect the man, and I'm sorry for his troubles. I don't give a fuck what impact this has on anybody's investments.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:12 PM on August 24, 2011 [16 favorites]


He returned to Apple in 1997 when Apple was so fucked they had to take 150m from Microsoft to stay alive.

And then turned Apple into the most valuable company in the world.

He's a visionary, enabled by some of the most talented people in the world. One wouldn't exist without the other, but I do believe that his foresight and sheer force of will (like him or hate him), have been truly revolutionary.

His passing is going to be a loss for us all, and him leaving Apple is the end of an era.

Not trying to be a fanboy, but the last 10-15 years of his tenure at Apple have changed the face of technology.
posted by Lord_Pall at 4:13 PM on August 24, 2011 [13 favorites]


Here's Jobs in June, before the Cupertino City Council. He appears to be challenged in terms of vitality. The one thing that does stand out is his impatience (suppressed, but barely so) with some of the clueless queries put to him by the City Council members.
posted by Vibrissae at 4:13 PM on August 24, 2011 [8 favorites]


Thank God he was on our side.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 4:13 PM on August 24, 2011 [17 favorites]


The suddenness certainly implies this was a health-related move.
Too bad he had to go out on something like Lion.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:14 PM on August 24, 2011


I was down at Apple (the Mothership, heh...) to do some work several months ago, and happened to walk right by Old Steve. He looks quite a lot like Leonard Nemoy in person, strangely, and was looking rather gaunt and sallow. He still had a lot of pep in his step though.

And Mr. Cook might have been at the helm for some time already, but every Apple employee I spoke to was still a Jobs Evangelist, really. They talk about him as if his feet never touch the ground. I'll bet people are shitting themselves over there today.

Anyway, good luck Steve; and fuck you, cancer.
posted by Pecinpah at 4:14 PM on August 24, 2011




My dad is a 13-year survivor of pancreatic cancer. It is really a bitch. I can't see him running a major corporation while dealing with it. I wish the best of luck to Steve Jobs. I hope he just wants to take the time to rest without having to work as much.
posted by theredpen at 4:14 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pancreatic cancer has a 5% survival rate over five years. Jobs was diagnosed seven years ago.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:14 PM on August 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've never owned anything Apple, but I'm saving up to acquire an iPad3 the minute it comes out (and not even the HP TouchPad firesale has changed those plans). I hope he survives long enough to see it (even though the intro presentation will be a whole lotta no fun).
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:14 PM on August 24, 2011


I don't foresee a significant dropoff in share price. Maybe a big but short dip. But this has been on the horizon since his diagnosis was made public, and I expect the the major players in the market took it into account long ago. Which is to say, I think the stock's already adjusted for Jobs' absence. But one never knows, now does one

I think it's presumptuous to claim with any certainty what this does or doesn't say about his health.

There's dozens and dozens of wonderful stories about Jobs and the early days of the Macintosh at folklore.org. I think it's a nice time to reminisce about all it took to get where we are today.
posted by churl at 4:15 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
posted by blaneyphoto at 4:15 PM on August 24, 2011 [81 favorites]


I wonder what Gil Amelio is up to right now.
posted by shakespeherian at 4:17 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hope he's got ten years of keynotes and product launches pre-taped Hari Seldon style. It won't be the same without him.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:18 PM on August 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Not an Appolyte, but I respect the man, and I'm sorry for his troubles. I don't give a fuck what impact this has on anybody's investments.

Same here. Fuck the dollars. The world is and will be a darker place without Steve Jobs.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:18 PM on August 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


If Apple can't continue to be the company it is without Jobs at the helm, then it's a very flawed company and was clearly going to be doomed anyway.
posted by sycophant at 4:18 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is turning out to be a pretty rough day for me.
posted by Brainy at 4:18 PM on August 24, 2011


"Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels."

On the average, I'd say everone at MeFi qualifies.
posted by eggtooth at 4:19 PM on August 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


Steve Jobs Returns to Apple - Macworld Boston 1997 (introduction at 4:15)
posted by churl at 4:22 PM on August 24, 2011


Thanks, Steve! You changed the way I do damn near everythig.

posted from my flying car
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:22 PM on August 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


.
posted by Andrhia at 4:22 PM on August 24, 2011


Thanks, Steve.
posted by lazaruslong at 4:25 PM on August 24, 2011


If every CEO was as talented visionary and creative as Steve Jobs, then Ayn Rand would have had a point. Unfortunately, he is one of a kind.

Not a bad career for the out of wedlock child of a leftist Muslim intellectual.
posted by empath at 4:25 PM on August 24, 2011 [21 favorites]


Probably a pre-programmed auto-cron-job

cron is deprecated. Apple, Inc. uses launchd now.

One thing I remember is that when Jobs came back, everyone in the Mac world was anxious about what this would mean for their beloved System 8. He called up Ric Ford from Macintouch, a prominent Jobs skeptic, and converted him; over the next ten years, he converted everyone else.

Gonna miss ya, Steve.
posted by infinitewindow at 4:27 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, you know you're a nerd when a CEO retiring makes you teary eyed.
posted by empath at 4:28 PM on August 24, 2011 [13 favorites]


Whoa, the new campus building shown in the video linked above is amazing.
posted by lazaruslong at 4:28 PM on August 24, 2011


Thank you, Steve. 
posted by Kinbote at 4:28 PM on August 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


He might not have done everything first, but he did it better. And changed the world in the process.
posted by starman at 4:28 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised how emotional I am about this - suppose it makes sense given the impact the man has had on my working life and the stuff I do for fun. Fingers crossed this leads to a long and happy semi-retirement, Steve.

I don't give a fuck what impact this has on anybody's investments.

Quite.
posted by jack_mo at 4:31 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


100 comments in, I Ctrl-F "Pixar" and can't find it. There's so much to say about Steve's first job that it's easy to overlook his second one. He created not only the most iconic technology company of all time, but the most reliably superb animation company of all time.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:34 PM on August 24, 2011 [22 favorites]


I always found it funny when anti-apple pundits would claim the only reason apple was successful was because of marketing and Steve Jobs' distortion field. I switched to Apple because of the products, and only knew who Steve Jobs was after the fact.

He made tech exciting for me again when I found the PC side mundane and predictible. He gave my mother the first computer she ever enjoyed using. I'm going to miss him as CEO as much as I can miss someone I've never met, and I hope he proves those who already have him one foot in the grave wrong.

Shine on you crazy diamond.
posted by justgary at 4:35 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm looking forward to the upcoming release (November 21) of Jobs's authorized biography written by the great Walter Isaacson: 'Steve Jobs.'
posted by ericb at 4:36 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks, Unca Steve. Get better. If anyone can do it, you can.

Mr. Cook, please resolve the usability issues in iOS that Dear Leader has been resistant to addressing. Thank you.
posted by mwhybark at 4:36 PM on August 24, 2011




Lest people consider his return to Apple his second act, I would humbly remind folks that his unsuccessful, but quite adventurous, next act produced the elegant and polarizing machines on which the Web was created. The man seems like a nightmare boss, a bit of a weasely conniver, and more, but he's still a visionary.

Hell, if you used a spreadsheet recently, you used an idea built on an Apple.

For all we do and fail at along the way, chasing after an insanely great world ain't a bad aspiration.

And yeah, I'm one of those nerds, and just took a moment to visit my still perfectly functional Apple ][ plus and read the signatures on the dismantled case of the Mac 512 in my little hoard of computers from my own day. I bet no CEO of HP, Dell, Compaq, IBM, and so on never had the absurd idea of having his creative team sign their work.

Here's to a well deserved and hopefully long and happy rest for Steve.
posted by sonascope at 4:37 PM on August 24, 2011 [11 favorites]


He created not only the most iconic technology company of all time, but the most reliably superb animation company of all time.

Well, yeah, but then he left, and then long after he left Pixar merged with Disney, and now they're just churning out sequels and derivative movies like every other studio in the country.

I mean, Monsters University (a prequel to Monsters Inc)??? C'mon. Boo Hiss!
posted by hippybear at 4:38 PM on August 24, 2011


cron is deprecated. Apple, Inc. uses launchd now.

I'm just laughing inside, because in the System 8 days, the idea we'd have BSD Unix underneath the Mac OS was a pipe dream.

I'm also wondering how many people who own a Mac even know what launchd and cron are?

I deeply suspect that the odds are catching up with Steve Jobs. I've personally known two people with pancreatic cancer. One lasted 7 months after diagnosis, the other 23 moths. 7 years is damn near a miracle, and since then, he's had a host of other problems. The only thing that would have stopped Steve Jobs from being the Apple CEO is the realization that this medical leave isn't going to end.

Apple has been ready for this days for at least two years. Tim Cook stepping up to the CEO slot was the only conceivably sane plan -- and, it turns out, was the official Apple plan. The fact that Jobs will be around CotB for a little while longer is a bit of a bonus.

As to my personal thoughts? Thanks, Steve. Moof.
posted by eriko at 4:38 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


100 comments in, I Ctrl-F "Pixar" and can't find it. There's so much to say about Steve's first job that it's easy to overlook his second one. He created not only the most iconic technology company of all time, but the most reliably superb animation company of all time.

Pixar and NeXT were probably his MBA training, where he learned how to really, really run a company and do it well.
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:38 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


My theory on how Jobs made Apple great: he was the single customer for whom all Apple's products was designed. Design by committee committee doesn't make great products, and I think most of Apple's competitors were trapped in this checklist-driven method of design. I doubt Apple will have the discipline and the focus without him at the wheel, and the current batch might be the high water mark for the company. I hope I'm wrong.
posted by mullingitover at 4:39 PM on August 24, 2011 [12 favorites]


AAPL down 5% currently in after-hours. I wouldn't sell, personally. Why sell low?
posted by jeffamaphone at 4:40 PM on August 24, 2011


mullingitover: "Design by committee committee doesn't make great products,"

damn you, lack of edit feature feature!

Also, rumor has it Flash is coming to the iPhone tomorrow.
I started this rumor
posted by mullingitover at 4:40 PM on August 24, 2011


Huh, and weird—my initial comment in this thread was a rather inauspicious number.
posted by limeonaire at 4:43 PM on August 24, 2011


you know you're a nerd when a CEO retiring makes you teary eyed.

It's not that he's retiring. It's why. He's 55. He should have led Apple for another 20 years. The wishes for his continued good health and long life here are, I believe, pretty unrealistic. He's fought the odds on pancreatic cancer, but the odds are catching up with him.

"Once most Cancers spread out into your body, they're incurable" (xkcd 931)

His desire to be Board Chair is a slightly good sign, but I suspect that his quality of life is now significantly impaired by the treatment required to keep him alive. Maybe one good day in ten, or two good hours out of 24.

Fuck cancer.
posted by anastasiav at 4:44 PM on August 24, 2011 [9 favorites]


Jobs doesn't just design great new products, he designs great new companies, companies effective enough, in fact, to carry on without him. The people who'd dump AAPL right now, don't really appreciate the scope of his skill.
posted by w0mbat at 4:45 PM on August 24, 2011


What I'm best at doing is finding a group of talented people and making things with them. I respect the direction that Apple is going in. But for me personally, you know, I want to make things. And if there's no place for me to make things there, then I'll do what I did twice before. I'll make my own place...

So if Apple just becomes a place where computers are a commodity item and where the romance is gone, and where people forget that computers are the most incredible invention that man has ever invented, then I'll feel I have lost Apple. But if I'm a million miles away and all those people still feel those things and they're still working to make the next great personal computer, then I will feel that my genes are still in there.

posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:45 PM on August 24, 2011 [11 favorites]


Just look at how well Microsoft has been doing since its visionary leader (Gates) stepped down to let a well-respected VP (Ballmer) take over. I'm sure this will go fine for Apple.
posted by 0xFCAF at 4:46 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


0xFCAF: "a well-respected VP (Ballmer)"

Thanks for lightening up the thread, I lol'd.
posted by mullingitover at 4:48 PM on August 24, 2011


What's with all the periods? He didn't die.
posted by jessssse

What's with the people posting dots, as though he's already dead?
posted by StrikeTheViol


I agree that they're premature and unwanted, but I think I can explain the sentiment.

Whether or not you (the general you) like the guy he's something of a figurehead and shibboleth for people about my age and a bit younger, and maybe 10-20 years older. He's always been there, working away.

The mere idea of him not being officially in charge plowing forward, full steam ahead of some technology project is... hard to comprehend. It's like he's not really Steve Jobs unless he's doing that. (And I think he would agree. What he did was probably the hardest thing he's done in his life, to effectively retire.) Whether it was Apple, or the original Macintosh, or NeXT - the guy is a some kind of machine. Seemingly tireless and inhuman.

After about 35 years of what amounts to a non-stop ballistic career trajectory that started when he was really just a long-haired stoner kid in bellbottoms sneaking around like some kind of mouse in the cracks between established Silicon Valley giants, he's finally saying "OK, maybe I'm too tired to keep doing this well, or enjoy it."

He didn't invent the personal computer. Heck, he didn't even invent GUIs and windowing as an interface. But he sure did a good job of making the ideas better and putting them in business, homes and schools, and effectively turned the idea of "computing" upside down.

So, while he'll still be on the board at Apple and influencing things, this is a first. I personally think he's a raging asshole about some of his business history, but that's business, I guess. But I have respect for who he is and what he's done.
posted by loquacious at 4:48 PM on August 24, 2011 [16 favorites]


Even if he continued to lead Apple it is going to be harder and harder for him to keep it going. Apple has had an unusually long period of consumer product category dominance. It is very difficult to keep that up. Palm Pilot, Walkmans, Sega Genesis, etc. These once dominant things, now sit in landfills. Even with limitless piles of cash, it is difficult to reinvent the company every 20 months.
posted by humanfont at 4:48 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow. It's amazing that Brett Gelman predicted this almost exactly in his satirical short story iBrain.
posted by Greg Nog at 4:49 PM on August 24, 2011


AAPL down 5% currently in after-hours. I wouldn't sell, personally. Why sell low?

AAPL is very close to being the most highly valued company in the world. Where does it have to go?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:49 PM on August 24, 2011


I'm just laughing inside, because in the System 8 days, the idea we'd have BSD Unix underneath the Mac OS was a pipe dream.

Welcome to Jurassic Park.
posted by veedubya at 4:50 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think it's funny all the people who think that Jobs is Apple, because I remember a good long chunk of time when Jobs had nothing to do with Apple.

Then, of course, I remember what the company was like then. Come back, Steve.
posted by shakespeherian at 4:51 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wednesday, announce Steve's retirement. Monday, announce iPhone 5. Steve, you magnificent bastard, I read your book!
posted by kimota at 4:53 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thanks for dragging cell phones into the future, Mr. Jobs.
posted by frenetic at 4:53 PM on August 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


I don't own a Mac, an iPhone, or an iPad, and don't particularly want to. But I think that the world and computing will be much poorer without Steve Jobs at the helm at Apple. He is a visionary who has driven the creation of many great products that have had an outsized influence on the rest of the industry.
posted by grouse at 4:54 PM on August 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


No. He resIgned.
posted by jonmc at 4:55 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


⌘N
⌘⌥Q
⌘⇥
⌘N
⌘⇥
⌘S
⌘Q
posted by designbot at 4:56 PM on August 24, 2011 [22 favorites]


It is very difficult to keep that up. Palm Pilot, Walkmans, Sega Genesis, etc.

We're talking about a company that has strong, varied products across the board. A company that isn't afraid to abandon something that doesn't work. A company that is constantly moving forward.

They may stop doing those things, and that would be detrimental to the company. But comparing them to single product failures, as if Apple lived and died with the iPod, is silly.
posted by justgary at 4:57 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


My concern with Apple is that they aren't going to have someone who can say: "No, this is shit. I know we spent x million dollars developing it, but I'm not going to release shit. Start over."

I don't think there's anybody there who commands that much respect, or deserves it.
posted by empath at 5:00 PM on August 24, 2011 [11 favorites]


Also not that Steve hasn't been very, very rich for a long time, but his salary as Apple CEO has been $1 since his return in 1997. That is worth something to me. I'm not sure what, exactly.
posted by silby at 5:01 PM on August 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


Although knowing Steve Jobs, he's probably got the next 20 years of computers sketched out in a notebook stored in a safe somewhere, and we're going to be treated to the product development equivalent of Christopher Tolkien churning out Middle Earth books for the next half century.
posted by empath at 5:02 PM on August 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


So there's going to be a doodle in there of a blimp or something that he did while distracted and in 2024 we're going to get the iBlimp and nobody will really be quite sure why.
posted by silby at 5:05 PM on August 24, 2011 [13 favorites]


Yikes, that letter was pretty blunt and terse. I hope his health is okay. And I also hope that his successor can continue to innovate and keep apple growing and healthy and producing more cool gadgets for me to play with.
posted by 1000monkeys at 5:05 PM on August 24, 2011



Also not that Steve hasn't been very, very rich for a long time, but his salary as Apple CEO has been $1 since his return in 1997. That is worth something to me. I'm not sure what, exactly.


You can take my salary down to $1 if you pay me in Apple stock, too.

(or am I just missing a joke that you're saying it's worth a dollar to you too?)
posted by thewumpusisdead at 5:06 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


We're talking about a company that has strong, varied products across the board. A company that isn't afraid to abandon something that doesn't work. A company that is constantly moving forward.

A company that was commonly described as a kindergarden without adult supervision until Steve turned back up and started firing executives.

Fun note: at the beginning of his second reign if you got into an elevator with Steve he had a habit of turning to you and asking "What do you do for the company?" and it was widely believed that if you failed to give a cogent 30 second explanation you went on the short list for walking papers. Half the executives in the company started taking the stairs.

Hopefully Tim can hold the new order together. You could argue that the sort of fiefdom infighting that characterized Apple before Steve's return is a symptom of a company on the ropes, in which case there's a good chance he can. Still, you get that many young creative types in one place and it can get pretty hairy without a demogogue to rally them.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:07 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


What's with the people posting dots, as though he's already dead?

Well for me it indicates strong feeling and no words which, in this case, is entirely appropriate.

Like another event this week I am reminded of the loss of human potential that lies at the heart of every cancer story and it gives me pause.

--------
The story resonates with me further. My brother died of cancer at the age of the 36 in 2000 leaving behind a young family with three children under 7, one newborn. I can remember my personal life going to shit in ways that I will not fully explain here. Suffice to say, every day was a crisis, I was emotionally and physically drained, and there was a hopelessness in keeping that family together.

At the time I was running a Mac shareware site that had some degree of popularity. Apple was one of the advertisers and sent me boatloads of equipment as payment for adspace. At one particular lowpoint in my 'real' life, I received a batch of equipment including top-of-the-line PowerMacs with huge displays. Remember, this was still the early days of the 'new' Apple, the renaissance with Steve. Style was an equal component to power. Form and function. Included with the package was -- of all things -- 'A Bugs Life' DVD. I plopped myself down in front of this new rig and played the movie to have a look and -- I'm kind of embarrassed to say -- was overwhelmed by it. The image was huge, pixel perfect and just... beautiful. By the time the Randy Newman's The Time Of Your Life rolled during the end credits I was weeping, an emotional release that was frankly months in the making. It sounds kind of stupid to say this, but that computer and the Pixar movie reminded me of the importance and power of beauty at a time in my life when it was most vacant.

As with everything I lived through this. I wound up raising my nephew, he's 16 now. Life is too short for cynicism. Appreciate the beauty.

posted by mazola at 5:07 PM on August 24, 2011 [77 favorites]


I love Pixar, so thank you for that, sir.
All else, you made it, then you broke it, then you broke something else, then you came back and made it beyond imagining. A testament to the strength of your will, and those who believed in you. Hey, some won, some lost, right?
To my humble view, you're somewhere above Larry Ellison, which is nice.
I am happy for those of us whose lives have been changed by Apple, but I wouldn't want to meet any of you.
posted by nj_subgenius at 5:09 PM on August 24, 2011


My whole life has been shaped by Apple. One of the best memories I have from childhood is from fourth grade, when my school district got a grant to put computers in each classroom. I still vividly remember the day the Apple guy came out to set up our IIgs, literally assembling it before our eyes, explaining what each piece of innards did and how it worked with the other innards as he installed each board and cable and doodad. Then he switched it on. It was the first computer I ever saw in person, ever touched, ever used. I have never been the same.

Go get better, Steve. Please get better.
posted by palomar at 5:10 PM on August 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


This makes me very sad. Jobs has been a source of inspiration and a hero of mine, one of the very very few in the business of software who just truly gets it and managed to execute amazingly good.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:10 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also not that Steve hasn't been very, very rich for a long time, but his salary as Apple CEO has been $1 since his return in 1997. That is worth something to me. I'm not sure what, exactly.

It's certainly a very clever tax dodge, but not exactly laudable.
posted by kafziel at 5:12 PM on August 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


you know you're a nerd when a CEO retiring makes you teary eyed.

Or just a modern consumer?

Still, thank you Mr. Jobs.
posted by xmutex at 5:12 PM on August 24, 2011


A company that was commonly described as a kindergarden without adult supervision until Steve turned back up and started firing executives.
posted by Tell Me No Lies


Yes, if you think after 14 years the company will immediately return to that state, they're in trouble. Considering that 14 years is a long time, and I'm sure there's been a bit of a turn over and a lot of change in that decade and a half, I find the chances of that somewhere between remote and extremely unlikely.
posted by justgary at 5:13 PM on August 24, 2011


25MHz CPU.
64MB RAM.
256MB optical drive.
600MB hard disk.
Ethernet.
1120x832 display.

In 1989.
posted by mark242 at 5:13 PM on August 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


I own an iPhone, and it's truly integrated itself into my life, but it's Pixar that I would choose were I told to pick it or a phone to save from destruction. Lucas had the imagination to explore computer animation, but Jobs is the one responsible for supporting and then tossing Pixar into the air to see it fly. Pixar's impact on digital animation might well be just as influential as Apple's introduction of a music player that didn't rely on disc or tape. So, well, thanks, Steve!
posted by Atreides at 5:14 PM on August 24, 2011


I really hope it's not cancer. But it could other things. Cancer, and it's treatment can fuck you up for years after the dust settles.

Fucking cancer.
posted by Scoo at 5:15 PM on August 24, 2011


Apple under Steve Jobs has been sometimes precious, sometimes pretentious, sometimes off the mark. But it has never been stupid. There has never been that reactive groupthink that plagues just about every other large-scale human operation. There has been a strong, clear vision and a sense of utter confidence. Who else has created that? Pixar (hey...). Maybe Valve, although on such a smaller scale. Anyone else?

I put Jobs next to Walt Disney, another infuriating, flawed man whose taste was not everybody's. But he had vision, and he created new things that felt strange and magical and familiar and new all at once. If Steve were to live as Walt did, he'd have that chance, too. I suspect Apple will coast for decades as Disney has. But I doubt the chance of something new or surprising coming out of it.
posted by argybarg at 5:18 PM on August 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


I think the comparison to Disney is pretty apt.
posted by empath at 5:20 PM on August 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ooops...I meant "If Steve were to live as long as Walt did.
posted by argybarg at 5:20 PM on August 24, 2011


Assuming that he's resigning because of his health, there's a lesson here.

All the money, power, ambition, and genius in the world can't save you.
posted by crunchland at 5:24 PM on August 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


Also not that Steve hasn't been very, very rich for a long time, but his salary as Apple CEO has been $1 since his return in 1997. That is worth something to me. I'm not sure what, exactly

You're a fan of avoiding tax?
posted by jack_mo at 5:25 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe?
posted by silby at 5:27 PM on August 24, 2011


All the money, power, ambition, and genius in the world can't save you.

This be a valuable lesson if there was something that could save you (from dying, I presume). As it stands, I don't get it.
posted by eyeballkid at 5:27 PM on August 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


I switched to Apple many years ago. I switched because I was tired of Mr. theBRKP borrowing my computers (first desktop, then laptop) and screwing them up. Since he hated Apple computers, it seemed logical to make my next computer something that he would have no desire to touch. It helped that my job at the time involved extensive testing of software on various Apple machines.

One iBook G4, one MacBook Pro, four operating systems, three iPods, an iPad and a framed poster of Thomas Edison from Apple's "Think Different" campaign later, I'm hooked. While my day-to-day work is done using Windows Vista, my entertainment is Apple all the way*.

Thanks Steve. You saved my sanity. And my relationship. May your retirement be peaceful and long.

*except for my phone. oh Motorola a840, I shall never abandon you.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 5:27 PM on August 24, 2011


I too go back to learning to program on a II. I've owned so many Apple machines since then I've lost count.

Apple has been so integral to my creative life. Damn right I'm a fanboy and always will be.

Heartfelt thank you, Steve.
posted by spitbull at 5:28 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


"No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." — Steve Jobs, Stanford commencement address, 2005
posted by John Cohen at 5:28 PM on August 24, 2011 [41 favorites]


This be a valuable lesson if there was something that could save you (from dying, I presume). As it stands, I don't get it.

It's a lesson for all those people that believe they'll live forever. (anyone?)
posted by justgary at 5:29 PM on August 24, 2011


*takes out iPod*

*hits shuffle*

First song: If I Should Fall From Grace With God by The Pogues

Shuffle always gets it right.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:31 PM on August 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


Anyone else?

Not a business scion, but a genius in his own right, Stanley Kubrick shared the same singular, artistic vision and, like Jobs, the personality and drive required to see his novel ideas through to completion, without compromises.

Beyond business, these types of people only come around a few times a century. But when they do, we are all richer for their gifts.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:31 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also not that Steve hasn't been very, very rich for a long time, but his salary as Apple CEO has been $1 since his return in 1997. That is worth something to me. I'm not sure what, exactly

He was mostly paid in stock options. According to he accumulated about 5.5 million shares, so he's made about $2 billion working as Apple's CEO. According to the article, he hasn't gotten any new shares since 2003, though.
posted by delmoi at 5:32 PM on August 24, 2011


It's the end of the world.

(It's always the end of the world).
posted by ovvl at 5:32 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Time to bring back John Sculley.
posted by Fnarf at 5:32 PM on August 24, 2011


I've been a user for 21 years. I'm a Jbs junkie.
Good luck Steve.
posted by artdrectr at 5:32 PM on August 24, 2011


Some years ago I worked for wholly-owned subsidiary of Apple. This subsidiary had a stable of products but only one of them was profitable. Apple took its time but eventually made the obvious decision and scuttled the company, reforming it around the profitable product and killing the rest. They also laid off approx. 60%-70% of this subsidiary's employees.

On the day after this mass layoff, while the pain was still mighty fresh, Steve gathered us remaining employees in the company's auditorium and proceeded to rip us new assholes for approximately two hours, telling us point-blank that we sucked, that our software was awful, that we were dysfunctional, and that we were a blot on Apple's reputation and a drain on their resources. Only he was more direct than that, and his tone made it clear that he was personally disgusted with us as a company. At one point he noticed one of our VPs taking notes for another exec who was stuck on the wrong coast, and he became livid: "Give me that notepad! Anyone who is too stupid to remember what I'm saying is too stupid to work for me!" You could hear a pin drop in the room.

This is not to say that his analysis was wrong. It wasn't: the company wasn't profitable, he understood why it wasn't profitable, and he wanted to make sure that we understood why things had to change, and why we had to be profitable to survive. But man, was he brutal. We got an excoriation, not a pep talk. But he was also brilliant; it was as if he had set his vaunted reality-distortion field to "abuse". I've now worked in this industry for a long time and I've seen a lot, but this was a moment that will stay with me forever: Steve Jobs pacing the stage of our little auditorium in his trademark blue jeans and black mock-turtleneck, so mad he was practically spitting at us, daring us to question his judgement or his analysis of our many shortcomings. There were elements of theater in his delivery, but it was also clear we had his personal attention for a few hours and He Was Not Happy With Us. It was quite an afternoon.

God bless you, Mr. Jobs. Although your prospects are rumored to be bad, you have a solid history of confounding those sorts of rumors. I don't like your chances in this race but I won't bet against you, as I've witnessed your intensity first hand and it's something to be reckoned with. Long may you run!
posted by mosk at 5:34 PM on August 24, 2011 [68 favorites]


All the money, power, ambition, and genius in the world can't save you.

Everyone dies. Some people just die later than others.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:35 PM on August 24, 2011


The "."'s are to mark a recognition of a significant, undoable change from whence you cannot return, and the sense of loss you experience. It is not for Steve, it is for all of living in a world without him as the helm of a company that did, literally, change our lives, I'd argue, for better. I mean, what's after Apple+Jobs? Fucking Lenovo?
posted by roboton666 at 5:35 PM on August 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


My concern with Apple is that they aren't going to have someone who can say: "No, this is shit. I know we spent x million dollars developing it, but I'm not going to release shit. Start over."

Hopefully Jobs has been there long enough that that attitude is ingrained in the company culture. I suspect it is - can you imagine Jony Ive and his team thinking 'Meh, this'll do, let's release it'?

And, let's face it, Jobs has been happy to release shit, and even champion it - my hand is still a bit sore from using that round mouse that came with the first iMac.
posted by jack_mo at 5:37 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Apple II+ with the shift key on the keyboard wired up to the joystick port and a custom eprom with lower case ASCII characters.

Apple IIc that got me through college (and made me some $$ on the side typing papers for people and printing them through an old stylewriter)

Macintosh II that I learned Pascal on

Macintosh SE/30 that I ran our file server on in my first real job.

Mac LC II that I used for writing educational CDroms on

Mac IIVx that I spent way too fucking much money on

Mac IIci that was my daily grinder for years

Quadra 840 AV we used for video rendering and laser disc recording.

Power tower 640 - got me my first job writing websites with BBEdit

Couple of Mac Minis, couple of imacs, 6 iphones (including those bought for the family), an ipad, a powerbook.

I'd say that after all this, Apple owes me something, but in reality, I've been making my living in computers my whole life- and Apple's gear has been instrumental in all of it.
posted by jenkinsEar at 5:39 PM on August 24, 2011 [12 favorites]


This is Steve Jobs at his finest hour. You could only dream of coming back to the company that you founded, the company that fired you, that turned to you in its most desperate hour, and leave on your own terms, when Apple has the largest market cap in the US.

Jobs was never afraid to reinvent himself and his company. The only competition at Apple was the old Apple. Jobs was often accused of eroding his own products' markets, but this was his strength. For example, new iPods constantly obsoleted the old. The iPhone obsoleted the iPod. The iPad may have obsoleted the Mac, to some degree. And every one of these products was a world leader, shaping the market. Why obsolete your best products? Because you can do better.

So hooray for Steve Jobs, for a job well done. I hope he is able to reinvent himself at least one more time.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:40 PM on August 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


"fuck cancer and the cancer horse it rode in on."

Hear, hear.
posted by homunculus at 5:42 PM on August 24, 2011


I took a tour through liberal and conservative blogs, and it's remarkable how universally positive the comments sections are about him, considering his wealth and power.
posted by empath at 5:43 PM on August 24, 2011


Hopefully Jobs has been there long enough that that attitude is ingrained in the company culture.

Agreed. That's what I don't get about all the 'remember what apple was like before Jobs came back'. I would hope, and I'm confident, that his mark and influence goes deeper than choosing the look of the iPhone 5.

And, let's face it, Jobs has been happy to release shit, and even champion it - my hand is still a bit sore from using that round mouse that came with the first iMac.

Another great point, and that fact will be lost the first time a post jobs Apple releases something that fails.
posted by justgary at 5:43 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


pancreatic cancer SUCKS. Just fuck you, pancreatic cancer. Damn, I don't even have a mac or iphone but the people I love who have been effected by this disease is major, major suck. *shakes fist*
posted by pointystick at 5:45 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, if you think after 14 years the company will immediately return to that state, they're in trouble. Considering that 14 years is a long time, and I'm sure there's been a bit of a turn over and a lot of change in that decade and a half, I find the chances of that somewhere between remote and extremely unlikely.

Probably true. I'm a little too close to Apple internal politics to tell if they are normal for what you see in this size company.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:45 PM on August 24, 2011


I took a tour through liberal and conservative blogs, and it's remarkable how universally positive the comments sections are about him, considering his wealth and power.

If one could criticize him for anything it might be his singular focus on running his businesses. To my knowledge he has never used his money or his power for the promotion of any cause other than what he was working on. I think I've seen him in one photo for an Obama fundraising dinner, but that's it. He was remarkably non-partisan about pretty much everything.

In fairness, I wish more CEOs were like this as I disagree with most of them on things political.
posted by GuyZero at 5:46 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]




To my knowledge he has never used his money or his power for the promotion of any cause other than what he was working on.

As I said above, he was the perfect Randian superhero, because it's the rare case that the products he was manufacturing themselves were making the world a better place. There's nothing, I think, he could have been better spending his time and money on than making better computers.
posted by empath at 5:51 PM on August 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


A colossus of his time.

.

[sent from my iPad]
posted by Trurl at 5:53 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Stick around for awhile Steve. But you don't have to for our sake.
posted by goalyeehah at 5:54 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jobs doesn't just design great new products, he designs great new companies, companies effective enough, in fact, to carry on without him.

He didn't the first time. Let's hope he did the second time around.
posted by benzenedream at 5:55 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Now who is this guy again?
posted by Roman Graves at 5:55 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm going to miss you and your products Mr. Jobs.

.
posted by kurosawa's pal at 5:55 PM on August 24, 2011


From somebody across the divide, here's to you Steve. Good competition is always a great thing, and fuck cancer.
posted by kmz at 5:57 PM on August 24, 2011


I love you, Steve Jobs.

Seriously.

I worked for Apple in college, I have never owned ANY other brand of computer, and I love that damn company and its products more than anyone rightfully should. Jobs was a major, major part of why Apple rocked and why its people produced such amazing stuff. I hope he carries on for many more years, but in the meantime I am just happy he drove the personal computer in the direction he did.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 5:57 PM on August 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


Damn, only 56! I thought he was nearing 70. Hope his health improves and he has quality years.
posted by cashman at 5:58 PM on August 24, 2011


.
posted by jquinby at 5:59 PM on August 24, 2011


In the words of that guy at the WWDC Keynotes who shouts this out every year:

We love you Steve!!!!
posted by schwa at 6:00 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't like Apple or even Jobs very much.

But I do respect him and everything he has accomplished. I hope he can have some time to enjoy life. I think it is hard for people like him to ever give up the day-to-day job, but some of them seem much happier once they actually do it --- assuming/hoping his health improves or at least stabilizes.
posted by wildcrdj at 6:04 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


...that fact will be lost the first time a post jobs Apple releases something that fails.

Unless Apple has absorbed Jobs' tendency to press on regardless - his response to failure is to carry on until people start thinking the failure is a success, or to release an improvement/change and pointedly ignore the existence of the earlier failure. There are so many examples of this thinking, usually to do with bringing products to market well before they're ready - people tend to think great Apple products spring fully formed from the thigh of Zeus Jobs, but lots of them have a dodgy forebear that we all forget.

Apple's reaction to that first post-Jobs failure - real or perceived - will definitely be an interesting moment.
posted by jack_mo at 6:04 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


It must have been hard for him to deliver this message. I'm sorry that this creative, intelligent, vibrant person has to leave his job because of cancer. I hope he has enough time with his family and friends, even though there's no such thing as enough time with your family and friends. I hope he's one lucky guy and beats it, to resume his life however he wants. Good luck, Steve.

and Fuck You, cancer.
posted by theora55 at 6:05 PM on August 24, 2011


AAPL has lost $18 billion in market capitalization since the Jobs news broke, about the same as the GDP of Paraguay.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:05 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Unless Apple has absorbed Jobs' tendency to press on regardless

Sorry Jack_mo. I was referring to the tech press / pundits. The first time Apple puts out something that doesn't take off they'll point to the absence of Jobs being the reason, forgetting the cube, apple tv, etc...
posted by justgary at 6:10 PM on August 24, 2011


So long, Steve, and thanks for all the iFish. I hope that you're able to live out the rest of your days with the same grace and vigor that you ran Apple. You deserve it, and so much more.
posted by schmod at 6:15 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


We're talking about a company that has strong, varied products across the board. A company that isn't afraid to abandon something that doesn't work. A company that is constantly moving forward.

You mean like Sony? Remember when they dominated dozens o consumer electronics categories. They own the Walkman brand, mobile phones, Columbia music, well regarded pc's, portable gaming with the PSP. Yet they got knocked on their ass by Jobs.

Yes Apple has a lot going for it. It doesn't take much to end up irrelevant. Product cycles are quick and consumers have demonstrated mangroves in my life that they will replace their music collection. I love Apple products and I think they are a great company, but they can't get keep this up forever. As a cautionary tale I sold put of Apple a few years back after I quadrupled my money. I would not be working had I sold it today instead.
posted by humanfont at 6:18 PM on August 24, 2011


mangroves?
posted by silby at 6:22 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man. It was inevitable but it's still a shock because everyone secretly kind of hoped it wasn't.
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:25 PM on August 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


The first time Apple puts out something that doesn't take off they'll point to the absence of Jobs being the reason, forgetting the cube, apple tv, etc...

Sure, but the tech press slammed all those Cube/Apple TV/first gen Air type cock-ups and Jobs-Apple steamrollered through the criticism - I'm interested to see whether post-Jobs Apple will have the same almost blasé attitude to criticism (it doesn't really matter if that criticism includes 'this never would've happened with Big Steve at the helm').
posted by jack_mo at 6:25 PM on August 24, 2011


You mean like Sony?

Well, if you amend your original point to include only Sony, yes, they had a varied product line, super successful. They also stopped innovated and rested on their laurels because 'hey, we're sony'.

If Apple goes the Sony route and stops innovating, they're in trouble. I'm not denying that. I just don't find the connection as strong as you do. After 14 years of Jobs, I'm hoping his influence is deeper than a resignation letter, and I believe it will be.

In the near future I'm more worried about Jobs than Apple.
posted by justgary at 6:28 PM on August 24, 2011


Hopefully he's just uploading his ghost into the iCloud network.
posted by neuromodulator at 6:30 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Steve gathered us remaining employees in the company's auditorium and proceeded to rip us new assholes for approximately two hours

Like begets like. But hey nobody's perfect.
posted by polymodus at 6:30 PM on August 24, 2011


'mangroves'

"many times," autocorrected to mangroves by iOS, I intuit.
posted by mwhybark at 6:30 PM on August 24, 2011


The thing about the Cube was that although they abandoned that particular model, they didn't abandon the push towards miniaturization on the desktop that they began with it. It reappeared shortly thereafter dressed up as the iMac G4, then again as the Mini. They learned lessons from the Cube, and applied them both technologically, and in marketing, with the trend towards small, quiet consumer devices. Long game. Jobs has always played a great long game.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:31 PM on August 24, 2011 [9 favorites]


Hopefully he's just uploading his ghost into the iCloud network.

STEVE JOBS HAS LEFT THE LIBRARY. STEVE JOBS HAS BEEN SAVED.
posted by schmod at 6:35 PM on August 24, 2011 [10 favorites]


Mac IIVx that I spent way too fucking much money on

I said that "VX" stood for "very expensive" when I first bought mine. That changed to "very extinct" when they discontinued them six months later.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:36 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Apple is the polished, refined, secure, outlooking, fun, intuitive, unclutered machine Steve Jobs has helped conceive. I hope he feels proud for having rescued the company and turned it into its current prosperous form.
posted by Meatafoecure at 6:37 PM on August 24, 2011


An honest man with a great eye and steel in his spine.

Sad day. I wish him more than luck.
posted by waxbanks at 6:44 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


The hate leveled at Steve Jobs by so many techies astounds me. He has so much to do with this world we live in. I don't care how much you hate the black turtlenecks, the fanboyism, the reality distortion field, he pushed these things through. He actually shipped. And shipping is really effing hard. He did it over and over again.

Good luck, and godspeed, Mr. Jobs. Thank you.

The Crazy Ones
posted by DigDoug at 6:44 PM on August 24, 2011 [9 favorites]


iLove what you've done for the world. Be well.
posted by Elly Vortex at 6:45 PM on August 24, 2011


Christ I almost sold my Apple shares today but thought, eh they got 75 billion, what could go wrong.
posted by stbalbach at 6:52 PM on August 24, 2011


Apple and Steve made a thing inside Apple, I think it is called Apple University, which has been going on for years now. It is actually an expert system they developed to train decision makers in the Steve way. Of course like all expert systems it cannot encapsulate everything, but I am pretty sure that Apple's course has been charted out for decades by Steve and the University team now; not just the "what we will make in 2020" plans but "how we will make them" plans as well as the vastly vastly more important hidden agendas that are like the mountains that support the rails upon which the trains of Apple's end-user products run. I have high hopesexpectations for the company; they will execute well for a decade or more.

As far as Steve goes, I knew he was done was the moment at the last launch where he and his wife shared a tender smile and he rested his head on hers; completely exhausted but so determined as ever to do just one more keynote. And her looking at him softly as if to say, you crazy mad fool, I love you but...

Cancer killed my mother. It's the ultimate betrayal. The machinery that built you; subverted, alien, corrupted, evolving moment by moment to defeat treatments; not cruel: simply thoughtless, blind, without intent, deadly as a driverless bulldozer in a playground. Fuck cancer doesn't even scratch the surface, but it will do as an epithet. As for a cure.... I hope one day for targeted viruses but always, always, we will be fighting the most powerful force in nature: evolution itself. I doubt we'll ever get rid of it completely.

Thanks, Steve. You're someone I look up to as a true artist: never varying from your dream, always working to make your imagination real. There are damn precious few of them. I hope you get some time to relax and maybe catch a breather, but I know just exactly how little "relax" is what an artist ever wants to do.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:52 PM on August 24, 2011 [19 favorites]


Sooo you've touched my life and culture as a whole, Steve. Thanks for all of that

I wish I could give my old IIe a consolatory hug right now.

Thanks, Steve! You changed the way I do damn near everythig.

I'm surprised how emotional I am about this - suppose it makes sense given the impact the man has had on my working life and the stuff I do for fun.

I would humbly remind folks that his unsuccessful, but quite adventurous, next act produced the elegant and polarizing machines on which the Web was created.

My whole life has been shaped by Apple. One of the best memories I have from childhood is from fourth grade, when my school district got a grant to put computers in each classroom.

One thing I remember is that when Jobs came back, everyone in the Mac world was anxious about what this would mean for their beloved System 8. He called up Ric Ford from Macintouch, a prominent Jobs skeptic, and converted him; over the next ten years, he converted everyone else.


I read these comments and think of one of my most precious Apple artifacts, a simple, cheap bumper sticker produced near the end of Jobs' first run at Apple, back in the early Macintosh days. It simply has the Apple "rainbow" logo and one of Jobs' slogans:

"Changing the world, one person at a time."
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:53 PM on August 24, 2011 [9 favorites]


waxbanks: "An honest man with a great eye and steel in his spine"

You think anyone in charge of a company that large is honest? In fact I remember several ex-employees mentioning, in what I think was a Time profile, that he was notorious for shooting down and then regurgitating the ideas of others. Not the big ones, obviously, but just sayin'. Cancer sucks, but let's not create a Stevie Appleseed here.
posted by Roman Graves at 6:54 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


He'll be back.
posted by Brocktoon at 6:59 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Jobs has always played a great long game.

Yes. He is not a good man... ask Woz, but not too harshly, he's still on Steve's side... he isn't a technical genius... again, ask Woz.

But he could see ten years into the future, and imagine himself there, in five years instead of ten, and had the drive and the charisma and the fortitude to see it through.

Steve Jobs demanded that every home have a computer, and that everyone could use it. Not the nerds, the high-priests of technology, but everyone. Accountants and machinists and grandmas and toddlers all needed to use the computer to augment their brain and abilities.

The world acceded.

Where we go next is irrelevant. That we can all get there is.

I was an Apple fanboy when it wasn't fashionable. My first rig as an adult was a Tandy 1000HX, which couldn't even run most DOS programs. I hated computers. My second rig was a Mac Portable, with backlight and 4mb ram card, and a pocketable 2400 baud modem. I was failing out of art school when I got it, in '94.

I'm now a computer security expert in a major financial institution. The Steve Jobs way of computing - progressive disclosure especially - changed forever how I thought about the world. There is always a layer beyond the layer you know, and it interfaces with it in ways you can understand and you can deal with, no matter how arcane it seems.

Co-workers have asked how I can shift from Solaris to AIX to Linux to security appliance to layer three switch to iPad to Android... and it's always the same answer: I learned I could draw an awesome superhero logo in MacPaint, when in real life, I couldn't even draw a smiley face. The Mac, Steve's second greatest invention, let me do that.

I owe my success to Steve.

Fuck cancer.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:01 PM on August 24, 2011 [12 favorites]


In my head, Mr. Jobs resigned so he'd have the time and energy to say "I don't care that you spend seven years trying to kill me, cancer; you did a crap job. Start over from scratch."
posted by davejay at 7:07 PM on August 24, 2011 [8 favorites]


eriko: "I'm just laughing inside, because in the System 8 days, the idea we'd have BSD Unix underneath the Mac OS was a pipe dream. "

Indeed. A/UX was SVR4 and MkLinux was, well, Linux.
posted by mkb at 7:09 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


DigDoug writes "The hate leveled at Steve Jobs by so many techies astounds me."

Jobs fucked over the Woz, probably one of the greatest hardware hackers to ever live, in a pattern all to familiar to nerds forced to collaborate with business types. Even though Woz says he doesn't hold a grudge it speaks loudly to a philosophical difference.

And there is the whole lack of public charity thing which is, unusual.
posted by Mitheral at 7:15 PM on August 24, 2011 [8 favorites]


Remember in the dark early days of the second Jobs era at Apple, on the back-channel Mac rumor message boards, how people used to talk about this or that beloved feature or department or program getting "Steved"? That is, getting the axe? Hard to believe now that it then sounded like a term of opprobrium.

Now Steve himself has been Steved. May he live on forever in our closets and our emulators.
posted by RogerB at 7:15 PM on August 24, 2011


I feel incredibly fortunate to have lived at the same time as Steve Jobs, and grateful that I get to use his creations (iPhone, iPad, Mac) every day. He's certainly brought personal computer tech forward by decades. I hate to think of how long we'd have had to wait for something like the iPhone if Steve hadn't made it happen.

So hooray for Steve Jobs, for a job well done. I hope he is able to reinvent himself at least one more time.

I'd be quite all right with a Borg Steve Jobs...
posted by kira at 7:18 PM on August 24, 2011


I owe my entire career and livelihood to Steve Jobs. I'm a internet security engineer at a company you've heard of, and I can trace that directly back to first using an Apple II+ - making BASIC programs to do my math homework and hacking the save files of Bard's Tale.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:18 PM on August 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


My first computer that I spent any real time with was Mac IIci, the first one I owned was a Quadra 640 AV and I'm typing this on a Mac Pro (with an Apple 30" monitor). I know what I know about computers mostly from Macs and I probably owe my job to Apple as much as my employer. So thank you Mr. Jobs, you came back once, here's hoping you do it again.
posted by doctor_negative at 7:21 PM on August 24, 2011


I dont really get all the people talking about being excited about buying the stock all of a sudden. If you didnt think it was a buy today BEFORE the announcement, why are you so excited about buying it after he resigned @ 5% off?

That being said, it was clear in June that this day was coming soon. One look at his wrists during the June press conference and it was obvious.

Also, I think Apple will be just fine without him. They would be a reasonably interesting company if they had NO money in the bank, and they have 75 billion kicking around. Perhaps now they will put that money to work (or borrow some money cheap and put it to work, better still) thereby unlocking some value for the shareholders.

Good luck Steve, kind of don't like you, but boy do I admire you. You are genuinely a titan.
posted by jcworth at 7:24 PM on August 24, 2011


He'll be back

One more thing...
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:25 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jobs fucked over the Woz, probably one of the greatest hardware hackers to ever live, in a pattern all to familiar to nerds forced to collaborate with business types. Even though Woz says he doesn't hold a grudge it speaks loudly to a philosophical difference.

I'm not sure he really fucked over Woz. Woz wanted to stay at HP and do what the bosses said. Jobs dragged his ass out of there, told him his ideas were incredible and made him rich.
posted by humanfont at 7:29 PM on August 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


Steve Jobs: How to live before you die

If anyone wants to give a tribute to Steve Jobs that takes a bit longer than posting a dot, that person could do a helluva lot worse than watching the video at the link madamjujujive posted above. It's a 15-minute commencement address Jobs gave at Stanford University in 2005, in which he tells "three stories from my life - that's it, no big deal, just three stories."

It's really great. The 3 stories are 1) his last-minute adoption (1:14), dropping out of college and "dropping in" on a calligraphy course that 10 years later would help him pioneer smart typefaces and fonts on computers (3:54); 2) getting fired from the company he started - "It turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that ever happened to me...it freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life" (7:14); and 3) the meaning of death in life: "Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

The last minute or so is a nod to the Whole Earth Catalogue, particularly the sign-off of its last issue: Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.

Seriously, it's a great little talk. Thanks, madamjujujive; it was the perfect thing to post here.
posted by mediareport at 7:32 PM on August 24, 2011 [13 favorites]


.
posted by Lynsey at 7:32 PM on August 24, 2011


Oh, here it is, bigger, at YouTube.
posted by mediareport at 7:33 PM on August 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


I took a tour through liberal and conservative blogs, and it's remarkable how universally positive the comments sections are about him, considering his wealth and power.
That doesn't necessarily mean that everyone likes him, rather, it would be unseemly to criticize him if he's actually ill and about to die. If bill gates were dying do you think people would be posting about how much Windows sucks? (Of course, he's removed from that somewhat now)
posted by delmoi at 7:35 PM on August 24, 2011


This is why we can't have nice things.

Fuck you, cancer.
posted by narwhal bacon at 7:38 PM on August 24, 2011


This Steve Jobs is why we can't can have nice things.

FTFY
posted by Schneider at 7:42 PM on August 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


In a perverse way, I almost think that $75B cash stockpile represents one of the biggest threats to Apple now that Jobs is leaving. Recent history has shown that there's not many technology companies that, when sitting on top of anywhere close to that much money, can resist the urge to spend some of it on some kind of preposterous headline-grabbing acquisition play that ends up destroying massive amounts of value. One of the biggest things that Jobs got right was avoiding that.

Maybe he's succeeded in building a culture that doesn't go for that, but stupid M&A activity seems to have this siren call on the egos of so many otherwise-smarter executives.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 7:44 PM on August 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:46 PM on August 24, 2011


I wish the man well.

However, most of the time I actually spent using Apple products was the time when Jobs was not at the helm—1986-1993 were the years I was in jr. high and high school, going from Apple II+ to IIc to IIgs during jr high, then various macs in high school, with the color macs remaining a rarity until I was in my senior year.

At home I proficiently programmed a Commodore 64 in BASIC and some assembler, but that environment was obviously totally different than the mac. Better in some ways (sprites! color!) but ultimately a lot more limited (even if the waning years of the Commodore 64 did bring GEOS, probably an even more technically amazing feat of shoehorning than the OS on the Macs)

I don't know what software was on a "home" mac of the day, but Hypercard was what made the Macs at school something different. While I'm sure it had deficiencies, you could also make pretty magical things from it—adventure games and D&D character generators being the two things I was always working on. (There was also Pascal, but 16-year-old me coud barely figure out how to put things on a menu bar in that environment!)

To me, it's this Apple, the one that created an excellent environment in which to create and then share what we created with each other, is the great Apple.

(oh, and did I forget to mention the bootleg black&white dithered topless Tasha Yar (Denise Crosby) image that somebody smuggled in on a floppy disk? That was the second most awesome thing after everything we did with hypercard)
posted by jepler at 7:48 PM on August 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


This quote from Gruber over at the Daring Fireball blog absolutely nailed it:

"Jobs’s greatest creation isn’t any Apple product. It is Apple itself."
posted by zooropa at 7:55 PM on August 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


I too got my start on a ][+ and then a //e. Those computers and the software running on them instilled in me a love and respect for programming, which after many detours, turned into my livelihood.
I think of my Macbook Pro and iPhone the way a samurai must have thought of his daishō.
I am glad that he came back to the company and enabled the creation of such fine tools.

Hope he gets better, or at least doesn't get any worse.
posted by bashos_frog at 7:55 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Whatever you think of Jobs with respect to technology, he's personally responsible for, in one estimation, nearly doubling the number of organ donations available in California.

In his short speech on the subject (in full at that link) he says in part:
I was almost one of the ones that died waiting for a liver in California last year. I was receiving great care here at Stanford but there were simply not enough livers in California to go around and my doctors here advised me to enroll in a transplant program in Memphis, Tennessee, where the supply/demand ratio of livers is more favorable than it is in California here. And I was lucky enough to get a liver in time. As a matter of fact, this coming week is my one-year anniversary.

So why aren't there more organs available in California? Because in California, like most other states in the nation, you must specifically request to become an organ donor at the Department of Motor Vehicles when you're there to get or renew your driver's license. No one asks you if you want to become a donor. And there's no marketing campaign to make you aware of this opportunity, either, so unless you know about it and unless your specifically ask, nobody is going to ask you, nobody is going to give you this opportunity. And yet even with this obscure procedure over 20 percent of Californians have signed up to be organ donors, which is fantastic. But imagine what it could be if everyone knew of this opportunity.

And that's what the Governor's bill will do. It will simply require the DMV to ask you if you'd like to become an organ donor. That's it. Asking this one simple question may double the number of transplant organs available in California -- one simple question. And that's a very high return on investment, especially for the over 20,000 Californians currently waiting for an organ transplant.
Whatever you think of the man, that's not nothing. Not at all.
posted by mhoye at 7:56 PM on August 24, 2011 [18 favorites]


Two massively influential people in my life are facing death sooner rather than later: Jobs and Pratchett. One of the crappy things about aging is that you have to see your heroes and idols die.

Fuck cancer.
Fuck Alzheimer's.
And fuck getting older. Just because it beats the alternative doesn't mean it doesn't suck.
posted by tzikeh at 7:56 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Jobs fucked over the Woz

Really? I always thought it was the plane crash that really did him in.

Don't get me wrong -- I love Woz, but if he was *half* as brilliant as he's reputed to be, he'd have signed on as a technical lead at another company, and made his untold millions there.

Remember that Jobs was also pushed out of Apple, at which point he went and built NeXT up from nothing, and contrary to the Jobs stereotype, built a product that was technologically revolutionary, fairly open for its time, and completely un-marketable to the masses. If anything, that's Woz's stereotype.

Oh, and while he was bored, he nurtured Pixar into becoming the most successful film studio of the past two decades. That's nothing to sneeze at.
posted by schmod at 7:59 PM on August 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


I don't know what software was on a "home" mac of the day, but Hypercard was what made the Macs at school something different. While I'm sure it had deficiencies, you could also make pretty magical things from it

Oh man, Hypercard! I would spend hours and hours fooling around with Hypercard projects as a kid. Hypertalk was so simple that you didn't realize you were handling events and being all object-oriented and such. When I ran into those concepts again while learning to build "real" programs in "real" languages, they were long since all a big "meh."

I still have my old Hypercard reference manual (it's this one!) on my bookshelf. I can't imagine I'd be a software developer today without all the time I spent with that book, puzzling over how to accomplish some tiny piece of a task.

(I seem to remember that at one point there was a Hypercard "pickle" virus that would randomly insert the word "pickle" in your code? Anyone else remember that?)
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:05 PM on August 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


schmod writes "Really? I always thought it was the plane crash that really did him in. "

I was referring to the Breakout payment thing.
posted by Mitheral at 8:06 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I remember when Bill Gates was an innovator, a Rock Star a prophet of the new Digital Age. Everyone looked up to the guy in the 80's. Then I remember about 15 years later when he was just some hyper rich asshole who created a monopoly and then squashed any possible competing innovation in sight by dubiously legal means. And I remember about 5 years later when he was just an old rich bastard re-inventing himself as a philanthropist.

These things run in very predictable cycles. Give Apple about 7 more years (with or without Jobs) and ...

P.S. I miss the Woz.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 8:09 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


This thread is pretty weird, but most of you seem to be otherwise cool so I'll just skip the jokes and criticism and such.

Sorry about your mega-wealthy CEO dude though, I guess.
posted by Hiding From Goro at 8:16 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


"One of the good ones"
posted by Hiding From Goro at 8:19 PM on August 24, 2011


At one point he noticed one of our VPs taking notes for another exec who was stuck on the wrong coast, and he became livid: "Give me that notepad! Anyone who is too stupid to remember what I'm saying is too stupid to work for me!" You could hear a pin drop in the room

I favorited this comment because it is a great story. On the other hand I'm conflicted because what Jobs did was terrible. Dressing down a subordinate in public is a stupid thing to do from just about every perspective. It's a classic management 101 mistake. (Discourages dissent, builds a fear-driven environment, and is just plain cruel).

Jobs got away with it because he was an effing genius, the golden boy who was simply brilliant in vision and execution. He didn't need to harness the wisdom of the organization because he didn't need to.

The problem is there are legions of Jobs-wannabes out there, "leaders" who have a thimbleful of his talent and genius but they remember, oh yeah, yelling at subordinates, Jobs did it and so can I.

The workplace is more poisonous for it.
posted by storybored at 8:19 PM on August 24, 2011 [25 favorites]


iResign.

Despite being a Mac owner, I've never particularly liked The Cult of Jobs. Too much fawning obsequious-ness, either real from fanboys or imagined from rabid anti-fanboys, for my liking.

But you have to give the man props for being outstanding at choosing a (the?) correct target point in the market, driving his company towards it, and almost always actually delivering on the promise. Maybe not the first time, maybe not everytime - but enough times to make him a standout from the rest of the industry. And he's done it in two different industries (and, in the case of iDevices, pretty much jumped up to lead the pack in one or two other industries along the way).

A visionary? Dunno. But he's possibly the closest thing to one you'll see in the tech field for a while.
posted by Pinback at 8:19 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love Woz, but if he was *half* as brilliant as he's reputed to be, he'd have signed on as a technical lead at another company, and made his untold millions there.

He did. More than once. He cashed in often... and still decided to teach in public schools. Also, last I heard, Android was an offshoot of an offshoot he backed with his own cash, which was once "Wheels of Zeus" which became the incredibly popular Sidekick, which was bought by Microsoft, and their entire dev team defected into the company that was bought by Google and made into their Android team.

In short...

WOZ LIVES!
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:20 PM on August 24, 2011 [12 favorites]


"I'll always stay connected with Apple. I hope that throughout my life I'll sort of have the thread of my life and the thread of Apple weave in and out of each other, like a tapestry. There may be a few years when I'm not there, but I'll always come back." — Steve Jobs, 1985 Playboy interview
posted by furtive at 8:22 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I just did the math and estimate I've spent more time with Apple products than with my wife, even though none of my workplaces used Apple products.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:30 PM on August 24, 2011


Jobs has done an awful lot for everyone. And he deserves a salute for that.

I've never bought an iOS product due to their locked down nature, but I appreciate what brings someone to make such a faustian choice. I've trouble buying his laptops now that his ego started the software patent war, but maybe even that'll help prevent other countries from permitting them. In short, Jobs is moving the world forward even when at his worst.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:32 PM on August 24, 2011


Some said above that he's resigning at a time where he's taken care of the future. Just this week, newsbits have been flying around about a low cost iPhone for the rest of the world. With that step taken, the changes that Jobs has wrought impacting interaction and industrial design, the concept of the handheld device and its many possibilities are now set in motion for the final play.
posted by infini at 8:39 PM on August 24, 2011 [3 favorites]




I too find all this sentiment pretty weird. The intense fawning over someone who was accurately called a Randian superhero upthread makes me imagine a sea of Patrick Batemans commenting here, when I know that is not the truth in any other aspect of most of your lives.
posted by Roman Graves at 8:48 PM on August 24, 2011


Oh, the Apple memories of my youth...
The IIe tutorial... closed apple/open apple game... Moo Goo Gai Luckynerd on the "menu".
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, Operation Frog, Snoopy Skywriter Scramble, Bank Street Writer, Print Shop, Stickybear Town Builder...

IIGS with Talking Mad Libs and AppleWorks.

The (second?) Mac tutorial (not the one on cassette)--driving across a bridge, clicking on things, and getting along with a mouse.

Oh, and summers filled with whatever Apple computer my Mom's work was using at the time. (She worked at a school which encouraged its employees to take home computers for the summer after a break-in one year.)

Be well, Mr. Jobs, and thanks for an alternative to the gaming systems my parents refused to buy. ;)
posted by luckynerd at 8:49 PM on August 24, 2011


I love Woz, but if he was *half* as brilliant as he's reputed to be, he'd have signed on as a technical lead at another company, and made his untold millions there.
Why assume that everyone who's smart is also greedy?
posted by delmoi at 8:56 PM on August 24, 2011 [14 favorites]


I learned to program in BASIC on the Apple IIe in 1983. Jobs has been a visionary. Given the competition in tech CEOs, an ailing Jobs is still better than everyone else. My guess is that he has worked up to the point where he literally could not.

Much respect. There are many like me whose imagination has been profoundly affected by what Jobs has created. Damn, he's even indirectly responsible for my watching Princess Mononoke! All over the map.

Discipline. Real leadership. Imagine if our government leaders had half the vision that Steve Jobs has demonstrated. He has been a true zen master. Imaginative in a cave full of otherwise emptiness, he provided a promise of imagination and vision expressed.

.
posted by thebestusernameever at 9:01 PM on August 24, 2011


"Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me." [The Wall Street Journal, May 25, 1993]

----

"I’ll always stay connected with Apple. I hope that throughout my life I’ll sort of have the thread of my life and the thread of Apple weave in and out of each other, like a tapestry. There may be a few years when I’m not there, but I’ll always come back." [Playboy, Feb. 1, 1985]
From a collection of Jobs' quotes
posted by Llama-Lime at 9:04 PM on August 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


He's definitely the Carnegie or Ford of our time. I'm not a fan by any means, but he's a brilliant business strategist and a hell of a salesperson.
posted by octothorpe at 9:06 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank you Steve, and best wishes-
posted by newdaddy at 9:18 PM on August 24, 2011


Hell of a guy.
posted by _frog at 9:20 PM on August 24, 2011


I remember when Bill Gates was an innovator, a Rock Star a prophet of the new Digital Age.

BillG has never been known as an innovator. He has missed almost every important trend in the computer industry, little things like The Internet.

BillG will always be known as the guy who copied the idea for Windows from Steve Jobs. Even Microsoft Office owes its existence to Jobs. Microsoft Word looked like this until Jobs contracted with BillG to write the Mac version. Excel 1.0 was first released on the Mac. Powerpoint was originally a Mac program. Bill Gates owes more to Steve Jobs than any other person. Tim Patterson comes in at #2. BillG's empire is built on other peoples' work.

And BTW, yes, Woz was a genius. I did chip level repairs on his Disk II and controller, it was a technically brilliant design. Before Woz, disk drives and controllers cost $1500 and up. He created an extremely simplified controller design, the drive and controller sold for $595. Woz's Apple II color video generator circuit was also a work of genius. I remember drooling over the unaffordable $350 Cromemco TV Dazzler, it was the cheapest color video output you could buy.. until Woz invented a clever trick video circuit to do that for like $10 worth of chips.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:22 PM on August 24, 2011 [8 favorites]


Fuckit, I'll just list 'em all. (Sorry for wasting everyone's pixels, but it's been a long trip.)

first Mac I used -- Mac CLassic in about '89. My first creative endeavor with a computer was to design a press release for my band. I still have a paper copy somewhere. I used too many fonts.

First Mac I owned -- Centris 610. OS 7 was buggy and unstable, but this was the machine that I learned to use Photoshop (3) on, then Freehand, and it changed my career. I'd been a process printer since '85, but until that day had been at the mercy of the wizards behind the curtain at the service bureau with the drum scanner. Also, typography. Jobs goes into this in that commencement speech. Game-changing.

Performa 630 - first home computer. It was pretty much a glorified typewriter, and CD player. I never much liked it. Slow, heavy, and OS 8 was meh. They bundled it with an absolutely horrid display. Gave it to the Goodwill.

First Mac I enjoyed -- Power Computing Power Center 150. Very fast for its time, and say what you will about the clone era, it was a brick shithouse, and Power Computing was a great company. I learned Quark, and volunteered as an editor laying out a 24-28 page newsletter, and picked up a whole new host of skills along the way. I learned to really dig into the guts of the OS -- this was the machine that got me enthusiastic about the whole computing paradigm, and the one that really got me on line. It had a 28.8 modem!

First Mac of the post -Next Jobs period -- Sawtooth 450. Another brick shithouse. I learned hardware on this one - installed RAM, drives, video cards, airport, and eventually a CPU upgrade. I sold that computer with my business in '07, and it's still humming away in the art room over at Action Screen Graphics, as we speak. They've re-started it maybe 3 times in 4 years, and I got to visit it last month when they had lost the password after a rare re-boot because of a power failure. I still maintain that the Sawtooth was the most solid Mac ever, and for a short while, the G4 was king of the hill. At 11 years old, it's still an acceptable machine for OS 10.4 & the Adobe CS suite.

The Cube -- yeah, I was one of the 100,000 fanbois with more money than sense. I loved that thing with a blind fury. It was the machine that I learned to build websites on, and began to tinker with recording/mixing audio. It was my first machine of the MP3, iTunes era, too, so it changed the way I listen to music. Sadly, I parted it out, because it was worth more on eBay in pieces than whole. I feel like I sinned.

Quicksilver dual 1.0 -- learned networking and a modicum of UNIX on this one. I used to do stuff like make pop-up windows appear on the MS boxes in the front office, and make computers across town randomly "say" things. Anyone remember Dumb Terminal Tricks? Is that site still around? Very fast machine in its day, and foreshadowed where the whole industry has gone, as it hit the MHZ wall. My first MetaFilter post was probably typed on that machine. Did my first 24-track mixing project on it, as well. Another game-changing technological advance. Suddenly, hey! There's a recording studio in that box!

G5 dual 2.0 -- typing on it right now. Abandoned by history, but for a little while, these things seemed like absolute beasts. At 8 years old, It'll still run 24 tracks of audio in Logic 8 without blinking, and Photoshop CS3 runs like a dream. The guts of the G5 are still beautiful to behold, but seriously, they were a step backwards from the El Capitan cases, which were the easiest to work on, ever. It's still pretty solid. Once I got 10.5 on it, the thing smoothed out, and now runs 2-3 months at a stretch. It's kinda anchored to my Nikon scanner, which doesn't work with Intel at all, so I'll keep it as long as I've got slides to scan, which I hope is forever.

iMac G4 -- bought this one for one of the kids, and it was underpowered, and kind of a princess. Still, a very lovely design, and the screen arm thing was truly great. Stolen. Miss it.

AL Powerbook 1.25 -- I was giddy the whole morning, waiting for UPS to show up. What is it about Mac anticipation? Have I used the phrase brick shithouse already? This computer once had 215 days uptime, and another time, had 195. I think I rebooted it maybe 20 times in 8 years, mostly for software updates. It just croaked a few months ago. I recorded live gigs straight to HD using Logic, I made caving photo slideshows at the campground that we watched in the cabin after trips -- mobility! It went everywhere with me.

somewhere in here, I bought and sold an iMac G3, a Mac Mini, another iBook G4 and another Sawtooth, just making a little scratch. Man, people on Craigslist will buy anything.

iBook G4 another kid's computer. Saw my daughter through jr. high and most of high school. She dropped it a lot. I took it to the Apple store, all bashed up three ways from Sunday, after the hard drive died one time, and they replaced half the damn machine under warranty, without question. Despite the fact that it looked run over. One of many positive customer service experiences. I haven't had a bad one.

Powerbook 12" -- replacement for the above. Found it on Craigslist. She also dropped it. A lot. Wife still uses it, and daughter is now off to college with her:

13" unibody MacBook Pro. I think she drops it less, because she paid for it with her summer job money. I did hear it go *thud* one time this summer. Utterly trouble-free, and seriously zippy little machine. They really got the Intel thing right. It felt like desperation when they first announced the transition, but they're doing Intel boxes better than the other 95 percent. I'm sorry I doubted.

Powerbook 15" 1.67 Was given to me with a broken display, and I actually changed the panel out in a 4-hour open-heart surgery marathon. It's my son's machine, now. He's just going into Jr. High, so it's about to become useful, I think.

My iPhone and iPad are 2 flavors of Flying Car. I just downloaded an app called addictive synth the other day, and am pretty excited about where the touch interface is taking real-time music creation.

15" Macbook Pro 2.33 -- given to me dead, I popped it open and resuscitated it, just a few months ago. Still getting a grip on what it'll do -- I feel like I'm falling behind, things are moving so fast. I'm a little sad to see Adobe and Apple so obviously diverging, with the CS 5 suite, which just kind of befuddles me. But alas, I am getting old and befuddlement is starting to seem like a default setting. Right now, it's sitting on my IT guy's desk waiting for him to do a Boot Camp install of Windows - here's a sad fact -- it'll be my very first Windows box. I made it to 48, steve.

Thanks Again. It'd be great if you'd give some of the obscene profits you made offa me to charity, someday.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:23 PM on August 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


Also, last I heard, Android was an offshoot of an offshoot he backed with his own cash, which was once "Wheels of Zeus" which became the incredibly popular Sidekick, which was bought by Microsoft, and their entire dev team defected into the company that was bought by Google and made into their Android team.

Huh? The SideKick was made by Danger, which though founded by a number of Apple alumni, did not have any obvious affiliation with Woz's other company, although Woz was given a (most likely ceremonial) place on the company's board of directors.

Andy Rubin left Danger in 2003 (long before the company's ill-fated acquisition by Microsoft in 2008) to form Android, which would later be purchased by Google. Android was an almost entirely "underground" operation, even past its acquisition by Google in 2005, at which point it's widely rumored that the entire OS was rewritten from scratch.

Incidentally, one of Android's original design goals (pre acquisition) was indeed location awareness, which was also the focus of Woz's company, albeit in two very different applications.

And, yeah. I've also got a Sawtooth G4 that's still chugging along, I think with OS X 10.4, which it runs capably. The machine supported 2GB of RAM. In 1999. Many of Apple's own models wouldn't even have maximum specs like that until nearly a decade later. It's a completely un-killable machine. I even edited a film on it in 2006; Final Cut Pro's system requirements are surprisingly modest, and I legitimately didn't mind editing a film on a 7-year-old machine, which honestly took me somewhat by surprise. I also had a 12" Powerbook that I just finally retired in March of this year (*sniff*) because the web had become too RAM-hungry for the system's 2GB maximum memory capacity; best damn portable I've ever owned.
posted by schmod at 9:35 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Momento mori
posted by jcking77 at 9:45 PM on August 24, 2011


I, too, miss my Sawtooth G4/450. For a little while, the fastest desktop machine on Earth. It did everything--EVERYTHING--I needed. Played DVDs, played MP3s, played Quake 3, woke me up in the morning, edited movies, played Quake 3, composited video, designed flyers, played Quake 3, edited audio, wrote papers and scripts, tracked cash flow, planned for the future, oh and did I mention it played Quake 3?
posted by infinitewindow at 9:56 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was literally just discussing this with my friend on Monday about what would happen when Jobs is gone. That they'd better have someone with his magic. I'm not an Apple fan. I think they've done some interesting things. But without Jobs' vision and touch, would Apple have even still survived? I don't know. I do know if I'd've invested money back in 97 like I wanted to I'd have a LOT of money these days. Then again I was broke as shit, and good luck getting more than a couple shares in total. Oh well... (Wait, I hate capitalism. Never mind, fuck that).

But yeah - very interesting synchronicity.
posted by symbioid at 10:07 PM on August 24, 2011


Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs and Bill Gates


I know almost nothing of the man, I'm not an Apple guy, whatever, but I do know he is great. Someone upthread talked about how difficult it is to ship, to get products out the door on a schedule but Jobs shipped, he lit fires under people, things got done. One hell of a human being.

I don't think he quit to bake pies or play patty-cakes with his wife or kids or whatever. I think the show is over.

I watched my brother die of cancer earlier this year. It broke my fucking heart, it's a goddamned horror show. My brother did until he just couldn't do any longer, I bet that's what's going on here, with Jobs.

I wish him and his family peace.
posted by dancestoblue at 10:09 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Jobs' inevitable departure didn't surprise me today, but it hit me hard.

My first true nerdling experience with computers was with TRS-80s and C=64s, but in middle school, we had a lab of Apple IIe machine which felt foreign and impenetrable to me at the time, since my only use of them was in a typing class.

Later, in high school, we were lucky enough to have a brilliant teacher who understood the coloring of technology in all of mass media. He built a newspaper, TV production, yearbook and live production powerhouse in our school that later became a magnet program. When I was there, we were the first class to have an SE/30 print server with a Laserwriter for laying out copy, and a bunch of lesser machines for doing page layout in Ready, Set, Go! 1.0. We had Amigas for TV graphics, and paste-up equipment for placing the output of the Laserwriter on art boards for camera-ready use at our printer. The whole room was networked with Appletalk (even the Amigas and PCs!), and we students were responsible for keeping it working.

Fast forward a few years, and I'm lucky enough to be doing tech support for a company which has all Macs. The company had a T1, and Applelink was the way developers and partners got software. Quadra 950's in the drum scanning department, Quadra 800's in the design area. A/UX (briefly) in the server room. We saw one of the first PPC machines, an unlabeled 6100, and it screamed on everything we threw at it, despite 75% of it being in emulation. I have all of my Apple Connection CDs from this time period, including the two seeds of Copland, all of the Rhapsody versions (DP1, DP2, etc) and pretty much every version of System 7, 8 and 9. It's at this time our server closet started to become Solaris, and Apple started pointing at UNIX. I learned it all, and now I'm unafraid of any system you could throw at me.

At one point, I helped run a website which generated one of the first community-published Mac sites, MacEdition. (Wikipedia editors seem to have deleted the page describing us, link points at one of our columnists...)

Now, I'm proud to support about five different OS flavors, and happy to show any one of our users how simple it would be on the Mac.

This is long-winded, and personal, but I think that's what Jobs wanted of Apple - he wanted users who understood that what Apple was building was a set of elegant tools that anyone could use.

I know I'm a better student of computers for Apple having Jobs at the helm.
posted by tomierna at 10:20 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


BillG will always be known as the guy who copied the idea for Windows from Steve Jobs

Xerox Parc and the Alto personal computer - look it up.
Surprise !!
posted by Poet_Lariat at 10:37 PM on August 24, 2011 [6 favorites]


He changed the way I, and millions of others make art.
posted by Scoo at 10:50 PM on August 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


On the day after this mass layoff, while the pain was still mighty fresh, Steve gathered us remaining employees in the company's auditorium and proceeded to rip us new assholes for approximately two hours, telling us point-blank that we sucked, that our software was awful, that we were dysfunctional, and that we were a blot on Apple's reputation and a drain on their resources. Only he was more direct than that, and his tone made it clear that he was personally disgusted with us as a company. At one point he noticed one of our VPs taking notes for another exec who was stuck on the wrong coast, and he became livid: "Give me that notepad! Anyone who is too stupid to remember what I'm saying is too stupid to work for me!" You could hear a pin drop in the room.
maybe his pancreas would've laster longer if he hadn't done stuff like that

just sayin'
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:56 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


You, sir, should be a doctor.
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:00 PM on August 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well 260 comments in, I had to say something too...

I'm not a computer nerd. I'm just a guy; a guy with small children, a guy that makes music for fun, a guy with a totally technologically illiterate family, a guy who enjoys movies and music, and staying in touch with friends and family. My first computer was an Apple II later replaced by a Mac Plus. Switched to PCs in the 90s but came back when the G4 and the iPod came out. I'm on my second iPhone and my second iPad. When someone upthread mentioned Pixar, it finally hit me.

The number of ways this man impacted my day to day life, in immensely positive ways, is simply astounding. Of course there are non-Apple products that accomplish the same tasks, but the elegance and usability that Jobs' vision brought to Apple has completely driven the direction of the industry. Clearly he is in the same league as Edison, and it is hard to think of a third person that matches these two.

I remember two Christmases ago, with a six month old baby and a crazy work schedule, we were simply unable to travel to my hometown even though my 95 year old great grandmother had never met her first great great grandchild. I bought my parents, who never use computers, a MacBook, and they set up an iChat with my elderly grandma-ma on Christmas morning. The memory of her talking to my son as we opened his presents for him is precious and never would have happened were it not for someone who had the vision to make technology work for and integrate into average people's lives.

Without Jobs, "computing" would still be a hobby, a niche for people fascinated by math and science. People would still have a distaste for using the same machines at home that they stared at all day at their boring jobs. He changed the world forever.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:02 PM on August 24, 2011 [8 favorites]


BillG has never been known as an innovator.

In 1975, he and Allen squeezed Altair BASIC into 4K, the first high-level language for the first consumer (ok, hobbyist) microcomputer. They didn't even have an Altair when they did it, because no one had it, because the Altair 8800 only existed as a couple of prototypes when it was first featured on the cover of Popular Electronics and Allen and Gates started working on it. So, in fairness, he did some extremely innovative work if you go far enough back.

I love Woz, but if he was *half* as brilliant as he's reputed to be, he'd have signed on as a technical lead at another company, and made his untold millions there.

Woz is at least as brilliant as he's reputed to be, and seems to be satisfied with the number of millions he has, and to have been living exactly the life he wants.

Considering the early Apple, I'm reminded of the joke about Bill Clinton saying to Hilary during his presidency "where would you be if you hadn't married me?" and her replying "married to the president of the United States." Without Woz, I find it fairly easy to imagine Jobs co-founding the company that produced the first successful microcomputer with someone else from the Homebrew Computer Club or elsewhere.

Without Jobs, Woz probably would have been a happy calculator designer at HP who had a footnote in the history of computing for having showed off a promising 6502-based computer prior to whatever the first successful microcomputer would have been. (This is no slur on Woz, who's one of my engineering heroes; it's just an acknowledgement that he loved his job at HP and Jobs had to work hard to get him to leave it to work for Apple full time.)
posted by Zed at 11:14 PM on August 24, 2011 [7 favorites]


Just fyi, Edison was a hack, Slarty Bartfast.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:23 PM on August 24, 2011


BillG will always be known as the guy who copied the idea for Windows from Steve Jobs

Xerox Parc and the Alto personal computer - look it up.
Surprise !!
posted by Poet_Lariat at 0:37 on August 25 [1 favorite +] [!]


There's way, way more to this story then who was first. I was looking for details of this (are they in Steven Levy's Hackers?) , when I found a brief story about Job's Reality Distortion Field.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:25 PM on August 24, 2011 [4 favorites]


Poet_Lariat: "I remember when Bill Gates was an innovator, a Rock Star a prophet of the new Digital Age. Everyone looked up to the guy in the 80's. Then I remember about 15 years later when he was just some hyper rich asshole who created a monopoly and then squashed any possible competing innovation in sight by dubiously legal means. And I remember about 5 years later when he was just an old rich bastard re-inventing himself as a philanthropist.

These things run in very predictable cycles. Give Apple about 7 more years (with or without Jobs) and ...
"

Here's hoping this hypothetical cover proves 100% accurate.

Well, not 100% accurate, but you know what I mean.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:50 PM on August 24, 2011


I have a number of new thoughts since my initial comment.

The first is that, four years ago (or so) I was entering law school and needed a laptop, and had a hard as hell time convincing my father that I should get a MacBook. Ironically, considering Apple's reputation on affordability, I was able to make the argument based on price. Considering what Georgetown demanded for laptop specs, a MacBook was actually cheaper than a comparable Dell. My dad was the first computer science major at SMU back in the day, and has had a lifelong faith in PCs. Today, my parents both own iPhones, and my mom won't use a non-Mac computer, and they are almost entirely on the other side of the debate. I called my dad with the news when this FPP first came out, and he said he was going to keep a close watch over Apple's stock tomorrow to see if he could justify buying more (it was news to me that he held any at all.)

The second is that the MacBook from that conversation, and which I'm typing on, is showing a lot of age, but still works. All of the PCs in my life basically became terminal the moment I started working with them, in ways even brilliant coders couldn't fix nor comprehend, but this piece has stayed strong.

The third is that character from the final episodes of Sports Night, the "phenomenally successful man who failed far more often than he succeeded," and who every time he failed, gathered his top people around and asked "where are we going?" I know Jobs was harsh in his business dealings, and in his management. But I also have to imagine that this was partially based upon him. I've never seen a CEO in my life who so understood how to minimize his failures and amplify his successes. I've always thought it odd that, Pippin aside, Apple never made another go at the console market. It seemed a natural fit, and one which would get programmers to finally start writing for Macs themselves, but I guess he found his own way in, with apps and casual games, just as is his style.

The fourth is a bit more worrisome.I don't know Apple's politics, but I understand the value of an iconic leader. Let us make no mistake: Jobs is to be compared to Augustus Caesar. Not on a corporate scale or anything else. He is that important. He has single-handedly changed the world that much. And no, it wasn't all from his own ideas; he'll be the first to mention that fateful trip he took to PARC which changed the world, where he first saw GUI (and the internet and many other things which his brain wouldn't pay attention to because, holy shit GUI!) No matter. He saw the value in it. He saw the way to change the world with it. Gates took that vision and forced the world to use his version of it, but Jobs brought it to us first.

The final is simply this. I grew up on The Hitchikers' Guide to the Galaxy. Aside from the words "Don't Panic," Jobs has brought us The Guide, and better even than Adams imagined it. We may not have babel fish, and we may not have the Heart of Gold, but dammit, we've got the iPad. I trust in Tim Cook but it does take a once-in-a-lifetime leader to bring about the sort of change Steve Jobs has.

Vive le Roi.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:53 PM on August 24, 2011 [5 favorites]


BillG will always be known as the guy who copied the idea for Windows from Steve Jobs.
Who copied it from Xerox.
Just fyi, Edison was a hack, Slarty Bartfast.
Actually, Edison and Jobs are pretty similar. They both package and made a business out of other people's innovation, while obviously being pretty technically smart themselves.
posted by delmoi at 12:06 AM on August 25, 2011


Xerox Parc and the Alto personal computer - look it up.

Oh no, are we going to have to go through this myth again?

Apple was working on the LISA (and essentially the Mac) GUIs long before they visited PARC. Look it up. Apple had substantial work done on the LISA GUI long before the visit to PARC. Apple's pre-PARC designs are well documented. I could come up with further documentation of my own, I worked at a software contractor for Apple, coding APIs for popdown menu systems and primitive "Finder"style filesystems, on prototype Apple///s. I never went to PARC. Apple had our APIs and were experimenting with them in GUIs for the LISA project, long before they went to PARC.

So, did Bill Gates visit PARC too? No, the first time BillG ever saw a GUI was at a visit to Apple. Steve Jobs gave BillG a personal preview of a prototype Mac, to get him to write software for it. Apple licensed the Mac GUI elements to Microsoft for the purposes of writing Word and Excel. Gates copied it to create Windows 1.0, and claimed the license covered it. Apple and Microsoft went to court over "look and feel" for many years, finally Apple settled and MS made a major payment to cover those rights.

As far as BillG's alleged innovations as a coder:

In 1975, he and Allen squeezed Altair BASIC into 4K..

A copy of the Altair Basic source code, with comments, was discovered ten years ago at Harvard. From this documentation, and interviews with Monte Davidoff, it became known that Gates hired Davidoff as lead programmer. Davidoff had experience writing BASIC interpreters for mainframes like MULTICS. They found this set of comments in the source code:

00560 PAUL ALLEN WROTE THE NON-RUNTIME STUFF.
00580 BILL GATES WROTE THE RUNTIME STUFF.
00600 MONTE DAVIDOFF WROTE THE MATH PACKAGE

Of course Allen and Gates took all the credit, and left Davidoff's name off the program, even though neither of them had prior experience writing interpreters. Davidoff saved their asses. The math package was the HARD part of the job.
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:13 AM on August 25, 2011 [17 favorites]


charlie don't surf: I'm not going to refute your cites there. I'm just going to say that personally, my knowledge of the PARC visit comes from a recorded interview with Jobs where he tells the story of first seeing GUI there, and in which he himself credits Apple's success to having come across GUI during that visit.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:24 AM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, I don't think anyone claims that Bill Gates didn't take his GUI cues from Apple. Shit, Gates was sitting on the dais during the "Insanely Great" unveiling. (and had a now-prescient shit-eating grin on his face, I might add.)
posted by Navelgazer at 12:27 AM on August 25, 2011


I'm kind of without words. I go back to the Apple ][+ and using the early Macintosh models at my dad's job. On weekends, he could sometimes manage to sneak a computer out on Friday night and then take it back to work with him Monday morning. I was glued to the thing all weekend long.

I own an independent Apple reseller. We're a bit of a dying breed, and frankly, I've grown sick of telling people who come in the door that yes, we are a legitimate "Apple store," even if we aren't THE Apple Store. The recent explosion of stories about "fake Apple stores" in the blogosphere haven't helped any. (Yes, we're fully authorized by Apple. No, we aren't "fake." Yes, we sell the same products for the same stuff. Got any more dehumanizing questions for me?)

I just sent this e-mail out to our staff. Maybe I shouldn't drink and type, but it's only a mild buzz, not the usual nightly drunkenness:
More than half of you aren't even old enough to know what it was like to use an original Apple II series computer, and even the original Macintosh from 1984 predates your computer-using life. I'm sure you realize the gravity of Steve Jobs' departure from Apple, but if you weren't around and using Apple computers (back when all they made were computers), you may not recall the days when Steve Jobs was CEO of Apple the first time, prior to 1987. For those of us who do, yesterday's news is even more jarring.

I'll make no bones about this -- as Apple resellers, we are very, very low on Apple's totem pole these days. It's not the 1980s or 1990s -- or hell, even the very early 2000s -- anymore, where stores like ours were important to Apple, especially as they were struggling for relevance. Back then, I'm told that they worshiped us. I wouldn't know; I would never have believed you if you told me I would own any business back then, let alone one that had anything to do with Apple, which I damn near worshiped, even back when it was supremely unpopular to do so. About the only thing I got out of that fanboyism was having the foresight to buy some Apple stock back in 1999 and hold on to it to this day.

Since 2001, when Apple decided to enter the retail game themselves, many resellers like us have felt stabbed in the back. Not a few of our fellow resellers and Apple Specialists have gone out of business, the latest (to my knowledge) being MacUpgrades in Bethesda, which happens to be located between both our current stores. It is very clear that Apple is both our best friend and our biggest enemy.

Still, I'm willing to set all that aside today to acknowledge the immeasurable contribution Steve Jobs has made not just to us as Mac fans, but to personal computing and the larger technology industry as a whole. Think about what we accepted as the most cutting-edge smartphone the day before the iPhone was introduced in 2007. Or what passed for an MP3 player the day before Steve introduced the iPod in 2001. Or -- if you're old enough to remember without the help of YouTube videos -- what it looked like to use a computer before the Macintosh. Without Apple and Steve to jerk us all forward, imagine where we'd be today. It isn't pretty.

I'm not going to be like these idiots who are dumping Apple stock today; I know Apple's got some more life in it yet. But Steve's departure is certainly a milestone.

I don't discuss this openly very often (if at all), but right now, CapitolMac is at roughly the same point where Apple was in the late 1990s. I don't intend to leave it there. If I can bring about even one percent of the turnaround that Apple saw in the years since then, we will all be wildly successful. I fully intend to right this ship, but it won't happen overnight. But I hope to assure you that I do not intend to cut and run; I have every intention of making things better.

I should go to bed now. But in the meantime, take a look at our home page.
Said home page, if you're interested, can be viewed here.

Oh, and even though he's still very much alive . . .

.
posted by CommonSense at 12:30 AM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


The math package was the HARD part of the job.

But not the only hard part. Davidoff's own words:
And does the scurrilous rumor that Allen and himself did all the work, while Bill played poker hold true?

Not at all, he says. "We were both working pretty hard. The maths routines are a part of the interpreter, not all of it, and Bill and Paul wrote the rest."
posted by Zed at 12:32 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Er, I meant that "said homepage" link to point here.
posted by CommonSense at 12:43 AM on August 25, 2011


charlie don't surf: I'm not going to refute your cites there. I'm just going to say that personally, my knowledge of the PARC visit comes from a recorded interview with Jobs where he tells the story of first seeing GUI there, and in which he himself credits Apple's success to having come across GUI during that visit.
charlie don't surf isn't anything close to a reliable narrator. In almost all of his comments he writes some crazy story putting himself at the center of action.

Also, let's not forget Douglas Engelbart, inventor of the mouse, and one of the first (if not the first) implementations of hypertext. He came up with a lot of this stuff and intended for it to be in the public domain.
posted by delmoi at 1:29 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


seanmpuckett: "As far as Steve goes, I knew he was done was the moment at the last launch where he and his wife shared a tender smile and he rested his head on hers; completely exhausted but so determined as ever to do just one more keynote. And her looking at him softly as if to say, you crazy mad fool, I love you but..."

The moment captured.
posted by Rhaomi at 1:52 AM on August 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


I feel sympathy for the guy's illness as much as I would for any other random dude, which is some.

I've never liked him though (and though we haven't met, I think his life is public enough for me to make that call.)

He's a clever successful asshole - and no matter how clever and successful an asshole is, I am not going to like or respect him.

Someone up above said
"Jobs has done an awful lot for everyone."
What?! Seriously, what has he done? He's released some niche computers a bunch of expensive trendsetting gadgets with a shallow learning curve and reduced functionality. He's had a positive influence on the entertainment industry too.

He's made it a little easier for people with a little more money than they need to get by with a little less technical aptitude than they would otherwise have needed to acquire. Good for him, good for them.

Basically, he's a great businessman. But he certainly hasn't done "an awful lot for everyone", not even close. Bill Gates, no matter what you think of him, has done a lot more for humanity.
posted by dickasso at 2:01 AM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


eponysterical
posted by infini at 2:02 AM on August 25, 2011 [8 favorites]


Right, everyone who doesn't worship Steve jobs is a dick!
posted by delmoi at 2:18 AM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


He's definitely the Carnegie or Ford of our time.

That and the Le Corbusier of information technology.
posted by acb at 2:49 AM on August 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


the steve jobs and bill gates fans always make me laugh. OMGOMG they changed my life, without them we'd still be in the stone age!!!!!! really? rofl....
posted by canned polar bear at 3:47 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, there's the part where Steve Jobs basically headed the project that made people put computers in homes instead of in research departments. I'd say that basically had a lot to do with his fame.
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:01 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


basically basically basically
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:02 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


i had no idea he invented home computing! i love you steve jobs! wait, i thought bill gates did that with windows.. i love you bill gates!
posted by canned polar bear at 4:16 AM on August 25, 2011


i had no idea he invented home computing! i love you steve jobs! wait, i thought bill gates did that with windows.. i love you bill gates!

No, Bill Gates invented the Internet, in the same way that Henry Ford invented the automobile.
posted by acb at 4:26 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


pfff, nice try. even i know that al gore invented the internet.
posted by canned polar bear at 4:28 AM on August 25, 2011


All I'm going to say is that if my own company's CEO were to resign I would struggle mightily to care.
posted by tommasz at 4:38 AM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


What a great thread about such sad news. Learned a lot here. Didn't know about Jobs' origins. Or about the Breakout story (ouch). Good on Woz for being able to get past that. Interesting that this story is on Jobs' wiki page, but not on Woz's. Hope that means that Jobs wanted it there to attest to what he once was and hopefully that he learned and grew from the experience.

Whatever his flaws may be, a visionary genius who has changed the world in ways unimaginable before his time. Hope he has enough left in him to enjoy resting on his laurels.

(Tiny tidbit picked up from looking at the wiki page for his bio sister, the author Mona Simpson. She is married to a man whose last name is Appel.)
posted by marsha56 at 4:47 AM on August 25, 2011


delmoi, take your petty grudge somewhere else. I am sorry that you are too young to have had any impact on the microcomputer revolution, but don't take it out on me.
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:53 AM on August 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


Love him or hate him, you can't deny what he's accomplished. Best of luck, Steve.
posted by Telpethoron at 5:01 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, there's the part where Steve Jobs basically headed the project that made people put computers in homes instead of in research departments. I'd say that basically had a lot to do with his fame.

Are you talking about the Apple II?

Anyway, what's interesting is during the time that personal computing really went mainstream Apple was a nice player. In fact, it mostly happened during the time that Jobs wasn't even the CEO of apple. Jobs got booted out in 1985 and came back in 1996 when personal computing was pretty much mainstream. And apple stayed a niche player for a long time after that.

It was actually Microsoft that had a specific vision statement of putting a computer on every desk in every office and in every home that was their goal, and they really were a driving force in making that happen. I know Apple Zealots refuse to buy it but most of the PCs sold in the 1990s, when they were becoming more and more common were DOS and Windows machines. In fact it's still the case that more windows machines are sold then Macs. Apple's later success is as a consumer gadget company rather then as a traditional "computer" company.

Certainly the Apple II was a totally revolutionary machine. I would argue that Apple's success had more to do with Woz then Jobs though. It was because Woz was so smart that he was able to put together a machine like the Apple II with the hardware available at the time Without someone who could hook up those chips in that way, personal computing might have been delayed by a couple years. It was inevitable but the Apple II was ahead of it's time.

(The first ever personal computer came out a few years prior and didn't hook up to a display, as far as I know)
posted by delmoi at 5:31 AM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


the steve jobs and bill gates fans always make me laugh. OMGOMG they changed my life, without them we'd still be in the stone age!!!!!! really? rofl....

Yes, really.

Bears shit in the woods, apparently canned polar bears shit in threads.
posted by Scoo at 5:53 AM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm not a fan of closed ecosystems designed to enable passive consumption. But I would be a fool to dismiss the influence and impact of Apple's products on the field of design (and on the global mobile landscape).
posted by infini at 5:58 AM on August 25, 2011


The Apple ][ was the first computer ever mass marketed directly to consumers, through chain stores like Team Electronics, the same places you went to buy stereos and TVs. It was advertised in magazines with names like "Newsweek" and "Time" instead of "Kilobaud Microcomputing" and "Byte."
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:59 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, there's a lot of people who should know better (or, even just "more than nothing on the topic at hand") conflating respect with worship in this thread.
posted by mhoye at 6:27 AM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't know shit from fuck about programming or the inner workings of computers or any of that. Absolutely nothing.

What I do know is that for every Apple product I've used, I didn't need to know anything. They just worked. And that with every PC computer I've used, all at the office or school, I had to be a mechanic to drive the car, and I'm no mechanic.

That's largely thanks to Steve Jobs. He puts out reliable products, beautifully designed, intuitive to operate, and just fucking work. That's not a visionary idea, it's an obvious one, but Steve Jobs seems to be the only one who can actually make that happen.

Thanks, Steve. Many, many thanks.

Take care of yourself.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:46 AM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Cancer sucks.

I would ask those that are affected by his illness, or perhaps anothers close to you because of cancer, to actively do something about it.

There are lots of fundraisers out there - do one or support someone ($$) doing an event. Or simply contribute to research with your wallet. As a society we are far better off than we were in the 70s with many cancers and we have come a long way. Sadly, as we are seeing, we have a long, long way to go.

Get involved. I would be happy to have more sponsors for my next event...

Flat out, thank you Steve for creating an environment that produced some products.
posted by fluffycreature at 6:52 AM on August 25, 2011


acb: "That and the Le Corbusier of information technology."

And the Rosa Parks of keynote speeches...
posted by schmod at 6:53 AM on August 25, 2011


I'm pleasantly surprise to see that AAPL has held up this morning--all the more pleasantly surprised given that I didn't sell any of my stock last night.

I would have liked to see some dip so I could buy some more... AAPL at $500 seems a virtual certainty in the next few years! To the stars!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:59 AM on August 25, 2011


AAPL at $500 seems a virtual certainty in the next few years! To the stars!

indeed. there is very little risk in a consumer electronics company being able to sustain profitability over a multi-year time period.
posted by JPD at 7:08 AM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


delmoi, I wrote something on my blog that might explain why Jobs is as revered as he is, but also might explain where your frustration comes from.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:15 AM on August 25, 2011


It'd be nice to have a thread somewhere collating all mefite blogging on Jobs being done.
posted by infini at 7:21 AM on August 25, 2011


In related news, Steve Balmer still refuses to quit.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:48 AM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Gesture wars
posted by infini at 8:14 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm no fan of Apple or Jobs, but it's 1+1=2 level obvious that he's done amazing things for Apple as a company. Job (har har) well done.

And cancer fucking sucks.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:38 AM on August 25, 2011


Thank you Steve Jobs for moving computers out of the realm of geekdom and into the realm of common appliance, beautiful and functional common appliance and this from the company kept alive by the devotion of geeks in its early days. How curious.

No computer associated with Microsoft would ever become accessible to my father, brilliant as he was in all areas non-computer. Now he is riddled with Alzheimer's and unable to learn most simple tasks, including how to operate the cable remote (he cannot seem to figure out that it operates separately the tv and the cable box, or if he does come to comprehend that it is quickly forgotten). However, I let him use my iPad and with little instruction he was able to read books, view photos on Flickr etc. Babies who have yet to learn how to talk are nonetheless happily using iPads.

I understand about all of Jobs' personality quirks and defects. I sometimes think much of that comes from his frustration with those who cannot see the world as clearly as he does. I don't think this justifies his bad behavior though.

His fascination with the Whole Earth Catalog is interesting. I too was fascinated with that. It was a portal to a whole world otherwise unavailable to me in my small town growing up. That probably makes no sense to someone who grew up with the internet, but before the internet there was the library and it was limited by comparison. The WEC opened a whole window ignored by my small town librarians, except that it was through them that I first discovered it. When I got to college I learned how to hack into and search through stuff on the university mainframe but never to move beyond that. Then along came bulletin boards, the internet and the web. There was always this progression in my mind from the WEC to the web. Now my iPad is kind of like my WEC.
posted by caddis at 8:45 AM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


So although he's not dead yet the local Bay Area news channels had their obit footage out in force on the 10 o'clock news last night. It was kind of weird. I kept waiting for them to accidentally say he was dead.
posted by GuyZero at 8:49 AM on August 25, 2011


Oh hey, via reddit, a 5-year-old piece on how Jobs doesn't help charities. And it was nice of him to get that organ donor bill passed. After he needed an organ.
posted by GuyZero at 8:56 AM on August 25, 2011


I kept waiting for them to accidentally say he was dead.

At least two of the people they interviewed for the 10 o'clock news thing talked about Jobs in the past tense. It was weird indeed.
posted by rtha at 9:01 AM on August 25, 2011


This still makes me giggle
posted by infini at 9:05 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Of course, Jobs and his wife may be giving enormous sums of money to charity anonymously. If they are funneling cash to various causes in private, their names wouldn't show up on any lists, regardless of the size of their gifts."
posted by entropicamericana at 9:06 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hooray for the acid that Steve dropped and opened him up to the whole "think different" schtick.
posted by crunchland at 9:08 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Of course, Jobs and his wife may be giving enormous sums of money to charity anonymously. If they are funneling cash to various causes in private, their names wouldn't show up on any lists, regardless of the size of their gifts."

Because if we know anything about Steve Jobs, it's that he's modest.
posted by kafziel at 9:32 AM on August 25, 2011


Thanks for everything, Steve.

To all the Macs I've loved before...

1996 - Power Mac 7500. $3000 with 16MB RAM and 1GB HD. Kept it current with processor upgrades - 604e, G3/233. Wonderful box.

1999 - UMAX SuperMac S900 clone - bought it stripped (no HD, processor or RAM) and dropped in the G3/233 card. It was the budget equivalent of the expensive Power Mac 9500, with 6 PCI slots.

2001 - Titanium PowerBook. What a sexy beast in its day.

2003 - 12" PowerBook G4. First edition had problems - warped case, optical drives failing. Still, a lovely little machine.

2005 - Mac Mini. Used as a media center for iTunes and video. Still going strong, sitting there by my TV. I blow out the dust yearly, hopefully it will run forever.

2006 - iMac G5. Refurbished purchase from Apple. Bad caps and dying power supplies, thank goodness for AppleCare.

2007 - MacBook Core 2 Duo (another refurb)

November 2010 - MacBook Air 13" - just incredible.

Plus various iPods and 1st gen iPhone.
posted by porn in the woods at 9:33 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Because if we know anything about Steve Jobs, it's that he's modest.

He is intensely private about personal matters though.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:36 AM on August 25, 2011


Jobs is a weird guy. His grudge against the Jackling House, a masterpiece of the Spanish Colonial Revival, is a novel in itself. It's a mystery why he hated the house so much that he wouldn't let anyone buy it from him and move it off site--though I've heard that John Scully held the press conference about Jobs' firing from Apple in the house, which happened to be Jobs' home at the time. He ultimately moved out, boarded it up, and waited for it to decay enough that the city of Woodside would give in to his repeated requests to bulldoze it... but thankfully not before preservation activists were able to come in (against Jobs' wishes) and salvage the tile, pipe organ, metalwork, Victorian remnants of the previous house on the site, etc.
posted by Scram at 9:48 AM on August 25, 2011


It's true that he is really quite a private person ultimately and trying to prove anything about him that's not on the record is pointless. My personal belief is that I suspect that he's actually just not that into money. I mean, he has needs obviously and everyone likes money, but he's not into the trappings of wealth like say Larry Ellison and he doesn't have that sense of noveau noblesse oblige like Bill Gates does. And it is sort of fitting in with his semi-hippie attitude. He's a guy who does things. But the idea of having things isn't really what he's about. So maybe he gives millions to charity anonymously. My personal guess is that one he had a billion dollars he just stopped caring about money to the point where he can't even be bothered to give it away. It just doesn't cross his mind. But that's just speculation.

The comment about him being a Randian superman is pretty close to the truth I suspect. Jobs seems to have only one skill: being demanding. Well, maybe two: being demanding and being right. In a world where success so often is defined by accepting compromise he somehow managed to do the exact opposite - he became successful by never compromising.
posted by GuyZero at 9:49 AM on August 25, 2011


Too bad he had to go out on something like Lion.

Well, in like a lamb, and all.
posted by phong3d at 9:50 AM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've been told that Jackling House is on a pretty nice piece of property. But yeah, it's not like it's the only nice parcel of land up in the hills.
posted by GuyZero at 9:51 AM on August 25, 2011


AAPL at $500 seems a virtual certainty in the next few years! To the stars!

So do stocks not split anymore?
posted by kenko at 10:03 AM on August 25, 2011


So maybe he gives millions to charity anonymously. My personal guess is that one he had a billion dollars he just stopped caring about money to the point where he can't even be bothered to give it away. It just doesn't cross his mind. But that's just speculation.

I've worked with a number of high-level donors over the years, including a number of donors who have a reputation for never giving to anything to anyone. Almost to a man, the donors in the latter category have cultivated that reputation while actually giving anonymously to the things they actually care about, just so they aren't harassed (as much) by people wanting them to support "my extra-special snowflake I-know-you'll-be-interested-in-this" cause.

Given Jobs' background, I can't imagine that he's not doing some version of this.
posted by anastasiav at 10:32 AM on August 25, 2011


Sure. Maybe. But Bill Gates is trying to cure malaria and David Packard created the Monterey Bay Aquarium and MBARI and they somehow managed to deal with the issue.

But like I said, I'd rather he just keep the money in a bag than be David Koch, so my criticism of Jobs is muted.
posted by GuyZero at 10:38 AM on August 25, 2011


The Onion: New Apple CEO Tim Cook: I'm Thinking Printers.
posted by schmod at 10:40 AM on August 25, 2011 [6 favorites]


"My theory on how Jobs made Apple great: he was the single customer for whom all Apple's products was designed. Design by committee committee doesn't make great products, and I think most of Apple's competitors were trapped in this checklist-driven method of design. "

This is exactly right and it's what so many companies don't understand. You can't just design something by committee and hope that's going to work. You have to have a vision and a plan, and if you don't have those then you're doomed. You might make a lot of money, but you're going to lose to the company with the vision over the long run.
posted by ged at 10:41 AM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Onion: New Apple CEO Tim Cook: I'm Thinking Printers.

Laugh if you want, but I wish Apple would tackle printers. Printers are terrible by every definable metric, and it would be a great way for Apple to continue screwing HP.
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:49 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Printers are pretty awesome. The whole expensive-ink, cheap-printer model sucks, but you're fighting an uphill battle with economics on that one. Even Apple can't fix that. Part of Apple's genius is knowing what not to do. And I'm pretty sure they're not doing printers.
posted by GuyZero at 10:53 AM on August 25, 2011


I have been using apple products for a long time and have loved the OS, its sad that Steve had to step down, he truly has offered innovation that other companies have not, the interesting thing will be to see if Tim Cook can offer innovation and keep apple running strong.
posted by escapesouth at 11:21 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


To my knowledge he has never used his money or his power for the promotion of any cause other than what he was working on.

except bashing public school teachers' unions?

but that's OK, the non-union teachers can have free iPads.
posted by morganw at 11:23 AM on August 25, 2011


My theory on how Jobs made Apple great: he was the single customer for whom all Apple's products was designed.

Yeah, this goes back to Woz and Jobs in the garage. I remember an interview with Woz, he said he wanted his own computer more than he wanted to own a house, and he was prepared to spend that much of his money and effort making one. And that's pretty much what it took in those days, before the microcomputer made it possible.

And that is why the Onion article is so funny. Companies like IBM were profitable because they made more money selling punched cards than tabulating equipment. It was the old "sell razors, profit from the razorblades" model. This concentrated power with the corporations. The Homebrew Computer Club and the people that grew around it, wanted to overthrow the "computer priesthood" and give computing to the people. This would level the playing field, it would give people the same power that corporations had, and they wouldn't have to go through a computer priesthood to get it. They'd have direct access to a computer, to do anything they wanted.

There is one anecdote from Ted Nelson's "Computer Lib" book that I will never forget, it seems to encapsulate this spirit. It described a guy who got in a dispute with his utility company, they said he hadn't paid his bill, even though he had. He got a computer printed form letter saying he better pay up and if he needed an additional copy of the bill, he could get one, if he paid 50 cents for reproduction costs and postage.

The guy was a programmer at a corporation that had a large mainframe, so he had an idea. He wrote a program to print out his own form letter, in the distinctive IBM line printer font, asserting that his "records department" had the cancelled check to prove he paid his bill, and they could request a photocopy for 50 cents to cover reproduction costs and postage. In a few days, he received a computer printed check for 50 cents from the utility company.
posted by charlie don't surf at 11:30 AM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


charlie don't surf or look shit up in google: Oh no, are we going to have to go through this myth again?.... Apple was working on the LISA (and essentially the Mac) GUIs long before they visited PARC. Look it up.

Dude...dude...dude.... The Lisa team was populated by ex-Xerox Parc employees. Look it up . Pretty please ?
posted by Poet_Lariat at 11:52 AM on August 25, 2011


Laugh if you want, but I wish Apple would tackle printers.

Not a laughable idea at all. Those of us old enough to remember the 80's recall that Apple made a big part of it's name by introducing the Laserwriter - the first consumer-level commercially viable laser printer - which , in conjunction with Pagemaker, totally changed the world vis a vis desktop publishing. Prior to the Laserwriter/Pagemaker combo there was no such thing as desktop publishing unless you counted cut and pasted mimeograph but in just a few years after that combo came out everyone and their brother had a newsletter that would have been described as "professional" by the standards of the time back then.

Printers can change the world too.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 11:58 AM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]




I've always thought it odd that, Pippin aside, Apple never made another go at the console market. It seemed a natural fit, and one which would get programmers to finally start writing for Macs themselves, but I guess he found his own way in, with apps and casual games, just as is his style.

I'm kind of surprised they made the Pippin at all, but that was during the non-Jobs years. Gaming hasn't appeared to be a priority for Steve Jobs for decades. Even now, with Apple making countless millions on games in the AppStore, things like Game Center seem really half baked.

Of course, that must make it sting all the more for Nintendo. After years of dominance in the portable gaming market, their milkshake is being drunk by a happy accident. The media playing smartphone that just happens to be great for games.

So thanks for unintentionally making an amazing game device, Steve. Oh, and thanks for making Canadian Telecoms stop charging for data by the kb. My MacBook is pretty great too, but there's no way I'm going to consider that "Natural Scrolling".
posted by Gary at 12:15 PM on August 25, 2011


Dude...dude...dude.... The Lisa team was populated by ex-Xerox Parc employees. Look it up . Pretty please ?

Yes, everyone knows about people like Larry Tesler, Bruce Horn, and Alan Kay. I already linked to drawings of Apple's GUI experiments that predated the PARC visit and Apple's licensing of GUI concepts from Xerox. I already linked to a story at folklore.org from Bruce Horn that debunks your repeated, counterfactual assertions. I think I'll listen to the guy that wrote and designed the software.

Go look it up.

..there were actually two visits by groups from Apple to Xerox PARC in 1979. Steve Jobs was on the second of the two. Jef Raskin, who helped arranged both visits, explained that he wanted Jobs to visit PARC to understand work that was already going on at Apple..

..In the case of the relationship between the work at PARC and the development of the Macintosh, this blindness leads us to underestimate the originality of Apple's own work..

posted by charlie don't surf at 12:20 PM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


POET_LARIAT AND CHARLIE DON'T SURF ARE GONNA KISS
posted by eoden at 12:36 PM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


NOW KISS
posted by eoden at 12:51 PM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


You go on and believe the made-for-TV Pirates of Silicon Valley story, and I'll go on believing Apple's history archives that were donated to the Stanford University Library.
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:58 PM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've never claimed that Apple's technical work was terribly original. Apple's original Mac was technically original. NeXT was technically original. Yet, Apple's modern incarnation is far more the work of Jobs as an older and wiser genius. In many ways, Mac OS X is actually better than original while not being original. It's a perfect storm of straight up quality and market viability. iOS is imho good for consumers in how it raises the interface bar, but absolutely evil in it's closeness. An older & wiser genius ain't always a good thing.

In any case, there is a far more transparent picture of Jobs' genius than iOS or Mac OS X, namely the humble Time Machine Backup. We've had incremental backup since presumably the mix sixties, like half a century. Jobs' integrated it into the OS, stuck it over a pretty starfield, added a stack of past windows, and called it Time Machine. Voila, ordinary consumers are using incremental backup. All patents are bullshit, but he's still a genius.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:11 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Innovation doesn't require originality in its premise, but originality in its execution.
posted by eoden at 1:13 PM on August 25, 2011


[Poet_Lariat, charlie don't surf, take this to email if you need to keep responding to each other but drop it in here.]
posted by cortex at 1:19 PM on August 25, 2011


"Of course, Jobs and his wife may be giving enormous sums of money to charity anonymously. If they are funneling cash to various causes in private, their names wouldn't show up on any lists, regardless of the size of their gifts."

That's classic. You can use it for anyone!

"See that guy over there? Yeah, the one that seems like kind of a dick in his personal life? Now I have zero evidence for this, but he might be giving BILLIONS to charity! We should lay off, just in case this idea I have is right..."

We could write it about Tom Cruise, Dick Cheney, Conrad Black... it's a catch-all!

Come on -- I certainly loves me some shiny Apple products and spend plenty of money on them, but that's reaching new heights of slavishness to a corporate executive.
posted by modernnomad at 1:35 PM on August 25, 2011


You know, I would love a new Apple printer. It feels like the kind of tight integration play that would work super well. Apple buyers might even be an audience likely to buy the official ink cartridges, as well.
posted by running order squabble fest at 1:52 PM on August 25, 2011


Didn't Apple make printers, once upon a time?

Why yes. Yes they did.
posted by hippybear at 1:57 PM on August 25, 2011


Thanks to Mr. Jobs I can carry around Beethoven's complete compositions, Bach's complete compositions, the entire Beatle's catalog (as a band and solo artists), the entire Rolling Stones catalog, everything recorded by Elvis (Costello and Presley), and "Citizen Kane". IN MY POCKET!!!!! And still have room for much more!
posted by TDavis at 1:57 PM on August 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


Thanks to Mr. Jobs I can carry around Beethoven's complete compositions, Bach's complete compositions, the entire Beatle's catalog (as a band and solo artists), the entire Rolling Stones catalog, everything recorded by Elvis (Costello and Presley), and "Citizen Kane". IN MY POCKET!!!!! And still have room for much more!

You know the iPod was far from the first mp3 player, right.
posted by kafziel at 2:03 PM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


And the Model T wasn't the first car.
posted by TDavis at 2:10 PM on August 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


iTunes was a big part of the iPod success. Pumping CDs into it is really simple and it added the tracks and artwork and all that jazz automatically. Buying songs was pretty easy too. The software that came with my previous mp3 player was awful by comparison. I remember it being some work to get the songs in. So yes, theoretically I could have carried all that around on the first one, but the iPod made it easier. It also had a better screen, search etc.
posted by caddis at 2:12 PM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think we can all agree the iPod wasn't the first car.
posted by mazola at 2:12 PM on August 25, 2011 [7 favorites]


But it was the first car with a GUI interface.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:16 PM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


You know the iPod was far from the first mp3 player, right.

I wish someone would have addressed this sort of thing already. Oh, wait.
posted by eoden at 2:24 PM on August 25, 2011


But it was the first car with a GUI interface.

I remember this one time my cousin got sticky stuff (popsicle?) all over the steering wheel of my uncle's car. I think this incident predated the iPod.
posted by aught at 2:31 PM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


.
posted by jragon at 2:34 PM on August 25, 2011


PANIC! SELL ALL STOCK! AHAHAH oijdwjd09j3e0[230h2gh02 hg042gh =P
posted by austinurbani at 3:39 PM on August 25, 2011


You know the iPod was far from the first mp3 player, right.

That's nice, dear.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:44 PM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Steve Jobs' 313 Apple Patents, in browsable form.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:48 PM on August 25, 2011


[Folks, we're sort of at the point where if you really truly don't give a fuck it might be better for you to find another thread to go to and not just threadshitting in this one?]
posted by jessamyn at 4:01 PM on August 25, 2011 [8 favorites]


I think there is a huge amount of space for interpretation and critique of Jobs' tenure as CEO, but it really is very hard to argue with the numbers. If you like consumer capitalism, nobody really did it better than Apple in a sustained ten year period from about 2001 onwards. It would be hard to argue that Steve Jobs wasn't the driving force during most of the ten year period. In terms of pure increase in market capitalization and market share, we might never see a consumer electronics brand do this again.
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:19 PM on August 25, 2011


I only checked one patent, but I suspect this is true of many of those patents - in the one case it was Steve Jobs + 17 other people. So in some cases this is like the department head putting his name on a paper because he arranged for the funding. That said, some of those early patents are probably actually all Steveo.
posted by GuyZero at 4:23 PM on August 25, 2011


Steve Jobs and the Laserwriter. (Adobe PDF file, of course)

This is a pretty excellent story of Jobs working with John Warnock of Adobe to create the original LaserWriter. I don't think people really understand how revolutionary this was, unless they used one, back when it was new. I worked at a service bureau, one page of LaserWriter output cost a dollar, a page of high rez typesetting on photo paper from a Pagemaker file was $20. The LaserWriter drove adoption of simple networking. Companies would set up whole groups of Macs on networking, just to share the expensive LaserWriter.

Today, I don't think you can even buy a laser printer with true Adobe Postscript, they're all PS clones now. And I'll tell you one thing the original LaserWriter could do that no other printer has done since: it could print on 2x3.5in business cards. It had a "corner feed" on the hand feed input, and a straight paper path. Since the original Canon laser engine was discontinued (it was also used on early HP LaserJets) if you try to feed a business card through the laser printer, it will jam and likely need repairs.

This was typical Steve Jobs of that era. He built whole markets for other companies, just to help the Mac succeed.
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:26 PM on August 25, 2011 [6 favorites]


So in some cases this is like the department head putting his name on a paper because he arranged for the funding.

You'd think Apple would have more than 313 patents during his tenure as department head, though.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:28 PM on August 25, 2011


Companies would set up whole groups of Macs on networking, just to share the expensive LaserWriter.

It's an interesting early demonstration of the halo effect he'd eventually repeat with the iPod and iPhone.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:30 PM on August 25, 2011


Alex meets Steve Jobs
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:45 PM on August 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


Sorry, that's "Allen".
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:46 PM on August 25, 2011


Alex meets Steve Jobs
posted by Blazecock Pileon

Sorry, that's "Allen".
posted by Blazecock Pileon


Heh. Wishful thinking!
posted by grouse at 4:54 PM on August 25, 2011


Actually, there is an Alex in that link, who meets Steve, but he's someone in Allen's photos.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:59 PM on August 25, 2011


Steve Jobs is the best thing that ever happened to appliances, and the worst thing that ever happened to computers.

When the friendly rainbow was ditched for the shiny chrome-- scrutable as a Disney Vadar-- with Copland strangled, hardware licenses shot at dawn, stockholders to appease, the CPU was demoted from king to scullery maid. Calls by address banned to the dark dungeons, too anarchist for the shining happy people down at Magic America. Westinghouse had whupped Tesla once again.

So I say: thank God for the Steve. For the endless diversions of shiny, inscrutable appliances and the endlessly created needs they gladly service. With everyone who needed that taken care of, busy socializing, maybe we Wozzish gnomes can have our computers back. With manuals, without award-winning skins, and with endless discussions about undocumented op-codes. Because so much that matters has been sleeping under a glass lid for too long.
posted by Twang at 5:23 PM on August 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


You'd think Apple would have more than 313 patents during his tenure as department head, though.

Presumably the guy isn't that much of an egomaniac. I'll grant he probably had some involvement with each of those patents, but it's not strictly an anti-Steve slight. I mean, if there are 17 people on a patent how much input could any one person have had? It's hard to tell and the default guess is 1/17th which isn't a lot. Honestly I expected to see 4 or 5 people and was pretty surprised that there were 17 on there.
posted by GuyZero at 5:24 PM on August 25, 2011


Twang, you've always been allowed to install Linux. It'll satisfy all of your needs to endlessly sharpen your knives and call it cooking. ; )
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:37 PM on August 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


Nope, Linux isn't good enough - you get manuals (well, man / info pages), but not enough detail to build either hardware or software from scratch; Gnome & KDE are both award-winning skins*; and you've just got to look at the mailing lists for much discussion on undocumented OS / library features (or bugs) and kludges to fix inconsistent op-code behaviour across processors.

Twang's longing for a Sinclair ZX-81, IBM 5150, or similar. In the last 30 years, the world's moved on a bit - to machines with consistent & logical** UIs that anyone can use, pre-packaged with a useful*** compiler and IDE, easy to configure networking that's reasonably secure out of the box, powerful yet easily-configurable webserver / scripting languages / CLI, with underpinnings and much of the behind-the-scenes stuff based on a truly "open source" licence (not an "open, but with a bunch of restrictions on what you can do with it" licence), and surrounded by a flourishing programming and porting community.

But for some reason, he's nonetheless hatin' on Apple…

(* Admittedly, they've both made up their own "awards" and presented them to themselves.)
(** Ironically, the worst offenders at breaking the consistency & logic of the UI are Apple.)
(*** Some would even go as far to as to say "quite good"…)

posted by Pinback at 6:00 PM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Mac Folklore here, such as:

We started having weekly management meetings in June 1981, which were attended by most of the team, where we discussed the issues of the week. At the second or third meeting, Burrell presented an intricate blueprint of the PC board layout, which had already been used to build a few working prototypes, blown up to four times the actual size.

Steve started critiquing the layout on a purely esthetic basis. "That part's really pretty", he proclaimed. "But look at the memory chips. That's ugly. The lines are too close together".

George Crow, our recently hired analog engineer, interrupted Steve. "Who cares what the PC board looks like? The only thing that's important is how well that it works. Nobody is going to see the PC board."

Steve responded strongly. "I'm gonna see it! I want it to be as beautiful as possible, even if it's inside the box. A great carpenter isn't going to use lousy wood for the back of a cabinet, even though nobody's going to see it."

George started to argue with Steve, since he wasn't on the team long enough to know that it was a losing battle. Fortunately, Burrell interrupted him.

"Well, that was a difficult part to layout because of the memory bus.", Burrell responded. "If we change it, it might not work as well electrically".

"OK, I'll tell you what," said Steve. "Let's do another layout to make the board prettier, but if it doesn't work as well, we'll change it back."

So we invested another $5,000 or so to make a few boards with a new layout that routed the memory bus in a Steve-approved fashion. But sure enough, the new boards didn't work properly, as Burrell had predicted, so we switched back to the old design for the next run of prototypes.
posted by wallstreet1929 at 6:24 PM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wish Woz would comment on this thread.
posted by banished at 7:00 PM on August 25, 2011


Right, everyone who doesn't worship Steve jobs is a dick!
posted by delmoi

I know Apple Zealots refuse to buy it
posted by delmoi


Come on delmoi, no way can you have that little self awareness. Your obsession with knocking everything Apple (and Jobs) is apparent in every single Apple thread. But no zealotry on your part?

When someone observed that the comments on both conservative and liberal blogs were almost universally positive on Jobs you had to quickly comment that it was because he was ill; not that everyone liked him.

Even with the one positive opinion you have regarding Apple (Apple II) you quickly add that Woz should get the credit for it, not Jobs.

Woz himself, who you do seem to respect, said Jobs would go down in history 'as the most important technical leader ever'."

In fact it's still the case that more windows machines are sold then Macs. Apple's later success is as a consumer gadget company rather then as a traditional "computer" company.
posted by delmoi


Yes, the world is filled with crappy 300 dollar PCs. It's also filled with McDonalds. As I'm sure you're aware Apple hasn't played that game since Jobs returned, so I'm not sure of your point.

As far as the difference between selling 'traditional computers' and gadgets, I would suggest that you are a member of small minority in making that distinction. If a user uses a traditional computer to write emails, check the news, read, watch video, then I'd suggest that not only is the iPad their perfect computer, but it's a better computer than a traditional desk or laptop. Being focused on what a user actually uses a computer for (excuse me dickasso: reduced functionality) is a good thing for most people. Others can certainly build linux boxes and avoid Apple altogether.

90 percent of what I use to do on my laptop I now do on my iPhone. Digital picture manipulation and long form writing is about the only time I take out my laptop. So it might be a gadget in your world, but in my world, it's basically become my computer, one that fits in my pocket and also serves as a phone.

And the iPad and similar gadgets are in their infancy. If they can do the majority of what the average person does with a traditional computer today, how much better will they be in 5 years?

You see a distinct line between a PC and a gadget, but most people don't, and the line is going to be blurred even more in the near future.

By the way, why don't you check with HP on how that 'traditional computer' business is going delmoi.

delmoi, I wrote something on my blog that might explain why Jobs is as revered as he is, but also might explain where your frustration comes from.
posted by Pastabagel


There's no reason to try and convince anyone of Jobs effect on the tech industry. That's like trying to convince a baseball fan Ruth was a great hitter. If you're actually having to do that, you're wasting your time.

I'm sorry, I can completely understand someone not liking Jobs, but if someone doesn't believe Jobs has changed the tech industry immensely, doesn't respect his talent, or believes Apple's only legacy is selling niche computers to people with too much money, they are either blind with bias or fools.

As far as Jobs as a person, almost all positive comments here and elsewhere are regarding his role at Apple, not his personal life, so I'm not sure why it should even be brought into the conversation.

I would say, however, that anything written about Jobs' personal life that starts with "From what I know of his life" doesn't hold much value.
posted by justgary at 7:32 PM on August 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


So in some cases this is like the department head putting his name on a paper because he arranged for the funding.

You don't get to do it that way with patents, unless you want invalid patents. Inventors are people who conceived ideas which get claimed in the patent. If you purposefully misrepresent who the inventors are in a patent the whole thing is invalid. Knowing how Jobs ran that place I am surprised it is only 313 patents.
posted by caddis at 7:49 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Funny how the most fanatical about Steve Jobs are the ones who loudly decry him at the first present opportunity.
posted by DoctorFedora at 10:15 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Funny how the most fanatical about Steve Jobs are the ones who loudly decry him at the first present opportunity.

The first test for Apple is for Cook to inspire that kind of hatred.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:18 PM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]




Sorry to rain on the LaserWriter love-parade, but weren't those printers made by Canon, with an additional Apple-designed print processor stuck on top? My impression was that they were fairly comparable to the stuff that other manufacturers were producing at the time (coincidentally also containing guts made by Canon), with Apple's primary innovation being the introduction of PostScript.

Maybe, once again, Apple's primary innovation was marketing them successfully. Even the Silentype was fairly unremarkable from a technological standpoint, but managed to launch a silent revolution (ha!) in the retail and hospitality industries thanks to the way that Apple marketed it.

And it's worth noting that marketing is a whole lot more than a good sales pitch, and shouldn't be underestimated. There was nothing 'new' about the iPod, although it happened to have a combination of good design and the right array of technologies to make the devices extremely appealing to consumers. There are all sorts of crazy/cool electronic components that never made it into widespread use, and Apple (Jobs especially) deserves a lot of credit for having a knack for identifying emerging technologies, and successfully implementing/marketing them in consumer devices.

At the moment, many people are ridiculing Apple for their adoption of Thunderbolt. I doubt we'll be laughing in 5 years time -- it's damn impressive that they've implemented an ultra-high-speed I/O on their entire range of portables and compact desktops at virtually no cost to the consumer. Once again, Apple implemented an I/O that's faster than Fibre Channel, faster than Myrinet, faster and more flexible than mSAS, and faster than many Infiniband configurations. Over inexpensive copper cabling. On a laptop. For free. That's not trivial, and even though Apple didn't do the heavy lifting on the development of the technology, they deserve a lot of credit for being the first to market with it.

Now, if only we can find the people responsible for the release of FCP X, and make sure that they never have anything to do with Apple ever again...

posted by schmod at 7:48 AM on August 26, 2011


justgary writes "90 percent of what I use to do on my laptop I now do on my iPhone. Digital picture manipulation and long form writing is about the only time I take out my laptop. So it might be a gadget in your world, but in my world, it's basically become my computer, one that fits in my pocket and also serves as a phone."

And people are constantly expounding on how inadequate the iPhone is as an internet browser on Metatalk even for such a simple site as Metafilter. The reason smart phones work is because the average person doesn't create any thing with their computers instead being passive consumers of content. I've often thought that one fo teh reasons twitter remains popular is because the painfulness of text input on mobile devices limits the number of people who would want to jump to something better.
posted by Mitheral at 9:15 AM on August 26, 2011


That's a pretty biased sample, though (she said, from her iPhone), because you don't hear from those of us who don't find it problematic to read, favorite, flag or comment via the mobile browser. I'm not going to be making any complicated fpps on this device, but I've quoted and linked and I don't find it so painful to do so that I avoid it altogether.
posted by rtha at 9:26 AM on August 26, 2011


And people are constantly expounding on how inadequate the iPhone is as an internet browser on Metatalk even for such a simple site as Metafilter.

In all honestly, that's 100% a flaw in the mobile design of metafilter.
posted by empath at 10:01 AM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sorry to rain on the LaserWriter love-parade, but weren't those printers made by Canon, with an additional Apple-designed print processor stuck on top?

That's like saying the Automobile is just a 4 wheel cart with a motor stuck on top. Yes, the Canon laser printer engine was also released as the HP LaserJet at roughly the same time. But you have no idea what a turkey the LJ was. It was basically a line printer, targeted at replacing high end daisywheel printers like the NEC Spinwriter. But for a documents with less text and more white space (like movie and TV scripts) the Spinwriter was actually much faster.

The LJ had landscape and portrait mode, and a couple of fonts beyond Courier, but no real way to access these features, even in the most advanced word processors like MS Word for DOS. About the best you could do was inline bold and italics, and a little bit of low rez bitmap graphics. There was no way to switch to landscape mode except by poking buttons on the control panel before you printed. This pissed me off so much that I actually sat down and wrote a printer driver for Word just so I could print our store's price lists in landscape mode, in tiny print that fit all on one page, and not have to poke buttons on the printer to do it. When our Microsoft rep saw it, she said that was the biggest complaint she was dealing with from any MS product, and asked for a copy. I gave it to her and was surprised to see my driver was in the next official release of MS Word. But it still could not change fonts within a document, you set the print mode and font, and that was it for the whole document.

Now the LaserWriter was a whole different story. At the product announcement, it was demoed with PageMaker, which shipped at the same time. PageMaker could access all the features of PostScript, mixing high rez graphics with the famous set of 13 fonts (Courier, Times, Helvetica, Palatino, New Century Schoolbook, AvantGarde, Zapf Chancery, etc.) that are still the Mac's core fonts today. If you bought a LaserWriter, you bought PageMaker with it. The LaserWriter CPU was actually a bit faster and more powerful than the Mac you drove it with, everyone was astonished at what it could do. When Adobe Illustrator was released a year or so later, designers pounced on it. You could proof high end typesetting and graphics on a LW, and send the same files to a typesetting machine. But for many purposes, the LW 300dpi page was adequate. This isn't surprising since the xerography process was originally invented for making paper printing plates. But the killer feature of the LW was printer networking. You could share a printer through simple phone cables over long distances. You ought to see what the equivalent was on the LaserJet, they used parallel port switches, they were a disaster, hard to use, and they had short cable lengths, like 15 feet. When the LJ finally got PostScript through a plug-in cart, the apps you had to operate it like Ventura Publisher were absolutely terrible. I remember printing one Ventura Publisher job on a friday evening and leaving the office with the print job still running. It came out of the printer on Monday morning!
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:35 AM on August 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


Don't waste time posting this, lohmann - get rid of those shares quick!

Nah, I'm good. Thanks for the tip though.
posted by lohmannn at 12:46 PM on August 26, 2011


Don’t Ignore Tim Cook’s Sexuality
"Tim Cook is now the most powerful gay man in the world. This is newsworthy, no? But you won’t find it reported in any legacy/mainstream outlet. And when the FT‘s Tim Bradshaw did no more than broach the subject in a single tweet, he instantly found himself fielding a barrage of responses criticizing him from so much as mentioning the subject. Similarly, when Gawker first reported Cook’s sexuality in January, MacDailyNews called their actions 'petty, vindictive, and just plain sad.'

But surely this is something we can and should be celebrating, if only in the name of diversity — that a company which by some measures the largest and most important in the world is now being run by a gay man. Certainly when it comes to gay role models, Cook is great: he’s the boring systems-and-processes guy, not the flashy design guru, and as such he cuts sharply against stereotype. He’s like Barney Frank in that sense: a super-smart, powerful and non-effeminate man who shows that being gay is no obstacle to any career you might want.

One of the issues here is that most news outlets cover Cook as part of their Apple story, and Cook’s sexuality is irrelevant to his role at Apple. And so the other story — the fact that the ranks of big-company CEOs have just become significantly more diverse — is being overlooked and ignored. And that’s bad for the gay and lesbian community more broadly.

The institution of the closet is one of fear — one where people would rather be ignored than noticed, because they fear the negative repercussions of being known to be gay. It’s an institution which Cook, like any gay man born in 1960, knows at first hand. But now the risk of being ignored is bigger in the other direction: if the world can’t see gay men and women in all their true diversity, if the only homosexuals they know of are the flamboyant ones on TV, then that only serves to perpetuate stereotypes.

As the Apple story moves away from being about Steve Jobs and becomes much more about Tim Cook, we’re going to see a lot of coverage of Cook, the man. He is, after all, not just one of the most powerful gay men in the world; he’s one of the most powerful people in the world, period. The first instinct of many journalists writing about Cook will be to ignore the issue of his sexuality. It’s not germane to his job, they’re only writing about him because of the job he holds, and therefore they shouldn’t write about it." [more]
posted by ericb at 1:15 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Joe Clark:
"When you tell us it’s wrong to report on gay public figures, you are telling gays not to come out of the closet and journalists not to report the truth. (What you’re telling us as gay journalists is even worse.)"
posted by ericb at 1:17 PM on August 26, 2011


"Tim Cook is now the most powerful gay man in the world."

I need to put you on the list for my Obama/Harry Reid fanfiction.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:24 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man, I have not read Joe Clark's blog in ages. Stay angry, Joe.
posted by GuyZero at 1:34 PM on August 26, 2011


>In fact, it’s incumbent upon a public-company CEO not to be in the closet.

Hmm.. "The most powerful gay man in the world" is lectured about his responsibilities by someone who is.. not.
posted by charlie don't surf at 1:49 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sheesh. I don't recall Tim Cook being in the closet. At least not over his tenure at Apple.

That said, him being gay really is a non-issue, because Apple is a meritocracy. Steve Jobs is not running an affirmative action program for GLBTs, as far as I can tell. Cook is there because he has demonstrated he is a great leader.

Journalists can report on his sexuality if they need page hits, but I suspect most (at least among the real journalists, not the bloggers at Engadget or whatever) understand that it doesn't really matter, except when showing another example how far we've come.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:21 PM on August 26, 2011


charlie don't surf writes "You could share a printer through simple phone cables over long distances. You ought to see what the equivalent was on the LaserJet, they used parallel port switches, they were a disaster, hard to use, and they had short cable lengths, like 15 feet."

The original LaserJet also supported Serial connections with cable lengths of several hundred feet. My Wang came with a serial LaserJet that I later used with assorted PCs. Good thing to because it pulled so much power and gave off so much heat and ozone you didn't really want it in the same room with you.
posted by Mitheral at 2:45 PM on August 26, 2011


This is heartbreaking. He is not looking well, at all.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:49 PM on August 26, 2011


I wish people could resist snapping photos at a time like this, but it's not like I resisted clicking on the link, either. Poor guy.
posted by neuromodulator at 3:22 PM on August 26, 2011


Seriously?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:27 PM on August 26, 2011


That said, him being gay really is a non-issue, because Apple is a meritocracy. Steve Jobs is not running an affirmative action program for GLBTs, as far as I can tell. Cook is there because he has demonstrated he is a great leader.

I disagree with you on this.

Him being gay is a non-issue when it comes to his position at Apple, but it's a HUGE deal with having a gay man being in charge of Apple comes in contact with the dominant paradigm and the historical marginalization and demonization of gays.

The point really isn't that he's gay, or that he's in charge of Apple, but that the traditional (and still sadly far too prevalent) image of gay men being mincing prancing nancy boys who are more interested in finding the right fabric or the right hair product and they don't have any power anyway except in the unseen background of women's lives... It's a repugnant stereotype, and one which has never really been true. But unless we can have matter of fact reporting about people and where they sit on the Kinsey scale, without it being a huge big deal but with full acknowledgement of the fact that some people are different from others...

Until that is commonplace, the negative image will remain, and the "is it true or isn't it" closet conversation about men like Tim Cook will only serve to underscore the idea that gay men should be ashamed and hiding.

Ultimately, his position as CEO is about Cook being a great leader. But in the mental commons, gay men aren't great leaders. And that is why this is important.
posted by hippybear at 3:27 PM on August 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ultimately, his position as CEO is about Cook being a great leader. But in the mental commons, gay men aren't great leaders. And that is why this is important.

As I said, important to society at large, yes. To tech journalists, who Cook sleeps with is probably not so important (or relevant) — it's a bit in the area homo saves four from fire territory.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:01 PM on August 26, 2011


As I said, important to society at large

Sorry, I don't see where you said this anywhere in this thread.
posted by hippybear at 4:06 PM on August 26, 2011


"I suspect most (at least among the real journalists, not the bloggers at Engadget or whatever) understand that it doesn't really matter, except when showing another example how far we've come."
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:07 PM on August 26, 2011


"understand that it doesn't really matter" doesn't really mesh with "important to society at large".

It's okay if you want to be revisionist about your own words. But your entire comment was about how this ISN'T important.
posted by hippybear at 4:10 PM on August 26, 2011


It's okay if you want to be revisionist about your own words

Here's another excerpt of what I excerpted:

"[E]xcept when showing another example how far we've come."

I know it's not the exact same wording as "important to society at large", but I think it's reasonably the same meaning and intent.

I still think his being gay is irrelevant to tech bloggers, regardless. The equivalent of "Gay CEO releases iPhone 5" is a pretty pointless headline, and a bit patronizing to people like me and my partner who happen to be gay, but also happen to be competent in our respective technical fields.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:17 PM on August 26, 2011


This is heartbreaking. He is not looking well, at all.

damn, that is hard to see.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:17 PM on August 26, 2011


Anyway, I have no beef at all with you, hippybear. Genuinely. *hands raised in sincere peace gesture*
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:21 PM on August 26, 2011


I am sure Tim Cook would appreciate everyone telling him how to live his life. Because the one thing everyone in the gay community always appreciated most, was everyone telling them how to live their lives.
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:26 PM on August 26, 2011


I am sure Tim Cook would appreciate everyone telling him how to live his life.

Who is doing this?
posted by hippybear at 4:35 PM on August 26, 2011


Seriously, I know I've said this before, but I'm so furious, I just cannot believe the shit priorities the world has. Nixon announced a "war on cancer". That was the only completely worthwhile war declared by the U.S. in the past half century. And what a shit job was done here, compared to the other wars that involved killing people. I wish we devoted the resources given to the Defense Department since that 1971 Nixon initiative. I cannot help but think that if the world made the fight against cancer a top priority, we'd be much further along, if not on a total cure, at least held off almost indefinitely - we did that for the once-upon-a-time virtual 100% death sentence AIDS. Now, no doubt cancer is far more complex, but we've had 40+ years, and if we could devote - at this point it's trillions of $, and the genius, brilliance and ingenuity of researchers everywhere, I'm certain millions of people would not have died of this terrible disease.

This is extremely depressing.
posted by VikingSword at 4:52 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


VikingSword: one thing to realize is that we finally (FINALLY!) have technology which can actually examine cancer at the level on which it works (genetic).

We've made HUGE leaps and bounds since we've had computers and other equipment which is powerful enough to sequence genomes. We've discovered that uterine cancer is caused by a virus and have developed a vaccine to prevent it. We're discovering that many many other cancers are also caused by viruses. We're developing targeted treatments which attack specific cancer cells. We've even discovered (potentially) a mechanism which could be used to keep most viruses at bay.

With discoveries like these happening such a short time after the ability to sequence genomes, I can only surmise that we will find the next decade yielding a great amount of progress toward targeted medicine which will move the fight against cancer forward a lot.

Nixon was correct to declare war on cancer. But he did so a generation or two before our technology was able to provide the kind of intelligence against the enemy which is what our side needs to win.

Keep watching for the next 10-15 years. You'll be amazed at what you see happening.
posted by hippybear at 5:00 PM on August 26, 2011


And now we're cutting funding to basic science research to pay for tax cuts to the rich. It's really cutting off the nose to spite the face, and this sort of thing is the long-term cost, the suffering that could possibly have been avoided with more options. It is pretty depressing.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:02 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


BP is 100% right. Just look at the budget priorities. It's fucking murder. I just cannot for the life of me wrap my head around what drives the Republican agenda. I mean, they are human beings too - they too stand to benefit from medical (and all) science. Yet, from stem cells through basic research, there they are, fighting it every inch of the way. WHAT THE FUCK?? I mean, is it "don't interfere with god's plan"? Is it a way to get to heaven faster? Don't they have kids? Loved ones? I don't understand this at all, at all. And it's not like they have not seen this before: how government support for basic research gave us incredible scientific and technological progress. So this cannot be complete lack of examples and utter ignorance.
posted by VikingSword at 5:10 PM on August 26, 2011


hippybear: Who is doing this?

I wonder.

Ultimately, his position as CEO is about Cook being a great leader.

I am sure Mr. Cook would appreciate your unique perspective on his position.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:14 PM on August 26, 2011


in the mental commons, gay men aren't great leaders.

HB, I don't think you mean it the way that sounds. First of all, in the creative commons (if that isn't 'mental' what is), the influence is unarguable. Second of all -- if that 'gay' was at all visible in the past 150 years -- persecution (or at best subconscious bias against), deliberate blocking of opportunity, and greatly reduced access to community privileges very much diminished the likelihood of 'great', limiting it to mostly-closeted geniuses like Bernstein.
posted by Twang at 5:18 PM on August 26, 2011


I was just wondering what stem cells had to do with Apple. But, actually, can we talk more about stem cells?
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:21 PM on August 26, 2011


by "mental commons" I meant the shared mental space which most people use to view the world.

It was a clumsy wording to express a complicated concept. Sorry if it was misleading.

And yes, I am trying to express exactly the idea that the tyranny of the closet needs to be overcome when it comes to looking at who are the movers and shakers across history.

That there have been hugely influential and brilliant homosexuals across history is not to be disputed. Unless you're one of the majority of people who have never given a moment of thought to sexual orientation and who assume that everyone, all the time, is straight unless specifically pointed out otherwise, in which case the entire field gets telescoped to a far smaller reality and discounts many of the truly great people and only sees a small slice of stereotyped gays.
posted by hippybear at 5:24 PM on August 26, 2011


I was just wondering what stem cells had to do with Apple.

They just work.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:28 PM on August 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


Ultimately, his position as CEO is about Cook being a great leader.

I am sure Mr. Cook would appreciate your unique perspective on his position.


My position about Cook being a great leader isn't unique. Steve Jobs seems to share that same opinion. Either that or his suggestion of appointing Cook as CEO was ironic, but I don't see Jobs playing games like that.

As far as my mentioning that Cook is a great leader, and that a great leader who is gay should be acknowledged as such? That's also not unique. ericb linked to two other people who feel the same, and who expressed it in public.

There are still others who are saying the same thing.

Perhaps you're working from a definition of "unique" with which I'm unacquainted.

Anyway, I haven't said a word about how he should live his life. I've said a lot about how others should be willing to talk about him. According to some in this thread, he's living his life openly as a gay man. I have never met the man, but the closet isn't something which is always chosen by an individual. Sometimes it's imposed by a greater cultural force. I'm speaking about that larger force and how it needs to move beyond its stereotyped reporting on homosexuals.

That's also not a unique perspective, but I'm not going to do the research for you on that.
posted by hippybear at 5:33 PM on August 26, 2011


I was just wondering what stem cells had to do with Apple. But, actually, can we talk more about stem cells?

What do you want to know?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:44 PM on August 26, 2011


Oh, the whole blastocystic megillah. Or, you know, we could all list REM's albums in order of quality, and then compare notes. The ontopic discussion is getting pretty weird, and a little detour might be quite nice.
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:06 PM on August 26, 2011


gay men aren't great leaders. --- The didn't call him Alexander "the Great" for nothing.
posted by crunchland at 6:32 PM on August 26, 2011


gay men aren't great leaders. --- The didn't call him Alexander "the Great" for nothing.

My point. It's way over there. You missed it entirely.
posted by hippybear at 6:49 PM on August 26, 2011


Goddamn, damn damn damn fuck damn damn fuck come on we NEED these people, we're not READY yet. It's like, I was 22 and really had no idea what life was like and BOOM there I was sleeping under a Christmas tree in a friend's house with a grimace that could swallow a tennis ball and tears rolling down my face because I couldn't bear to be alone at that time of year. Can't we PLEASE get this done? Isn't it IMPORTANT enough yet?

Shit, we're never ready, we just pick up the pieces and look vaguely through the haze they saw through so clearly and hope we don't fall off a fucking cliff.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:24 PM on August 26, 2011


The ontopic discussion is getting pretty weird, and a little detour might be quite nice.

Well, just let us know what else we should and shouldn't discuss.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:20 PM on August 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Never my intention, as will no doubt be clear if and when this thread is revisited at a time of less heightened feeling.

What I am quite willing to say is that people here are responding to this news with genuine and strong emotion - unsuprisingly. We're talking about one of the titans of our age, here. That's perfectly understandable, but it also seems to be leading to some acting out which isn't going to make anyone feel any better in the longer run.

So, yeah. IMHO would be nicer, if improbable, if we talked about our favorite REM albums rather than fighting over steganographic slights to Tim Cook, just as it would be nicer to talk about stem cell research than to post a pap shot of Steve Jobs looking frail, which felt to me like a photograph that did not need to be taken, and once taken did not need to be promulgated. However, I don't think I ever suggested that I had any control over what you, in the singular or collective sense, should or shouldn't discuss - that sounds like moderator territory. I apologise for my contribution to that misunderstanding.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:05 AM on August 27, 2011


Pancreatic cancer has a 5% survival rate over five years. Jobs was diagnosed seven years ago.

XKCD on probability
posted by mecran01 at 6:51 AM on August 27, 2011


> It'd be great if you'd give some of the obscene profits you made offa me to charity, someday.

Apple exists as a company to make profits. Even their charitable giving is going to have a strategy. They are answerable to their shareholders. They have given into pressure (example: their green initiatives).

I would hold that it's none of your concern what a company does with the profits they make from providing you with a product you purchase from them. If you think your money needs to go to charity you'd be more effectively served by sending your money to charity and not hoping a portion of your laptop purchase goes toward such.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:00 AM on August 28, 2011


I would hold that it's none of your concern what a company does with the profits they make from providing you with a product you purchase from them

That comment of mine was more directed at Steve Jobs, the person. Jobs is worth billions. I'd like to hope he finds a constructive purpose for his fantastic personal wealth. I understand that Apple exists as a corporation to create value. I also understand that they're a relatively progressive company as far as HR policy goes, and that it's a good place to work. I don't have any real qualms with the way they run their corporation, as such things go.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:08 AM on August 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


It was also kind of a self-deprecating jab about all of my money i've blown on Apple kit over the years because i'm such a blatant fanboi. It's an obscene percentage of my income.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:11 AM on August 28, 2011


> Today, I don't think you can even buy a laser printer with true Adobe Postscript, they're all PS clones now.

The list of Postscript "partners" is mostly high end pre-press folk like EFI, but Ricoh still makes $300 printers with real Adobe RIPs.

HP is on that list too, but I found out about Ricoh when our "workgroup" LaserJet with Postscript "emulation" kept crashing with parse errors. HP must only put the good stuff in their high-end printers.
posted by morganw at 2:28 PM on August 28, 2011


Hey I missed your comment, morganw, and I am really grateful to hear that you can still get true PostScript on an inexpensive desktop printer. I've been worried since my ancient HP LaserJet 5MP is getting flaky and is sure to die soon. I'm not a big fan of Ricoh but it's better than some of the Canon ImageRunner models I figured were the smallest you can get. My last real DTP job was maintaining 4 stores of big workgroup printers like this Canon ImageRunner Advance. Oh man is that a long way from the first RIPs I ever operated, on an early Iris inkjet. We ran it on a Mac IIfx, it used to take anywhere from 10 minutes up to a couple of hours to rip a complex page. Oh, the good old days, when we used to get $75 for an 11x17 color inkjet print, $150 for rush jobs, and $65/hour for RIP time over 30 minutes.
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:53 PM on August 30, 2011






I will give Devils Rancher a lump in the pit of his stomach with this link:

What if I had bought Apple stock instead of Apple products?

Alas, it does not go back far enough, to my early purchase like my Mac IIcx or my PowerMac 8100. But I don't think I want to know. I'll still be making payments when I'm 80 years old, on that 8100 I put on my student loan.
posted by charlie don't surf at 1:04 PM on August 30, 2011


Heck, don't lament about buying apple stock. Just think of all the money you would have saved if you had bought PCs instead!
posted by crunchland at 1:08 PM on August 30, 2011


Factory workers who were poisoned making parts for Apple two years ago say they never heard from Jobs.

Well I guess they weren't listening, because Apple responded to these complaints by implementing a Supplier Responsibility Program in 2006. I recall Jobs issued a personal statement on the issue, but I couldn't find it, it's too old.

Heck, don't lament about buying apple stock.

True, it could be worse. You could be Ronald Wayne, who sold his 10% of Apple for $2300, back in 1976 when they were still working out of a garage.
posted by charlie don't surf at 1:21 PM on August 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well I guess they weren't listening, because Apple responded to these complaints by implementing a Supplier Responsibility Program in 2006. I recall Jobs issued a personal statement on the issue, but I couldn't find it, it's too old.

Apple responded to mass poisonings in 2009 by implementing a Supplier Responsibility Program in 2006?
posted by kafziel at 1:39 PM on August 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


What if I had bought Apple stock instead of Apple products?

It's okay, as I make a good living piloting Apple machines every day. Also, I did both! I bought a nice Volvo years ago with the proceeds of a well-timed Apple stock purchase. Of course, now it's a $100,000 Volvo, but hey, we could what-if this thing all day, and we kinda needed a car right then. No point in regretting the past - I've got better things to do.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:55 PM on August 30, 2011


Don't be deliberately obtuse, kafziel, they have responded to similar industrial safety complaints since 2006. Did you read the article? Wintek disregarded Apple's procedures so they could make a fast buck. Wintek substituted toxic hexane for the non-toxic alcohol, which would save time and reduce labor costs. Even the article links to the Apple 2011 report, on page 20 it states:

We required Wintek to stop using n-hexane and to provide evidence that they had removed the chemical from their production lines. In addition, Apple required them to fix their ventilation system. Since these changes, no new workers have suffered difficulties from chemical exposure. To prevent future incidents at this facility, we required Wintek to work with a consultant to improve their Environmental Health and Safety processes and management systems. We are monitoring the implementation of these corrective actions and preventive measures, and will conduct a complete reaudit of the facility in 2011.

In parallel, Apple has verified that all affected workers have been treated successfully, and we continue to monitor their medical reports until full recuperation. Following China law, Wintek has paid medical treatment, meals, and foregone wages for sick or recuperating workers. A majority of the 137 workers have returned to employment at the same factory.


This is Wintek's fault, but safety violations by Wintek don't grab headlines. This kind of corruption doesn't make headlines unless the Chinese government executes someone.

> No point in regretting the past - I've got better things to do.

Yeah, that's the remarkable thing about Ronald Wayne, journalists keep interviewing him and pointing out that he could have been worth $35 Billion, and he keeps telling them he has no regrets.
posted by charlie don't surf at 3:14 PM on August 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Post-Jobs Era: Tim Cook Brings Philanthropy Back To Apple -- "Tim Cook is definitely not Steve Jobs, at least when it comes to charity. Cook has announced an impressive new program aimed at raising the profile of Apple as a charitable company, and is putting employees at the center of its corporate giving."
posted by ericb at 2:39 PM on September 8, 2011


Apple didn't have gift-matching? Woah. Good on Cook for at least bringing in the basics there.
posted by GuyZero at 3:02 PM on September 8, 2011


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