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Steve Jobs, RIP
October 5, 2011 4:47 PM   Subscribe

According to a press release issued by Apple, co-founder Steve Jobs has passed away.
posted by ancillary (1524 comments total) 96 users marked this as a favorite

 
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(sent from my iPhone)
posted by empath at 4:49 PM on October 5, 2011 [67 favorites]


Front page of Apple's website.
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posted by spinifex23 at 4:49 PM on October 5, 2011


I'm a PC guy. I use PC's, I sold PC's for a living for a while. But without the innovations of Steve Jobs and his company, we would've been nowhere. He was one of the architects of the world we live in now.

RIP.

*salutes*
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posted by Ironmouth at 4:49 PM on October 5, 2011


. (as I sit here on my Mac Mini, with my iPhone 4 and iPad 1)
posted by mrbill at 4:49 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by oonh at 4:49 PM on October 5, 2011


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My life has been made immeasurably better by the iPod, the iPhone, and Pixar.

RIP
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:49 PM on October 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


Man did he do some amazing things while he was here.
posted by eyeballkid at 4:49 PM on October 5, 2011 [10 favorites]


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posted by willpie at 4:49 PM on October 5, 2011


My parents bought the first Macintosh in 1984. I've been an apple fan ever since. I never realized until he quit recently how much influence he's had on my life. I'll miss him in ways that will probably take another 20 years to sink in. Thank you Mr. Jobs.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:49 PM on October 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


Even if you never bought into Apple's brand of elitism or kitsch, you can't deny that Steve Jobs was a legendary visionary, someone who demanded excellence and brought amazing things to life, and created entire industries, product segments, and changed the world for good.

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posted by disillusioned at 4:49 PM on October 5, 2011 [15 favorites]


Wow.

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posted by everichon at 4:49 PM on October 5, 2011


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Damn, he worked till near the end.
posted by rainbaby at 4:50 PM on October 5, 2011 [19 favorites]


RIP Steve Jobs

posted by Senor Cardgage at 4:50 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by entropicamericana at 4:50 PM on October 5, 2011


Here's to the crazy ones.
posted by Awakened at 4:50 PM on October 5, 2011 [21 favorites]



posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 4:50 PM on October 5, 2011


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I am really surprised how upsetting I am finding this.
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posted by flyingsquirrel at 4:50 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Increase at 4:50 PM on October 5, 2011


I've never been an Apple fan, but it can't be denied that he (along with Wozniak) had a huge impact on computing.

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posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:50 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


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posted by gofargogo at 4:50 PM on October 5, 2011


When he stepped down a couple months ago, I was really surprised by how much people talked about him as if they were giving a eulogy and I kept thinking "why is everyone acting like he's dead, he beat pancreatic cancer several years ago, he might be ok now" and I really believed he would pull out of this again (the survival rate for pancreatic cancer is only like 4% and he did it) so I'm kind of surprised he went so quickly. Hopefully, he got to see everything everyone wrote about him online these past few weeks in the aftermath of the news of him stepping down.
posted by mathowie at 4:50 PM on October 5, 2011 [34 favorites]


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posted by subbes at 4:51 PM on October 5, 2011 [11 favorites]


Wow... I wouldn't have expected to feel moved by this news, particularly, but this brought tears to my eyes. It just seems so soon. My thoughts go out to his family and friends.
posted by cider at 4:51 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


56 years old. Two truest things: life is short and cancer sucks.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:51 PM on October 5, 2011 [56 favorites]



posted by archagon at 4:51 PM on October 5, 2011


RIP Steve. You were a giant.

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posted by purephase at 4:51 PM on October 5, 2011


damn... .
posted by beetsuits at 4:51 PM on October 5, 2011


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(sent from my iPad)
posted by get off of my cloud at 4:51 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here’s a short tale of mine when I worked at Apple:

One sunny autumn day, Steve (he was always Steve) was walking across Apple’s campus with a reporter toward Caffe Macs. I was walking a few feet behind, enough to hear the reporter asking about Steve’s family. As we approached the entrance, Steve stopped and opened the door for an employee carrying trays of food outside. The employee never looked up but said “Thanks.” “Sure,” Steve replied. Just then, at least two dozen people followed the employee out. Because of where the reporter was standing, none of the employees (as far as I could tell) noticed who was holding the door for them. Steve continued holding that door, talking to the reporter, until I came up and offered to take his place as doorman. “Thanks,” he said. “Sure,” I replied. He smiled and invited the reporter inside.

That’s it.

Whatever else you may read about Steve, whatever else happens in his life or to Apple or to the world of computing, know that he opened doors for people.

R.I.P. Steve. We're all better off thanks to your time on the planet.
posted by kawika at 4:51 PM on October 5, 2011 [387 favorites]


I've never been a big Apple fan, but remember Apple in 1996 before he came back? Yeah, circling the drain. Jobs was one of the most impressive innovators I've ever known about. Truly, the world would have been a different place without him.

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posted by PapaLobo at 4:51 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


⌘Q
posted by dmd at 4:51 PM on October 5, 2011 [15 favorites]


Also, when I was in college, my then-girlfriends mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She was gone in a little over a month and it was painful to watch. Jobs must've had serious fortitude (and of course some great doctors) to last as long as he did.
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posted by notsnot at 4:52 PM on October 5, 2011


Thanks Steve.
posted by pashdown at 4:52 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


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posted by ghharr at 4:52 PM on October 5, 2011


fuck you, cancer,
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:52 PM on October 5, 2011 [32 favorites]


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posted by iamabot at 4:52 PM on October 5, 2011


I watched my mom succumb to pancreatic cancer. The fact that Jobs kept working is a testament to an absolutely exceptional man in every way. Peace out, Steve.

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posted by spitefulcrow at 4:52 PM on October 5, 2011


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I have always wanted a jet pack and I always thought that if there was one person who would make it and make it right it would be him. R.I.P. Steve.
posted by lilkeith07 at 4:53 PM on October 5, 2011 [7 favorites]



posted by popculture at 4:53 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by meinvt at 4:53 PM on October 5, 2011


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Damn it. It's weird feeling really sad about the death of a CEO I didn't know, but his products have been around me since I was a kid and have had a powerful influence in my life.

You did great work, Mr. Jobs. I'm sorry to see you go.

(I'm assuming that all of the squares I'm seeing in the thread are Apple logos. I'll have to post one when I get home from work.)
posted by brundlefly at 4:53 PM on October 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


I was really surprised by how much people talked about him as if they were giving a eulogy and I kept thinking "why is everyone acting like he's dead, he beat pancreatic cancer several years ago, he might be ok now"

There was no way he was going to step down from Apple until he literally couldn't make it to work any more.
posted by empath at 4:53 PM on October 5, 2011 [21 favorites]


Wow, that was shockingly fast. Well, I guess that meant he held out for Apple as long as he possibly could. Sigh.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:53 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


ABC obit

USA Today obit

The Boston Globe obit

Steve Jobs' patents

RIP, sir.
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posted by cazoo at 4:53 PM on October 5, 2011


iSad. :(
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posted by mikedouglas at 4:53 PM on October 5, 2011


Love him or loathe, it can't be denied that he was an incredible leader. I'll miss him.
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posted by snowsuit at 4:54 PM on October 5, 2011


56 is too young for any husband, father, brother, or son to die.

Thank you, Mr. Jobs, for changing the world.
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posted by awesomebrad at 4:55 PM on October 5, 2011


RIP.
posted by the mad poster! at 4:55 PM on October 5, 2011


From my iPhone, in a growing state of shock:

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posted by Jubal Kessler at 4:55 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


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posted by ericb at 4:55 PM on October 5, 2011


Love him or hate him he was one of a kind, and the world is poorer without him.
posted by loquacious at 4:55 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


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posted by -harlequin- at 4:55 PM on October 5, 2011


From the Apple site's Steve Jobs page:

Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

If you would like to share your thoughts, memories, and condolences, please email rememberingsteve@apple.com.

posted by flyingsquirrel at 4:55 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


The first computer I ever owned was a Mac512K. My favorite computer now is my iPad, although I keep the 512K around for sentimental reasons. Thanks for everything, Steve Jobs, the world was better for you having been in it, and a little less shiny now that you're gone.
posted by donnagirl at 4:55 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


From the Apple ][ to the App Store, he's made a positive impact on my life, as well as providing inspiration. Thanks Steve.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 4:55 PM on October 5, 2011


Whatever you think of Apple and the man himself, Mr. Jobs was Titan of the industry. Rest in peace, sir.

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posted by pianoboy at 4:55 PM on October 5, 2011


Stay hungry, stay foolish.
posted by churl at 4:55 PM on October 5, 2011 [15 favorites]



posted by smcbride at 4:55 PM on October 5, 2011


Pancreatic cancer sucks but at least it moves fast. Hope it ended quick and with as little suffering as possible.

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posted by Hairy Lobster at 4:56 PM on October 5, 2011


Fuck you cancer 
posted by Think_Long at 4:56 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


So very sad. He was one of the finest in the business, a hero for so many of us who code or work with hardware.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 4:56 PM on October 5, 2011


How many other CEO's would generate this emotion? Rather, how few others.

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posted by tyllwin at 4:56 PM on October 5, 2011 [13 favorites]



posted by designbot at 4:56 PM on October 5, 2011


fuck. i knew it was coming, and coming fast, but i was already feeling pretty raw and emotional today due to other stuff, and this just fucking felled me. fuck.

. does not cut it.

thank you, steve. for everything. may you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows you're dead.
posted by palomar at 4:56 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


. & 

RIP
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:56 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Anitanola at 4:56 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fuck cancer. Again.
posted by maudlin at 4:56 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


mathowie: When he stepped down a couple months ago, I was really surprised by how much people talked about him as if they were giving a eulogy and I kept thinking "why is everyone acting like he's dead, he beat pancreatic cancer several years ago, he might be ok now" and I really believed he would pull out of this again (the survival rate for pancreatic cancer is only like 4% and he did it) so I'm kind of surprised he went so quickly.
I had that same thought, because in my head- like so many of us, I'm sure- I always had that picture of the energized, vital Steve Jobs from keynote speeches past.

Then a couple of weeks ago I had seen this picture belatedly, and though "Whoa, he's really effin' sick". I still didn't think it would happen this fast, but he's been fighting it for years.

56 seems really young for such an energetic guy...
posted by hincandenza at 4:56 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Here in the heart of Silicon Valley it's cold and raining. It's as if the weather knew.
posted by casarkos at 4:56 PM on October 5, 2011 [13 favorites]


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posted by Navelgazer at 4:57 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


:( . (sent from my iPod.)
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 4:57 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


One of the unexpectedly horrible things about growing old is losing your heroes. I thought I was prepared for this one. Not at all, it turns out.

RIP, Steve.
posted by ipe at 4:57 PM on October 5, 2011 [13 favorites]


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posted by pahool at 4:57 PM on October 5, 2011




Thank you.
posted by Mouse Army at 4:57 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by quoz at 4:57 PM on October 5, 2011


One of the brightest lights in my personal sky has gone out.

I didn't idolize him but instead thought of him as one of the best examples of having true belief in the power of technology to leverage the human spirit to excel, the tenacity to see things through even when things look bleak, and the ability to motivate those around him to do their best. A rare combination of visionary and leader.

He wasn't a saint, but he left behind a cathedral.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:57 PM on October 5, 2011 [68 favorites]


Be at peace, Steve. You changed my life, and for that, I am forever in your gratitude.


posted by dbiedny at 4:57 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


"And the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do."


posted by pts at 4:57 PM on October 5, 2011 [13 favorites]


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posted by MikeMc at 4:57 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by lasenorita at 4:58 PM on October 5, 2011


Has anyone had a greater impact on the 21st century?
posted by Silo004 at 4:58 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm remembering my first Mac, one of the very first blueberry toilet-seat-shaped laptops, and I freaking LOVED it. Never left the brand again.

Rest in peace, Mr. Jobs. Thank you for bringing fun and usability and beautiful design back into our lives. May your path be lined with rainbow-colored apples.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 4:58 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]



posted by Zonker at 4:58 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Trurl at 4:58 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Guernsey Halleck at 4:58 PM on October 5, 2011


Thanks for thinking differently.


posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 4:58 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by wintermute2_0 at 4:58 PM on October 5, 2011


I'm guessing all of those square  things I see are apples.

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posted by jabberjaw at 4:58 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was just thinking yesterday that Apple has been an almost constant and, frankly, intimate presence in my life since 4th grade when my parents bought me an Apple II+ on my math teacher's recommendation.

I think it's that utterly unique intimacy -- I can't say the same thing about any other brand or product, and it's a deep intimacy, one that's very much been connected with both my intellectual development and love of music -- that makes this hit me harder than I'd expected it would.

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posted by treepour at 4:58 PM on October 5, 2011 [10 favorites]


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posted by dbscissors at 4:58 PM on October 5, 2011


Also, this sounds really selfish right now, but I just realized a.) he was only 15 years older than me, and b.) I really, really need to start taking better care of myself. Jesus. Jesus.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:59 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]



posted by Mikey-San at 4:59 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I grew up on an apple, but had PCs for the past ten years. recently, after lots of deliberation, I purchased a macbook air. now I get it.
thank you, Mr. Jobs.

posted by changeling at 4:59 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Honestly, he lived an incredible life. Between his unrelentless drive to make industrial design better and Pixar, we owe a lot to this man.
posted by spiderskull at 4:59 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Diagonalize at 4:59 PM on October 5, 2011


I've been using macs since 1987 and professionally for 12 years now. I literally would not be in the job I am in without Steve Jobs. I work with a lot of systems besides Macs, but that's where my love is and will be.

I have more macs in my home than many schools.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:59 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


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posted by meowf at 4:59 PM on October 5, 2011


Ugly, sad news.
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posted by kcalder at 5:00 PM on October 5, 2011


Wow. Truly an amazing life.
posted by sweetkid at 5:00 PM on October 5, 2011


Thank you for all the pretty computers.

Meaning, thank you for thinking about design and style and what the rest of us out here had to look at and touch every day. Apple has forced the rest of the industry to think just a little bit more about the aesthetic of the consumer experience, which I appreciate.
posted by gingerbeer at 5:00 PM on October 5, 2011 [17 favorites]


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posted by Pecinpah at 5:00 PM on October 5, 2011


*sets iMac desktop background colour to black*
posted by randomination at 5:00 PM on October 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


Thanks, Uncle Steve.

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posted by fredosan at 5:00 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank you for everything, Steve. You'll be missed.

Fuck cancer. Fuck pancreatic cancer most of all.
posted by mogget at 5:00 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Here's to the crazy ones...
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posted by motty at 5:00 PM on October 5, 2011


He was a giant, definitely, and changed the way we use technology forever. There was much about the way he did things that I continue to disagree with, but he left a massive, undeniable legacy that will be with us for a long time. RIP, Steve.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:01 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]



posted by Science! at 5:01 PM on October 5, 2011


Btw, I'm so glad Mefi exists right now.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:01 PM on October 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


Has anyone had a greater impact on the 21st century?

I can think of people who had more impact, but most of them made the world worse.
posted by empath at 5:01 PM on October 5, 2011 [33 favorites]


I worked at Apple from iPod launch to iPhone launch. It was a pretty great place to work.
posted by ryanrs at 5:01 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]



posted by gallois at 5:01 PM on October 5, 2011


Oh man. Oh man oh man oh man. My heart is more saddened by this news than I would've ever guessed.


posted by shiu mai baby at 5:01 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]



posted by zachlipton at 5:01 PM on October 5, 2011


Memories of Programming in BASIC at age 7. Control-reset hacking Oregon Trail to slow deer down.


posted by thebestusernameever at 5:01 PM on October 5, 2011 [12 favorites]


I can remember the feel of the Apple ][e keyboard, the whirr of its drives, praying Wizardry wouldn't crash on load this time.

Like too many of us, I've lost lots of family to cancer--it is an undignified end and I hope he went well.
posted by Kafkaesque at 5:01 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


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posted by rouftop at 5:01 PM on October 5, 2011


So sad, he'll be missed.
posted by obeetaybee at 5:02 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by Mcable at 5:02 PM on October 5, 2011


I'm a pretty anti big business type and even I feel a bid of sad for poor Steve. He got me to buy his stuff and like it and that's saying something. It would be very cool if Woz took a greater interest in Apple but I suppose that day has long passed.

Semi-random thought: I always suspected that Jobs may have had a long standing case of Hep-C , just based on how his cancer progressed and what we knew of his younger life. I suppose we'll never know one way or the other but, if so, I wish he would have used the last few months of his life to advocate awareness of it. In any case he did do great things for the Industry.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 5:02 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


From where I'm sitting right now I can see my old Mac 512. I know that if I were to walk across the room and flip the switch, it's boot up to Mac OS 0.97, just like it has every time I've asked it to since I got it eleven years ago. I also know that inside, etched onto the plastic are the names of the men and women who designed and created all the bits (hardware and software) that make it go *bong* and start up. I respect any man who respects his team enough to let them sign their creation.

I mean, why join the navy if you get the chance to be a pirate?
posted by 1f2frfbf at 5:02 PM on October 5, 2011 [25 favorites]


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posted by CancerMan at 5:02 PM on October 5, 2011


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he deserved a better post
posted by lalex at 5:02 PM on October 5, 2011 [13 favorites]


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posted by feckless at 5:03 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not even a huge Apple fan, but it's hard to deny that Steve Jobs changed everything about everything he touched, for decades on end. Few in the industry -- any industry -- can say as much.

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posted by vorfeed at 5:03 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


He made products and encouraged innovation in ways that changed my life, mostly for the better. Thanks.

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posted by notclosed at 5:03 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by cheeken at 5:03 PM on October 5, 2011


As one of my friends put it:

"Rest in Peace, Steve. You helped make my life a little more fun."

I couldn't agree more.

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posted by sabira at 5:03 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's hard to imagine how anyone can be one of, and maybe the, most important people in technology for more than thirty years.

Thanks, Steve.
posted by mhoye at 5:03 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


This didn’t seem appropriate for Twitter, but I’ll post it here.

Steve held the door outside IL1 once for me and my coworker as we were walking to another building behind him and Ive. It was the *smallest* of gestures, a mere hitch in step that most wouldn’t bother taking, but he did.

I’m going to miss him.
posted by CipherSwarm at 5:03 PM on October 5, 2011 [9 favorites]



posted by jadepearl at 5:03 PM on October 5, 2011




posted by jgirl at 5:04 PM on October 5, 2011


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 invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
We make tools for these kinds of people.

While some 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 El Sabor Asiatico at 5:04 PM on October 5, 2011 [37 favorites]


.
posted by Ducks or monkeys at 5:04 PM on October 5, 2011


On the capitalist side of things, Steve Jobs probably had the largest impact on the world of anyone since Henry Ford. While I dislike what the company turned into over the last few years, as soon as it started to regain some market power, Apple's products have been the benchmark against which all other consumer electronic gear is measured.
posted by Malor at 5:04 PM on October 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


Oh, and:

.
posted by Malor at 5:04 PM on October 5, 2011


he deserved a better post

This is just the announcement - I'm sure someone will filthylightthief something soon.
posted by cashman at 5:04 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]



posted by unSane at 5:04 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by Quietgal at 5:05 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by _frog at 5:05 PM on October 5, 2011


I can think of people who had more impact, but most of them made the world worse.

Right, Osama Bin Laden is clearly the person who has influenced the 21st century more than anyone. But compelling large numbers of people to commit senseless acts of violence is very 1945.

Jobs changed the way you interact with your family and friends.
posted by Silo004 at 5:05 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


.
posted by CommonSense at 5:05 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by gergtreble at 5:05 PM on October 5, 2011





Thank you for all of this Steve.
posted by R. Mutt at 5:05 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by kinsey at 5:05 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by brevator at 5:05 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 5:06 PM on October 5, 2011


If it wasn't for the Macintosh and the revolution it brought about in the form of desktop publishing I wouldn't be doing this job I do now for the last 24 years. Thanks for everything Steve.
posted by unliteral at 5:06 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thank you, sir. Godspeed.
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:06 PM on October 5, 2011


.

(sent from my PC)
posted by secondhand pho at 5:06 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can remember the feel of the Apple ][e keyboard, the whirr of its drives, praying Wizardry wouldn't crash on load this time.

I lost much homework time to Wizardry on my //e - but I also managed to produce many a good report using some ancient word processor I forget the name of. During the periods that Steve was in charge, Apple made many devices that changed the course of my life, usually for the better.

Here's hoping that Tim Cook can pick up that baton and run with it.
posted by bashos_frog at 5:06 PM on October 5, 2011


My first computer was an Apple IIc. It, and the LC II Mac that came after it, and the 6500/300, and the MacBook Lombard, and the MacBook, and the iPod, and the iPhones, and MacBook Pro, have each marked a phase of my life. I never owned a PC desktop until half way through my undergrad. I still have every Apple product I ever owned. Even the dead iPod.

Macs were an integral part of my childhood - I felt raised in a way by my early computers, because of how much time I spent on them, with them, using them. They were my windows to the world.

The only time I think I was this upset about a person I don't know dying was Henson. Which making that connection in my mind made me cry.

.
posted by strixus at 5:06 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


My family's first computer was a "rotten" Apple II. Despite its dubious pedigree I wouldn't be where I am today without Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak. The Apple II, Macintosh & its GUI, the iPod, the iPhone and now the iPad. How many of us can claim to have effected industry- (and world-) wide change even once, much less six times?

.
posted by ooga_booga at 5:06 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


And damn again.
posted by carter at 5:06 PM on October 5, 2011


And I loved the NeXT so much!
posted by jgirl at 5:06 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


.
posted by wemayfreeze at 5:06 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by the painkiller at 5:07 PM on October 5, 2011


.

It's probably appropriate that Firefox on Windows 7 can't render whatever character is that so many of you are using for a dot.
posted by octothorpe at 5:07 PM on October 5, 2011 [17 favorites]


Few people, in the process of doing business, make it possible for those in the back of the pack to catch up to the geeks. He helped level the playing field for people like me.

Hey Steve -- thanks for the leg up.
posted by datawrangler at 5:07 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by 10sball at 5:07 PM on October 5, 2011


I'm sad about this.
posted by silby at 5:07 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by liquoredonlife at 5:07 PM on October 5, 2011


I don't ever comment in these obit threads. but this man changed the world. he was a visionary, aside from all the other +/- things said about him.

I'm commenting here on my iPhone. this wasn't my first phone I've ever used to read mefi, but it is worlds beyond the blackberry I traded in for it years ago.

I hope that the people he's left behind at Apple can continue to design and innovate the way he did.
posted by ninjew at 5:07 PM on October 5, 2011


Not a big Apple fan, but pourin' out my 40℥ for a fallen nerd-warrior.

BTW, people are posting a character that comes up as the symbol of the Klingon Empire in my font set, which is entertaining. I imagine that looks different on a Mac.
posted by XMLicious at 5:07 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


.
posted by baejoseph at 5:08 PM on October 5, 2011


Damn.

.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 5:08 PM on October 5, 2011


.

Truly an amazing person.
posted by odinsdream at 5:08 PM on October 5, 2011


.

Sent from my iPad
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:08 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's to the crazy ones.

high school graduation portrait
posted by Trurl at 5:08 PM on October 5, 2011 [14 favorites]


I never expected to be as sad as I feel now. Blame it on the pregnancy hormones. Or maybe, just maybe, we've lost an incredible member of our society far too early. Hope you're at peace, Steve. Thanks for everything.
posted by litnerd at 5:08 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


From the Apple II to the iPhone 4. Thanks Uncle Steve.

.
posted by myopicman at 5:08 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by sarahw at 5:08 PM on October 5, 2011


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 other’s 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.


What a guy.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:08 PM on October 5, 2011 [98 favorites]



posted by lekvar at 5:08 PM on October 5, 2011


.

My very first computers were Mac IIe's that they had in our elementary school. I helped my first boyfriend buy his first Mac, so that he could use Photoshop, and he taught me how to use it, too. The next Mac I interacted with was the iMac they gave me to use when I worked at the magazine. My last boss had two Mac laptops, one of which I used extensively to help create her email marketing campaigns in Adobe InDesign.

I am proud to be a dual-platform user, and it's thanks to Steve Jobs and his Apple computers.
posted by TrishaLynn at 5:09 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by alynnk at 5:09 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by Windigo at 5:09 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 5:09 PM on October 5, 2011


Wow, that's a big headline on CNN. Amazing.
posted by sweetkid at 5:09 PM on October 5, 2011


Now I am old. Good journey, Steve.

.
posted by Mooski at 5:09 PM on October 5, 2011


for the people who are confused by the dot substitute character.

.


posted by tylerkaraszewski at 5:09 PM on October 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


Damn. 56 is just too young. Fuck cancer.

.
posted by homunculus at 5:10 PM on October 5, 2011


.

For this thread, let's just think of the . as an Appleseed.

He did it his own way (even if some of us rankled at doing it 'Apple's way') and his passing takes away one of the few examples of a CEO who did more good than harm.

I do wonder if he made a special effort to hold on until after the iPhone event. Still, for timing, I salute him for shoving Sarah P. off the top headline.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:10 PM on October 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


So long, and thanks for all the cool stuff, Steve.
posted by vidur at 5:10 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've never been a Mac fan, and I've had pretty serious philosophic disagreements with the walled garden approach he was a strong advocate of.

And I feel sad and lessened for his death. He did great things and changed the face of computing. Tablet computing has been a dream of geeks for decades, and before he died he made it work, he succeeded where so many other had failed.

One of the greats has passed, and the world is lessened.

.
posted by sotonohito at 5:10 PM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


.

(sniff) Here's to one of the greats whose Apple IIe kindled my lifelong interest in computing and is responsible for me being a nerd.
posted by reiichiroh at 5:11 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


A moment of silence. Because it's the end of an era, pancreatic cancer shouldn't happen to anyone, 56 is entirely too damn young, Pixar makes my life better and I wouldn't be sitting in front of a computer if he hadn't help change the world. Rest in peace and condolences to his family.

.
posted by Space Kitty at 5:11 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Ratio at 5:11 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by clicking the 'Post Comment' button at 5:11 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Abbril at 5:11 PM on October 5, 2011


The Apple II, II+, Macintosh, NeXT, modern Macintoshes, and iOS environments have all been essentials and benchmarks in my life, starting in the late 70s when I was in junior high school. He and his work have been a greater part of my life than any artist, writer, or statesman has been.

It's not so much I found himself an individual to emulate, but that for over thirty years almost everything he's led or directed has been an essential part of my education, creative progress, technical environment, or design goal.

Hope he's found solace.
posted by ardgedee at 5:11 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


rainbaby:

> Damn, he worked till near the end.

It was August 24.

So we already had an obituary thread for him 5 weeks ago. Sad.

Condolences to his family.
posted by bukvich at 5:11 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by infinitewindow at 5:11 PM on October 5, 2011


 RIP, Steve.
As a Mac-only guy, I appreciate the aesthetic sensibility he brought to every aspect of computer design. A couple weeks ago I remarked on another site that I'm always puzzled when people post screenshots from Windows computers and the text is jagged, without anti-aliasing, like it's from Mac OS 7 or earlier. The reply was: "I don't even notice. Just now it took me a bit of googling to realize what you were talking about."

Thanks for taking care of the rest of us, Steve. Peace to you, friend.
posted by planetkyoto at 5:11 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


.

In a sense, I owe my career, and everything it pays for, to Steve Jobs and Apple. I'm 43 and I've never worked on, or owned, anything but an Apple computer. The ease with which I was able to navigate the OS and applications on Apple computer got me my current job. Thank you, Steve.
posted by Squeak Attack at 5:11 PM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm trying to think of the last famous person who has generated this outpouring of grief when he died -- John Lennon maybe?
posted by empath at 5:12 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


.
posted by jsavimbi at 5:12 PM on October 5, 2011


R ][ P
posted by sourwookie at 5:12 PM on October 5, 2011 [16 favorites]


I used my first Mac in 1986 when I joined the high school newspaper. Our laser printer could only print 8 1/2 x 11 paper, and our newspaper was 9 x 12, so we had to set it up in PageMaker, and then print it out in four tiles, which we would carefully cut apart, run through a hot wax machine, and stick down to send to the print shop. It was as primitive as hell, but I was still amazed at the power we had to produce something that looked so professional.

I got an LCIII from my parents as a college graduation present. On my days off from work, I would sit home playing Civilization for hours on end. Sometimes my roommate would come home and find me still in the bathrobe I put on when I got out of bed that morning.

My iPod and iPad are such a constant presence in my life that I tend to forget how astonishing it is that I can carry around a week's worth of music and podcasts in my pocket, and a computer under my arm.

More than anything else, I'm really sorry I won't get to see what he would have come up with next. Thanks for everything, Steve.


posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:12 PM on October 5, 2011 [8 favorites]



posted by Magnakai at 5:12 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm another one who is actually crying. Apple products have had an enormous impact on my life. Jobs's death is a real loss.


posted by sueinnyc at 5:12 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


How many of us can claim to have effected industry- (and world-) wide change even once, much less six times?

I was reminded of AllMusic's biography of Miles Davis:

... he was in the thick of almost every important innovation and stylistic development in the music during that period, and he often led the way in those changes... It can even be argued that jazz stopped evolving when Davis wasn't there to push it forward.
posted by Trurl at 5:12 PM on October 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


.
posted by jaimev at 5:12 PM on October 5, 2011


Has anyone had a greater impact on the 21st century?

Intending no disrespect to Jobs, maybe Vint Cerf or Tim Berners-Lee.

(It is weird to me that Vint Cerf is only 12 years older than Jobs)
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:12 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Fuck.

I knew it was coming, but still.

Fuck.
posted by eriko at 5:12 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]



posted by bswinburn at 5:12 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by dual_action at 5:12 PM on October 5, 2011


Please donate to the American Cancer Society by clicking here.
posted by secondhand pho at 5:13 PM on October 5, 2011 [13 favorites]


.
posted by Duke999R at 5:13 PM on October 5, 2011




Like one Of the newscasters said...we have lost another Edison.
posted by ShawnString at 5:13 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


.
posted by conradjones at 5:13 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by hugandpint at 5:14 PM on October 5, 2011


How To Live Before You Die.
posted by padraigin at 5:14 PM on October 5, 2011 [15 favorites]



posted by grrarrgh00 at 5:14 PM on October 5, 2011


I am struck by a surprising sense of emptiness. Who else in tech works in service of a vision in the way Steve did? As someone who thinks about tech, about computers and about the future almost constantly I feel almost that I've lost a mentor, someone who's perspective I've trusted and who made me glad to be in this field.
posted by wemayfreeze at 5:14 PM on October 5, 2011 [6 favorites]



posted by the_bone at 5:14 PM on October 5, 2011


Between Apple and Pixar, I can honestly say that, for someone I never met, he has had huge impacts in my life.

We'll not see his like again anytime soon, and the world is worse for it.
posted by quin at 5:14 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by bilabial at 5:14 PM on October 5, 2011


.

He was an inspiration as an adoptee, too.
posted by dbrown at 5:14 PM on October 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'm trying to think of the last famous person who has generated this outpouring of grief when he died -- John Lennon maybe?

I think the comparison above to Jim Henson is apt. And I don't say that lightly, as Henson is probably near the top of my personal heroes, along with Fred Rogers.
posted by anastasiav at 5:15 PM on October 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'm a linux user and Steve Jobs is one of my all time heroes.

.
posted by azarbayejani at 5:15 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


My first computer was an Apple IIc when I was about 8. I learned how to do some simple things in AppleBasic and became a geek.

That's all I can say. I would never have expected that the passing of a businessman I never met would bring a tear to my eye and make my throat tighten.

Thank you Steve.
posted by sio42 at 5:15 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 5:15 PM on October 5, 2011


Also, I'm pretty sure my boss will be wearing black to work tomorrow.
posted by azarbayejani at 5:15 PM on October 5, 2011


My 5-year-old daughter just looked up from our iPad, where she is teaching her 11-month-old brother how to draw, and said "Why are you crying, mommy?"
posted by KathrynT at 5:15 PM on October 5, 2011 [67 favorites]


.
posted by ubersturm at 5:16 PM on October 5, 2011


He was the most remarkable combination of arrogance, perseverance, perfectionism and humility I've ever seen in a seen in a CEO.

He had the good fortune to meet Woz and the wisdom to know that he wasn't a programmer, or a hardware engineer. What Steve could do, better than anyone else, is express what he wanted, (and what he didn't want, in notorious, ego-shredding arguments) and have absolute conviction that other people would want it too.

When the rest of Apple thought that the Mac would be an also-ran, he literally raised a pirate flag over the building the prototype was being developed in.

He took the failed revolution of the 60's and made it a personal revolution in computing.

Thrown out of Apple by the very man you brought in to run the company with you? No problem. Go off and found two more companies that would revolutionise filmmaking (Pixar) and computing again (Next, which would contribute hugely to OS X when Jobs returned to Apple).

He could be incredibly hands-on, even noticing things like the fact that the gradient of the Google icon on the iPhone's screen - just a few dozen pixels high - was slightly off, and make a personal call to approve the change.

He was the exact combination of tyrant and guru that Apple - and the computing world - needed.

Steve, you made a difference in the world. More personally, you made a daily difference in my life. You made both better. Thank you.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 5:16 PM on October 5, 2011 [41 favorites]


Yes, .
posted by Songdog at 5:16 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Haven't used his stuff since the eighties but, damn...

.
posted by bdave at 5:16 PM on October 5, 2011


It's hugely sad.

Mac Classic 4/40
Mac Quadra 650
Mac G4 Sawtooth
Ti 664 Powerbook
iBook
MacBook
MacPro 2009 (8 Core)
iPad 2
iPod (1st gen)
iPod (4th gen)
iPod Nano
iPod touch (1st Gen)
iPhone 3
iPhone 4


Plus various displays and wireless odds and ends. I can rattle them off, in order, from the top of my head. I loved every single one of them. I still have nearly all of them. None ever went bad. All of them made me feel good and gave me incredible creative tools, from the Farallon sound recorder I had on the classic, to Lightroom on the MacPro.

An incredibly talented and inspiring man.

.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 5:16 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Sphinx at 5:16 PM on October 5, 2011




My mother passed away in August of ovarian cancer. All I can say is that I feel I've lost two of my greatest heroes this year. Both to cancer.

Fuck cancer.
posted by schwa at 5:16 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by Kevin Street at 5:16 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by oldefortran at 5:16 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by blaneyphoto at 5:16 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by djwudi at 5:17 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by bookish at 5:17 PM on October 5, 2011


BoingBoing has a nice redesign in memoriam.
posted by TheCoug at 5:17 PM on October 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


Pixar.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:17 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


 ∞ .
posted by w0mbat at 5:17 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


.
posted by lipsum at 5:17 PM on October 5, 2011


Well, crap.

I started on the Apple ][ myself.

Here's a fun memory.

My stepfather (who got me started on this whole computer thing) was teaching computers (the whole thing was C64 with a shared floppy and one Apple) when Kids Can't Wait came out. He and my mom went to the presentation.

They told me of the guy standing around at the door passing out Kids Can't Wait buttons and how he later came up on stage when the presentation started. That's right. It was Jobs. My mom later told me she almost camped outside the men's room to get me an autograph on a button.

I imagine Heaven could use a user experience designer....

.
posted by Samizdata at 5:18 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


If not for the programs I taught myself on my old Apple G3, I would not have the career - and lifestyle - I have today. I owe Apple a lot.
posted by Windigo at 5:18 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:18 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by missregina at 5:18 PM on October 5, 2011


Thread velocity is amazing.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:19 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have heard both good and bad stories about Steve Jobs, and a lot of business success is ultimately chance. Still, it cannot be denied that he was a rare breed, that it was awesome that the same man who co-founded Apple Computer in a garage was the man who steered it back to becoming one of the foremost companies in the world, and that this is yet another sign of the passing of an age. And it is amazing and kind of heart-breaking that he worked at Apple so close to the end.

Does anyone know how Wozniak is doing these days?

My personal theory, which I realize does not reflect well on me, is that Blazecock Pileon will mysteriously never post again....
posted by JHarris at 5:19 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


moof

.
posted by mkultra at 5:19 PM on October 5, 2011 [10 favorites]


Steve Jobs made the world a better and brighter place for everyone: artists, developers, hardware makers, but especially computer users. Even the ones who have never used a Mac have benefitted indirectly from his uncanny and uncompromising vision.

We'll not see many like him in our own short lifespans. I feel privileged to have bared witness to his work. RIP, man.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:19 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


On this news, I was reminded of this music video so I watched it again and now I'm even sadder.

Rest in peace, Steve Jobs.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 5:19 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by Doktor Zed at 5:19 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by fuse theorem at 5:19 PM on October 5, 2011


So long and thanks for all the iFish.

.
posted by munchingzombie at 5:19 PM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


.
posted by martin10bones at 5:19 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by oneironaut at 5:19 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by moonbird at 5:19 PM on October 5, 2011


Steve - thanks for everything.
posted by Brent Parker at 5:19 PM on October 5, 2011


⌘ Z
posted by 4ster at 5:20 PM on October 5, 2011 [18 favorites]


.
posted by jewzilla at 5:20 PM on October 5, 2011


Hopefully the datacenter in NC is for more than iCloud.


posted by tomierna at 5:20 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Impending death was the only thing that could drag him from work. RIP.
posted by GuyZero at 5:20 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]



posted by JiBB at 5:20 PM on October 5, 2011


I'm typing this on a Mac. The first computers I used were DOS machines (I think one was a NEC), but I can vividly remember my first encounter with a mac in about 1987. The mouse! The black and white screen that seemed amazingly hi-res! And there was a cool game where you used the mouse to aim and fire a cannon (or catapult?) at the little stick figures trying to invade your castle! Between then and now, several jobs I had were only possible due to him, too. (The NeXT computers in the college computer lab were neat, but no one except a couple of math nerds ever really found a use for them, though.)

So while I don't know much about him as a person, Steve Jobs has had a huge impact on my life and the world I live in. I'm sorry he died so young.
posted by Forktine at 5:20 PM on October 5, 2011


Does anyone know how Wozniak is doing these days?

Wozniak is alive and well and being Woz.
posted by schwa at 5:20 PM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]



posted by fescue at 5:20 PM on October 5, 2011


.

Apple. NeXT, Pixar, and Apple again. Mr. Jobs, you kicked ass.
posted by artlung at 5:21 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:21 PM on October 5, 2011


I didn't think this would impact me as much as it has but right now I feel kind of empty.

Thank you, Steve.

.
posted by tatma at 5:21 PM on October 5, 2011


(Ack, everyone's Unicode apples are showing as code boxes on Firefox.)
posted by JHarris at 5:21 PM on October 5, 2011


I've never used an Apple, but I know what Steve Jobs was to the industry.

.
posted by deborah at 5:21 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by Thorzdad at 5:21 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by alms at 5:22 PM on October 5, 2011


It's fun to read this article about Apple from 1997, right after Steve Jobs came back to Apple:

101 Ways to Save Apple
posted by zabuni at 5:22 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks for being insanely great, Steve.

.
posted by telstar at 5:22 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by RokkitNite at 5:22 PM on October 5, 2011


My first Mac was an Apple ][c.

.
posted by 4ster at 5:22 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Ink-stained wretch at 5:22 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by Hey, Zeus! at 5:22 PM on October 5, 2011




Godspeed, Steve. 
posted by artdrectr at 5:22 PM on October 5, 2011


🍏
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:22 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mark me one of those non-apple consumers who is still incredibly sad to see this man pass away.

.
posted by royalsong at 5:22 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by pwb503 at 5:23 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by dopeypanda at 5:23 PM on October 5, 2011


[So far only 4ster has got the Apple character right.]
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:23 PM on October 5, 2011


posted by Blazecock Pileon

: )
posted by JHarris at 5:23 PM on October 5, 2011


🍎
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:23 PM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


My first computer was an Apple ][+

But that's not why I'm choked up over this.

I'm choked up because, in some way, Steve Jobs represents everyone I know and love who has had or currently has or will one day have terminal cancer and who fights it and strives for excellence in their life right up to the last moment.

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posted by The World Famous at 5:23 PM on October 5, 2011 [18 favorites]


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posted by samsara at 5:23 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by SirOmega at 5:23 PM on October 5, 2011


The personal death of Jobs is also part of a larger picture to me, which is the death of the literal individuals who created the internet and computing as we know it today.

I'm personally fascinated by the early days of computer lore, where the hardware is so well understood by the visionaries and engineers that it enabled great things to be created with very modest resources. We're getting farther and farther from this point in terms of generational knowledge transfer. I don't think we're doing a good job of it at all, and we're getting worse off in terms of the restrictions of knowledge (Apple Corporate is at fault here as well, I can't deny that).

We've entered a time when the fathers and mothers of the world of technology as we know it are passing away.
posted by odinsdream at 5:23 PM on October 5, 2011 [19 favorites]


I don't have any heroes among corporate leaders except Steve Jobs. What an inspiring life.

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posted by thebestusernameever at 5:23 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


When I got an iPhone, shortly after they first came out, I went to a cafe and started playing with it. An hour later, I wondered how I had ever managed without one. Nothing has helped deal with my ADD more. The ability to immediately make notes before thoughts flee my brain forever, to set alarms to remind me to turn off the sprinkler on the lawn, the ability to see the entire thread when texting my LDR boyfriend so that I don't forget what we were talking about... all in my pocket.


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posted by MexicanYenta at 5:23 PM on October 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


"so, do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or come with me and change the world?"
posted by Mcable at 5:24 PM on October 5, 2011 [12 favorites]


For 15 years I've been saying I'm going to turn my SE into an aquarium, and in that time he changed the world.

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posted by Room 641-A at 5:24 PM on October 5, 2011 [17 favorites]


A visionary and an inspiration. I learned to program for the first time on a II, I'm writing this on an iPod touch.

Thank you Steve.

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posted by spitbull at 5:24 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by closetphilosopher at 5:24 PM on October 5, 2011


This is sad. Every so often people who thought I might know something asked me about Mr Jobs's survival prospects. After I explained the prognosis of some of the pancreatic cancers, the consequences of a pancreaticoduodenectomy, and the extraordinary limitations and risks of life after an allogenic liver transplant, many of them would kind of shy away from asking for more details. I'm amazed he was able to keep working so well for so long. More power to him.

I wonder in 25 or 50 years, who will be remembered more: Jobs or Gates? WIll Apple still be a consumer force then? Will people still have devices recognizably Jobsian? Difficult to tell. Will millions of people alive then owe their existence to Gates and his vaccines and Foundation. Yes.
posted by meehawl at 5:25 PM on October 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


almost 400 comments in just over a half an hour and it's past quitting time here in the states; if that isn't testament...
posted by Lutoslawski at 5:25 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]




This makes me even sadder than I thought it would.
posted by kingfishers catch fire at 5:25 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by ugf at 5:25 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by hal9k at 5:25 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Seboshin at 5:26 PM on October 5, 2011


It's staggering how much Jobs' Apple has changed computing in my short lifetime.

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posted by danb at 5:26 PM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


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posted by madred at 5:26 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by fitnr at 5:26 PM on October 5, 2011


I hate the fact that we've lost such an innovator.

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Fuck you cancer, you bitch. I hate you.
posted by MultiFaceted at 5:26 PM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


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posted by ouke at 5:26 PM on October 5, 2011


I am sad he was taken so young, but it warmed my heart to realize that within 18 months of his death, Apple had superseded Microsoft's value, and this year had passed Microsoft in profits. As lifelong rival companies, it must have been nice to see that in the end, your vision won.

RIP, Steve, without your beautiful ideas the world would be a very different place.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 5:26 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]



posted by Vibrissae at 5:27 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by ohohcyte at 5:27 PM on October 5, 2011


I watched The Pixar Story a few months ago, and I was struck by how dedicated he was to making it work. Other folks would have bailed long before he did, and because of he didn't, my life is a much, much better place.

I'm typing this on a MacBook and I adore my iPhone, but Finding Nemo was one of the few things that got me through a very shitty period of my life. Just Keep Swimming became my mantra and my username here -- and Pixar silliness was a bright light in a dark time.

So thank you Steve, for believing in Pixar, as well as all the rest.


posted by JustKeepSwimming at 5:27 PM on October 5, 2011 [23 favorites]


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posted by Leucistic Cuttlefish at 5:27 PM on October 5, 2011


I wonder in 25 or 50 years, who will be remembered more: Jobs or Gates? WIll Apple still be a consumer force then? Will people still have devices recognizably Jobsian? Difficult to tell. Will millions of people alive then owe their existence to Gates and his vaccines and Foundation. Yes.

Bill Gates has done a lot of bad and good in the world, but he seems like a commodity businessman. Microsoft is not really into innovation that other people haven't innovated first, it seems to me. Apple has stubbornly gone its own way on a lot of things. This is both very good (OS/X yay) and very bad (good luck finding an Apple machine with USB 3.0).
posted by JHarris at 5:27 PM on October 5, 2011


As some of you know, I use communication devices to talk, and I have had some very shitty ones over the years. In June I got an Ipad to use to talk, and its imperfect but its the best I ever had.

RIP Steve
posted by wheelieman at 5:28 PM on October 5, 2011 [37 favorites]


He changed so many things, and I've used his products for decades.

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posted by hippybear at 5:28 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by blob at 5:28 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by dougzilla at 5:28 PM on October 5, 2011


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I hate to even bring up those Phelps jerks that picket funerals, but one of them just posted an announcement on Twitter that they'll be protesting Jobs' funeral. The beautifully poetic part, though... look at the bottom... "Posted via Twitter for iPhone." Even haters can't help but love his work.
posted by MegoSteve at 5:28 PM on October 5, 2011 [49 favorites]



posted by jeffehobbs at 5:28 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by whirligig at 5:28 PM on October 5, 2011


To me, computers and phones and tablets are just stuff. Fun stuff, maybe, but stuff nonetheless.

But holy god would life suck without Pixar. Thank you Steve Jobs.
posted by imalaowai at 5:29 PM on October 5, 2011


Anyone feeling a little choked up but wanting to avoid actual blubbing should probably not look at this accidentally heartbreaking picture, from the iCloud launch.

RIP.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:29 PM on October 5, 2011 [19 favorites]


He made the field that made my life as I know it possible.

His vision was pursued with such laser focus that he inspired those around him to discover, refine, or just invent new processes, materials, and technologies to make it happen. That is brilliance.

And as mentioned elsewhere, I can't imagine what it must have been like for Tim Cook yesterday.

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posted by mrzarquon at 5:29 PM on October 5, 2011


Most people would be lucky to revolutionize one industry; Steve Jobs radically changed four: computers (Apple), animation (Pixar), music (iTunes/iPod) and mobile (iPhone).

Not sure if it's true or urban legend but I also remember reading a story about a recent Presidential summit on technology, a bunch of big name CEOs were sitting around the table. The CEO of Oracle (?) said "Mr. President - there's only one CEO at this table who can't be replaced. And that's Steve Jobs."

I guess we'll see...
posted by Jaybo at 5:29 PM on October 5, 2011 [11 favorites]



posted by xingcat at 5:29 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by bz at 5:29 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by sleeping bear at 5:29 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by jburka at 5:30 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by waxbanks at 5:30 PM on October 5, 2011


⌘.
posted by fleacircus at 5:30 PM on October 5, 2011 [12 favorites]



posted by strawdog at 5:30 PM on October 5, 2011


Damn. Just... damn.
posted by emcat8 at 5:30 PM on October 5, 2011


Fuck, fuck, FUCK

You magnificent bastard, you had a hell of a run. It should have been longer.

If there is a heaven, the pearly gates no doubt open with a certain startup chime. Sleep well and thank you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:30 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


I just told my wife, who is completely disconnected from the geek world where I live, that Steve Jobs was dead.

When I told her, she accidentally dropped her iPad 2 on the hard floor but it did not break. It didn't have a scratch on it.

I think that says something about this man who demanded and delivered excellence.
posted by double block and bleed at 5:30 PM on October 5, 2011 [16 favorites]


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posted by shakespeherian at 5:31 PM on October 5, 2011


I wonder in 25 or 50 years, who will be remembered more: Jobs or Gates? WIll Apple still be a consumer force then? Will people still have devices recognizably Jobsian? Difficult to tell. Will millions of people alive then owe their existence to Gates and his vaccines and Foundation. Yes.

Jobs never publicised his philanthropy so we'll never know how many people will owe their lives to him and it's disgusting you make these sorts of comparisons in an obit thread.


posted by Talez at 5:31 PM on October 5, 2011 [27 favorites]


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posted by Shutter at 5:31 PM on October 5, 2011


Steve retired on what was a surprisingly sad birthday of mine this year. I felt it a bit worse then than I do now, but I'm feeling it pretty bad. I want to tell somebody, somebody who it would matter to, but I feel like I don't know anyone.
posted by Brainy at 5:31 PM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


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posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:31 PM on October 5, 2011


How many people have a force of vision sufficient to bring real intelligence to life within an organization the size of Apple? What a stunning person. Now tech is in the hands of the lousy groupthinkers.
posted by argybarg at 5:31 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]



posted by sarahj at 5:31 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by killdevil at 5:31 PM on October 5, 2011


⌘.
posted by monster free city at 5:32 PM on October 5, 2011


I wish I were a better person and wouldn't have such thoughts, but when a man of Steve Jobs' caliber passes away at 56, and a vile ogre like Dick Cheney is still allowed to roam the earth ... well, let's just say there aren't enough curse words in my vocabulary to express how I feel.

R.I.P. Steve; you will be dearly missed.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 5:32 PM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


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posted by furtive at 5:32 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 5:32 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Schwartz_User at 5:32 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Pinback at 5:32 PM on October 5, 2011


I can't help but feel even older today.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:32 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


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posted by jaruwaan at 5:32 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by cvp at 5:33 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by chunking express at 5:33 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Sticherbeast at 5:33 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by genehack at 5:33 PM on October 5, 2011


the thing that strikes me most is how close to the end he pushed it. Makes me wonder if the work wasn't keeping him alive all this time. I mean, we all knew he was pretty sick, but who knew he was this close to the end? I've ragged on him enough over the years, but in my book, you have to respect the kind of dedication and tenacity that keeps someone going like that. That's some grace under pressure, to steal a phrase from someone who turned out to have maybe not quite as much.
posted by lodurr at 5:34 PM on October 5, 2011


Steve Jobs believed the revolutionary idea that the tools you use should be as beautiful as the work you produce with them.
posted by grubi at 5:34 PM on October 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


The first computer I ever saw was an Apple ][. My studyhall teacher wheeled it in from the special-ed class to show it to us one day. I was hooked instantly. The special-ed class has gym that hour so 2 or 3 times a week he let me go there and play with it.

I wrote my first program on that computer.

Years later I was sitting in a cubicle where I worked as a programmer and I read the announcement that Apple was re-hiring Steve and the first thing I said (to my co-workers) was "buy Apple stock"

So yeah. Fuck cancer.
posted by Bonzai at 5:34 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


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posted by Bron at 5:35 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by contrariwise at 5:35 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by jpziller at 5:35 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Lex Tangible at 5:36 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by 40 Watt at 5:36 PM on October 5, 2011


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I need to get my G4 Cube working again in his honor. Its the only computer that I've ever thought to display on my bookshelf like a work of art. Gorgeous thing that cube.
posted by Chekhovian at 5:36 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


The visionary known as Steve Jobs has unexpectedly died.

RIP Steve - I know that my career path would have been much, much different and far less enjoyable if it weren't for Apple.

[insert "Sad Mac"]
posted by porn in the woods at 5:36 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]



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posted by sharkfu at 5:36 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by jmstephan at 5:37 PM on October 5, 2011


Aside from all the other world changing contributions, Jobs made computers look and feel good to use. Aesthetics are everything when you care about these details.
posted by Liquidwolf at 5:37 PM on October 5, 2011


I'll say this, the man had taste.


posted by mazola at 5:37 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]




"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. 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."

- Steve Jobs
2006 Commencement Speech at Stamford
posted by Freen at 5:37 PM on October 5, 2011 [39 favorites]



posted by bstreep at 5:37 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by fairmettle at 5:38 PM on October 5, 2011


It's a shame his story has to end so soon. But man, what a story it is.

Apple computers were among those on which I first learned to program. The Apple II+ was everywhere in grade school in the 80's. The early experiences I had working with those computers have a lot to do with who am I am today and what my life is like.

RIP, Steve.
posted by FishBike at 5:38 PM on October 5, 2011


Jobs never publicised his philanthropy so we'll never know how many people will owe their lives to him and it's disgusting you make these sorts of comparisons in an obit thread.

It's not disgusting, it's an honest question. It doesn't disrespect or demean someone's death either.

And really, why is everyone on this thread forced to view someone's death through such a narrow lens? If a death prompts respectful discussion, I'm fine with that.
posted by FJT at 5:38 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


.
posted by MythMaker at 5:38 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by chemoboy at 5:38 PM on October 5, 2011


When I told her, she accidentally dropped her iPad 2 on the hard floor but it did not break. It didn't have a scratch on it.

Oh I've been waiting to tell this story for months:

Back in August the iPad I got to pursue development (don't ask how that's going) somehow fell out of a bag and landed hard on rough parking lot pavement, face down. It landed screen down, and there was a thin, but just noticeable, hairline crack running down one side of the screen, and one corner of the glass was crumpled too. It was depressing.

I took it to the closest Apple Store, about 60 miles away, to see how much repairing it would be, expecting full well to be told several hundred dollars, but that would be okay, the device worked perfectly fine. I told them it had fallen out of a bag. We both agreed it was not covered under warranty because of it, and they told me they don't really repair machines, but replace them.

THEY REPLACED IT FOR FREE. I just had to come back in a couple of days to pick up the replacement!

Apparently, if you're honest with them about mobile device damage, Apple will do this once per customer. I was rather shocked. I don't know if Steve Jobs was behind that policy, but it seems somehow Apple in a way, and probably no man is more responsible for that Apple feeling than Steve Jobs.
posted by JHarris at 5:38 PM on October 5, 2011 [15 favorites]


I wonder in 25 or 50 years, who will be remembered more: Jobs or Gates? WIll Apple still be a consumer force then? Will people still have devices recognizably Jobsian? Difficult to tell. Will millions of people alive then owe their existence to Gates and his vaccines and Foundation. Yes.

Huh. You know what Bill Gates himself had to say in response to this news?
"I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’ death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work.

Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives.

The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come.

For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely. "
Have some class, folks.
posted by rkent at 5:39 PM on October 5, 2011 [45 favorites]


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posted by dhruva at 5:39 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by btwillig at 5:40 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by aladfar at 5:40 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by zadcat at 5:41 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by liquorice at 5:41 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by bwerdmuller at 5:41 PM on October 5, 2011


I-Sad. Sent from my I pad 2
posted by Jaymzifer at 5:42 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Stewriffic at 5:42 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Z303 at 5:42 PM on October 5, 2011


My dad is a 13-year pancreatic cancer survivor. His also has come back to his liver in the last couple of years. It is especially hard to hear about Steve Jobs for me in this light, but I am grateful to him for making enjoyable these machines I depend on for my livelihood.

RIP, Steve. We think of you often.
posted by theredpen at 5:42 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


Around 2007, after seven years of working as a software developer, my feeling toward technology was "fuck this shit."

He and Apple made me feel good about it again.

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posted by ignignokt at 5:42 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


As a Linux fan, thanks Steve for doing so much to improve computing.

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posted by Loudmax at 5:42 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


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posted by angrycat at 5:42 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by naju at 5:43 PM on October 5, 2011


From that same (2005) Stanford commencement speech [full transcript]:

"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's 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's 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, heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

--Steve Jobs
posted by flyingsquirrel at 5:43 PM on October 5, 2011 [26 favorites]


Unbelievable that the largest news sites in my country still haven't written about this.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:43 PM on October 5, 2011


Goodbye, Steve. Thanks for everything.
posted by tommasz at 5:44 PM on October 5, 2011


My father bought me an Apple IIc when I was six years old, back in 1987. Since then, I've owned a Mac SE, a Performa, a Quadra, a blue G3 tower, a graphite clamshell ibook, a "chiclet" ibook, a G5 tower and a Macbook, on which I'm typing this.

My childhood and adolescence were largely spent writing and drawing. I went to school for practical studies in film and television. I've worked professionally in animation, comics and print.

Every single thing that I've ever created -- every word I've written, every frame I've animated, every page I've drawn -- went through an Apple computer. They have carried me from the first grade into my thirties. They have helped to shape my work, my career, and my relationships.

Steve Jobs, his company, and the tools they created have been with me through all the milestones of my life.

I'm sorry he had to leave so soon.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 5:44 PM on October 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


.
posted by garnetgirl at 5:44 PM on October 5, 2011


I've been thinking a lot about Steve lately. He always gave credit to the people in the room with him and who can say which decisions were his and which weren't. I feel uneasy saying "this X wouldn't have been as good without him" because what if he deferred to others (that he chose ) on that device?

Basically, he didn't push the pixels or write the code or prototype the cases...but the world has lost a Willy Wonka the likes of which we shall probably never see again. And lots of us Charlie Buckets will be the sadder for it.
posted by Brainy at 5:44 PM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


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posted by victors at 5:44 PM on October 5, 2011


[not entirely surprised I have to say this but if you can't adjust your appropriate-o-meter for an obit thread, please feel free not to comment. If you need assistance, email us. Thanks.]
posted by jessamyn at 5:45 PM on October 5, 2011 [16 favorites]


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posted by St. Sorryass at 5:45 PM on October 5, 2011



Shine on you crazy diamond.
posted by hangingbyathread at 5:45 PM on October 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


If you've never seen the video from 1984 of Steve Jobs publicly introducing the Macintosh to the world, it's an amazing document.

It's now also a very sad document because it shows a young man who is incredibly full of life and confidence. And why shouldn't he be? Here he is unveiling a computer that is also a work of art.

Watch this to the end. Watch as he gets a standing ovation from a motherfucking theater full of people; people who are applauding a computer and it's father. If you want to know what pride looks like, then watch the video.

Godspeed Steve Jobs, you changed the world.
posted by jeremias at 5:45 PM on October 5, 2011 [39 favorites]


And, it hadn't occurred to me as an Apple story until I started seeing all the ]['s in this thread, but now that I think about it, some of the first fun I ever really had programming was on a IIe or IIe or something. Our middle school had just set up a computer room, and for some reason it occurred to them to have the gym teacher lead up the class on these fancy new doohickies. I'm pretty sure I knew more than him from day one; while everyone else was taking typing tutorials, I rebooted into the BASIC shell and started writing graphics programs.

I had done some BASIC programming previously on an 8088, but the Apples gave you better access to the graphics system (plus they were in color), and they were just so much more interesting to program. I had the bug and I didn't give it up.

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posted by rkent at 5:45 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Second to his commencement speech, I thought of this paragraph about him his neighbor had written:

While Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal and CNET continue to drone on about the impact of the Steve Jobs era, I won’t be pondering the MacBook Air I write on or the iPhone I talk on. I will think of the day I saw him at his son’s high school graduation. There Steve stood, tears streaming down his cheeks, his smile wide and proud, as his son received his diploma and walked on into his own bright future leaving behind a good man and a good father who can be sure of the rightness of this, perhaps his most important legacy of all.

That paragraph gets me more choked up than anything else.
posted by mrzarquon at 5:45 PM on October 5, 2011 [31 favorites]


.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 5:45 PM on October 5, 2011


RIP, Steve. You made my master's thesis possible.

Fuck cancer.
posted by blurker at 5:46 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm as far from an Apple fanboi as you can get, but I'm reading this whole thread, and just marveling at how much Steve Jobs changed the world, at how much fucking will he had to stay to so active so far into the progress of his disease. The sweet sadness of the picture posted above has me tearing up.

I think Jobs deserves to share the epitaph of Sir Christopher Wren:
Si monumentum requiris, circumspice.
posted by benito.strauss at 5:46 PM on October 5, 2011 [32 favorites]


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posted by synthedelic at 5:47 PM on October 5, 2011


As one who repeatedly suffers through the experience of offshore customer service and tech support, thanks for keeping apple care in N. America, Steve.
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posted by Xurando at 5:47 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


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posted by Shit Parade at 5:47 PM on October 5, 2011


I don't think I've done this in years, but I'll make an exception in this case. We are all lessened on this day.


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posted by jammer at 5:47 PM on October 5, 2011


F8FF
posted by xorry at 5:47 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


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posted by pointystick at 5:47 PM on October 5, 2011


Bye, Mr. Jobs.

You made it seem so possible that a company can both win, and not suck.

Compared to you, everyone else in the computer business is a gutless, feckless, cynical peddler of uninspired knockoff trash.
posted by fleacircus at 5:47 PM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


A nice obit from the L.A. Times.
posted by jabberjaw at 5:47 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]



posted by h0p3y at 5:48 PM on October 5, 2011


What the fuck, cancer.
posted by frenetic at 5:48 PM on October 5, 2011


Anyone feeling a little choked up but wanting to avoid actual blubbing should probably not look at this accidentally heartbreaking picture, from the iCloud launch.

OH GOD DAMN IT I LOOKED. Now there's apparently some sort of incredibly localized dust storm in the corners of my eyes.

I would hug my wife, but she's asleep and has work in the morning. Hug rain check.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:48 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


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posted by bcwinters at 5:48 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Lukenlogs at 5:48 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by parki at 5:48 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by redbeard at 5:48 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Flood at 5:49 PM on October 5, 2011


Si monumentum requiris, circumspice Indeed!
posted by Relay at 5:49 PM on October 5, 2011


Among my earliest memories is my dad teaching me how to run games on our Apple II (he left it to me to figure out how to play the games we had).

RIP, Steve.
posted by sparkletone at 5:49 PM on October 5, 2011


I've never owned an Apple device, but the very first computer I touched was an Apple ][ back in junior high school. It's the machine that gave me my first taste of programming, and that decided me on what I was going to study in high school, and then in college.

Rest easy, Steve. Thank you for everything.
posted by thudthwacker at 5:49 PM on October 5, 2011


My first computer: Apple ][e. It literally changed my life. I wrote my dissertation on a Powerbook 145. I did my dissertation research on Macs. All the interesting open source work I've done has been on Macintoshes. All the interesting proprietary work, too--at least since grad school.

I am strongly moved by the death of Steve Jobs, and grateful for his vision and the products he helped create.
posted by willF at 5:49 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've reflected on the inevitability of this day for the last couple of years.

My dad's around Steve's age, and, in a somewhat familiar story of the 60s-70s, was in college headed for a Business degree when he dropped acid for the first time and had the revelation that he'd rather save the world than be another goddamn business major. Steve's calling was technology, of course; my father's happened to be psychology.

Dad disappeared for a few years when I was in the single-digits, and when he later returned to my life in a kind of split-custody arrangement, he brought with him a Macintosh SE he'd purchased. That SE is the first computer I can remember using. I was swept away by its magic, and spent all available time exploring its nooks and crannies. I still remember the click of that ADB mouse, and I consider its tactile feel to be — like the NES' D-pad, — still-unsurpassed. My MacPaint portfolio was enormous. "Support that," my dad's friend Margaret once told him, about my obsession; "computers are going to be a big deal."

I thought of that Mac SE when Jobs returned to Apple, and brought out the iMac. Both because that "internet-Mac" would serve as a kind of torchbearer for the real "big deal" computers were about to become, and because I think a lot of 80s children knew what it was like to lose that kind of paternal figure, and could understand that fervent emotional reaction we saw when he came back.

In a last bitter parallel, Jobs and my dad both found out they had cancer within a month or so of each other. Dad also had some rough surgery, lost a lot of weight. He wrote a lot of emails, understanding the possibility that in retrospect they may have had to serve as goodbyes. I drank a lot and cried a lot for those couple of months, flew to California to see him whenever I could.

But he knuckled down, pulled through, got back to work. I don't know if he'd say he's living on "borrowed time" — he might say that your whole life is kinda borrowed time — but I do know he is, at the very least, living.

And about a month ago I bought and shipped him a unibody MacBook Pro to replace his aging 'lampshade' iMac. I bought it right here from my work, where I'm head of the service department in one of the bigger remaining indie Apple-Authorized Service Providers. Thank Margaret for that one.

Dad's hanging on, doggedly, and he loves his iPhone and his MacBook Pro and he's still thrilled that he gets to live in the future. We just video chatted over FaceTime for the first time the other night, which he considers goddamn amazing. He wants to do it every day. I'll be calling him tonight, and I'll probably cry a little, I'm just so fucking glad I got him back and for all the difference that's made in the world.
posted by churl at 5:50 PM on October 5, 2011 [59 favorites]


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posted by chmmr at 5:50 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by Plemer at 5:50 PM on October 5, 2011


⌘R
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:51 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by MeiraV at 5:51 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by Driph at 5:51 PM on October 5, 2011


As some of you know, I use communication devices to talk, and I have had some very shitty ones over the years. In June I got an Ipad to use to talk, and its imperfect but its the best I ever had.


same deal as my mom. the $7000 devices are horribly inferior to the iPad and a specialized speech app.
posted by ninjew at 5:52 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


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posted by fatbaq at 5:53 PM on October 5, 2011


I'm glad I lived during the brief time he was working. A true legend.

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posted by mattbucher at 5:53 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by radiosilents at 5:53 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by misery loves company at 5:53 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Scoo at 5:54 PM on October 5, 2011


In the late 80s, Apple and Vons Grocery stores had a program. I don't really know the details, but the essence was that schools could gather up Vons receipts from parents and for every X dollar amount of receipts, the school would receive an Apple computer. Computers were much more expensive back then and my elementary school could not have otherwise afforded computers at all. My first computer, the first one I ever used, was an Apple ][e.

Today, I type this on a Macbook Pro. I've come a long way from that little school which couldn't even afford air conditioning in the San Diego desert heat. I owe more than I can say to Steve Jobs--from the Apple ][e to the iPod to the MBP, he's had a profound influence on my life. That's one reason it was so shocking to turn on my Mac and see the news that he had died. I thought (hoped!) he had so much more time left.

. For an incredible visionary
posted by librarylis at 5:54 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm crying. Really sad.
posted by phaedon at 5:54 PM on October 5, 2011


Right now, there's a mob in New York City screaming for the heads of approximately 499 Fortune 500 CEOs on a pike.

#500 is immensely profitable, and has more cash on hand than most banks (only 10 have more); yet nobody is bothering with them. There's probably some deeper meaning to this that those other 499 could learn from...
posted by schmod at 5:55 PM on October 5, 2011 [15 favorites]


I learned to program on an Apple ][+ using Apple BASIC. I sometimes wonder how my life would have turned out if I hadn't encountered computers when I did. Far more boring, probably.

Thank you, Mr. Jobs.
posted by needled at 5:55 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by starman at 5:55 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Axle at 5:55 PM on October 5, 2011


 Miss you, Steve.
posted by Bron-Y-Aur at 5:55 PM on October 5, 2011


Less than a year after buying my first iPhone I had dropped out of my Ph.D. in nonSoftwareField to develop software for it. Being in contact with something so bold and so good put me back in touch with that opinionated, arrogant, better part of myself, too.

Godspeed, you fucking lunatic, and thanks.
posted by ~ at 5:55 PM on October 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


Mr. Jobs leaves the universe with a few more dents than when he found it.
posted by hellojed at 5:56 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wrote my dissertation on a Powerbook 145

*sniff* Lux-ury, wlllF. I wrote mine on a Powerbook 140, 40 MB hard drive, and it were good enough for me, I'll tell you.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 5:57 PM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


We launched our new platform today, I haven't been sleeping much this last week, laying awake turning over what could go wrong in my mind. 

What a complete waist of time. Reality has exploded sharply into perspective with this news. The loss of inspiration is irreplaceable.

.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 5:57 PM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


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posted by Nyrath at 5:57 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by mek at 5:57 PM on October 5, 2011


 Life is too short.
posted by fusinski at 5:57 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


So sad


posted by Sailormom at 5:57 PM on October 5, 2011


My partner of seven years recently passed away unexpectedly. An Apple gadget (remember the original standalone iSight?) was the reason he and I first started talking. Steve's death is hitting me way harder than I would have thought.

Thanks for everything, Steve. 
posted by nanovivid at 5:58 PM on October 5, 2011 [23 favorites]



posted by motorcycles are jets at 5:58 PM on October 5, 2011


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Also, fuck cancer.
posted by snapped at 5:58 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by Revort at 5:58 PM on October 5, 2011


Oh man. I bought my first computer in 1980, an Apple ][. Steve is 9 months older than I am. There's a hole in the world now that can never be filled.

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posted by Floydd at 5:59 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by xiaolongbao at 5:59 PM on October 5, 2011


Because of his vision, 1984 didn't look like "1984."

Stay hungry, stay foolish.

Damn.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 5:59 PM on October 5, 2011


"I found Rome built of sun-dried bricks; I leave her clothed in marble."
Augustus Caesar

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posted by oddovid at 5:59 PM on October 5, 2011 [22 favorites]


I have no particular affection for Steve Jobs or Apple, but fuck cancer.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:59 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by jazon at 5:59 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by SPrintF at 5:59 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by theartandsound at 6:00 PM on October 5, 2011


.

This news just makes me so, so sad. It just isn't fair that the ones who have the most to give and to teach us get taken away so soon.
posted by Mchelly at 6:00 PM on October 5, 2011


.

Sent from my iPad
posted by c13 at 6:00 PM on October 5, 2011


He no longer has to Imagine
(Caution: Inspirational MercyMe song about standing before the Father.)
We were all looking for him yesterday during the announcement.
posted by TangerineGurl at 6:01 PM on October 5, 2011


I am writing this on the iPad I bought a couple of weeks ago. When I got the box, I was excited, not just because it was a very useful and entertaining device, but because one of the aesthetic pleasures about apple products is the beautiful packaging in which they are delivered.

There is not another company whose products I own for which even just opening the box is a delightful experience. While I can't imagine that Jobs was sitting there planning out the box designs (although given stories I've heard it's not outside probability), the production of useful and entertaining devices that are also beautiful in their own right is something that could only come from a visionary leader setting the tone for everyone else in his organization.

Go in peace, Mr. Jobs.
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posted by winna at 6:01 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by Tacodog at 6:01 PM on October 5, 2011


Steve Jobs and Bill Gates Together (part2)
posted by samsara at 6:01 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by jchaw at 6:01 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by madh at 6:01 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by TwoWordReview at 6:01 PM on October 5, 2011


Man. We all knew it was coming, of course, but still. Whatever you think of the man - his myth, his ability to run the company, his vision, his... attitude. He was something else.

Now that he won't be the driving vision behind Apple, will they continue to succeed? RIP...
posted by symbioid at 6:02 PM on October 5, 2011


a hero, who never quit trying to find another way. i'm surprised that tears are running down my face, but here i am. i'm so glad he's finished his long, painful struggle with cancer and modern medecine.
posted by owalt1 at 6:02 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by sidesh0w at 6:03 PM on October 5, 2011


Oh man. That's really, really too bad. R.I.P. Steve.
posted by crunchland at 6:03 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by anya32 at 6:03 PM on October 5, 2011


Here's to the Crazy Ones (.mov)
posted by spock at 6:04 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


First paragraph of the Guardian article:
Steve Jobs, billionaire co-founder of Apple and the mastermind behind an empire of products that revolutionised computing, telephony and the music industry, has died in California at the age of 56.
There's something strangely quaint about the notion of "revolutionizing telephony", but that's what Apple did under Jobs' tenure. Interesting and apt to see it described this way.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:04 PM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


This feels like an ending. Hopefully, somewhere, another chapter is just starting to be written.

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posted by evilcolonel at 6:04 PM on October 5, 2011


*sniff* Lux-ury, wlllF. I wrote mine on a Powerbook 140, 40 MB hard drive, and it were good enough for me, I'll tell you.

I can't believe you're playing this game in a thread where people are talking about their old Apple IIs.
posted by JHarris at 6:04 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


My mom died of pancreatic cancer at the same age. It's a wretched disease, and it's great that he was able to keep going for as long as he did. All my best to his wife and kids.
posted by wreckingball at 6:05 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by sciatica at 6:05 PM on October 5, 2011


Next up in the product pipeline: iReanimator and iZombie.

To be serious, this man changed the world. I used a goddamn walkman in the 90s. That little box is just unthinkably basic at this point.

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posted by Slackermagee at 6:05 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:06 PM on October 5, 2011


The indelible image of a sad-faced computer appears when I close my eyes. The man is already missed. He fought a very painful form of cancer, and squeezed every bit out of life. Condolences to his family, he touched millions of lives...
posted by Chuffy at 6:06 PM on October 5, 2011


Stuff I've owned or bought for family: Mac SE, LaserWriter II NT (can you imagine what it was like to have crisp, clean laser printing in 1989, when everyone else was still on dot-matrix printers with those tear-off strips with the holes? And that thing lasted 10 years!), Performa, MacBook Pro, iPod Classic, iPod Nano, iPhone 3G, iPhone 4, iPad 2, Apple TV.

Stuff I've worked on: Apple IIe, Mac Classic (with its astronaut-like backpack), and every kind of iMac you can think of.

Seen every Pixar movie.

Loved every goddamn thing.

Thanks, Steve.
posted by Madamina at 6:07 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


.

and bless, may not be best of the web but best of mefi for this response, and I think he would have appreciated ut.
posted by ciderwoman at 6:07 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]



posted by stray at 6:07 PM on October 5, 2011


Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.

If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.


(SJ, Stanford Commencement Speech)

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posted by rokusan at 6:07 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is so simple, but it breaks my heart.
posted by Brainy at 6:07 PM on October 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


though he probably would be less forgiving of my typo
posted by ciderwoman at 6:07 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]



posted by kuppajava at 6:08 PM on October 5, 2011


.

When I heard, it felt like a friend had died. It's amazing to see so many others surprised by how affected they are by this. Such is his influence on our everyday lives. R.I.P.
posted by michelle lightning at 6:09 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh no. :(

He changed the world. What a horrible, horrible loss.

May his memory be for a blessing.

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posted by zarq at 6:09 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Ike_Arumba at 6:09 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Lady Gaga at 6:09 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by exclaim at 6:10 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Atreides at 6:10 PM on October 5, 2011


Bought our first computer -the first Mac - in 1984. When I graduated from art school my first job was doing graphic design at a company that wrote typesetting systems for mini-computers. They bet on OS2 - why listen to a young programmer and a young designer saying that the Mac and Pagemaker would revolutionize their industry. I married the programmer and he taught programming for Apple for most of a decade. As an artist I've lived on Macs ever since. We have more Macs than people in this household. Steve Jobs' vision has been a daily part of my life since 1984. His commitment to elegant, usable technology has been an inspiration and I hope Apple will continue to produce same as his legacy. I agree with the assessment that his contributions to technology and to how we work have been world changing.

So sad for his family - he was only a couple of years older than my husband and his kids are mostly not yet launched in the world. Hard to lose a parent even if your family has boatloads of money.
posted by leslies at 6:10 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by elerina at 6:11 PM on October 5, 2011


I walked into the Apple store tonight to get a spare set of headphones and saw Steve's face on all of the computers and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I looked at the coverage on MeFi and a few other spots, but it was too overwhelming. I walked outside and right into a news crew, asking me about my reaction to Steve's death. And I'm not ashamed to admit that I lost it just a bit. Steve Jobs and Apple products have changed the way I am able to interact with the entire world and that's not hyperbolic. I loved Steve (yes, loved) for his commitment to making better products that always worked...better. My heart is heavy. Rest in peace until you reboot, friend.
posted by ColdChef at 6:11 PM on October 5, 2011 [43 favorites]


I, for one, would like to thank Steve Jobs for knocking Sarah Palin off the front page for at least a few hours.

(plus all that other stuff)
posted by briank at 6:11 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wired.com
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:11 PM on October 5, 2011 [7 favorites]



posted by humanfont at 6:12 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by skyboy at 6:12 PM on October 5, 2011


I'd never even seen a mac till 2001, because in India all we had were PCs and only heard rumours of macs and only that they were a pain to deal with. So when I was put in charge of the technology end of an ecological conference we were hosting, we specifically asked the participants, no macs, because we wouldn't have had a clue of how to troubleshoot it if something went wrong. And lo, somebody brought a mac, with the language set in dutch to boot, and it was impossible to get it to work smoothly with the projector, and this only confirmed my initial distaste for macs. ANd then during my masters, there was this iMac, one of the colourful ones lying around int he lab that nobody wanted to use, and I battled with it, drawn to its eccentric shape, battling because it too would not play well with the rest of the network. And then, when I started the PhD, the lab was all mac, and I started using an eMac, and it was with a profound sense of ease. With windows I was always twiddling settings, but with the Mac I could just focus on the work instead of fiddling. It was a release and I never looked back. The mac and iProducts have changed my life. RIP Steve, truly an inspiration, not only because of the technology but also as someone who lived his life in an uncompromising pursuit of perfection.
posted by dhruva at 6:13 PM on October 5, 2011 [8 favorites]



posted by whatideserve at 6:13 PM on October 5, 2011


Shine on you crazy diamond.

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posted by rand at 6:14 PM on October 5, 2011


‎][, 128K, Plus, SE, ci, Quadra 900, Centris 650, beige G3, transparent orange iMac, orange iBook, white iBook, powerbook g4 12", macbook pro 17", plastic intel iMac... also a bunch of iPods, REPRESENT!!!!!! thanks steve!
posted by Tom-B at 6:14 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by Colloquial Collision at 6:14 PM on October 5, 2011


My family's first computer was a hand me down Mac. Later on, I moved to Windows, and seem to be staying there, but the iPod was a godsend to me, and to anyone who commutes by train or bus. When the iPod touch came out, I bought one of the first models, and again, it improved any form of trip for me, and was an able stand-in for my laptop when my father passed away and a two week trip home turned into a month and a half stay, letting me stay in touch with my wife and friends on the other side of the world. When our phones were stolen on vacation, we came home and got iPhones (in August, damn it), and I can't imagine ever going back to the crappy phone I had before.

As long as computing has been in my life, Jobs has had a hand in it. I'll miss him most, though, for Pixar, and some of the best, most powerful (Up, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Wall-E) I've ever seen. He lived a full and wonderful life, and his passing makes me realize how little I've done with mine. The man was a giant.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:15 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jobs never publicised his philanthropy so we'll never know how many people will owe their lives to him and it's disgusting you make these sorts of comparisons in an obit thread.

I suspect this will be an unpopular opinion but surely it is completely reasonable to discuss a deceased person's legacy, both positive and negative.
posted by smithsmith at 6:15 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


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posted by ahdeeda at 6:15 PM on October 5, 2011


Every time I scroll down to the bottom of the page and see "Steve Jobs had a plan, see... June 26, 2011"
I think to myself "he sure did".
posted by Brainy at 6:15 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by HostBryan at 6:15 PM on October 5, 2011


In three days, Steve will push aside a boulder and introduce iPhone 5.
posted by Municipal Hare at 6:16 PM on October 5, 2011 [51 favorites]


He's on the Henry Ford level of historic American business achievement, but without the isolationism and anti-Semitism. Well-played, Mr. Jobs.
posted by COBRA! at 6:16 PM on October 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


Steve has managed to crash Twitter.
posted by Windigo at 6:16 PM on October 5, 2011 [11 favorites]


In my final analysis, I think he left the world a better place than when he came upon it.
posted by Renoroc at 6:16 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


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posted by SillyShepherd at 6:16 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by quadog at 6:16 PM on October 5, 2011


I tried to check in this fast moving thread, but you've all seen the Apple homepage, right? Amazing, though not surprising, that they posted a great and beautiful tribute. I'm getting screenshots of everything.
posted by sweetkid at 6:17 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


.

I am a pc guy who never purchased anything from Apple. Not even and iPod. I am also an investor who has the utmost respect for Mr. Jobs as a businessman and innovator.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:17 PM on October 5, 2011


dude apart from the brazilian zx-81 clone i have never owned a non-apple computer, THANKS STEVE and sir Clive Sinclair
posted by Tom-B at 6:17 PM on October 5, 2011


...
posted by peripatetron errant at 6:18 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by newdaddy at 6:18 PM on October 5, 2011


Oh shit, y'all. I realllllly wished he'd taken more time for himself at the end; though he was an altruistic visionary, no question, I wonder if being a workaholic didn't hasten his exit from this life. Today, everyone loses.

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posted by Unicorn on the cob at 6:18 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by danhon at 6:18 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by darainwa at 6:19 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by billcicletta at 6:20 PM on October 5, 2011


This is a real shame - he's not an awful lot older than me but it seems he's been around forever.

As some of you know, my little two year old has been battling cancer for a year. Early on in the process we got iPhones so we could keep in touch with family and friends even while on the run, in transit, waiting rooms, etc. The intuitive genius of these devices was clear - I mean, I have never once had to look at the manual. That's amazing.

Even more amazing is how little C. took over the phones. Thanks to some brilliant apps and the incredibly intuitive interface she can fire up the phone, scroll to the app she wants, load it up and play it. I mean, seriously. A Two Year Old! Using a Computer! BY herself!

And it wasn''t just entertainment. She had frequent kidney function tests where she had to be strapped tightly into a nuclear imaging machine for an hour. While undergoing that ordeal, she could watch teletubbie videos of her choice, streamed from youtube. In the darkest days of chemo, she could pick up the phone and find a little bit of light, and she could do it by exercising her own agency, when she was literally too weak to lift anything more than a finger. Then, when it came time for her megadose and stem cell transplant, with weeks in isolation, we got her an iPad. She quickly mastered that, could zoom to any video she wanted, even when she had so much mucositis she couldn't speak to let us know what she wanted. She could build a bug, make cupcakes, pop bubbles, tickle teletubbies, - all with a single weak little finger, all by herself. If you have any experience of two year olds, you know doing things by themselves is very important. I can't express what an utter blessing the iPad and iPhone were for all of us.

I know Jobs didn't single handedly invent this technology, and I know Apple may not have been first, and others may do some of it better. But goddammit if their intuitive products didn't help a tiny little girl get through eight months of hellish treatment, and also help her parents get some rest and breaks and stay in touch with family, and friends, and yes even read Metafilter. So from baby C:

.
posted by Rumple at 6:20 PM on October 5, 2011 [195 favorites]


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posted by wolfewarrior at 6:20 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by tighttrousers at 6:20 PM on October 5, 2011


 :(
posted by slater at 6:21 PM on October 5, 2011


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 cccorlew at 6:21 PM on October 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


Changing the world, one person at a time.

That sticker from the original Mac launch is my favorite piece of Apple memorabilia. I like to think it was designed by Steve Jobs himself. Judging from this thread, that is exactly what he did. The measure of a man's greatness is not what he achieves, but what he enables others to achieve.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:21 PM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


A friend lives in his neighborhood and she and I were out for a stroll... right after I had talked to another friend who had mentioned some recent additions to a part of his garden where he has various quirky things from all over the world.

I saw a big pile of mulch at the edge of Mr Jobs's yard, couldn't resist. I took a tiny bit, gave it to my friend; he thought it was fantastic, put it in his garden, dubbed it iMulch.

Here's hoping (and thinking) Mr. Jobs would have appreciated the foolishness.
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posted by ambient2 at 6:21 PM on October 5, 2011 [10 favorites]


A Plus, a Portable, a 7200, a Blue iMac, a PowerBook, a white iBook, a 12" PowerBook, two unibody MacBooks (one plastic and one aluminum,) an original iPhone, a 3G, a 3GS, and two first edition iPads.

And that's just what we still have in the house.

Thanks, Steve.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:21 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Jubey at 6:21 PM on October 5, 2011


Apple IIc, Xmas 1984, best gift ever.
posted by roger ackroyd at 6:21 PM on October 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


This photo -- taken by Lea Suzuki of the SF Chronicle in June 2011 just after his WWDC keynote -- is a remarkable story unto itself because it shows a private side of the man that we really didn't know. It's such a heartfelt, sad, and soulful photo. Steve Jobs has just finished delivering what he knew was going to be his last keynote. You can just see the look in his body language as he leans against his wife: This is what I love to do, but now I'm done. I've done the best I can.

RIP, Steve.
posted by zooropa at 6:22 PM on October 5, 2011 [14 favorites]


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posted by leigh1 at 6:22 PM on October 5, 2011


Like Elvis, he's already spawned a plethora of pretenders to the throne. And his death will bring even more imitators and rubes who will try to look like him and speak like him and even think like him as they launch their already boring tablets to try and compete with the iPad, but of one thing I am sure, and that's that much like the King of Rock n Roll, Steve Jobs was a one-of-kind King of the personal computer, and no one will ever replace a true King.
posted by Skygazer at 6:22 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would like to think that he saw the keynote yesterday, saw the company was still on his path, and went in peace.

May you be at peace, you visionary of the world.
posted by deezil at 6:22 PM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


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posted by trip and a half at 6:22 PM on October 5, 2011


Is it weird that I'm sad?
posted by incessant at 6:22 PM on October 5, 2011


Thanks to Jobs we truly are living in the future.
posted by banished at 6:23 PM on October 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


I worked at an Apple Store for a while when the iMac (similar design to now but in white plastic) was still relatively new.. I loved showing it to people who weren't familiar with Apple because they would always wonder where "the rest of the computer" was.
He helped push technology to places that people and other companies didn't even dream of.
posted by starman at 6:23 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Like, really sad? I don't know. Celebrity deaths don't usually affect me like this. Hrm.

Man.
posted by incessant at 6:23 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by saslett at 6:24 PM on October 5, 2011


I tried to tell myself not to be sad. Yes, he was too young. Yes, cancer sucks. This wasn't a surprise; he's been seriously ill for several years. But he accomplished so much. He saved Apple from the brink of extinction and made it a dominant influence in the computing industry and popular culture. When I saw the first commercial for the iPhone, I knew all phones would work that way, and they do. When he introduced the iPad, people mocked it, but he saw a space between mobile phones and desktop computers; he was right, and now everyone makes tablets. (You can either do it first or do it best: Apple usually doesn't do things first, but they mostly do it best because of Steve Jobs.) With his health declining, he identified a successor who by most accounts is an accomplished CEO (not a replacement; no one could be). He retired and the stock went up, reflecting the markets' faith in the company he built and the man he chose to take over. It sucks that he died so young, but he could look back and say, goddamn it, I accomplished something.

It didn't work. I'm still sad.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:24 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


You're certainly not alone, incessant.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:24 PM on October 5, 2011


fuck cancer++
posted by kirkaracha at 6:25 PM on October 5, 2011


For Steve.
posted by crunchland at 6:25 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm such a curmudgeon and I find myself tearing up reading this thread. Somehow that magnificent bastard worked his way into out lives. Who knew?
posted by Poet_Lariat at 6:26 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


The second shot of Apple's iPhone 4S announcement. Their hearts were breaking too.
posted by Brainy at 6:26 PM on October 5, 2011 [19 favorites]


.

This has bummed me out far more than it should and I'm finding myself getting angry at anyone making a joke about his death. The man was a visionary. Trace all the joy that we've gotten from Apple products and Pixar and it goes back to him. amazing.

Rest up dude. You changed the world for the better.
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 6:27 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


.
posted by datarose at 6:28 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by latch24 at 6:28 PM on October 5, 2011


Such a loss. Rest in peace.
posted by OmieWise at 6:28 PM on October 5, 2011


.

My condolences to his family and their loss. So sad.
posted by ssmith at 6:29 PM on October 5, 2011


I'm buying bluegrass music, on the music store he created, in an attempt to cheer myself up after hearing this. No one did a better job of making technology human.



.
posted by thirtyeightdown at 6:29 PM on October 5, 2011


Damn.
posted by Glinn at 6:31 PM on October 5, 2011


reflecting the markets' faith in the company he built and the man he chose to take over
So I made that comment and then went to the LA Times obit and they link to A shaky debut of iPhone 4S and new leadership: "Stock plunges nearly 5% as Apple unveils what is mostly an upgrade to its bestselling smartphone in the first release not introduced by Steve Jobs." I believe that a) if they'd called it iPhone 5 it would've been a bigger success and b) Tim Cook's being dinged for not being as good a showman as Steve Jobs, which doesn't have much to do with running the company.

posted by kirkaracha at 6:31 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by Philofacts at 6:31 PM on October 5, 2011


Fuck. As much as I loathe Apple, and as much as I despise the way Jobs took advantage of Woz, there is absolutely no one, not even an ardent anti-Mac person such as myself, that can argue with the fact that his pig-headed, strong-willed vision drove the world to innovate.

He made people try their hardest, and that's the most important quality a leader can ever have. The world is a far poorer place without Steve Jobs.

I do not envy the person tasked with designing his headstone.

.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:32 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm unbelievably sorry, Steve, that I haven't lived up to my passions and potential. With your passing, I feel like I have more of an impetus to run down my dreams with the gas pedal on the floor, like you did with every breath of your life. I've seen your Stanford commencement about 12 times, found myself inspired every time, and dreamed of having a millionth of your impact. I haven't chased the dream, Steve, like you instructed us all to do. I've been complacent and lazy.

I feel I owe you, of all the people in the world, the most heartfelt apology for this lack of effort. You didn't create this astonishing operating system or these amazing tools for the Lazy Ones. You didn't approve this MacBook Pro so I could noodle away the hours looking at fail videos on YouTube or reload Facebook over and over.

So, I'm going to resolve, in your memory, to get to work. After all, you made all this so I could have a vehicle to shine with and a means to share that passion with the world. I can't pick up your standard, but you didn't expect me to. You gave me the tools and the inspiration to pick up my own. How dare I give back anything less than my very best effort?

Thanks for the tools, Steve, the inspiration, and the example. The world is less without you in it. Rest in peace.
posted by phoebus at 6:32 PM on October 5, 2011 [129 favorites]


Moof
posted by Karmadillo at 6:32 PM on October 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


.
posted by Aznable at 6:32 PM on October 5, 2011


President Obama:
Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was among the greatest of American innovators – brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.

By building one of the planet’s most successful companies from his garage, he exemplified the spirit of American ingenuity. By making computers personal and putting the internet in our pockets, he made the information revolution not only accessible, but intuitive and fun. And by turning his talents to storytelling, he has brought joy to millions of children and grownups alike. Steve was fond of saying that he lived every day like it was his last. Because he did, he transformed our lives, redefined entire industries, and achieved one of the rarest feats in human history: he changed the way each of us sees the world.

The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve’s wife Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:33 PM on October 5, 2011 [29 favorites]


Think Different: Full Version (opens with melancholy photo of young Steve Jobs)
posted by kirkaracha at 6:33 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Jeremy at 6:33 PM on October 5, 2011


I had to go back and find a video clip of this from "Wall•E," which made me laugh out loud and clap like a child when I first saw/heard it in the theater.

That sound...
posted by flyingsquirrel at 6:33 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]



posted by 1000monkeys at 6:33 PM on October 5, 2011


Damnit, phoebus...
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:34 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


.
posted by adamdschneider at 6:34 PM on October 5, 2011


Oh man. I didn't expect it this fast.

I remember 1984, when I would bicycle to a local computer store that would let me play with the display Mac and Imagewriter.

The NeXT Cube was the first computer I really lusted after. I was a broke-ass college student, and I tried talking a bank into giving me a loan for one (thankfully, they declined). It was just such an amazing machine.

RIP, Steve. Thanks for all the ideas.
posted by bitmage at 6:34 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by katherant at 6:34 PM on October 5, 2011


Civil_Disobedient: I say this with no attempt at wittiness or partisan rancor or anything; tears are streaming down my face. But—

it must be, must be: A roundrect.
posted by pts at 6:34 PM on October 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


.
posted by jwhite1979 at 6:35 PM on October 5, 2011


Very sad news.

.
posted by UseyurBrain at 6:35 PM on October 5, 2011


Here's from another one who's livelihood, nay entire life (thanks to iLife), rests on the computers this guy created and sold. I heard about his death in Tekserve, of all places.
posted by fungible at 6:35 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


.

First iPod ever - great big solid white brick, wee tiny screen - but no more minidiscs, no more slow lagging conversions of mp3s to Sony's proprietary format: never looked back. Thanks for everything, Steve.

And: fuck you, cancer. Fuck you. I yearn for the day when science finally finishes putting on its brass knuckles and breaks your face in. Die screaming.
posted by zennish at 6:35 PM on October 5, 2011


I believe that a) if they'd called it iPhone 5 it would've been a bigger success

There is a thing going around twitter: "Maybe the 4S stands 'for Steve?'"

Even if it didn't before, it does now.
posted by anastasiav at 6:35 PM on October 5, 2011 [19 favorites]



posted by collywobbles at 6:36 PM on October 5, 2011


Time magazine's Steve Jobs covers
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:36 PM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


.

Oh, One More Thing;
Went to the Apple HomePage, and saw Mr. Jobs there in black and white. Seeing the picture of someone who has only just passed away is a haunting thing, like, here is this person, and, only yesterday, you could have looked into their eyes in person. But not today. Not tomorrow. This is a sad feeling. Best and love to all who have lost someone to cancer. There are too many.
posted by infinite intimation at 6:37 PM on October 5, 2011 [10 favorites]



posted by The Michael The at 6:37 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by mrgroweler at 6:38 PM on October 5, 2011


My dad taught me to use an Apple IIe when I was four years old. And it was macs all the time after that. In 2004, when he was kidnapped and killed as a journalist in Iraq, the only thing that came back was his 12 inch Powerbook G4 (his remains came back only last year). I still use that thing, still works well. I also use an iPhone and an iPad. Oh, how he would have loved them. My dad was 55, Steve was 56. May they both rest in peace.

. .
posted by Baldons at 6:38 PM on October 5, 2011 [43 favorites]


.
posted by tgrundke at 6:38 PM on October 5, 2011


Time magazine's Steve Jobs covers

OMG, that 1982 cover! Too much!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:39 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by cpualani at 6:39 PM on October 5, 2011


. 
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 6:39 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by theora55 at 6:39 PM on October 5, 2011


I use the iPod Touch allows me to communicate daily with my best friend from Kindergarten. She lives half way around the world. Thank you . . . thank you so much.

.
posted by ainsley at 6:39 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


.
posted by mikeanegus at 6:39 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by Oddly at 6:40 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by hellbient at 6:41 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by HermanoBluth at 6:42 PM on October 5, 2011


.

I think I'll take my old, still-working, Macintosh SE to school with me tomorrow as a tribute.
posted by sciencejock at 6:42 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


grep -a -B 25 -A 100 'steve' /dev/sda1 > results.txt
posted by Damienmce at 6:42 PM on October 5, 2011


There are few people in the world who I'd consider truly irreplaceable. Steve Jobs is--was--one of them. If Obama died, it'd be huge news, but Biden would become president and not much materially would change. I just don't see anyone who possesses the unique talents of Steve Jobs--I mean, the iPod, iPhone, and iPad (say what you want of them) are revolutionary not just from a tech standpoint, but from their impact on society. Ten years ago, the computer and the person were separate entities that had to come together at a specific location. Now, we're well on the way to a computer being part of a person--and that just would not be true without Jobs. One person hasn't been responsible for this much change from an invention standpoint, arguably, since Edison.
posted by notswedish at 6:42 PM on October 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


I have been commenting to whomever will listen over the past two or three years that I find myself feeling like I really am living in the future all the scifi novels I love predicted. And I just realize that Jobs was responsible for the majority of it.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 6:42 PM on October 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


.
posted by Jumpin Jack Flash at 6:43 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by HuronBob at 6:43 PM on October 5, 2011


Changed the world, literally. Damn
R][P
.
posted by djrock3k at 6:43 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]



I awaited it with dread, but I did not expect it.

I knew it, but I did not expect it.

I expected it, but I did not expect it.

All of us are headed toward the same destination, even as each of our paths is unique.

RIP.
posted by VikingSword at 6:44 PM on October 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


.
posted by samhyland at 6:44 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by sillygwailo at 6:44 PM on October 5, 2011


Is it weird that I have the sudden urge to bring a covered dish of some kind to the folks at the local Apple Store tomorrow?
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:46 PM on October 5, 2011 [28 favorites]




My grandfather passed away earlier this year, and his passion for Apple's products was infectious. My first Mac was one of the very last 68k Macs (a Performa 6300!), then an original iMac, progressing through many more before reaching the MacBook I'm using to write this. The famous Apple lore, the early days in the garage, the Jobs/Wozniak teaming, the famous quips — all of these were discussed and retold so often in my family that they almost felt as if, somehow, they'd involved us in some small way. Because I started using Macs from such a young age, and I'd never owned a PC, Macs always felt (and feel) 'right' in a very elemental way. As I grew a little older and learnt more about Steve Jobs, it became more and more obvious why this was.

It was because, ultimately, he genuinely cared about what he was doing. His example, and that he was able to accomplish so much without ever having the passion that drove him in the beginning dim is something that often pops into my head.

“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. 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.”

— Steve Jobs
Stanford University Commencement Speech
June 2005
posted by jaffacakerhubarb at 6:46 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


.
posted by The Vice Admiral of the Narrow Seas at 6:47 PM on October 5, 2011


A tribute to Steve Jobs with pixelated graphics (self-link) that had, decades ago, represented a future he instigated and later surpassed.
posted by ardgedee at 6:47 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


⌘
posted by atomicmedia at 6:47 PM on October 5, 2011


What amazes me about the Apple Homepage is the how simple it is. The classic bar on top and a picture of Steve. Not a single mention of the iPhone.
posted by 47triple2 at 6:47 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I picked this username, which I don't use much outside this site anymore, back when I was 15 and had just got online, after seeing Apple's think different ad, which Jobs launched right after taking back control of the floundering, "are they bankrupt yet?" company

I think in a strange way to me that ad was the most prominent, "respectable" voice saying not just to think different, but act

RIP Steve
posted by crayz at 6:47 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's funny how I knowingly went out of my way to distance myself from Apple products to avoid being "that guy" yet anything truly useful to me (iPod, iPhone and iPad) were all realized by him or under his tenure. He was a great man. Thanks Mr. Jobs.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 6:48 PM on October 5, 2011


.

Thanks for everything.
posted by flippant at 6:48 PM on October 5, 2011


My two favorite gadgets are my Ipod Touch and my Hooper.

 So long, Steve.
posted by biddeford at 6:48 PM on October 5, 2011


Phoebus's comment just moved me more than any of the official memorial punditry ever will.

Fuck you, Phoebus. And thanks.
posted by rokusan at 6:50 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I was late to the personal computing party, largely because I was a poor kid. My first computer was a display-model pizza box Mac I bought at a deep discount in 1995 as I was entering grad school. I used that machine for 7 years before getting a clamshell iBook for space reasons when I moved to NYC. But I hung onto my first Mac, keeping it in the top of my closet. After two more moves I decided it was time to chuck it. Damn if it didn't boot right up and work perfectly after 8 years of storage. It made me sad to let it go.

This is even sadder.
posted by kimdog at 6:50 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


.
posted by anateus at 6:50 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by Noon Under the Trees at 6:50 PM on October 5, 2011



.



damn
posted by mimi at 6:50 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by digitaldraco at 6:51 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by KuraFire at 6:51 PM on October 5, 2011


Don't like Apple - never have.

But that doesn't matter. The guy was a visonary and genius.

And a special mention, as a parent, for his role in ensuring Pixar survived and thrived. My two children, and myself as someone young at heart, say thank you to Steve Jobs for his role in ensuring some of the best movies of the past 20 years have seen the light of day.
posted by chris88 at 6:51 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I know he changed my life for the better.

.
posted by -t at 6:52 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Associated Press: Key dates from the life and work of Steve Jobs
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:53 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by mikewas at 6:53 PM on October 5, 2011


I learned how to program with Applesoft Basic and Sweet 16 assembler, so a heartfelt

.
posted by nomisxid at 6:53 PM on October 5, 2011


The first computer I ever used was an Apple II. I first used the Internet on a NeXT Cube. I wrote my thesis on a MacBook. Bye, Steve.
posted by zsazsa at 6:53 PM on October 5, 2011


Google.com (U.S.)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:53 PM on October 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


.
posted by cgomez at 6:53 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by Elly Vortex at 6:54 PM on October 5, 2011


Praying for his family and friends.

He will be missed.

I'm glad mefi was here for this. Thanks guys.


.
posted by guster4lovers at 6:55 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]



posted by b1tr0t at 6:56 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by twirlypen at 6:56 PM on October 5, 2011


⌘Z
posted by Gridlock Joe at 6:56 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


The first computer I ever used was an Apple II.

Same here, and I heard the news via the iPad I am on right now. Few people that I never met have shaped my life so much.


.
posted by TedW at 6:56 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by laurel at 6:56 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by seesaw at 6:58 PM on October 5, 2011


My first machine was an Apple ][e. I bought it in 1983 or so. To say that changed my life is an understatement. The whole idea of this universal thing that I could change to do what I wanted was so fantastic that it made me view the world in a completely different way.

Thanks, Woz, but thanks, Steve, too. Thank you for your pursuit of excellence.
posted by grimjeer at 7:00 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]



posted by mariokrat at 7:00 PM on October 5, 2011


I was in the crowd as a graduate at his oft-quoted commencement address at Stanford. I barely remember it as I was hungover or goofing off or generally not paying attention. Even over the years, I've seen videos and read transcripts but never really understood. Until today.
posted by madh at 7:00 PM on October 5, 2011 [6 favorites]




.
posted by Stynxno at 7:00 PM on October 5, 2011


Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

This quote has always choked me up a little. The first time I heard that inner voice that told me what I wanted to do with my life happened the first time I touched a Macintosh computer.

I was 13 in 1984, and that was the year I got my 1st computer, the original 128k Macintosh. It was way too expensive of a computer for my working class family. But at the time anyone affiliated with an educational institution could get one for half price. My dad happened to be an electrician at the local university, and was therefore eligible. Even with the discount it was still the most expensive thing my family owned outside of the family car. But my folks somehow scraped up the money to get me this computer (to this day my dad grumbles about Apple products being too expensive, and I'm sure it has to do with that first mac purchase).

My mom said she felt she had to buy it for me after we first saw one in the business computer store in the office building where she worked. I literally walked over to the mac, having never seen one before, fired up macpaint, drew a picture and printed it out. Even the salesmen in the shop were kind of like "how the hell did you do that?" That's how amazing that computer was. I just somehow knew how to use it.

I spent so much time on that Mac, that to this day, I can draw with a mouse better than most people can with a pencil. From that day, when anyone asked me what I wanted to do, my answer was "computer artist" which wasn't actually a viable career path back in 1984. Almost 30 years later, I've had a pretty successful career as a designer that started with me making flyers for neighborhood businesses at the age of 13, all the way to doing production design for television, to working at one of the world's top ad agencies. I have probably spent more time in front of a Mac than I have spent doing pretty much anything else in my life.

A testament to Jobs' genius is that there will always be a little part of me that believes like I did when I was 13 that that first Mac was somehow made just for me.
posted by billyfleetwood at 7:02 PM on October 5, 2011 [41 favorites]


As someone said upthread, he made life a little more fun. What an amazing person. RIP Mr. Jobs.
posted by caddis at 7:02 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by jabo at 7:03 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by PuppyCat at 7:03 PM on October 5, 2011


I used to work at Microsoft, in the IE group specifically. I will never use Windows or IE ever, no matter what, because I know what's inside.

So I have an iPhone, iPad, several MacBookPro's because this guy Jobs figured the experience of using a computing device actually mattered.

Oh, and I work for Disney, saved by this guy Jobs because he reminded Disney (no less!!) how to have a great experience in a theatre.

Meanwhile, I fucking hate iTunes but the fact that a free iPhone app serves as an instantly tethered remote control to my gigabytes of music mean I will, yet-fucking-again stumble into an Apple product because no matter how messy the code underneath (and I'm sure that mess is there) the experience I'm having with my music collection is better because this same guy Jobs made sure of that too.

"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.”

Command-Q indeed, see you soon enough.
posted by victors at 7:04 PM on October 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


.
posted by bessel functions seem unnecessarily complicated at 7:04 PM on October 5, 2011


Thanks Steve.
posted by lucidprose at 7:04 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by sudama at 7:04 PM on October 5, 2011


This made me sadder than I thought it would... Rip.
posted by Huck500 at 7:05 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by whatnot at 7:05 PM on October 5, 2011


Wired's tribute.
posted by ColdChef at 7:05 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank you, Steve.


posted by Halloween Jack at 7:06 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by Orinda at 7:06 PM on October 5, 2011


The Steve Jobs I Knew, by Walt Mossberg.
posted by danb at 7:06 PM on October 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


I took a moment to visit my basement just now, where my workshop is currently in a state of wild disarray as I've had a long talk with myself about my mild hoarding affliction, which has left me with the place packed to the joists with the accumulated collections I've socked away in my twenty-three years in this apartment, and pulled out my family's original Apple ][ plus. It's not forgotten there, in pride of place where my favorite beige things rest between my hysterical bouts of nostalgia.

The ][ plus is special, or at least this one is. I've got the receipts around somewhere, dated to 1981 and totaling around four thousand dollars for this one, with the optional RF modulator, a potentiometer joystick and a pair of authentic Apple Computer paddles, a 16K "language card," two Disc ][ drives, a monstrous Epson MX-100, and various software, but what makes this one special is how it landed there, in a two hundred year-old log farmhouse in Scaggsville Maryland, and changed everything.

My friends all had Ataris, and I never understood the appeal of the wretched things, clad in Radio Shack-grade fake wood, with games that just...just...my God—how could they possibly be that bad? Some of them had Fairchild Channel F machines and Intellivisions and so on, and friendly Mr. Roy down at the bus station had an APF Imagination Machine with the computer attachment and a cassette data recorder on which I helped him type in a program to let him create mojo books on the spot.

"Joe, if this thing helps me win the lottery, I'm going to buy you a car," Mr. Roy said once, as I sat transcribing numbers from his magic mojo books, little palm-sized paperbacks filled with dates and signs and symbols that promised BIG MONEY NOW!

"A Beetle!" I said, looking up from the APF.

He got an Apple ][ plus the same time we did, and his worn old bus station stood at the corner of Main Street, three doors down from the family business, and, as he was more inclined to frivolity than my father, I'd wander down and end up behind the counter, playing games on his Apple until my dad would show up and shoo me out of there.

Our Apple split allegiances between work and home. It actually commuted for a time, spending the week down at the office, running VisiCalc, a boring-looking program that I always greeted with a scowl, little knowing at the time that it was a program that would literally change the world, from accounting to project planning to just...everything. At work, it worked hard, churning out dBase reports and running through the clunky paces of spreadsheets and so much boring stuff that kept me in sandals and Toughskins.

At home, it was a place to play and explore. I'd laboriously type in programs in Applesoft, only to realize I'd booted into BASIC and not booted off the System 3.3 disk, which meant I couldn't save my work. I found my mainlines for illegal games and copied them onto Verbatims, Dysans, BASFs, and whatever insanely expensive disks I could save up to buy, most of which had been converted to double-sided floppies with an X-Acto knife.

I did my first computer-based writing there, too, firing up Apple Writer, an ingenious writing tool written by the genius Paul Lutus. It was astonishingly primitive to modern eyes, given the fact that the ][ plus printed 40x24 columns of uppercase-only text on the luminous greenscreen. An inverted block character stood in for capitals, and our MX-100 was usually loaded with wide greenbar tractor-feed paper, so I was the first kid in Scaggsville to annoy his teachers with nearly unreadable term papers.

There was something, though, to that sensation of writing when I'd just start flying through a story with a pair of soup can-sized AKG headphones connected to my cassette deck with an arc of coiled cord and the room completely dark, with the words hanging there, in space, almost like I was seeing my own thoughts.

Back then, in the early eighties, I knew I was already living in the future.

It wasn't long before friends started showing off flinty, soulless new IBM PCs, scowling at my not-the-newest, not-the-fastest machine that was still more than enough. The thing is, when people mock us Apple fans as if we belong to some kind of cult, they're only partly misguided, and there's a reason why we're content to take the alternate route when everything else is cheaper, faster, more of this or that, and just tiringly ubiquitous.

The thing about Apple, for me, is in that little wedge in my basement.

It's in the hundreds and hundreds of hours I spent playing Eamon, writing bad science fiction film scripts, experimenting, and eventually clapping the handset from our big black rotary phone into the rubber cups of an acoustic coupler to make my very first remote connection to a giant mainframe at Goddard Spaceflight Center, and then to BBSes in my area, where I'd use FidoNet to send my very first e-mail.

It's in the brilliance of the simple gesture of the way the first Apple ][ was packaged. Where the early pioneers went for that boxy lab equipment look or the plastic fantastic ziggurat or the shape of a heap of silver sadness, Jobs worked to have Woz's amazing wonderwonky engineering wrapped in a distinctive case that struck a perfect balance—futuristic, but not silver lamé and glitter fiberglass futuristic. The Apple ][ just looked like something matter-of-fact from about ten years in the future, with radiused corners and a sort of warm coolness in the form.

On a table in 1981, it just felt like a thing.

This is how we live now.

People stick their noses in the air these days about Apple, sniffing that they're for people who care about style, but that's not how it works. Jobs just had this perfect grasp of how to change the world, not by cheapness, gadgetry, or mass-marketing, but by making things that gave you that amazing feeling that you were living in the future and then stayed in the background. Right now, I'm writing on a 1.83ghz Core2 Mac Mini that's perched on my left monitor speaker, under a paperback book and a stack of DVDs, and it's obsolete, except for the fact that I am living in the world of the future, writing to people all over the world, using a machine that's smaller than Tupperware.

In my basement, I've got the ones between. My SE/30, my Classic, my Powerbook 140, my iBook, my tangerine iMac, my father's original Mac II with a keyboard modified with a jack for a footpedal for when he broke his arm and couldn't press [shift], and which he kept using for years afterward because he just liked it that way. I let my fingers trail over the old machines, and find the Mac IIci that I set up on my father's desk at work the night before he came to work, went to read his paper, and died right there. I've got the Apple //c that I coveted like hell for years until it turned up at a thrift store, with those glorious Frogdesign Snow White lines.

In 1981, for a bright shiny moment, I sat at a computer and the future descended over me like a cloak, a mantle to draw tighter when the days and nights sucked, because everything is possible. Really—everything is possible. This is how we live now.

In 2011, I am older, fatter, gone grey everywhere, and in a career I'd never have anticipated, but one that I love anyway. There's a little black glass iPhone sitting on the desk in front of me, plugged in and charging, and I could pick it up and call anyone in the world with a telephone, or log in to my building and unlock the front doors or monitor my security cameras. I could pick it up, plug it into my music rig and play a full set of ambient music with it as my primary instrument, or I could play a little game, or call my nephew and talk to him on a real picture phone just like in Kubrick's space station. That's just one of the everyday wonders, and I'm surrounded by them, many of which exist because Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs took the road less traveled.

Could we have arrived here, where the future is just so natural, without Steve Jobs?

I know what I think. I may be in the minority, just like I was, thirty years ago, sitting in front of a beige lump of potential dressed as an everyday appliance, but I remember how special it felt to be there. We'd never go to Disneyworld, or have a boat, or get expensive Christmas presents, but we had a computer.

In 1981, in the dark, my words hung in the air like my own thoughts, played out in space, with my soup can AKG headphones blasting out tunes to keep the stories flowing, and I beat the words out despite the primitive surroundings of Apple Writer.

1n 2011, I'm in the dark, my words hang here like my own thoughts mingled with all of yours from all over everywhere because of an amazing invention Tim Berners-Lee put together on one of Steve's later ideas, and my headphones are slightly smaller, but they're loud enough. All these machines, all these years down the line, the road back still leads to a little garage somewhere, with a pair of hippies carrying on the best part of all that revolution that stumbled along the way.

This is how we live now.

And I'm sad, because I think heroes deserve to spend their latter days in resplendent relaxation, watching the world they changed unfolding in all those new ways, but we're still changing it, right now, using those tools that were laid out for us. Those old machines, my father, the family business, Mr. Roy, countless companies, and now Steve Jobs, they're all receding swiftly into the past, a bit further each day, but there's work to do.

I'm in the dark, my words hang here like my own thoughts mingled with all of yours, and I'm happy I'm not the only one. I'm going to sit back now, take a moment to go over it all in my head, and turn up the music.

What a ride it's been.
posted by sonascope at 7:07 PM on October 5, 2011 [145 favorites]


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posted by Xany at 7:07 PM on October 5, 2011


.

GuyZero writes "Impending death was the only thing that could drag him from work. RIP."

Which is no less sad for how common it is.
posted by Mitheral at 7:08 PM on October 5, 2011


I'm trying to think of the last famous person who has generated this outpouring of grief when he died -- John Lennon maybe?

Michael Jackson. Not that it's a contest. MJ and Steve Jobs are two of my heroes. They both had the same philosophy of not being afraid to be different and to work hard. Damn, when will I start listening to them?

Thank you, Steve, for everything.
posted by girlmightlive at 7:08 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


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posted by jcrbuzz at 7:09 PM on October 5, 2011


The first time I heard the name Steve Jobs was in the early 1990s, when I had just started my undergrad and was still computerless, typing papers on a typewriter. My boyfriend at the time had a NeXT computer. Although I was fascinated by how it looked (much more stylish than the PCs I had seen), my boyfriend really loved what it was capable of as a computer--I mean he LOVED that thing. He told me that Steve Jobs was a remarkable visionary who was going to do incredible things in the world of computers. In the meantime, I was thinking, "Who the heck is this Steve Jobs guy? Am I supposed to know who he is?"

Every once in a while, I still remember that sleek futuristic looking black NeXT computer that was definitely ahead of its time, just like Steve Jobs.

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posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 7:09 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


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posted by nrobertson at 7:11 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by maniactown at 7:12 PM on October 5, 2011


I remember my first Apple experience. I was maybe 8 or 9. We went to a local computer store that had a IIgs*. I started playing around on it; I got it right away and started having a blast. I have no clue what my mom was doing all this time, but when it was time to leave I wouldn't go. She had to drag me, kicking and screaming I'm told, out of the store. "I'm never getting you a computer!" she promised vehemently. Somehow, nonetheless, we had a IIgs the next year. From then on, I grew up with Macs my entire childhood: Mac Plus, then Classic II, then a bunch of Performas and an iMac.

Over 20 years later and I'm still as attached to computers as I ever was.

Thanks, Steve

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* And yeah, I'm aware that at that point Steve Jobs was a Mac guy and had sorta abandoned the Apple II line.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:13 PM on October 5, 2011


Sometimes you can dent the universe by caring about the details just a bit more — and a bit longer — than others would ever think to do.
posted by Haruspex at 7:13 PM on October 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


Hey, Brainy, that was my birthday too. I worked at Apple from the ][e to the IIci. Jobs was just a figurehead off in the distance. But as I sit typing this on my iPhone, thinking of making noise on my IPad, while my MacBook sits in the other room turned off, I realize that all the things I wanted to do I did, music, art, and video thanks to the amazing people this guy was able to gather and inspire. He didn't invent anything. He just made the invention possible. And these inventions in turn made things possible for us. There is no better gift than possibility. Thanks.
posted by njohnson23 at 7:14 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


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posted by grimmelm at 7:14 PM on October 5, 2011


This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds.
To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance.
A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky,
rushing by, like a torrent down a steep mountain.

--Gautama Buddha
posted by jcworth at 7:15 PM on October 5, 2011 [14 favorites]



posted by good in a vacuum at 7:16 PM on October 5, 2011


I was a pallbearer at my grandmother's funeral today. Despite being a state away at the time she passed, I was able to both see and talk to her just the day before, thanks to video chat on the iPad. (An iPad won thanks to an FPP on a game written by devoted Applelyte Douglas Adams especially for the Mac, but that's another story.)

Thanks for everything, Steve.


posted by Rhaomi at 7:16 PM on October 5, 2011 [14 favorites]


CNN's video timeline. It's worth watching for those of us who forgot Jobs' talent for presentation.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:16 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


He didn't crash Twitter. He's just redesigning it from heaven to run better than ever before. Also, it will now come in both black and white models!

RIP Steve.

I am so proud to have worked for Apple while I was in college in the mid 90s.

(and though the joke is aged now...)

Posted from my iPad
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:16 PM on October 5, 2011


Steve Jobs was almost singular in the industry for the depth of his insistence on things being done Right(tm). I'm both crushed and more than a little terrified to see his light go out. Rest well, Steve, you've earned it like very, very few others.


posted by Ryvar at 7:16 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tonight I was on my way home from a work shindig, on the platform waiting for the Metro train. I was already listening to one of the 4,000+ songs I carry around with me when I pulled out my iPhone to check Twitter and found out about his passing. As I looked up and the news began sinking in, I looked around at my fellow travelers. The platform was packed with people, a large portion of them with those distinctive white earphones snaking into pockets and purses. Others were reading their phone screens, scrolling with that now-ubiquitous finger flicking gesture. A few people were using tablets, one kid watching a cartoon, a guy in a suit working on a spreadsheet.

The whole way home, I was hyper-aware of all the technology in constant use around me. It struck me like never before how thoroughly and utterly technology and the internet have become a natural part of our lives over just the last decade or so, in ways most of us could never have imagined. Steve Jobs and his vision for Apple has played a huge part in bringing us this amazing "OMG, I'm living in the future" world, and I - for one - will always be grateful.

RIP Steve, and condolences to your family. You will be missed.
posted by gemmy at 7:17 PM on October 5, 2011 [18 favorites]


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posted by sswiller at 7:18 PM on October 5, 2011


iSad. :(

Thanks Mr. Jobs from my autistic 2 year old who worships her "foam" (ipad). You made her life much more brighter and for that I thank you.
posted by ramix at 7:19 PM on October 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


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posted by chance at 7:20 PM on October 5, 2011


Bummer. Reminds me how I felt when Jim Henson died. Too soon.
posted by birdwatcher at 7:20 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is one of those deaths that just feels flat out wrong. Glitch-in-the-universe wrong.


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posted by DingoMutt at 7:21 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]



posted by sister nunchaku of love and mercy at 7:21 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Wanderlust88 at 7:21 PM on October 5, 2011


My first computer was a Mac back in 1985. it changed me forever. (I went through three more after that). As has been said, he will go down with Einstein and Edison as one of the pioneers. And let's not forget Pixar either. R.I.P.




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posted by Seekerofsplendor at 7:22 PM on October 5, 2011


via TC, a bit of his 2005 commencement address at Stanford:


When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. 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.

...

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.

posted by ancillary at 7:24 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


an apple a day may well keep the doctor away but unfortunately couldn't keep the cancer at bay
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posted by 404 Not Found at 7:25 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by safetyfork at 7:25 PM on October 5, 2011


I worked at the Fruit Stand and I know a lot of people that still do. I hold the work there in very high regard, and I see it and The Steve as an important part of my life.

I saw Steve once during my career at R003. I was being trained as a Creative, a teacher, to teach people in the retail stores how to use their computers and iPhone and iPods. It was October of 2008, the week the Unibody MacBooks came out. Outside of Cafe Macs, inside the protective barrier of the Infinite Loop, there was Steve and Johnny Ive, eating lunch. Fresh off of our "Do Not Stalk Steve" talk, my training group and I could only gawk from a distance.

There were stories about The Steve. About how in his local store, when he came in to shop, the Specialists were under strict orders to engage as little as possible. Part of that Do Not Stalk Steve talk is about why you can't stalk Steve. Because he was thinking, always, we were told. "What do you think he's thinking about?" our orientation leader asked?

The Future, I said. So the poor Specialists, who are plucked from the crowd and groomed to be Helpful, had to stand aside and watch their boss pick out a keyboard or an iPhone case in silence.

There was the story that, while he owned NeXT, an insurance company tried to not pay for domestic partners (read: gay) benefits, because it wasn't something the State of California required. The story goes that Steve paid them a visit and chewed them out face to face.

We called him The Steve out of a certain sense of mockery and awe. It was silly that Steve Jobs was held in such high regard, but at the same time, no, of course it wasn't. When you look at his list of achievements since 1997, you start to think, perhaps he deserves to be the only Steve.

He never knew I existed. That's fine. And I appoligize if this is incoherent. I'm not religious. Steve is not my god. But the two years I worked at the Apple Store still represent a time in my life where I grew tremendously, and where I was allowed to do so, and that all has to do with the fact that Steve said, "No one likes to buy computers, let's change that."

Bye, Steve. R003 was a safe place for me, and I'll always be thankful for that.


posted by gc at 7:26 PM on October 5, 2011 [31 favorites]



posted by nevercalm at 7:27 PM on October 5, 2011


][+

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posted by mephisjo at 7:27 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by mds35 at 7:28 PM on October 5, 2011


This is making me very sad. My first computer was an Apple IIGS. I loved that thing more than any other machine I've loved since.

Thanks Steve.

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posted by jimmythefish at 7:28 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by snsranch at 7:29 PM on October 5, 2011


Damn.

Posted from my iPad.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:29 PM on October 5, 2011


I have now released two albums created using GarageBand on the iPad. I wrote one of my weekly columns on iPad, because it is short and I can write it everywhere, and the other I write on my MacBook Air. I release a biweekly podcast that goes through iTunes and I listen to other podcasts on my iPod. I haven't written a script on anything other than a Mac in 20 years. I document my life using the camera on my iPad. I watch television and a lot of film by watching it through NetFlix streaming on my MacBook or by plugging my iPad into my teepee. I exercise with the help of an iPod app, I keep track of my diet with another, I search for what movies are playing with another, and, when bored, amuse myself with others. An alarm on my iPod wakes me in the morning and often music on the same device plays as I drift to sleep. I could go on.

I am a product of Steve Jobs, as much as the devices I use are. And I lead a better life, and am more creative, and have more and better outlets for that creativity, thanks to him.

There is nobody in my life who has impacted me as much as this man, who I have never met. And it's a better life for his presence in it.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:30 PM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


An Apple II disk drive used to make this frantic whirring noise, and the red status lights would flash on and off when looking for a missing floppy disk.

That's kind of how my chest felt when I read this headline.

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posted by benzenedream at 7:30 PM on October 5, 2011 [26 favorites]


Idle thoughts and memories:

There's a Think Different poster floating around upstairs. My daughter won it at school. It's this one, with Jim Henson and his most popular creation. The entire series was great, one of my favorite marketing campaigns. Of course Apple was trying to set itself apart and speak to particular part of the market, in hopes of convincing them to spend money. But what a way to do, by showcasing amazing dreamers and creators, people who did extraordinary things, often in ordinary. Desi and Lucy? Christ it was freaking tv show! But they were so talented, knew it and did what they needed to do to make a living off their talents and have a hell of time doing it.

......

Today was, for various reasons, my first time spending several hours using Windows 7, after using Xp for so long. It was nice, but very blah. Lots of flash, but not much sizzle, the interface seemed more concerted with being eye candy and correcting the mistakes of XP and Vista as opposed to being something really great.

I can't say that that Mac OS Lion is great, but it "feels" better put together than Window. Yes, that can be a subjective call, but to me it speaks volumes. When I use a Mac, I'm reminded of this awesome tool where I can accomplish anything. With Windows it always feels like something designed to help a corporate office operate better, not necessarily help the people operate better.

.....

I hooked my girlfriend up with a cheap Windows box back around '95. It was her first computer and she loved having it. Until she kept breaking it. She had this weird tendency to move stuff on the computer, even important computer files or rename them and poof, the computer would stop working. No biggie, she got another computer or her brother or other tech savvy friends rebuilt her machine. I kept telling her about Macs and how they didn't have those sort of problems and she kept complaining about the price. I asked her how proud she was of the price of her Windows boxes after they kept breaking.

Years later, we moved into together and eventually got married. But one of the conditions of us living together was that she'd have to get rid of the Windows boxes. That's worked out pretty damn well.

......

I don't have many heroes, people that make me stop and go WOW based on repeated doing spectacular things, but I'm pleased to say Steve Jobs was and is one of them.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:33 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by R a c h e l at 7:33 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Rock Steady at 7:33 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by sgrass at 7:34 PM on October 5, 2011




Damn.
posted by Aversion Therapy at 7:36 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]



posted by MelanieL at 7:36 PM on October 5, 2011


Earlier today, I was thinking about my father's death. He had cancer, and his odds looked grim, but he was fighting it with extraordinary courage and grace. He was in good spirits, and it seemed like he was fine until the very end. And then... he was gone. Much sooner than I anticipated. We'd had all sorts of long phone calls in the previous year, and I'd flown home to visit several times, but I still felt like I'd missed the actual goodbye. I had imagined we'd have a tearful profound conversation when the time came, tying up all the loose ends, perhaps somehow revealing some secrets of the universe. I'd thought that conversation was at least another several months away.

Even though I've never been a Steve Jobs devotee - I'd call myself a casual fan, not a card-carrying member - when I read about his death, my stomach sank. It reminded me of my dad: he passed too soon, I was sure he'd be around for a little while more, this can't be right. And though I never knew him personally, I had that same feeling of being cheated: no, he wasn't done yet, there was more he was going to share with us, and now I'll never know.

It sounds greedy, upon reflection, to want even more from someone who had already brought us so much. To expect superhuman strength, knowledge, and wisdom. But occasionally, there are some people who do so much, who mean so much, that you forget - or just don't believe - they're as human and as bound by time as you are.

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posted by Metroid Baby at 7:37 PM on October 5, 2011 [20 favorites]


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posted by Xoc at 7:37 PM on October 5, 2011


I've had some kind of Apple computer since 1979. I can't believe a person whom I have never met has such a big part in my life.

Goodbye Steve.

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posted by digsrus at 7:38 PM on October 5, 2011


I learned about programming on the Apple ][, used the NeXT Cubes in the library to get used to this whole internet thing that has become my career, have used Apple hardware for most of my life, and barely a day goes by without interacting with something coming out of Cupertino, (even if it's just using my laptop to browse said internet).

You proved everyone wrong who regularly predicted the imminent death of Apple for a years, you slayed the floppy disc, and showed how design really does matter in every aspect of the product. Thanks, Steve. The world is lesser with your passing.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:39 PM on October 5, 2011


Honestly, google shows how huge of a deal this is.
posted by azarbayejani at 7:39 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyone with more than a passing knowledge of the 'personal' computer must acknowledge that Apple was a groundbreaker and a consistent industry leader, and that Steve Jobs was the eyes, brain, and most of all the heart of their success.

Thanks, Steve.

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posted by Artful Codger at 7:39 PM on October 5, 2011


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Found out on a plane, on my iPhone... Goodbye, Steve.
posted by Oh OK HA HA at 7:40 PM on October 5, 2011


Thank you Steven P. Jobs.

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posted by foggy out there now at 7:40 PM on October 5, 2011


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Sent from my iphone and yes, fuck cancer completely.
posted by datter at 7:42 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by Bibliogeek at 7:42 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by DragonBoy at 7:43 PM on October 5, 2011


Read most of this thread on a PC. Now in bed with the iPad and all the Unicode characters finally make sense.
posted by AwkwardPause at 7:43 PM on October 5, 2011


While I'm not, by any means, an iWhatever fanboy, I do have to say without Steve (either of them), I very well might not be doing what I am today. So:
  5 GR
  10 COLOR=12
  20 HLIN 16,18 AT 13 
  30 HLIN 22,24 AT 13
  40 HLIN 15,25 AT 14
  50 HLIN 14,26 AT 15
  60 COLOR=13
  70 HLIN 14,26 AT 16
  80 HLIN 14,25 AT 17
  90 HLIN 14,24 AT 18
  100 COLOR=9
  110 HLIN 15,24 AT 19
  120 HLIN 15,24 AT 20
  130 HLIN 15,24 AT 21
  140 COLOR=1
  150 HLIN 15,25 AT 22
  160 HLIN 16,26 AT 23
  170 HLIN 16,25 AT 24
  180 COLOR=3
  190 HLIN 16,24 AT 25
  200 HLIN 16,24 AT 26
  210 HLIN 17,23 AT 27
  220 COLOR=2
  230 HLIN 17,19 AT 28
  240 HLIN 21,23 AT 28
  250 COLOR=12
  260 PLOT 19,12
  270 HLIN 17,19 AT 11
  280 HLIN 17,18 AT 10

posted by jferg at 7:44 PM on October 5, 2011 [25 favorites]


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He basically invented computers as something that a person who wasn't a hobbiest or a corporation could use and enjoy. I don't subscribe to the great man theory of history, but who knows what IT would look like without him.
posted by codacorolla at 7:44 PM on October 5, 2011


I flunked out of art school. Twice. I was going to be a photographer, but I failed to make it through school. My parents were openly concerned I was going to wind up begging for quarters on a street corner, and were seriously considering how much it would cost them to open a comic book shop I could run, sort of, with adult supervision. I was a space-case weirdo, too free-spirited for the technical world, too nuts-and-bolts to be an artist.

Then I got a second-hand Mac. I found religion. This is how people should think and do and create and remember! This is how things should work! I could understand this, and use this understanding to understand even more - progressive disclosure! I was powerful, in a way that meant something to me, for the first time in my life.

Now, I have a wife and a kid and we will have a very nice house in the woods in a few weeks. Because of what I started learning on that second-hand Mac.

Because of Steve Jobs - he changed the world, and kept changing it, and kept changing it in favor of everyday people. That's hard to do, and near impossible to do in business. He did it at Apple as regular as clockwork.

I am terrified we won't see his like again in my lifetime.

I am grateful and flattered to have lived his dream with him.

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posted by Slap*Happy at 7:44 PM on October 5, 2011 [13 favorites]


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posted by abcde at 7:44 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by ourobouros at 7:45 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by tipsyBumblebee at 7:45 PM on October 5, 2011


ResEdit! OK, he didn't write it, but still. He hired the people who did.
posted by skbw at 7:46 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


Applesoft BASIC in Javascript for this.
posted by mazola at 7:47 PM on October 5, 2011 [12 favorites]


I've owned a //c, a Performa 6205, a Power Mac G3, two iBooks, a PowerBook G4, three MacBook Pros, a MacMini, two (soon to be three) iPhones, three iPods, an iPad, two Newtons, and a 128k Mac I bought on eBay. And my parents and brother have owned several iMacs and MacBooks and an eMac and iPad and some iPods between them. And I bet I'm forgetting multiple others. And every one has been more of a pleasure to use than all of the many non-Apple computers I've owned combined. So thank you for that, Steve. You'll be missed.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 7:47 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Skorgu at 7:48 PM on October 5, 2011


From the NYT obit:

After dropping out of Reed College, a stronghold of liberal thought in Portland, Ore., in 1972, Mr. Jobs led a countercultural lifestyle himself. He told a reporter that taking LSD was one of the two or three most important things he had done in his life. He said there were things about him that people who had not tried psychedelics — even people who knew him well, including his wife — could never understand.

Hear, hear. Maybe you don't have to take acid to change the world. Maybe psychedelics aren't for everyone. Maybe Steve's road might not've been that different if he didn't go up that particular mountain. But he did, and he thought it was damn important. And he definitely has changed the world. There was something about the man that inspires this amount of love, some ephemeral quality that draws adoration. Maybe it was seeing the beautiful in a machine, and wanting others to see it too.

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posted by waraw at 7:48 PM on October 5, 2011 [15 favorites]


After his liver transplant, while he was recuperating at home in Palo Alto, California, Steve invited me over to catch up on industry events that had transpired during his illness. It turned into a three-hour visit, punctuated by a walk to a nearby park that he insisted we take, despite my nervousness about his frail condition.

He explained that he walked each day, and that each day he set a farther goal for himself, and that, today, the neighborhood park was his goal. As we were walking and talking, he suddenly stopped, not looking well. I begged him to return to the house, noting that I didn’t know CPR and could visualize the headline: “Helpless reporter Lets Steve Jobs Die on the Sidewalk.”

But he laughed, and refused, and, after a pause, kept heading for the park. We sat on a bench there, talking about life, our families, and our respective illnesses (I had had a heart attack some years earlier.) He lectured me about staying healthy. And then we walked back.

Steve Jobs didn’t die that day, to my everlasting relief. But now he really is gone, much too young, and it is the world’s loss.

posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:48 PM on October 5, 2011 [13 favorites]


My family's first computer was a Mac. I wrote my first novel on ClarisWorks at age 12, along with many, many stories. When I was 14, disaster struck! In a fit of techno-stunted spring cleaning, my dad "accidentally" wiped the entire computer, along with all my stories.

I was utterly devastated.

But then. . . I discovered there was something unexpectedly compelling about my familiar computer, suddenly empty, like a brand new sketchbook prime with possibility. So instead of giving up, I revisited that old gray keyboard with passion and rage. I kept writing, and writing, and writing, and I never, ever stopped. Now, I'm a published author, writing books for teens on a MacBook Air that feels like home. That old, first Mac might still be around, probably in the labyrinth of my parents' garage; maybe those stories, and that first novel of mine, still exist somewhere inside of it. And even if it's long gone, that computer -- the conduit for so much of my early creativity -- will always be a part of me, as silly as it sounds.

Like so many of you, Steve Jobs and his products helped me become the person I am today. Again and always, I thank you, Steve.


posted by changeling at 7:51 PM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


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posted by drworm at 7:51 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by ValveAnnex at 7:52 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by cp311 at 7:55 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Runes at 7:55 PM on October 5, 2011


Well, at least he had fun with Photobooth
posted by hellojed at 7:57 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


My 2 year old son will never remember when he was alive, but damn if his life isn't forever better, iChatting with his grandparents in India every day, learning his alphabet on the iPad, and reveling in every Pixar film.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:58 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


.
posted by Theta States at 7:58 PM on October 5, 2011


.

I'm watching my 4-year-old use the iPad to navigate a world I never even imagined at his age. And he does it effortlessly, intuitively, and has since we opened the box it came in. And it's not because he's some kind of genius, it is because Jobs built a company that built beautifully accessible products, that anyone with any interest could use. Even with fat sticky fingers and minimal reading skills.

RIP, Mr. Jobs. RIP.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 7:59 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why am I a die hard Apple fan? I'm an artist. Their products feel like art supplies. For me, it's that simple. Rest in peace.
posted by Scoo at 7:59 PM on October 5, 2011 [9 favorites]



posted by kcds at 8:00 PM on October 5, 2011


My kids were watching CNN and didn't know who SJ was. I told them he was responsible for the iMac, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Their mouths hung open.
posted by unSane at 8:00 PM on October 5, 2011 [23 favorites]


I bought an Apple ][c at 13 with the money I received from becoming a bat mitzvah. I cherished it.

Steve, thanks for a great 28 years.



.
posted by Sophie1 at 8:01 PM on October 5, 2011


He made the world better for having been in it. Every person (CEO or otherwise) should endeavor to change this world for the better as he did.
posted by andreaazure at 8:01 PM on October 5, 2011


Thank you Steve, for making the world a little brighter for millions of people by bringing the Hitchhiker's Guide to Galaxy to Earth while at the same time improving it.
posted by roboton666 at 8:03 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hairy Lobster: "Pancreatic cancer sucks but at least it moves fast. Hope it ended quick and with as little suffering as possible.

.
"

Speaks to his fortitude that he lived with this for the better part of a decade.
posted by TravellingCari at 8:04 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


As a 32 year old, it's hard for me to remember a technological world that he didn't help shape. As someone studying technology in education, I can't deny the debt I owe his innovations. As an educated, middle class American, I can say he helped truly change the way we live.

.
posted by smirkette at 8:04 PM on October 5, 2011


⌘.
posted by stroke_count at 8:07 PM on October 5, 2011


More amusing, Steve Jobs photobooth pictures here.
posted by hellojed at 8:10 PM on October 5, 2011 [16 favorites]


Fifty-fuckin-six.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:10 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I used Windows boxen since the beginning of the 90’s, but did nothing but screw around with them, an expensive hobby. In the mid-late 90’s I bought a Mac very grudgingly because I thought I could use it for work. I sneered, mocked, but mostly just wasn’t interested, thought they were too expensive, etc. I kept my Windows machines, and bought a copy of virtualization software because everyone knew at that time that you couldn’t just use a Mac, you had to have Windows to get things done.

Within days, maybe hours, I knew I had been wrong. I had seen Macs, and played with them, but never worked with them. I never touched Windows again, not out of some dogmatic conversion, just never needed or wanted to. I barely even know what Windows looks like for the last decade. I was right about my choice and I’ve made a good living with Macs all these years. They’re high quality tools.

I’ve never considered my self a fanboy, I don’t even have an iphone, but there are 8 Macs for 2 people in my house, half of them used everyday. I used to be critical of Jobs couldn’t understand what he was doing a lot of the time. I realized my opinion of him must of changed at some point;

I was way more upset about this than I would have ever thought.

Part of it is that brutal knowledge that you can rule the freakin’ world and change it to fit your vision of how things could be, prove everyone wrong when they all doubt you, succeed beyond your and everyone else’s wildest dreams, but you can’t beat death.

Meanwhile, at not even 10 years younger than Jobs, I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do with my life.
posted by bongo_x at 8:11 PM on October 5, 2011 [7 favorites]


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posted by Ostara at 8:12 PM on October 5, 2011


My best friend, who works at Dell but invests in Apple, called me tonight at about 7:00 with the news. I took the call on an iPhone.

I can't begin to enumerate the ways in which Jobs & Apple have changed my life -- I was in graphic design and production art during the transition from traditional art to digital, and I still make a fair portion of my living jockeying a mouse on a Mac to this day. I was thinking about it a little while ago, while reading through the thread. One of my best clients is in New Zealand, and he sends me Illustrator files via email. After we've run the film and set them up on the press, I'll put a t-shirt on a mannequin, take a digital photo of it, and email a jpeg to him as a proof. There's no way to even imagine us having a fruitful business relationship without the technology that makes this exchange possible. I doubt I would have had the interest in teaching myself Quark, Photoshop, etcetera, if I hadn't fallen in love with my first Mac, and I would have likely fallen by the wayside in a rapidly evolving business. So thanks, Steve, for my livelihood.

And yeah, that Stanford commencement address includes a good dose of words to live by. Not only was he hyper-intelligent, insightful & driven, he was also very wise. Godspeed, Mister Jobs.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:13 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm not really a computer buff -- I'm more a fan of the kinds of things you can do WITH tools than I am enamoured of the tools themselves.

But I keep thinking of a story a friend was telling me back in 1995 or so. He was telling me about being six years old and going to his father's office for the day; his father worked in the computer room at an office, and my friend said he remembered helping his father feed the punchcards into a huge ENIAC kind of thing that took up the whole entire wall of an office.

"And now," my friend concluded, "it's only 20 years later -- and I am telling you this story via an email message which I'm typing on a small MacIntosh computer that's sitting on a corner of my desktop."

That is one hell of a change to make in the world.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:13 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


.
posted by uniq at 8:13 PM on October 5, 2011


A round of Oregon Trail followed by Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, tonight. Thanks for being a great teacher, Steve.
posted by buzzkillington at 8:14 PM on October 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


Unique among all figures in the history capitalism, Steve Jobs led a company, changed history, and was beloved by millions of people. Godspeed, Steve.
posted by alms at 8:15 PM on October 5, 2011


I didn't expect to be so shocked. My classmate turned to me during our interaction design class (the room bathed in the glow of 14 MacBook Pros) and quietly relayed the news. I may have said, "what?!" a little too loudly.

.
posted by kiripin at 8:15 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't know if others feel this way, but to me it is as if a great artist or writer, whose work had personal significance, has just died before his time.

Steve Jobs, thank you.
posted by polymodus at 8:19 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Vhanudux at 8:23 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by gauche at 8:24 PM on October 5, 2011


Tears have been flowing steadily since I started reading this thread. My oldest daughter (22 yo) asking me why I'm crying... How do I explain? An Apple was the first computer I had that I and my friends hadn't cobbled together from Radio Shack parts. A Mac was the first computer I re-learned to use after severe brain damage. Steve was only 16 years older than me - he's been a part of my computer world since I was a kid, an older brother so to speak. I disliked Apple products while he was gone; he made me love them again. M iPod is my constant friend, too.

I haven't felt like this about someone I didn't know since Mr. Rodgers passed.
posted by _paegan_ at 8:24 PM on October 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


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posted by lester at 8:24 PM on October 5, 2011


I remember my first reporter job on a tiny Mac where the error icon was a bomb. A bomb! Surely couldn't do that now.

Godspeed, Steve Jobs. My most deepest sympathies to his family, and all of us, who have lost someone to cancer.
posted by Wuggie Norple at 8:25 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


FWIW, this is me on the local news getting interviewed about the death of Steve Jobs. I'm the handsome bearded fellow.
posted by ColdChef at 8:25 PM on October 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


Oh damn, I would so totally get kicked off MeFi for doing it, but I wish I could link to my publisher's monumental biography of Jobs, from his childhood through each of his technical achievements. It's 11 pages of clickthroughs, but you'd like it anyway because each page is like a freaking chapter of a book. And it's labeled Part One. I won't even ask the mods for an exception to let me link to it, but just be aware that some really incredible biography/eulogies are coming forth.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:27 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was at a friend's when I heard the news. CNN was showing that bit from the 2005 Stanford graduation address where Steve Jobs says, "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's life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new."

It's a beautiful, gentle, rather soothing, inspirational and perhaps loving expression of the fate that awaits us all.

Wolf Blitzer's immediate reaction after the clip ended?

"Chilling words from Steve Jobs."

Our mouths dropped open. What a shockingly pinched and stupid take on what the man was trying to say. RIP, Jobs.
posted by mediareport at 8:27 PM on October 5, 2011 [29 favorites]


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posted by iviken at 8:27 PM on October 5, 2011


.

Thank-you. Thanks for the magic & excitement in the 80's, the 90's, the oughties and now. Without Steve's commitment to greatness, quality and innovation we truly wouldn't have nice things.

It says something tremendous that entire industries, market sectors and competitors repeatedly try - yet fail to copy and follow in your footsteps. Your path opened so many doors, you will be missed.
posted by jkaczor at 8:30 PM on October 5, 2011


Wolf Blitzer's immediate reaction...


Don't listen to Wolf Blitzer.
posted by madh at 8:30 PM on October 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


jferg: I took the time to actually manually type that into the old AppleWin emulator. It didn't support cut and paste, and it didn't occur to me to look online until I was about half-done typing it.

In retrospect, I can't think of a nicer way to say goodbye to Steve Jobs than typing in a BASIC program. So thanks for that.

A time of great magic and wonder is passing from the world. I hope that children growing up now are able to see a time of such incredible, exciting change. It was a unique and wonderful time to be alive, and Steve Jobs was one of the principal drivers.
posted by Malor at 8:31 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wow mediareport. I hope when Wolf Blitzer kicks the bucket someone finds this clip of him and calls it chilling.
posted by JHarris at 8:31 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


.
posted by krilli at 8:31 PM on October 5, 2011


charlie don't surf, self-linking is allowed in comment threads provided it's relevant.
posted by JHarris at 8:32 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


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posted by idlyadam at 8:33 PM on October 5, 2011


FWIW, this is me on the local news getting interviewed about the death of Steve Jobs. I'm the handsome bearded fellow.

You're a good lookin dude, man. Just a warning for people, there's some "13th Gate" ad that loads before coldchef's video. So I hit play, saw it was an ad and looked away, and when I looked back had the bejeezus scared out of me by some demonic looking creepy little girl. Coldchef, if this is your way of getting new clients, so not cool. I don't usually startle that easy, but I guess I just wasn't really ready for that.
posted by cashman at 8:33 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


charlie don't surf, you are allowed to self-link in comments as long as it's relevant. I'd personally love to see the project you're talking about.
posted by lalex at 8:33 PM on October 5, 2011


It is such a strange thing to comprehend, his passing.

News reports are making a parallel between Steve Jobs and Henry Ford, and surely, that parallel exists. Both men revolutionized their respective industries, and other industries, and changed the way the world relates to each other. Ford through the physicality of geography, and Jobs through something more intuitive, through human connectivity. Steve Jobs may be Henry Ford multiplied by Alexander Graham Bell.

I don't mean to offer a hagiography, I don't mean to overstate his importance in the transience of this one moment. Still -- how many people can ever lay that sort of claim, revolutionizing their own field, but so many other fields?

I was devastated when Miles Davis died, and he only revolutionized his field five times. And that was 'just' Jazz. But this?

Jobs -- he goes more beyond changing one particular industry, beyond being a great C.E.O. He's changed the world, in a very real sense, in ways which we are only beginning to appreciate -- having no idea whatsoever where his innovations could possibly lead. The future is unwritten as it ever could be. Ever more so.

How many people can we say that of? Who has been so revolutionary in their own field, in other fields? Ford? Bell? Sure. Newton? Leibniz? How far back do we want to go? Aquinas? Aristotle?

Jobs was a giant.

The giants of human history, we are only accustomed to thinking in past terms. They are all long since dead. But Steve Jobs was alive this morning, and this evening he is not.

It is a very strange thing, indeed.

The man deserves to be in the pantheon of greats, but it is so odd to realize that we shared a time and place with him, and that for an accident of history, we are better for it.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:33 PM on October 5, 2011 [24 favorites]


(The unicode apples look like EOFs to me, so everyone doesn't even know how right they are or good of an obit thread this is.)
posted by resurrexit at 8:34 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


One of my most memorable personal reactions to a computer came in the late '80s from a Toshiba PC laptop that zapped my deadline-looming article twice in a row...driving me straight out to buy a Mac, and never look back. I only wish more people cared to make things functional and beautiful at the same time. Thanks Steve.
posted by ecourbanist at 8:34 PM on October 5, 2011


(I'm joking, if that isn't clear, about being upset at coldchef)
posted by cashman at 8:34 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]



posted by cgg at 8:34 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by Mike Mongo at 8:36 PM on October 5, 2011



One of a kind.
posted by humannaire at 8:37 PM on October 5, 2011


My very first computer worthy of the name was an Apple IIc. Neighbor down the street had a ][+ on which we wrote what could charitably be called an interactive fiction program on. It was the first program I ever wrote.

I never owned another Apple product until I bought an iPod nano, and then a MacBook Pro, and then an iPod touch, and then an iPhone, and then an iPad, and...

RIP, Mr. Jobs. People will be studying what you did in history classes for generations to come.


posted by middleclasstool at 8:37 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by liza at 8:38 PM on October 5, 2011


Don't listen to Wolf Blitzer.

It was what was on when I walked in the room. We quickly moved on to wondering when CNN would show a woman or non-white person anywhere in its coverage/analysis, but apparently computers and business are only important to white guys.
posted by mediareport at 8:39 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Malor: It was sort of strange how quickly those long-asleep brain cells woke up when I started trying to write that, after I spent a moment with the language reference. But I did cheat and use the JavaScript version that mazola linked to to do it.
posted by jferg at 8:40 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by bshort at 8:42 PM on October 5, 2011


Okay, based on input from others, and realizing this is shaky ground so mods be kind and don't ban me for doing this, just delete it if necessary.

The life and times of Steven Paul Jobs, Part One
From grade-school hellion to iMac redemption
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:42 PM on October 5, 2011 [16 favorites]



posted by marimeko at 8:43 PM on October 5, 2011


Steve's car had no license plate.
posted by ColdChef at 8:44 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


Brian Lam, editor of Gizmodo, talks about his experience finding the prototype iPhone 4 in the wake of Steve Jobs passing.
posted by d1rge at 8:45 PM on October 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


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posted by KillaSeal at 8:45 PM on October 5, 2011


I honestly can't think of something I've purchased in my life that I love more than my iPhone.

And like many others have said, a lot of that is because it's the first device that truly makes me feel like I'm living in the future.

(I can't wait to see how buying an iPad makes me feel!)
posted by Jaybo at 8:45 PM on October 5, 2011



Learned to type on an Apple II.

Wrote my first story on an iMac.

Recorded my first album on a Macbook Air.

Thank you.
posted by bukharin at 8:46 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


In 1984, I remember visiting a friend to see his new Apple Macintosh and thinking—for maybe the first time ever—"Wow. This looks like the future!" Tonight I fell asleep on my sofa while listening to music and when I woke Lawrence O'Donnell was saying that Steve Jobs was dead. That future. So fast.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:48 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


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posted by rmannion at 8:48 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by Kinbote at 8:50 PM on October 5, 2011


The first computer I ever touched was an Apple II.

When it came time for my family to get our first "home computer," as they were then called, we went with an IBM PCjr. We were tempted by the Mac but my dad felt we should go with the IBM, as he felt IBM could "put Apple out of business overnight." Whoops.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:50 PM on October 5, 2011


There is a picture of a 2 year old me playing Funny Bunny on a IIe. My mom used to be in charge of collecting grocery store receipts to biy Macs for our school
posted by nestor_makhno at 8:51 PM on October 5, 2011


Rise like a phoenix, baby you will live on in our hearts.
posted by effluvia at 8:52 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by questionsandanchors at 8:53 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by speug at 8:53 PM on October 5, 2011


This news brought a rush of deep sadness. I'm so sorry he died and so young. Even if he didn't live to be a joyously old Johnny Appleseed, he still created a more wonderful world with his Apple orchard all over the planet, his optimistic vitality, innovative visionary example.

As of September 2011, Apple is the largest publicly traded company in the world by market capitalization and the largest technology company in the world by revenue and profit.

I loved him in spite of that phenomenal success, especially for his feisty early years, for traveling to India, seeking spiritual answers, his defiance of what Big Brother stood for, expressed right from the getgo with the marvelous 1984 Apple Macintosh commercial.

Even if I've never used a Mac and understand that that his company's products are more expensive than PCs or the programs for PCs, Steve Jobs brilliantly elegant creativity always seemed to me to be a thorn in the side of the computer tech world that tended towards the heavy handed squareness of the Bill Gates version, rigidity and what I don't know what else to call but Ugly Geekdom. Since the use of the computer has pretty much changed the Earth's communication in the last couple of decades, I'm grateful for the fierce beauty and a sort of courageously fluid aesthetic Apple brought into this field.

The Apple is such a beautiful symbol for his products, the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, all curves with a bite.

In my little knowledge of him personally, he gave the impression of being a man of integrity, who valued authenticity, was concerned about meaningful things in life, inspiring others in wholesome ways. It seems he was well prepared for death and I respect that.

I'm glad he was born and offer my tender thoughts to his family and close friends.

Ad astra (to the stars)! May Steve Jobs resonate blissfully with the universe. A think different dot alternative for the occasion ★ ☀ ▓ ▒ ░ ₪ ☆ ✴※ ♥ ❤ ∞

He said, “.. almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. 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.”
posted by nickyskye at 8:55 PM on October 5, 2011 [11 favorites]


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posted by Plug1 at 8:57 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


He amplified human potential.Paul Wells in Maclean's
posted by zadcat at 8:58 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Mister Bijou at 8:59 PM on October 5, 2011


Thanks to Steve Jobs I was able to make songs by myself in my house, pretty much how I heard them in my head.
Every creative thing I've done since the mid-1980's has involved one of his machines in some way.

Thanks.

posted by chococat at 8:59 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]



posted by Cog at 9:00 PM on October 5, 2011


┌──────────────────────────┐
│⊗⊖⊕                    ▭
│                           
│                        
│                           
└──────────────────────────┘

posted by en forme de poire at 9:01 PM on October 5, 2011 [10 favorites]


Goodbye Steve. I loved your stuff.
posted by taff at 9:01 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I remember my dad writing the check to pay for the Apple ][+ when I was in 8th grade. He said, "race you to the bank" and carried it out of the computer store.

In the time we had it, I taught myself Applesoft and Integer BASIC and one day while I was home sick, I finally cracked the reference manual and started doing 6502. My first program?
300:A9 C8    LDA #$C8
302:20 ED FD JSR $FDED
305:A9 C9    LDA #$C9
307:20 ED FD JSR $FDED
30A:4C 00 03 JMP $0300
It prints out 'HI' repeatedly. That motherfucker filled the screen so fast compared with BASIC. I was hooked.

I wrote and self-published games on the Apple ][ - paid for a semester of college. I wrote a 3D wireframe editor on a borrowed Mac 128 my freshman year in Mac Pascal. Kicked ass.

I ended up worked for Adobe my first year out of college and we had a dev conference at which Steve gave the keynote. Since my brother was an early employee at NeXT, I bullied my way up to him and introduced myself, entering the distortion field. The next day, as I was learning PostScript, I printed out a test sheet that read "Steve Jobs Touched Me (and I feel healed)". I posted it in my cube on the first floor of building B. Apparently, while I was out burning some ROMs for my project, Steve came by for a visit to Adobe and the administrative assistant took him by my cube. I remember thinking, "great - now I'll never work in Silicon Valley again."

Still, I made a point of reintroducing myself to him whenever I saw him at the Palo Alto farmer's market or if I saw him while visiting friends at Apple. Until he recognized me by sight and said 'hi' to me first.

He never brought up that paper. Maybe he forgot it. At this point who knows? At any rate, so long and thanks for creating the market that allowed me to start my career and of, my heart goes out to your family and close friends.
posted by plinth at 9:01 PM on October 5, 2011 [15 favorites]


My first computer was an Apple ][+ (the kind without lowercase keys) and I learned C on a 128K Mac with 3.5" floppies. Jobs did a lot of things I disagreed with but there's no denying that he was a tremendous force in computing and he changed the industry for the better in many ways.

.
posted by whir at 9:02 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


^The Apple is such a beautiful symbol for his products, the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge

"Jobs and Wozniak built their first commercial product, the Apple 1, in Jobs' parents' garage in 1976. The primitive computer, priced at $666.66, had no keyboard or display, and customers had to assemble it themselves."
posted by thescientificmethhead at 9:03 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


So some comments above lead me to the comparison: Steve Jobs is Lennon to Gates McCartney.

The Stanford commencement speech is really worthwhile. That led me to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates live on stage at D/All Things Digital. It is pretty interesting, if not brilliant. But one of the final audience questions creates a beautiful moment:
Liz Buyer: You approached the same opportunity so very differently. What did you learn about running your own business that you wished you'd thought of earlier by watching the other guy.

Bill Gates: I'd give a lot to have Steve's taste. [laughter] Not a joke at all. He has an intuitive taste for both people and products [...]

Steve Jobs: Because Woz and I started the company based on doing the whole banana, we weren't so good at partnering with people. The funny thing is that Microsoft is one of the few companies we were able to partner with that actually worked for both companies [...]
posted by Chuckles at 9:04 PM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


I was reading obits about Jobs, and then I realised I needed music. So I made a playlist of "mood" music. This is the first one on the list, which for me captures a lot of the early Apple/PC/design vibe. And ironically I created my list for virtually nothing using Spotify, an extraordinary service which almost completely replicates the experience of Napster or AudioGalaxy, and which could never have come into existence had Jobs and Apple not bludgeoned the recording industry into desperate submission and co-option and re-invention. Rip, Mix, Burn indeed - Apple's come a long way.
posted by meehawl at 9:05 PM on October 5, 2011


.
posted by Phssthpok at 9:07 PM on October 5, 2011


Thanks, Steve.

.
posted by DakotaPaul at 9:09 PM on October 5, 2011


Steve Jobs: Because Woz and I started the company based on doing the whole banana, we weren't so good at partnering with people. The funny thing is that Microsoft is one of the few companies we were able to partner with that actually worked for both companies [...]

Macworld 1997.
posted by mazola at 9:10 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


.
And randomly to illustrate how long Apple have been leading the way: the Mac Portable with its multi-thousand dollar price tag and lead acid battery. It was still the coolest thing to be carrying around in 1990.
posted by rongorongo at 9:10 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank you Steve
.
posted by hornet67 at 9:10 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by mike3k at 9:12 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by reductiondesign at 9:13 PM on October 5, 2011


He changed the world in a magic way.

sadness permeates...
posted by incandissonance at 9:13 PM on October 5, 2011


..
posted by kurosawa's pal at 9:13 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by dnash at 9:13 PM on October 5, 2011


When I was in college, majoring in painting of all things, I got a job as Art Editor for the campus literary art magazine.

I knew next to nothing about computers and typed on a manual typewriter. Yeah. I was that guy.

My duties as Art Editor forced me to go into the room with the designers writers.

This was in 1993 or so. I was a freshman. I remember siting in front of a Mac running two huge black and white 17" monitors. I spent several minutes simply moving the mouse from one monitor to the next, then moving windows back and forth. It seemed unreal at the time.

By the end of school I was working in the Mac lab in the art department, making books, learning photoshop 3, and found myself on a whole new path in life.
posted by device55 at 9:14 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by drklahn at 9:15 PM on October 5, 2011


.

I really have no words, but wanted to post here with you to mark the moment.

A huge thank you to Steve Jobs and the folks who've worked at Apple, Pixar, NeXT, over the years who have helped change what people thought was possible, and who built tools, and expressions from those tools, that brought people to new places, brought their joys close at hand, and to help us connect with one another.
posted by kmartino at 9:15 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by dragonplayer at 9:16 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by robot at 9:16 PM on October 5, 2011


Merlin Mann's tribute on 43 Folders.
posted by ColdChef at 9:17 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


.

Such a loss. He truly was a visionary.
posted by vespertine at 9:17 PM on October 5, 2011


No One Needs Permission to Be Awesome
posted by ColdChef at 9:18 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


And randomly to illustrate how long Apple have been leading the way: the Mac Portable with its multi-thousand dollar price tag and lead acid battery.

And Unix. I remember taking A/UX certification classes, they used Mac Portables because they were so proud that they got Unix to sleep and wake when you closed and opened the Portable.

The A/UX project came after Jobs was ejected from Apple, but it was the only tangible result of Jobs' failed "BigMac" project that attempted to convert the Mac OS to Unix.. back in 1985. So he just founded NeXT and did it himself.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:19 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


My wife texted me the news and I'm sat here tearing up in the damn airport. I look around and see Steve's vision everywhere.

Godspeed and thanks for everything.

.
posted by arcticseal at 9:19 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Steve Jobs, 1955 – 2011
posted by ColdChef at 9:19 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]



posted by kdern at 9:22 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by doctor_negative at 9:24 PM on October 5, 2011


Steve Jobs was a deeply private person who let his work do most of the talking. And yet the webosphere and other gathering places tonight are alight with outpourings of admiration and sadness for someone who almost all of us only knew simply through his work. I think that says a lot about this remarkable man who was taken from his loved ones far too soon.
posted by runningdogofcapitalism at 9:27 PM on October 5, 2011


My son and daughter learned to click a mouse on an lc 575 during the "bad times" at apple. I sold a newton I had stolen to buy a pair of shoes so I could go to an interview at an early internet start up. I bought my daughter the crazy blue clamshell notebook with a bad battery for $50 and she is using it still after 5 years. I own a couple of modern machines as well and I use windows on my Mac to make money... He touched my life every day... As I write this on my iPad...

Good bye Steve and thanks. And, thank you from my family who's life you made more exciting and fun. Like the uncle we never knew you made us realize our potential.
posted by mrgroweler at 9:28 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been seeing this graphic around and about, though I don't know where it originated. But it sums up the general feeling, I think.

The first computer I ever bought was a Powerbook 100 (20 MB hard drive!). Since then: Performa, iMac, iBook, Powerbook G4, iPod Classic, iPod Nano, iPod Touch 3rd generation. Thank you for everything, Mr. Jobs.

.
posted by jokeefe at 9:28 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Saw the news as I walked into the market 2 hours ago. Piers Anthony interview with Woz was on the screen. It was taped soon after Jobs resigned. Does anyone know where I can find the full interview?

In some ways Jobs was a poet.

In his memory I will light a candle tonight and play "The Enigma Variations"

And I will be bringing flowers to the local MAC store tomorrow. You can bet I'll be in tears.
posted by goalyeehah at 9:30 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]



posted by pwally at 9:32 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by halonine at 9:33 PM on October 5, 2011


I've heard and overheard a few half-joking comments from people in my workplace about selling Apple stock. I didn't have much of a response to that, other than to turn up the volume on my iPod Nano, check text messages on my iPhone, and go back to work on my iMac.
posted by CancerMan at 9:33 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


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posted by rewil at 9:35 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by slightlybewildered at 9:35 PM on October 5, 2011


I had a backlit Mac Portable in 1993. It had an 8 hour battery life, full size keyboard and trackball, and 4mb of RAM when you still needed DOS hacks to break the 640k barrier on a PC. I used that thing to terrorize WWIVnet BBSes and Usenet with my Mac/PC ravings and Comic Book opinions, write terrible unpublished novels and do bad, bad things to unprotected Sun and DEC systems at *name of higher learning institution withheld*.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:37 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]



posted by xammerboy at 9:41 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by gadget_gal at 9:41 PM on October 5, 2011


Woz and Jobs, old friends.
posted by ColdChef at 9:41 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by infini at 9:42 PM on October 5, 2011


He fought for a better experience for everyone. I feel like saluting him while the band plays Taps, but for Steve Jobs I'd rather they played the Macintosh shutdown sound.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:42 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by squeak at 9:42 PM on October 5, 2011


"It’s okay to be driven a little crazy by someone who is so consistently right."

A fascinating interview about Jobs with former Apple CEO John Sculley.
posted by lalex at 9:44 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank you Steve

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posted by infomaniac at 9:44 PM on October 5, 2011


Steve Jobs and a couple of guys in some band.
posted by device55 at 9:45 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by ootandaboot at 9:47 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by germdisco at 9:47 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by vibrotronica at 9:48 PM on October 5, 2011


For my //+, my //e, my //c, and my //gs.

The closest I got to fanboy was drawing the NeXT logo on a binder in junior high, where DK or the Stussy "S" would have gone. Didn't touch a NeXT cube until I was in my late 20s, but damn, man. Rockstar.



Oh, and for believing in Pixar when they needed it the most.



]2011 END
posted by Spatch at 9:48 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


"He was a great man with incredible achievements and amazing brilliance. He always seemed to be able to say in very few words what you actually should have been thinking before you thought it. His focus on the user experience above all else has always been an inspiration to me."

—Larry Page, CEO of Google
posted by prinado at 9:49 PM on October 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


┈┈┈┈┈┈┈◢◤┈┈┈┈┈┈
┈┈┈┈◢▇▇▇▇▇◣┈┈┈┈
┈┈┈┈▇▇▇▇▇┈┈┈┈┈┈
┈┈┈┈◥▇▇▇▇◣┈┈┈┈┈
┈┈┈┈┈◥▇◤◥▇◤┈┈┈┈ RIP Steve Jobs
posted by TangerineGurl at 9:49 PM on October 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


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posted by SarahElizaP at 9:50 PM on October 5, 2011


His death makes the world a darker place tonight because his life was spent making it a brighter place for many years and for so many years to come.

RIP Steve.


posted by marsha56 at 9:52 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by GatorDavid at 10:01 PM on October 5, 2011


N-thing the "cancer sucks" sentiment. Not an Apple user here, but I've always admired Steve Jobs' skills as a businessperson; his ideas about, and seeming dedication to, making technology easier to use; and his ability to just plain get stuff done. Also, Pixar has made some very entertaining movies. Condolences to his family, friends, colleagues & fans...
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 10:01 PM on October 5, 2011


▄█▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▄▄
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█  █                  █  █
█  █   ▀▄▀      ▀▄▀   █  █
█  █   ▀ ▀      ▀ ▀   █  █
█  █      ▀▄▄▄▀       █  █
█  █      ▄▄▄▄▄       █  █
█  █     ▀     ▀▀▄    █  █
█  █                  █  █
█   ▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀▀   █
█                        █
█   ▄▄▄         ▄▄▄▄▄▄▄  █
█                        █
█                        █
█▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄█

My Apple ][+ still does everything it did when it was new, plus a lot more things we taught each other how to do. RIP, Steve.
posted by flabdablet at 10:01 PM on October 5, 2011 [22 favorites]



posted by bouvin at 10:04 PM on October 5, 2011


When I got my first iPhone (v2) I discovered that I'd finally realised my childhood dream of owning a tricorder. As many people have said already, it drove home to me that I was living in the future, which is always what we make it.
posted by harriet vane at 10:06 PM on October 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


"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": pasted into a perpetual Sticky note to be opened automatically upon login. And when this Macbook dies, I'll paste it into the next one somewhere. Might also add a note in there about revisiting psilocybin. Godspeed, Steve, and thanks.
posted by Adventurer at 10:07 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by heyho at 10:08 PM on October 5, 2011


Everyone and his grandmother is a visionary, but so what?
Great CEOs are not nearly as common as the business world would like you to believe, though there are a bunch out there.
There are lots of people with an a killer aesthetic sense, though very few rise to the level that their taste changes how the world sees technology.

But there was only one Steve.

He was a really smart guy with a seemingly unerring instinct for where his corner of technology was heading -- just read the twenty or more years of interviews with him to get some sense of just how right he usually was. But what made him truly special was the chess grand master style of seemingly knowing how the game was going to end early on, while even the other smart players were only thinking a move or two ahead. I'm sure there were many recalculations and changes of course, but there was also a true sense that there was an overriding strategy guiding his moves; he could seemingly see further into the future than the rest of us.

He also knew there would come a time when the future would not include him and he accepted that, but it feels like that time came too damn soon.
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 10:10 PM on October 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


Well, shit.
posted by alex_skazat at 10:11 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


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posted by nzero at 10:12 PM on October 5, 2011


I am also someone who is surprised by how strongly I am affected by this (my relationship with Apple started with my first computer, the Apple IIe). In fact I signed up just now so I could post this comment, and I'm not even sure how to articulate what I'm feeling. I can say that thinking about SJ the last few hours, I think I have a renewed appreciation of the word: visionary.

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posted by piyushnz at 10:13 PM on October 5, 2011 [7 favorites]




Thank you.
posted by gomichild at 10:16 PM on October 5, 2011


Too soon.

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posted by Meatafoecure at 10:20 PM on October 5, 2011


All of our efforts, we humans, are constrained by the outer limits of technology. We can't do anything without the tools to do it. In art, science, love, or peace—can only go so far without the things we use to communicate, to craft ideas and learn, to make things of beauty, to figure out where we are and where we're going and for what.

Apple was the first to do many things right: the home computer, the graphical desktop, the handheld media player, the smartphone, the tablet. We've lost Steve Jobs to cancer, but many people have lived, and will live, because of him. Researchers need their PCs, doctors need their smartphones, and patients need their laptops. Remember what those things were like before Apple got its hands on them? When we cure cancer—and we will—it will come many years early, thanks to the Mac.

Steve Jobs and Apple, with all of their little gadgets, must have set humanity forward by five, ten, twenty years. Who knows how many more we were to gain if he had lived a full life. Apple will go on and make great things, but the loss is terrible. Wherever things go from here, we'll always be better off, thanks to Apple. What a man.
posted by abcde at 10:26 PM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


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posted by oldtimey at 10:26 PM on October 5, 2011


SAD MAC
posted by monkeymike at 10:28 PM on October 5, 2011


What more could be said?

Thank you, Steve. Thank you for everything.

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posted by cavalier at 10:29 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by nostril at 10:31 PM on October 5, 2011


I was lucky enough to have a borrowed NeXTCube in my apartment for a few months back in the day. That sumbitch was the best piece of kit I'd ever touched up to that point, all matte deathblack with cooling fins like it was the most awesome power reactor ever built.

And the very first thing after turning it on the first time: an email (still novelty in those days!) from Steve Jobs to you, the NeXTCube owner - and he read it out loud to you.
posted by dragstroke at 10:34 PM on October 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


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posted by Iridic at 10:35 PM on October 5, 2011


Gotta get to 1000 comments. Here's one.

Tech CEOs, you suck a little bit more (comparatively) tonight.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:40 PM on October 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's testimony to his awesomeness that the most productive years of his life were after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, something that's usually terminal within a year of diagnosis.

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posted by the cydonian at 10:44 PM on October 5, 2011 [11 favorites]



posted by BlueDuke at 10:47 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Alterscape at 10:47 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by katillathehun at 10:48 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 10:50 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by From Bklyn at 10:50 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by argonauta at 10:52 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by bjgeiger at 10:52 PM on October 5, 2011


This thread may get to 1,984 comments by this time tomorrow.
posted by thescientificmethhead at 10:52 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by Kyol at 10:53 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:53 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by nuala at 10:54 PM on October 5, 2011


One thought, among the things he made cool were fonts. They became important, and were an early hallmark of the original Macs.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:56 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


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posted by dabug at 10:58 PM on October 5, 2011


Joy of Tech tribute
posted by ColdChef at 10:58 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by jeffamaphone at 10:58 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by unigolyn at 11:06 PM on October 5, 2011


Uh. Yeah.

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posted by mephron at 11:09 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Avenger at 11:09 PM on October 5, 2011


My first computer was actually an IBM PC Jr, which my dad got for a discount because the company he worked for at the time (circa 1983 or 84) manufactured computer displays. And I used that all through middle school and high school, and sneered at Macs, because they were, according to my dad, "stupid proof." Because computers were supposed to be hard, I guess.

I had used a Mac Classic in high school for the newspaper, but I didn't really change my opinion until the fall of 1990 when I started college, and my roommate brought her Mac Classic with her. Using it regularly really got me hooked, and I have never voluntarily used anything but a Mac since. The first computer I purchased on my own was a Performa in 1996, followed by a blue G4 tower, clamshell (blue) iBook, G3 PowerBook, Intel Mini, iMac, and two MacBookPros. Oh, and two iPods, an iPhone 3 and iPhone 4, and the iPad I'm writing on now.

Thank you, Steve, for designing beautiful, elegant machines that just work, and that make my life better.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 11:11 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]



posted by Gentlemanhog at 11:12 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 11:13 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by Errorik at 11:14 PM on October 5, 2011


So I waited from when the news was fresh to ensure any response I had would be buried down here...

I fired up my old 512Ke running System 6 tonight, and remembered why I still bleed six colors.

⌘Z, Steve... ⌘Z.
posted by drfu at 11:15 PM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


!F5F5DC
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:15 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks for building artifacts which encourage the realization of dreams, Steve.
posted by Kikkoman at 11:17 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by lapolla at 11:25 PM on October 5, 2011


We are a Mac household - not in that we buy things just for the brand, but we went from a PC to a Mac about six years ago, and since then our iMac, Macbooks and iPhone (not to mention iPod and Shuffle) have made a huge impact on our life - not just prettier things but things that work, consistently, and have made it possible for this family to stay connected across continents, share ideas, and learn so much we probably wouldn't have found.

And if it wasn't for Steve Jobs much of that wouldn't have happened.

Thank-you sir. And thank-you for sticking to your philosophy, and knowing that even a genius is mortal, and accepting that.
posted by Megami at 11:28 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by dowcrag at 11:28 PM on October 5, 2011




I learned to program on an Apple II. If it wasn't for the Macintosh, I wouldn't have learned to appreciate industrial design or typography or what it means to work on the minutiae until you find perfection.

Mr. Jobs was a polymath to made critical thinking and the liberal arts cool along with the hard sciences and entrepreneurialism. I cannot think of a CEO right now who has, even slightly, the mercurial drive and inspiration this man had.
posted by phyrewerx at 11:29 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by Paris Elk at 11:31 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by Xoebe at 11:31 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by estherbester at 11:35 PM on October 5, 2011


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posted by bink at 11:37 PM on October 5, 2011


I heard the news while texting across continents with my girlfriend on our respective smartphone apps (not iPhones but...). She told me and I said "Hell no" and got immediately sad. This is technology that would not exist without Steve. The ability to be connected to people anywhere, anytime, to such a degree! We may mock it and get annoyed with it on occasional but shit! Its actually fucking awesome. This interconnection the entire human race has? What potential Steve Jobs has bestowed upon us!

My next move was to come here and try to read through this thread. I got here pretty soon, there were barely 100 comments. But your eulogies, letters of support, and love are so touching. Thank you. It took me the whole rest of the day to get to the end because I could not do it all at once. Its not that Steve Jobs' death itself touched me so much. Yes, its very sad. He was a great man and will be missed. But all of the emotion flowing into these comments and the links and side stories.

Thank you Steve. Can we carry on your vision? I hope so.

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posted by Glibpaxman at 11:39 PM on October 5, 2011


Thank you, Steve. 
posted by i_have_a_computer at 11:40 PM on October 5, 2011 [10 favorites]


[SteveJobs release];
posted by Pendragon at 11:40 PM on October 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


My first computer was an Apple IIgs. I write this now on a Macbook Air with my iPod touch sitting beside it.

Steve Jobs under Apple made products that made me feel like I was touching a small piece of the future, of that thing I can remember wanting so badly when I was a kid. So little of the world has lived up to the wonder many of us thought was in store for us that it was magical when we could finally hold a piece of that wonder in our hands.

Rest in peace, Mr. Jobs.
posted by mariokrat at 11:41 PM on October 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


My first machine was an Apple ][e. I bought it in 1983 or so. To say that changed my life is an understatement. The whole idea of this universal thing that I could change to do what I wanted was so fantastic that it made me view the world in a completely different way.

Thanks, Woz, but thanks, Steve, too. Thank you for your pursuit of excellence.


This is so true - I was hopeless at school, and it wasn't until dead end job #22 in 1987 where I had night shift and they had an Apple ][e that i found some thing that I could do and loved doing. The opposition I received from family when i told them that I wanted to be a programmer - and I was programming - almost stopped me. I wasn't what was then a stereotypical programmer. So thanks Steve and Woz (And Bill for that matter). Without you I would be a drone, but I have a fantastic career, brilliant portable skills that allow me to travel and work anywhere as well as make a difference. I truly am sad by our loss, and I don't have the words to express the respect I have for you.

Travel safe.
posted by the noob at 11:42 PM on October 5, 2011 [3 favorites]



posted by progosk at 11:43 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by treebjen at 11:45 PM on October 5, 2011


I am squinting into my SE/30, trying to perfect my HyperCard stack. I am excelling at Brøderbund's aptly-named "Type!" program even though I can't master the home row. It is December 17, 1995, and I am gleefully reporting back to my diary (in Word 5.1, of course) that I've finally received an AppleDesign Keyboard and an Apple Desktop Bus II Mouse for Chanukah. I am stifling my 2400 baud Global Village modem so my mom doesn't yell at me to go to bed. I am running AOL 2.5, making (much older) friends in role-playing chatrooms. (I can't upgrade to AOL 3.0, because it's simply too big vertically for the 9" display.) I am exploring eWorld, briefly. I am downloading the System 7 patch that turns the Trash Can into a singing Oscar the Grouch. I am marveling at Cosmic Osmo and the Worlds Beyond the Mackerel. I am tunneling into my school's network and trying to download that one all-important Aldus SuperPaint file all night. I am so excited about finally upgrading to my Power Mac 5500/225, and then my sister walks into the room and makes some remark about how it looks like it's still black and white like my old one, and I try to explain that it shipped with a grayscale background image and she's just jealous. I am trying to recreate the amazing infinite loop I found while playing Brickle on my eMate 300. I am slowly, haltingly teaching myself HTML and building pretty damned nice websites. I am fourteen years old at Macworld Expo NY in 1999, moon-eyed at the iBook introduction, snagging as much free swag as I can. Reading John Sculley's Odyssey. Reading Gil Amelio's My 500 Days At Apple. Poring over Paul Kunkel's incredible AppleDesign. Guffawing at Andy Ihnatko's Colossal Waste of Bandwidth. Posting to MacNN. Pining for something translucent, then something titanium, then something aluminum, then something with a scroll wheel, then something with a Retina Display. Upgrading to System 7. 7.5! OS 7.6! OS 8! OS 9! Installing the Mac OS X Public Beta! Okay, back to OS 9 for a little while.

And now every day I leave the house and I run around this city helping people with Macs figure it all out. They look on with wonder and ask me how I learned to do these things. What can I tell them? I tell them that it's just like growing up with any language. It is second nature.

But it is only second nature because of you, Steve.

Thanks.
posted by thejoshu at 11:47 PM on October 5, 2011 [24 favorites]



posted by oxford blue at 11:52 PM on October 5, 2011



posted by ninthart at 12:00 AM on October 6, 2011


Apple workers in China react to Steve Jobs's news

posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:01 AM on October 6, 2011 [7 favorites]



posted by Ranucci at 12:01 AM on October 6, 2011


Thanks Steve.

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posted by blogenstock at 12:04 AM on October 6, 2011


I learnt to program on an Apple II. Realising that I could make something so abstract that it existed only in my mind and inside the computer, but yet have an existence and interact with the world, was a life-changing experience. I wrote my thesis in Neuroscience on a macbook pro.

The "open apple" key doesn't exist anymore, but it will always have a place in my (heart) private unicode range :)

⌘
posted by FrereKhan at 12:07 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by cman at 12:11 AM on October 6, 2011


I first brought her home almost twenty-nine years ago, but tonight she still fired right back up at the flick of a switch. I think I'll soak in in that warm, familiar green glow for a while.

PR#6, Steve.
posted by Lazlo at 12:12 AM on October 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


You know, month before last when I moved I brought the box my first generation iBook came in down from the closet. It has followed me from my parents' house in California to Chicago and four apartments therein. The movers dropped it on asphalt on the way to the new apartment and I flinched a little but it was basically safe and it's in the next room right now. My iBook is in this room as I type and god knows I don't need it because there are also two HPs and an Asus in this room. But I still have it, the box, the paperwork, everything. I still have a few shares of Apple from 13 years ago (I'm talking like 2 shares) that I never parted with even when I was jobless and broker than broke. It's like that.

Godspeed Mr. Jobs. May you rest in peace.
posted by halonine at 12:15 AM on October 6, 2011


I have a 24 year history with Apple products, and it would have been longer if they had not been so unattainably expensive to a young kid growing up in the UK at the turn of the 80s. With the exception of a dark few years in the mid-90s, I always felt that there was something inherently superior in what Apple was doing.

But... in late 2007, holding a first generation iPod Touch, that was the first time I ever felt like I was looking at a piece of technology that had been sent back from the future. That was pretty magic.

So for that, thanks... and peace go with you, Steve.
posted by pascal at 12:16 AM on October 6, 2011



posted by esmerelda_jenkins at 12:17 AM on October 6, 2011


Thanks for the first computer I succesfully programmed and the machine I'm working on. I'll never forget you.
posted by hat_eater at 12:20 AM on October 6, 2011


You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

(Self-link to image I made because these words have been haunting me all day. His absolutely crucial life wisdom makes it so much easier to love him and so much harder to see him go.)
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:21 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]




I can't even read this thread for more than a few seconds without fucking crying. I feel like that's ridiculous because I never knew him, but seriously, he changed the way I interact with the world.
posted by grapesaresour at 12:21 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


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posted by gmm at 12:24 AM on October 6, 2011


For the ][+ with Lode Runner and BASIC that got me hooked, the TiBook that got me through college, and now an iPhone and iPad that make computing bearable after a long day of debugging embedded hardware, thanks Steve.
posted by strange chain at 12:31 AM on October 6, 2011


Pretty much an all Mac household (iMac, macbook pro, iPhone, Touch, Airport wifi). Niece and nephew have macbooks, MIL has a laptop and an iPad. Pretty much all of them have iPods. None of this stuff ever came with instructions, and we never really needed them. That's somewhat amazing. Jobs honestly pushed the whole world forward. He'll be missed.
posted by Gilbert at 12:32 AM on October 6, 2011


Before the iPod was invented, when I was a teenager, I had a cassette Walkman. I would carry a plastic case, the kind with a handle, full of 30-60 cassette tapes. I had a couple of cases in different sizes and they probably weighed a few pounds each when full. I was badly bullied and severely depressed and I wanted my music with me everywhere. And I was limited to only carrying the tapes I thought I'd want to listen to, and had to rewind and fast forward to whatever song I wanted to hear. I was already in my 20s when the iPod came to market, but I got the first generation iPod Shuffle, and it made my dreams come true to be able to carry a good portion of my music with me anywhere, in my pocket, with almost no effort. From there I moved to the iPod Mini, the Nano, and then finally the Touch.

I had always owned Sony Ericsson cell phones, and I was loathe to desert my beloved brand. I had jailbroken my previous SE phones and so I was no stranger to tinkering with my phone's OS. But I tried an Android Sony Ericsson phone, and it worked miserably. It was both slow and buggy, and took about 3 hours just to get MMS working. Knowing the iPod Touch interface already, I immediately went to the AT&T store and said "I want an iPhone 4." And now I've fallen in love with not having to carry a separate MP3 player and cell phone like I have for the last (around) 10 years. My iPhone has taken favor over my formerly-beloved Playstation Portable and DS Lite, and has replaced my car's OnStar service as my GPS.

I guess what I want to say is thanks, Steve.
posted by IndigoRain at 12:33 AM on October 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


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posted by tykky at 12:35 AM on October 6, 2011


(relatedly, Garamond Narrow [based on Apple Garamond] is a damn handsome font.)
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:36 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Intended in complete sincerity.

I charge and entreat you, therefore, in entering upon and sustaining this hallowed union, to seek the favor and blessing of Him whose favor is life, whose blessing maketh rich and addeth no sorrow. Let us now seek His blessing.
We are but little people in the sight of the hope that Apple brings. Let this vision of love that He brought to us take you to the sunlight.
posted by niccolo at 12:51 AM on October 6, 2011



posted by Elmore at 12:54 AM on October 6, 2011


I was 7 years old when first introduced to the Macintosh by my grandfather, and was immediately hooked. By 12, I was doing Mac IT for a small ad agency in Los Angeles, and helping with graphic design. I loved that Macintosh IIcx. For grammar school graduation, grandfather bought me a handful of AAPL shares.

In high school, we used a gangster Quadra 660AV to win national awards for a high school magazine. Arriving at college in Santa Clara, I dove into the clones and whilst all the other freshman unpacked their Gateways, I took delivery of a Power Computing PowerTower Pro 180. My mates in engineering courses laughed at the one button on my mouse; they said Macs were toys. Steve Jobs came to campus for a talk. Several complained that they would have preferred Bill Gates. For me, it was like God walking into church. I introduced myself to him and mentioned the one button jokes. "They don't need more buttons. One day, we'll get rid of the mouse. It's a bad compromise."

After college, I took command of the technology for a growing film company that only used Macs. Thanks to technology platforms, which by this time included Final Cut and xServes, we grew the company by three times whilst maintaining core staff size -- everything was so easy to use. Here I began to see the genius of Jobs. Make the technology invisible and allow people to focus on what they're good at -- writing, editing, finance. The partners at the firm were notorious for hating their computers.

One called me at 5am one day from Europe. "You set up that automatic back up thing on my computer right? The one that copies everything whenever I'm in the office?" Rubbing sleep from eyes, "Yes, it's working really well." His voice relaxed. "Good, because I have a problem with my computer." I walked to my home office and sat down at my Powerbook G4. "Okay, walk me through it." He laughed sheepishly, "I threw it out the window."

When announced, we got them iPods and they were in love. They literally loved their iPods. They had iPods for home, iPods for the gym. They said Andy Warhol would have loved the iPod more than anything. They bought me an 2nd generation iPod when it came out.

Perhaps the hardest task I had there was replacing myself with someone who understood that the point of technology was to make it invisible. I interviewed many people, before finding one who got it. I knew he was the right chap for the role when he told me that having one button was genius.

I went traveling for six months to find myself, taking only the iPod and leaving the Powerbook G4 with a good friend. As I wound around Southern Europe, through hostels and home-stays, I found a kinship with people who used Macs. They had a different outlook on life. They were photographers, writers, painters, and engineerings. They appreciated art, design, and music. They wore used clothes and had new Macs and iPods. It became clear that either you got it or you didn't. Either you used a Mac, or your PC never quite worked right. Someone in Greece asked me what the message on their Dell's screen meant. It said 'Virus xxx detected.' I told them it said, "Buy a Macintosh".

Arriving back in San Francisco, I took a job with a brand strategy agency and learned about why people buy things. Apple was a constant case study. Over time, I came to see the genius of Jobs. I stopped thinking about processor categories, RAM sizes, and TCP/IP addresses, and started thinking about user interfaces, brand ecosystems, and visionary leadership. We got MacBook Pros and iPod Nanos. Slowly, the coffee shops of San Francisco started to fill up with people carrying around Macbooks. Everyone had an iPod. There was an article called "How Cults Seduce", written by a consultancy called Plan B. It explained how Apple branded like the church.

I went to India -- partially because Steve Jobs went to India and found a true calling of social and sustainable business practices. I hung up Mac IT and branding for the last time and applied to graduate school.

When it finally came time to leave the United States for life in Europe, one of the last things I did was attend the Apple Shareholders Meeting in May of 2007. Steve Jobs was there leading the meeting. This was at the time when Greenpeace was chasing Apple around about their environmental performance and institutional shareholders were calling for greater transparency and influence.

I arrived at Infinite Loop that morning and took a seat in the auditorium, alongside men in suits and men not in suits. I sat in the third row, in middle. The presentation wound around Apple's financials and prospective outlook. During the Q&A, Greenpeace kicked off, asking Steve when Apple would work with Greenpeace on its environmental scorecard. "When you come up with a scorecard that we can actually use. We're happy to help you create it."

The institutional investors went next, with a chap from Switzerland demanding transparency, giving more of a speech than asking a question. Steve simply said, "Thank you for your comments." The next institutional investor went, asking when Apple would split the stock. "I am not sure when companies split stock."

As the questions came, it became clear that he would not engage directly with the institutional investors. Finally, an older gentleman stood up. "Hi Steve. Me and my wife are locals here, and I just want to say thank you for everything you've done. Thanks to our Apple shares, we've been able to live a very good quality of life in our retirement, I just want to thank you for that."

Steve Jobs beamed and had a bit of a sheepish grin. Several other independent shareholders followed, making the same type of comment. Afterward, I went to the front and waited in line to speak to Steve. When it was my turn, we shook hands and he said, "Nice to see you again." I thanked him for everything. There were a million things that I wanted to say. About India. About the iPod. About one button. And in that moment, all I could say was, "Thank you for everything you've done." He smiled and moved on to the next investor.

That stock helped pay for graduate school, and I now find myself working in the social and environmental sustainability sector in the UK. Everywhere I look, I see MacBooks, iPhones, iPods, iPads, and Apple Stores. The best friend that gave me so much stress in college about The Button now has a MacBook Pro, an iPhone, an iPad, an AppleTV, and writes iPhone applications. Apple is the most valuable company in the world.

And we haven't even started discussing Pixar.

Thank you for everything you've done Steve.
posted by nickrussell at 12:54 AM on October 6, 2011 [32 favorites]


This is what it must have felt like for my dad when John Lennon died.

As David Chartier said on Twitter: Let's all go make great things tomorrow.

Fuck.


posted by lodev at 12:57 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was stunned recently when I finally realised that he had been working for all these years to realise a particular vision - watching the videos of the NextStep presentation from the early 90s and the first speech back at Apple, and it was clear that Jobs saw what computers could do for people and set himself to make it happen. Many of the ideas that saw the light of day as a part of that were so good that other manufacturers understandably took them on board (the iPad, for example - however people try to spin the "touch tablet" as a specific genre of device, there was no such thing until early last year).

It's startling that even non-Apple users - even the people who hate Apple with a kind of Old-Testament-Prophet intensity - are living in a future effectively designed by Steve Jobs.

.
posted by Grangousier at 12:59 AM on October 6, 2011 [4 favorites]



posted by DreamerFi at 1:00 AM on October 6, 2011


There are flowers & candles outside the big Apple store in Sydney.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 1:06 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Lanark at 1:08 AM on October 6, 2011


I don't have any cool Apple or Mac stories or geek cred aside from some elementary school futzing with LOGO and Oregon Trail, and occasionally encountering macs at various techjobs in the last 10 years.

I'm much more saddened than I expected.
.
"I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright and when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice, but still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone."

. (yes, again.)
posted by ApathyGirl at 1:11 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Steve Jobs made significant contributions and he never deserved the ridiculous fanboism.

Too young.

.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 1:17 AM on October 6, 2011


Does anyone know how Wozniak is doing these days?

I'm lucky enough to bump into Woz on a regular basis and he is terrific as always.
posted by w0mbat at 1:21 AM on October 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


I knew it was coming, sooner than later.
I had no idea it would hit me this hard.
I had no idea it would make me reflect so much and so deeply about the future of my current field and the future of my career as a whole.

I had no idea that I would get to read all of these wonderful stories by like-minded nerds and day-to-day users as well.

Thank you for sharing your history and your inspirations, everyone. I can't keep my eyes dry for more than two [short] scrolls. Please keep writing.

And thank you, Steve Jobs. Thank you so much for allowing these stories to even exist. Please keep living inside those of us who were so lucky to have seen you in action forever, and hope that someday with your guidance, we'll see more CEOs like you and more companies devoted to their cause like Apple.

.
posted by june made him a gemini at 1:30 AM on October 6, 2011


.



I am so fucking sick of cancer.
posted by chuq at 1:32 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]




Also: fuck cancer and the cancerous horse it rode in on.
posted by erniepan at 1:34 AM on October 6, 2011


I owe much of my livelihood and my profession to this man.

.
posted by tempythethird at 1:36 AM on October 6, 2011


.
posted by FarOutFreak at 1:48 AM on October 6, 2011


.

Been on Mac since dad bought a Plus in -86 and never understood why people put up with loading mouse drivers. Ten years later I was working as an AASE and remember the enthusiasm Jobs brought upon his return to Apple. As lives go, he had quite a run.
posted by monocultured at 2:06 AM on October 6, 2011


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posted by YAMWAK at 2:11 AM on October 6, 2011


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posted by Sijeka at 2:12 AM on October 6, 2011


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posted by jiroczech at 2:13 AM on October 6, 2011


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posted by luckynerd at 2:17 AM on October 6, 2011


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posted by NordyneDefenceDynamics at 2:18 AM on October 6, 2011


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posted by TrinsicWS at 2:19 AM on October 6, 2011


Robert Cringely's 'Accidental Empires' had an entire chapter on Jobs. Written in 1992, long before Jobs returned to Apple, and while both NeXT and Pixar were struggling. It begins thus:

The Prophet

The most dangerous man in Silicon Valley sits alone on many weekday mornings, drinking coffee at Il Fornaio, an Italian restaurant on Cowper Street in Palo Alto. He's not the richest guy around or the smartest, but under a haircut that looks as if someone put a bowl on his head and trimmed around the edges, Steve Jobs holds an idea that keeps some grown men and women of the Valley awake at night. Unlike these insomaniacs, Jobs isn't in this business for the money, and that's what makes him dangerous.

I wish, sometimes, that I could say this personal computer stuff is just a matter of hard-headed business, but that would in no way account for the phenomenon of Steve Jobs. Co-founder of Apple Computer and founder of NeXT Inc., Jobs has literally forced the personal computer industry to follow his direction for fifteen years, a direction based not on business or intellectual principles but on a combination of technical vision and ego gratification in which both business and technical acumen played only small parts.

Steve Jobs sees the personal computer as his tool for changing the world. I know that sounds a lot like Bill Gates, but it's really very different. Gates sees the personal computer as a tool for transferring every stray dollar, deutsche mark, and kopek in the world into his pocket. Gates doesn't give a damn how people interact with their computers as long as they pay up. Jobs gives a damn. He wants to tell the world how to compute, to set the style of computing.


For the last 35 years, Steve Jobs has done exactly that.


posted by daveje at 2:34 AM on October 6, 2011 [15 favorites]


fuck.
posted by krautland at 2:48 AM on October 6, 2011


Fuck indeed. I knew this was coming, but I never thought it would hit me so hard.


posted by Kevtaro at 3:01 AM on October 6, 2011



posted by Spumante at 3:05 AM on October 6, 2011




iPods and iPads are wonderful, but this was his finest hour.
posted by rory at 3:06 AM on October 6, 2011 [3 favorites]



posted by p3t3 at 3:22 AM on October 6, 2011



posted by Mister Bijou at 3:25 AM on October 6, 2011


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posted by greenish at 3:27 AM on October 6, 2011


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posted by metaxa at 3:31 AM on October 6, 2011


.
posted by cotterpin at 3:32 AM on October 6, 2011



posted by white_devil at 3:34 AM on October 6, 2011


.
posted by jlkr at 3:45 AM on October 6, 2011




I'm glad to be young enough (24) to have grown up using Apple products, thanks to my father.
posted by autoclavicle at 4:12 AM on October 6, 2011


. My first commercial pc was an Apple II. Thanks for the revolution, Steve.
posted by dejah420 at 4:12 AM on October 6, 2011


.
posted by lorbus at 4:15 AM on October 6, 2011


Thanks, Steve.


posted by jack_mo at 4:18 AM on October 6, 2011



posted by functionequalsform at 4:19 AM on October 6, 2011


I was just thinking the other night how much I'd love to show my Dad what I can do on my Ipad - the thought occurred as I was lying in bed, using it to stream live TV effortlessly, remembering the hulking brute of a "portable" TV that my Dad installed in my parents' bedroom not so many years ago. My Dad was taken by cancer 6 years ago, my mother 4 years ago, and now Steve's gone too, and like a lot of people here, its hit me unexpectedly hard.

Think Different.

.
posted by khites at 4:25 AM on October 6, 2011


.
posted by veryape at 4:32 AM on October 6, 2011


.
posted by porcupine at 4:33 AM on October 6, 2011


.
posted by Wolof at 4:40 AM on October 6, 2011


.
posted by Bummus at 4:41 AM on October 6, 2011


10 PRINT "."
20 GOTO 10

I learned this on an Apple in grade 5 and it opened up so many doors for me. Thanks, Steve, for my awesomely wired life.
posted by ladygypsy at 4:52 AM on October 6, 2011 [12 favorites]



posted by nile_red at 4:55 AM on October 6, 2011


.
posted by drezdn at 4:58 AM on October 6, 2011


I've been meaning to fire up my wonderful 12" Powerbook (my first Mac) for my kids—it is at least six years old and works fine—guess I'll do that today.
posted by theredpen at 4:58 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I remember playing Montezuma's Revenge on my Apple IIe. In middle school I upgraded to a Macintosh LCIII with a 13" monitor and 160 megabytes of hard drive space-- and my first modem! After high school, I couldn't very well bring a whole CRT monitor to Japan, so a PowerBook (750 megabytes of hard drive) came along. Then, well, I'm kind of ashamed to admit it, but college called for a few Windows machines-- you have to be bilingual in this world, right? But now I'm studying design, and I'm typing this on an iMac with 3.2 gigahertz of processing speed, a 27" display and a whole terabyte of hard drive space. Not to mention the fact that my house also contains three iPods, one iPhone and a bunch of Pixar movies on DVD.

Thanks for everything, Steve. You were insanely great.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:00 AM on October 6, 2011


.
posted by beandip at 5:05 AM on October 6, 2011


Sometimes giants walk among us... their departure leaves gaps that cannot be filled.

Way too soon.

Thanks for so much, Mr. Jobs.

.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:11 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


This was hysterical for me when there was no knowledge that Steve Jobs wouldn't be around forever. Now it's sort of haunting. I hope they can maintain their vision without him.

That's the problem with visionaries. There are so few of them, it seems like the rest of us almost can't help but let them down. Sigh.
posted by Mchelly at 5:12 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


.
posted by KevCed at 5:13 AM on October 6, 2011


. ][
posted by localroger at 5:15 AM on October 6, 2011


.
posted by asciident at 5:17 AM on October 6, 2011


Mother-effing eff eff. Too young.

.
posted by Melismata at 5:18 AM on October 6, 2011


I was surprisingly affected on hearing this news. Switched on the radio and heard him being discussed in the past tense and I was hoping it was just something about the press response to the iPhone 4S and him not being at the keynote. But alas, it wasn't. Never met the man, had no real sense of him beyond his public profile, but it felt surprisingly personal. Perhaps not surprising for a man who dedicated his life to making products that people engage with on a deeply personal level.

I was a PC guy for years. I switched to Macs five or six years ago and in my new job I'm finally using one at work too. In many ways the job I'm doing now is only really the way it is because of the work Steve Jobs and Apple have done. They are consistently a delight to use and I will stay with them as the tools of choice as long as that remains true. I think it will.

Goodbye Steve, you and your influence on the technology industry will be greatly missed.


posted by Happy Dave at 5:20 AM on October 6, 2011


.
posted by waldo at 5:20 AM on October 6, 2011


My sister-in-law worked at Tekserve in the early 2000s, and when she visited us once, she left behind her iPod. It was this enigmatic white, boxy, rectangle thing that sat on our counter for a while, and even though she'd told me what the big deal was about it, it didn't really register with me. Then my 2-year-old asked me, "What is that?" and I said "Some kind of music player." She said, "How do you play it?" And I said, "I don't know," because I really didn't. So then she picked it up, pressed the button, and slid her finger along the circle she saw on the surface. Music. It was so intuitive to her, and that totally blew my mind.

Still, I'd grown up with a programmer dad who was a Windows guy, and so it was a while until I finally made the switch. In 2007, I bought my first Mac -- a MacBook Pro that has since been passed down to the kids -- and it was a revelation. My Mac friends just nodded knowingly when I rhapsodized to them about how right they were, how ridiculous it was that I had waited so long. Months after that, the iPhone -- something that seemed like the stuff of science fiction. And then, of course, the iPad. I wrote five books (and started many more) on my MacBook Pro, but it was the iPad that put me on the course for what I'm doing next, a purely digital book that attempts to take advantage of the deep, rich, multilayered environment of reading on such a device. Much like with music and iTunes, Jobs's vision of how to interact with content is what's transforming the future of books, and the current state of publishing.

That two-year-old who just instinctively knew how to operate the 2001 iPod is now 12. She has a white MacBook she uses for school, my old iPhone 3G, an iPod Touch she's passed down to her brother (who uses my old MacBook Pro to play Minecraft). She made a PowerPoint presentation last year for her grandmother, a stubborn Windows loyalist, making the case for why she should switch to Mac, and often helps grandpa, a recent Mac convert, figure out where his pictures went or how to send things via email. He's always astonished at how easy the solution is, and how fluent she is at the keyboard.

Watching the old videos of Steve Jobs, I'm struck by how singular his vision was -- how consistent, how much it stayed the same throughout the years. The technology wasn't always there yet, but his vision was, even when there wasn't the vocabulary to explain it the way we understand it to be now. So often with so-called visionaries or "geniuses" what you see is the hype, the excitement about a Big Idea...and when that Big Idea deflates or time moves on, the hype moves to the Next Big Idea, the next big thing. He was on to something bigger than that. And the world is immeasurably better for it.
posted by mothershock at 5:24 AM on October 6, 2011 [4 favorites]



posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 5:26 AM on October 6, 2011


.
posted by penguin pie at 5:35 AM on October 6, 2011


I recall when I first knew Steve Jobs was a genius...
when he came back to Apple and introduced the iMac--in translucent colors!
Apple, Apples everywhere...
posted by xtian at 5:39 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


.
posted by tetsuo at 5:41 AM on October 6, 2011


.

(Posted from my Android phone.)

I'm not really an Apple fan, but I (perhaps exaggeratedly) credit the iPod with keeping digital music legal. Back in the late 90s, the RIAA kept pushing for laws to ban or cripple mp3 players and nobody outside of nerddom cared. Mp3 players were these obscure devices from Asia that most people didn't use.

But the iPod became ubitiquous overnight and made banning it politically impossible.

So thanks.
posted by suetanvil at 5:45 AM on October 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'll never forget getting that first Fat Mac, and diving into Infocom games. (Plus also writing school papers in Chicago font. Retroactive apologies to my teachers; I was giddy with power.)

.
posted by theatro at 5:46 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


My dad is a MAJOR Apple fan. The mobile company he's had a plan with ever since there were mobile phones in our area gave him an iPhone once and he's hooked. He's the sort of person who would buy new tech of any sort for the OOOHHH SHINY factor - but then never quite work out how to use it and eventually pass it down to me since I was the family geek. Most of my mobile phones have come this way.

He refused to let go of his iPhone. Even when he upgraded he still won't let me use them. Even though I probably know better than I do how to work one! He's absolutely in love with it and is impatient for iPhone 5. A relative gifted him with an iPad, but it's a version that doesn't have SIM card slots - not useful for him because we don't have WiFi in the house and he doesn't really go anywhere with ubiquitous WiFi, but he uses mobile Internet all the time. I got the iPad; probably the only time he'd let me pry an Apple product from his hands.

He's also a businessman to the core and greatly admired Steve Jobs' business style. He described Jobs today as his "idol"; I haven't heard him address anyone like this before.

Unlike him, and unlike most of y'all, I'm not an Apple fan. My first college had computer rooms full of iMacs that were always broken - the Windows machines were dodgy too but there were ways to hack past it if you were somewhat competent. With the iMacs, tough luck. My fellow alum friends joke that it's this college - ironically one for design and creativity - that makes people hate Macs simply because they never seem to work when you need it to. My sister, an illustrator, and her husband, a product designer, also dislike Apple - unusual for their field, but something I hear from them often.

I'm more of an Android/Google fangirl. Even got the T-shirt and the plushie. My boyfriend is a programmer and works with Windows machines often, and we're both regular users of Ubuntu. I did win an iPod Touch but don't use it much - iTunes annoys me, and I miss my earliest mp3 players (from 1999) which was essentially a USB drive deluxe but was too robust for my ancient computer.

But I am quite touched by all your tributes. It is obvious that Jobs was well-loved, and how many CEOs can say that about themselves? We're in a point in history where brands mean more than just a company name, and Apple clearly has been a strong part of many of yours.

Thanks for sharing, everyone.

.
posted by divabat at 5:49 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]



posted by klausness at 5:51 AM on October 6, 2011


Picture of Steve with his wife after the last keynote.
posted by futz at 5:54 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Add me to the list of people surprised by how affected they are by this.

.
posted by diogenes at 5:54 AM on October 6, 2011


Trying to analyze my feelings here. I think his death resonates so strongly because Apple technology has been such a ubiquitous part of my life. And that technology is tied to him in a way that isn't the case for most other CEOs. When I heard about his death, my own life flashed before my eyes as I remembered learning how to use my first Mac when I was 8, the Mac lab at college where I wrote papers late into the night as a freshman, buying my own Mac as a sophomore and tinkering with it endlessly, getting a job in the campus computer store so I could tinker with them some more (and play games over the network).

On the other hand, I don't think I'll look back as fondly on the countless hours I've logged in cubicles working on PCs...
posted by diogenes at 6:10 AM on October 6, 2011


.

Well, few other people can leave this earth with the bragging rights this man has. Well done, Steve.
posted by LMGM at 6:11 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Eternal Flame (xkcd's tribute)
posted by jeffburdges at 6:20 AM on October 6, 2011 [13 favorites]


Heh, I just emailed my manager at that campus computer store for the first time in 13 years.
posted by diogenes at 6:23 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Steve Wozniak [SLYT] remembers Steve Jobs.
posted by apartment dweller at 6:24 AM on October 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


Did the doctors try zapping the PRAM?
posted by schmod at 6:25 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


.
posted by synapse at 6:26 AM on October 6, 2011


Benito.strauss has it: "If you seek for my monument, look around you". Hail and farewell, Steve. Thanks for everything.
posted by Logophiliac at 6:29 AM on October 6, 2011


I don't think I've ever cried for the passing of someone I didn't know personally... until now.
posted by dgran at 6:30 AM on October 6, 2011


.
posted by Mhead at 6:32 AM on October 6, 2011


By executive order, the President can have the flag flown at half-mast for civilians. In recent years, Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks and Pope John Paul II.

Come on, Obama.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:33 AM on October 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


.
posted by uni verse at 6:34 AM on October 6, 2011


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posted by donovan at 6:35 AM on October 6, 2011


.
posted by sveskemus at 6:36 AM on October 6, 2011


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posted by Don't_deceive_with_belief at 6:37 AM on October 6, 2011


People act like this guy was a patron saint of the masses and he solved world hunger (which ironically the other Bill Gates is actually trying to do). He created a ton of ideas, and his inventions had lots of impact, but come on now.
posted by amazingstill at 6:41 AM on October 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


"Computers are like a bicycle for our minds." -Steve Jobs
posted by jeffburdges at 6:43 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Eternal Flame (xkcd's tribute)

Made me smile!

Also made me smile to think that I can't remember the last time I saw that spinning rainbow! It used to be a rampant plague, but now it's a rarity.
posted by The Deej at 6:44 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


.

as is often the case xkcd nailed it
posted by memebake at 6:44 AM on October 6, 2011


Don't be sad, he's just gone to work in the iCloud.
posted by mazola at 6:47 AM on October 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


schmod, i hit my favorite limit for the day, but i wanted to tell you that if i could i would favorite your comment four or five times just for making me remember having to learn to support OS 7.5.3 update 2 when i worked for mindspring waaaay back in the day.
posted by palomar at 6:48 AM on October 6, 2011 [3 favorites]



posted by e.e. coli at 6:54 AM on October 6, 2011


Panic's tribute.
posted by ColdChef at 6:56 AM on October 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


"I like to think that in the run-up to his final keynote, Steve made time for a long, peaceful walk. Somewhere beautiful, where there are no footpaths and the grass grows thick. Hand-in-hand with his wife and family, the sun warm on their backs, smiles on their faces, love in their hearts, at peace with their fate."
posted by ColdChef at 6:57 AM on October 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Being the "Commander in Chief" has its perks, like getting an iPad 2 directly from Steve Jobs a few weeks before launch
posted by ColdChef at 6:59 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just saw this sentence...
But at the time anyone affiliated with an educational institution could get one for half price.
...and though I know that at one level Apple's educational pricing has always been a marketing strategy, I also know (beyond, or perhaps only without, reason) that it was a kind of gift too. The stories in this thread about kids being inspired by computers (and growing up to be MeFi folks) testify to that.

Jobs's death is one more in a long line of signs that the 1960's Bay Area cultural revolution is fading away. He actually thought (and by his work taught) about computer use in revolutionary terms, long after nearly everyone in his industry gave up on that way of seeing the world. That's courage, of a kind.
posted by waxbanks at 6:59 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


⌘∞
posted by sararah at 7:00 AM on October 6, 2011


"Hi, this is Steve. I really want my phone back."
posted by ColdChef at 7:02 AM on October 6, 2011 [12 favorites]


.

My first experience with an Apple product was being selected by the school principal, along with my best friend at the time, to be the first to try out our amazing new classroom Mac computer with a few rounds of Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? Circa 1987, one of my earliest, and still one of my favourite, memories of computing.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 7:05 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Steve Jobs and the Portal to the Invisible
posted by ColdChef at 7:07 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


ColdChef: ""Hi, this is Steve. I really want my phone back.""

That's a fantastic post. Thanks for sharing it.
posted by zarq at 7:11 AM on October 6, 2011


Come on, Obama.

Are you serious?
posted by azarbayejani at 7:17 AM on October 6, 2011


Until the many reminiscences in this thread I hadn't really thought about how long the products of Steve Jobs' vision have been interwoven with my life, and how they set me on the path to my current career as a programmer; LOGO on an Apple ][ circa 1983, 2D design and Hypercard on Macs in high school, learning Photoshop and how to write HTML in the Mac lab in college.

Computer science was not my major, but once the World Wide Web got its hooks in me I knew that building web sites was a thing I wanted to do, and all of those past experiences provided exactly the platform I needed to get there. After I got tired of maintaining HTML sites by hand, I was able to dust off my programming and database skills, and make the jump.

Could I have learned all of those things on another platform? Sure. (Well, maybe not so much the early computer graphics stuff.) Would I have picked them up as quickly or readily? I'm not so sure.

.
posted by usonian at 7:18 AM on October 6, 2011


Eternal Flame (xkcd's tribute)

For fuck's sake, hover text just made me cry.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:18 AM on October 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


.
posted by ahimsakid at 7:18 AM on October 6, 2011


Eternal Flame (xkcd's tribute)

Ha, excellent. I spent about 2 seconds cursing my slow-ass G5 and waiting for Safari to un-lock so I could see the cartoon. :-)
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:21 AM on October 6, 2011


Apparently, Jobs was Buddhist. Things I didn't know. On the other hand, CNN is really, really bad at describing what that might entail.
posted by kaibutsu at 7:21 AM on October 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Thank you Mr. Jobs.
posted by stormpooper at 7:23 AM on October 6, 2011


My introduction to personal computing was a pirated Apple Ii+ I bought one rainy Chinese New Year's in Taipei. I'm writing this on my iPad 2. Steve Jobs' sense and sensibilities have defined my interaction with the electronic world from that first amazing object through its successor, a genuine IIe, and the Powerbook, iMac, iBook, MacBook Pro, iPod and iPad that followed.

Always seeing ahead of the crowd, always making that vision concrete. No floppy drive? Jobs is crazy! (repeat ad nauseam after every Jobsian innovation and inspiration that leapfrogged ahead of crowd wisdom.

I admire the fuck out of his focus, leadership, commitment and, most of all, vision. We shan't soon see his like.

ave atque vale and thank you, Steve Jobs.

.
posted by the sobsister at 7:25 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Kimberly at 7:26 AM on October 6, 2011


In Focus's Steve Jobs feature is making me cry like nothing else has so far.

I'm at work now, on a PC, and it seems criminal that the world is just going to go on without this man.
posted by Phire at 7:27 AM on October 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


His bravery and willingness to be in the public eye while his physical health was being whittled away says as much about him as his creative achievements, in my opinion. His bravery should be inspiring, and make us consider what every person facing death from illness goes through.
posted by docpops at 7:28 AM on October 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


.
posted by haplesschild at 7:29 AM on October 6, 2011


Macintosh II
Mac SE
Mac LC III
Performa 475
Power Mac 7200
Power Mac G3
iMac (Lime)
PowerBook G4
Mac Mini
MacBook
iPhone 3G
Time Capsule
iPhone 4
iMac (27-inch)

14 pieces of Steve's hardware legacy that brushed my life personally. Incredible that I distinctly recall each and every one, even after 23 years. Poor Tim Cook has some very large shoes to fill. 
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 7:29 AM on October 6, 2011


People act like this guy was a patron saint of the masses and he solved world hunger (which ironically the other Bill Gates is actually trying to do). He created a ton of ideas, and his inventions had lots of impact, but come on now.

Maybe you should reread this thread.
posted by device55 at 7:30 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


.
posted by isnotchicago at 7:31 AM on October 6, 2011


"Hi, this is Steve. I really want my phone back."

...

I told him I had to talk to my dudes. Before he hung up, he asked me, "What do you think of it?"

I said, "It's beautiful."


In a standoff between what could easily have been two antagonists, this is such a perfectly geeky, real moment.

You have to like someone who, in the face of possibly losing a hugely valuable edge to a media who would love to expose it, wants to know what they think. Because they are technology lovers, just like him.
posted by quin at 7:34 AM on October 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Almost autobiographically, The Crazy Ones, narrated by Steve himself. (via)
posted by progosk at 7:39 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]



posted by danielle the bee at 7:42 AM on October 6, 2011


RIP Steve. Seriously, get some rest. You've earned it. I salute you.
posted by whuppy at 7:44 AM on October 6, 2011


The only new Apple computer I ever owned was an Apple IIe. But I loved it and still miss it.

Also, everyone I knew who worked at Apple was very happy there and genuinely liked Steve. That does say something.

Thanks, Steve.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:50 AM on October 6, 2011


I bought a blueberry iBook in 1999 because I was sick and tired of hearing for years about all the cool stuff on the way in Windows, but which never actually arrived. The real revelation was plugging in a printer to the iBook at work. I reached for the driver disk, expecting to do the usual Windows dance, i.e., installing the printer driver multiple times, rebooting multiple times, etc. etc. But to my surprise, I plugged in the USB cable and the printer installed itself. And just worked. At first I didn't get what happened, then I was like, "Holy Cow!" This was back in 1999.

Years later, suffering from severe writers's block, I taught myself Objective-C, the most modern language behind mac programming, brought over with Steve Jobs from NeXT Computers. Objective-C included enormous, beautiful, and highly logical frameworks which did most of the work for you as a programmer. Using Objective-C and Apple's free programming environment, I wrote my own word processing app (Bean) which had been in use now around the world for about 5 years.

At a certain point years ago I disconnected all Windows PCs at work from the internet, using them as an internal network to run the single Windows point-of-sale program we could not function without. It was impossible, I came to realize, to secure any Windows network attached to the internet without many hours of vigilant work per week. I bought a bunch of macs to form a second network, one connected the internet and used for everything else but point-of-sale. I can't imagine the number of hours this arrangement has saved me over the years.

One more story: at Krispy Kreme, I turned a cup of coffee over onto my new MacBook Pro. I hurried to work, took the back off expecting to do a major cleanup job, and found there was not one drop of coffee inside the Mac. The tight tolerances around the keys keep it from going in through the keyboard, and the rest of the liquid was channeled down behind the screen hinge onto the table. Not a drop inside. Now, that's engineering!

So, for an easy to use computer, for a fun hobby, and for saving me hours of work, thank you Apple and Steve Jobs.
posted by jabah at 7:50 AM on October 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


.
(Had a 512 in 1984 and been along for the ride since.)
posted by CaptainCaseous at 7:50 AM on October 6, 2011


"A computer is the most remarkable tool that we've ever come up with. It's a bicycle for our minds"
- Steve Jobs

rock on Steve.
posted by specialk420 at 7:54 AM on October 6, 2011


When people call my generation the first "digital natives," what they really mean is that we went to elementary school with the Apple ][e.

As amazing as the iPhone and the iPad are, and as much as I love, love Pixar, I really think getting those clunky little computers in schools is the most important thing Steve Jobs ever did.
posted by BlueJae at 7:55 AM on October 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


ColdChef: ""Hi, this is Steve. I really want my phone back.""

That's a fantastic post. Thanks for sharing it.
posted by zarq


These words stood for me:

Now I've learned it's better to lose a job I don't believe in any more than to do it well and keep it just for that sake

posted by infini at 7:58 AM on October 6, 2011 [3 favorites]



posted by jca at 8:09 AM on October 6, 2011


[Some comments deleted; trying to derail a derail about the flag half-mast comment. Let's not get into back and forth fighting about one person's comment as though it represents the opinion of everyone commenting in the thread.]
posted by taz at 8:12 AM on October 6, 2011


I admire the fuck out of his focus, leadership, commitment and, most of all, vision. We shan't soon see his like.

The vision thing. Sometimes it seemed as if he knew exactly how the future was going to pan out.

I kind of imagined it this way. He gets ousted from Apple and while reflecting on that and deciding what to do next in life he is interrupted in some sort of Quantum Leap/A Christmas Carol scenario where someone comes up to him and says, "wait you're not running Apple anymore? So that's what's screwing things up!" And she shows him what 25 years in the future was supposed to look like, and then shows him what a mess things are instead.

So Steve gets to work, creating NeXT as a shadow company making at least some of the advances he was supposed to be making at Apple. He gets involved with Pixar not only to move animation technology (and storytelling) forward, but to nurture connections in the entertainment industry which he knows he'll need to help cut licensing deals later.

It is grueling work but after ten years NeXT reverse-acquires Apple and soon Steve is back in charge. He gets to work on Mac OS X and what he calls the "transitional" iMac. Internally he dismisses complaints about axing projects and jettisoning things like floppy drives with cryptic comments about "just catching up to where we're supposed to be". He brings in talent from quirky companies like Be, Inc. that never existed in the original timeline but sprang up to fill the "crazy dreamer" void.

Internally no one understands his obsession with cramming more into less space until the iPod and iPhone projects start to be planned out. With each passing year, he has to push a little less hard as events and technology start to align again and moving forward is easier, swifter.

Unfortunately, cancer is cancer and there's no changing that. I like to think that in these last few months he realized things were finally gaining critical momentum, and he didn't have to keep pushing so hard. So he let go and just watched, proud as a parent watching his kid biking away from his steadying hand at last.
posted by mikepop at 8:15 AM on October 6, 2011 [17 favorites]


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posted by me3dia at 8:22 AM on October 6, 2011


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posted by jdherg at 8:24 AM on October 6, 2011



posted by artaxerxes at 8:26 AM on October 6, 2011


amazingstill: " I did and I am concered that people actually would want to fly a flag at half staff in Washington D.C. because the Apple CEO died."

Why? His life represents the quintessential American Dream. He's a perfect symbol for the freedoms and opportunities this country gives its citizens, and shows just how powerfully transformative an American company can be when they focus their efforts onto producing and maintaining quality products, rather than backstabbing their competition.

He was born to an unmarried American graduate student and a Syrian Muslim immigrant who were forced to give him up for adoption because the student's parents didn't want her marrying a Muslim Arab. Was adopted by an Armenian-American family. Went to high school, dropped out of college after one semester, (he kept on auditing courses while living off the kindness of others -- free meals at the local Hare Krishna center, sleeping on friends' floors and by collecting cans for recycling for money to live on.

It took him two years to get his life together and get a steady job at Atari as a technician. Which he only took because he had become a Buddhist and wanted to visit India.

He came from nothing. And look what he accomplished.

He was an entrepreneur who had the luck and forethought to team with a fantastic computer designer and the force of will to create a company that quite literally changed our understanding of the utility of a number of emerging technologies.

He didn't do it selflessly. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't recognize the profound impact his life had on millions of people and thousands of businesses.
posted by zarq at 8:26 AM on October 6, 2011 [37 favorites]


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posted by dudleian at 8:26 AM on October 6, 2011


 my first mac: LCIII
posted by arveale at 8:27 AM on October 6, 2011


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posted by cirhosis at 8:29 AM on October 6, 2011


[can we very seriously not turn this into a half-staff flag derail please?]
posted by jessamyn at 8:31 AM on October 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


Second grade. There's a computer in the classroom. It says "Apple ][e" on the front. The teacher puts one of several black floppy disks in the drive and turns it on, and it does things. A word search creator, maybe, or a game where you run a lemonade stand. I'm fascinated by the idea that this device could do anything as long as you put the right disk into it before you turn it on.

I guess the teacher noticed my interest, because I somehow get hold of a big hardcover Apple Basic textbook and a special disk for the computer that puts me at a text prompt and lets me type in my own programs. If I behave myself and get all my other work done, I get to stay in during recess and play around on the computer as a reward. It beats the hell out of standing around in the playground with nothing fun to do.

My crowning achievement is a simple choose-your-own-adventure program that isn't more than 3 branches deep. Somewhere along the line I accidentally reformat the disk with the word search creator. The teacher is less than pleased. I don't get to use the computer much after that. This frustrates me, but my burning desire to figure out what else it was capable of never went away. This ends up being the driving force behind the rest of my life so far.

I have no idea what kind of person I'd be today if that computer wasn't there that year.
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 8:36 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


The pictures of the flowers outside of stores all over the world just made me cry at work :(
posted by empath at 8:41 AM on October 6, 2011 [4 favorites]



posted by hot_monster at 8:44 AM on October 6, 2011


Are the  symbols Apples?

There won't be such sentiment when Bill Gates dies, amazingstill, no matter how much charity work he does first. Jobs made computers far more accessible and efficient.

Honestly, I'm not going to read through much of this thread, so I apologize if it's already been discussed ad nauseam (I didn't see it upthread, which I actually did read most of b/c it's mostly dots), but I am curious:

Why so much attention on Steve Jobs? I'm not even sure we'll get this much coverage when Bill Clinton dies (and Bush I won't be even close.) I'm not sure Reagan got this much.

I suppose part if it is that he died young. But, I mean, it's not like he was a popular artist or something...

I'm not trolling or even semi-trolling, just a little surprised at the flood of coverage (and expected link chumming and SEO teabagging) over his death.

I suppose another part of it was that it was a surprise? How expected was it? I thought everyone knew he was ailing.

He didn't do it selflessly. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't recognize the profound impact his life had on millions of people and thousands of businesses.

As noted, Bill Gates won't get this level of tribute even if he wipes out malaria. It's interesting to me how the corporate cult of personality works. I knew there would be a todo, but I am honestly a little surprised at the level of it.

I looked at my wife's Facebook feed last night and every single post was about Steve Jobs, even from non-techie people.

I suppose I underestimate his appeal. ... Yeah, like most 30-somethings I first learned computers on Apple (TRS-80 was the real first one and a C64 in there too, but plenty of time on IIs and IIes and IIcs and what not), but I don't really attribute those computers to him personally. Dunno.

I give much respect to a successful and seemingly contented life, and sympathies to friends and family.

.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:52 AM on October 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Why so much attention on Steve Jobs?

If you read the comments and the obits, they are telling you why. Don't just count them, read them.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:56 AM on October 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


Why so much attention on Steve Jobs? I'm not even sure we'll get this much coverage when Bill Clinton dies (and Bush I won't be even close.) I'm not sure Reagan got this much.

It could still be a bit of "confirmation bias", even among "non-techies" -- you probably have a greater-than-average number of people in here who were "computer geeks" in high school, or people for whom computers did something significant. Those are people who were affected by Jobs' work, at an early age.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:57 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


One of the things that I'm sad will get lost in the swirling chaos of half-educated journalists trying to write clever memorial pieces about Jobs where they'll credit him with inventing the personal computer, inventing the MP3 player, and inventing the tablet-format computer is that, in all that misinformation and complete, knuckleheaded hurried-deadline ignorance is that what they'll almost all leave out is the one thing that I believe is his real, lasting gift to the world.

Jobs didn't invent the Apple ][, a machine that's almost entirely the product of the equally brilliant Steve Wozniak, but his move to how it was packaged and made usable made the difference between the merely great and the insanely great.

Jobs didn't invent the Macintosh, or even start the Mac project, and was, by many accounts, an absolute dick to work for, but he brought in the right people, urged decisions to replace the great with the insanely great, and had his team actually sign their work like artists, which is why that first Mac was a work of art.

Jobs didn't invent the MP3 player, but holding up a Nomad, he said what lots of us feel about so many of the things we can buy in a store—this is shit. Yeah, those first clunky MP3 players worked, and did their job, but there was nothing about them that felt right. Every button placed was placed there by random engineering, functions were buried in nonsensical menu systems, and every shape was the product of limp, mainstream blobject boilerplate design overseen by marketing departments, not by usability experts. The critics cry "fashion," but those of us who use these things answer "just...works."

It's not what he envisioned, or what he said "yes" to. It's what he refused.

It's just too easy to always compromise, and always back down in the face of this committee or that mid-level marketing team, to follow the trail set by the "coolhunters" and the avant garde or the mass market.

5.25" floppies on the Lisa or Mac? No.

Open architecture on the first Macs, then on the iMacs? No.

What about upgrades? No.

What about parallel ports, ADB, serial ports? No. How 'bout this new thing, USB?

Volume knob on the iPod? No.

Sometimes he's wrong. No fan on the Apple III? Disaster. No fan on the Mac? Well, at first, then they pretty much had to. The Cube? Disaster. Gorgeous, artistic, lovely disaster, but disaster...but not without a happy ending, as the technologies there ended up in quiet cooling systems for later machines and in the Mac Mini, which wasn't a disaster at all. What's wrong with a fan? Nothing, to someone in an office. To a musician, or a poet, on the other hand...little things matter.

He said "no" a lot, and sometimes, you need to be a negator to be a creator.

We've got a world jam-packed with folks with business degrees and big ideas about market sectors and design languages for new buying segments, but not enough people in a position to say "no" and back it up.

In the face of a junky, cluttered, half-useful object culture, where things all sort of work, and everyone's sort of using them, and they sort of fit into how we live, Jobs stood up in his arrogant, narcissistic, demanding, frustrating way and said, you know, we really don't have to live like this. All the dismissive essays and articles about his style-stunted followers just completely miss the mark, which is that he saw the world, at least what of it was in his grasp, and challenged the gestalt dullness, the hopeless middle-management compromise, and our flaccid consuming habits, where we'll just shrug and take what we can get, and offered us something that just works.

The little green iPod Shuffle that I use in my car could be a little shiny trinket, I guess, something to wave around as a signifier that I've consumed my way to cool, but for me, it's music without distraction, a machine that I can control without looking away from the wheel. No screen, no FM radio, no giant removable pack of AA batteries—just a function, packaged and designed to be as natural as possible. It can't be improved.

Jobs was a man, just a man, and, as many would attest, often a difficult, unlikable, unpleasant man, but he had a keen grasp on a simple concept that we should all embrace in our lives—a distaste for shit and a genuine love of amazing things. That he didn't back down is the wonderful part, because the world's full of businessmen who can recognize a good thing and then settle for some muddled, half-assed plastic abortion from the folks down in marketing.

We need people like this in every field, so it's sad to lose this voice.

Let's hope those around him were paying attention.
posted by sonascope at 8:57 AM on October 6, 2011 [63 favorites]


But, I mean, it's not like he was a popular artist or something...

Apparently he was.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:57 AM on October 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


The Beatles, Steve's favorite band, said "In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

Steve put a lot of love into Apple.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:59 AM on October 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's not what he envisioned, or what he said "yes" to. It's what he refused.

This... a thousand times over. The products he oversaw were relentless efforts to simplify and eliminate what shouldn't be there. This is why, for example, every other tablet computer before the iPad had keyboards, buttons galore and a stylus.
posted by dgran at 9:03 AM on October 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Apple's  logo symbolizes taking a 'byte' from the tree of knowledge, among other things :

"One of the deep mysteries to me is our logo, the symbol of lust and knowledge, bitten into, all crossed with the colors of the rainbow in the wrong order. You couldn't dream of a more appropriate logo: lust, knowledge, hope, and anarchy." -- Jean Louis Gassée

Apple has claimed the logo was never intended as a homage to Alan Turing, but imho they should partially reverse that stance given his importance to our theory of computation.

In any case, there is a lovely opportunity for trolling christian blogs right now, just ramble on about original sin and the tree of knowledge, and you'll find plenty of citations for the logo being a homage to Alan Turing, who is a martyr for gay rights too.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:03 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Steve Jobs was a great leader, having met him and talked with him briefly, I can honestly say he was an amazing thinker.
Daniel Thompson
posted by Thompson Sullivan at 9:08 AM on October 6, 2011


.
posted by togdon at 9:12 AM on October 6, 2011


Excerpts from an Oral History Interview with Steve Jobs

Founder, NeXT Computer.

Interviewer: Daniel Morrow, Executive Director, The Computerworld Smithsonian Awards Program

Date of Interview: 20 April 1995; Location: NeXT Computer
posted by Rumple at 9:15 AM on October 6, 2011 [6 favorites]



posted by limeonaire at 9:18 AM on October 6, 2011


Wozniak remembers Jobs.
posted by Drastic at 9:22 AM on October 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


There's no ⌘-Z for this one, unfortunately.

When I was little my parents hauled home a heavy, steel IBM PC. (My oldest brother described how to start up it as "pull the orange, canoe-paddle switch on the right rear upwards.") A while later, he & I went out to my cousins' house to help them figure out their new Macintosh. We played with it for a few minutes, quickly figured out what had stymied them, and then quietly explored it for....well, for as long as it would have taken us to solve a problem on the IBM. :7)

Thanks for ruthlessly saying "no" often enough to polish these wonderful devices. Thanks for leading the teams who made the hardware & software where I got into technology, and later made my career. Thanks for imagining a better experience and making it.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:23 AM on October 6, 2011


If you read the comments and the obits, they are telling you why. Don't just count them, read them.

OK, I read the ones linked here and a few more. I still don't get it, so I'll bow out. I certainly understand respect, praise, admiration, and love, but I don't get all the hyperbole:

"Now, we’re in a new era, mobile, and it was launched by one person, Steve Jobs."

Seems a bit much. He did enough already that you don't need to exaggerate.

Sure, great thinker, great businessman, but I don't see the uniqueness. I understand his importance, but I don't understand why so many people feel personally affected with someone who is (not even chiefly) responsible for their electronic devices. I'm pretty sure everyone with electric lights was not as aggrieved when Thomas Edison died, no? So perhaps it's just the echo-chamber nature of the current Internet ... I also suppose a lot has to do with sites desperate for clicks. I'll now bow out for real.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:24 AM on October 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


In any case, there is a lovely opportunity for trolling christian blogs right now

I'm a little concerned that people are taking Steve's passing as an opportunity to "troll" people.

Jobs didn't convince the status quo it was doing things wrong by standing to one side and snarking at them, he convinced them it was doing things wrong by creating an alternative approach and offering it to them.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:24 AM on October 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


In about 2000, Douglas Adams wrote a really good essay (called 'Turncoat', in the Salmon of Doubt) about how he saw the torch of zeitgeist moving from pop music (the Beatles) through to comedy (Monty Python, whose stardom rose as the Beatles faded) and then on to ... technological innovation. Its partly an essay about being disillusioned with comedy, but also an essay about Douglas's conversion to being a fan of technology rather than a satirist of it.

So he makes the case that the people really doing the cool stuff these days are not the pop stars or the performers (I mean, music is great but when's the last time that music changed the world? Thirty years ago?), but the people building new ways for us to communicate and play and work together.

So for people wondering why so many people feel so affected by this - its because we're living in the future, and the people inventing new stuff in tech and on the internet are as important to us and our culture as pop stars were in the 60s.
posted by memebake at 9:25 AM on October 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


"Now, we’re in a new era, mobile, and it was launched by one person, Steve Jobs."

Seems a bit much. He did enough already that you don't need to exaggerate.


I agree. i certainly am not going to try to defend the opinions of 1000+ people. Sure, some are going to be wrong about something. But unlike pretty much any common or garden celebrity, he made something that they not only use every day, but changed the way they work and/or interact with the world. That makes it personal.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:30 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]



posted by SageLeVoid at 9:33 AM on October 6, 2011


i work in i.t. (not a mac on site, to the best of my knowledge) & besides myself, i've only heard one person even mention this today. this silence-in-the-workplace on this event is almost as much of a blow to me as hearing he died.

i'm not an apple person, not since 1992 when my workplace took away the mac & replaced it with a p.c.. you don't have to be a member of the club, though, to realize the clubhouse would look a whole lot different without this man having been alive.

rest in peace.

.
posted by msconduct at 9:33 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by byjingo! at 9:34 AM on October 6, 2011


But, I mean, it's not like he was a popular artist or something...

Steve Jobs certainly considered himself an artist. "Real artists ship."
posted by zsazsa at 9:36 AM on October 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


I really don't think this is down to the "echo-chamber nature of the current Internet".

You don't have to "get it". But sneering at people who do is pretty goddamn disrespectful.
posted by Zozo at 9:37 AM on October 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


"Now, we’re in a new era, mobile, and it was launched by one person, Steve Jobs."

Within context though. That there is hyperbole in the form of that wording. (From a global bottom up perspective)
posted by infini at 9:38 AM on October 6, 2011


I don't understand why so many people feel personally affected with someone who is (not even chiefly) responsible for their electronic devices.

Check out the post above by the person whose child communicates through an iPad.

For me (and the only Apple item I have in the house is my phone - I'd like an iPad, but it's financially out of my reach) I truly feel that he personally changed the direction of computers from the IBM/MS business-centric, "supposed to be hard to use" paradigm to the amazing intuitiveness that is now the industry standard.

My son, who is five, can pick up my iPhone and do whatever he wants to do -- play games, call his grandmother, learn stuff, watch movies, type out a note to me -- something he's not really able to do with a desktop PC.

This man had a singular vision of how technology was supposed to exist to help people, to make our lives easier, more fun, more connected ... and he ruthlessly pursued that vision until he made it a real thing. No computer I've ever owned has changed my life and my ability to do things ... spend more time with my family ... be in contact with people that I love ... than this goddamn phone.
posted by anastasiav at 9:40 AM on October 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

.
posted by zadermatermorts at 9:41 AM on October 6, 2011


Apparently Time Magazine stopped the presses to replate for a Jobs cover.
posted by Jahaza at 9:45 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Bill Gates won't get this level of tribute even if he wipes out malaria.

I don't know that this is true. I can easily imagine the public obsequies following Gates' death focusing heavily on his very generous philanthropies with a great deal of solemnity and gravitas. But the difference between Gates and Jobs is that Jobs came to embody (partly though his own drive and talent, partly good fortune) an ideal of rising from nowhere, becoming powerful and successful, and doing it all with beauty and panache and style. Alexis Madrigal gets it more or less right in "Why We Mourn Steve Jobs," I think. More so than Gates, in addition to making and/or being the public face behind products that really did change lives, Jobs always had a kind of star power, a sprezzatura. And people, for better or worse, respond to such. That's my feeling, anyway.

This picture I find stunning. Their parents might've been at Tiananmen; their grandparents in the Cultural Revolution.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:46 AM on October 6, 2011 [4 favorites]



posted by jrewing at 9:50 AM on October 6, 2011


"In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it."
-Michelangelo

Seems like that's how it was with Steve and computing technology.
posted by BlueDuke at 9:51 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by mikel at 9:51 AM on October 6, 2011


I'm a PC guy and an Android guy, but I know my PCs and my Androids are way better than they would have been without Steve Jobs setting the standard at every step.
posted by callmejay at 9:52 AM on October 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


.
posted by glhaynes at 10:01 AM on October 6, 2011


Steve and Bill chilling, 1991

actually a nice picture
posted by Ad hominem at 10:01 AM on October 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


Eternal Flame (xkcd's tribute)

Not a big fan of xkcd, but that was sweet.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:02 AM on October 6, 2011


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posted by Defenestrator at 10:03 AM on October 6, 2011


Steve and Bill chilling, 1991

I love their body language in this picture. It's like some modern version of The School At Athens.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:09 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


He said "no" a lot, and sometimes, you need to be a negator to be a creator.

We've got a world jam-packed with folks with business degrees and big ideas about market sectors and design languages for new buying segments, but not enough people in a position to say "no" and back it up.


Recently on MeFi, a video of Jobs at the 1997 World Wide Developer Conference appeared. This was his first public appearance since rejoining Apple. Speaking to an audience of computer programmers, this was the most compressed, clearest explanation of everything he stood for in his new run at Apple.

"I know some of you spent a lot of time working on stuff that we put a bullet in the head of. I apologize. I feel your pain. But Apple suffered for several years from no.. from lousy engineering management, I have to say it. And there were people that were going off in 18 different directions, doing arguably interesting things in each one of them. Good engineers, lousy management. And what happened was, you look at the farm that's been created with all these different animals going in different directions, and it doesn't add up, the total is less than the sum of the parts. And so we had to decide, what are the fundamental directions we're going in, and what makes sense and what doesn't. And there were a bunch of things that didn't. And microcosmically they might have made sense, macrocosmically they made no sense. And you know, the hardest thing is, when you think about focusing, right? You think well, focusing is saying yes. No. Focusing is about saying no. Focusing is about saying no. And you've got to say no no no, and you say no, you piss off people. And they go talk to the San Jose Mercury and they write a shitty article about you. You know? And it's really a pisser, because you want to be nice, you don't want to tell the San Jose Mercury the person is telling you this, you know, was asked to leave, or this or that or this or that, so you take the lumps. And Apple's been taking their share lumps for the last six months in a very unfair way. And it's been taking them, you know, like an adult. And I'm proud of that. And there's more to come, I'm sure. There's more to come. I read these articles about some of these people that have left, I know some of these people. They haven't done anything in seven years. And they leave and it's like, you know it's like the company's going to fall apart the next day. And so, you know, I think there will be stories like that that come and go. But focus is about saying no. And the result of that focus is going to be some really great products where the total is much greater than the sum of the parts."
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:12 AM on October 6, 2011 [21 favorites]


Has anyone had a greater impact on the 21st century?

Osama Bin Laden / George W. Bush.
posted by blackfly at 10:16 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't know if it's been mentioned here yet, but Tim Berners-Lee invented the web on one of Steve's creations. And specifically mentioned how he probably would not have done so on the other available machines of the time.

I think the ripples of the man's presence will be felt for a very long time.
posted by bashos_frog at 10:17 AM on October 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


This. (what callmyjay said... I ended up writing more than expected)

I was not surprised to see the obit thread blowing up on my phone on the way home, but I forgot I don't have the "deleted thread" script there or on my browser on my home desktop, and for some reason it warms my (obviously not a mod) heart to see all the almost ran threads proving what a big deal this is for most people. I didn't feel I had much more to add that others haven't said, but I too am surprised how much this has affected me.

It's probably because I don't take the time to reflect on just how important computers have been to me. Even though I don't strictly work in tech, my life was made so much better because of the Apple II's that were affordable to the high school in my home district. My dad was a teacher there and, before we had one at home, after hours, he'd sneak me in while he was doing work on them and let me program BASIC. Like I said, I didn't do much with the programming professionally on the surface -- but it taught me how to think in ways that weren't available to me in the curriculum at the time. It allowed me to challenge myself in ways that no one else was able to do. And though Steve Jobs isn't solely responsible for that, I can understand while it feels like to some that he is, and upon reflection, it's probably true for me too.

But even more than that, I'm thankful for what happened after my dad had to stop sneaking me into a shared computer lab -- when he got tired of typing up tests and grades after hours at school and managed to get a Apple IIe at home. With a computer at home, I didn't have to be as focused on the programming books that had always been what I wanted to do in the hour or two I had. I could just dick around for hours at a time. And it was fantastic.

Of course there were games, but, suddenly there was also AppleWorks. It was mine and instead of typing away on my mom's old electric typewriter, I was able to create worlds and worlds of stories* not in a notebook that anybody could find but on a floppy disk I was able to eject and take to my room. I wasn't really writing anything private or personal (yet) but it was hard for me to share anything creative for fear that it would be judged.

* And databases and spreadsheets for those stories -- and tracking my rating of Doctor Who stories and books and just so much information, like a personal Wikipedia of shit I cared about.

And not 6 months or so later, after my parents had finally saved up for this machine, those same parents were at an educator's conference. And the door prize was a Apple IIe with a color screen and everything. And guess who won it? Suddenly we were a two computer household. And guess who eventually got one of those machines for his bedroom?

So, yeah, I don't own anything Apple myself lately except for an old iPod, mostly because of the price point and that I like to screw around with stuff around or hack too much (or at least I like the idea of being able to do that, even if I don't get around to it -- I'm looking at you Android phone), but I'll never be a loud opponent of Apple's pricing because I remember when my school and my parents were able to use those educational discounts or won that door prize and how it made my at-the-time-often-very-lonely-life much, much, much better.

I'm not sure how much Steve Jobs has to do with any of that. But even if it's 1/10th of a one percent, it's still enough for me to pay him a large amount of respect.

.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:19 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


But anyone who thinks that Jobs’ contributions to society can somehow be reduced to “marketing” or “fashion” betrays a complete ignorance of the power and importance of great design.

Great design can and does change the world. Poor design can and does ruin lives.


Scott McCloud
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:25 AM on October 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


.
posted by The Violet Cypher at 10:25 AM on October 6, 2011


I think Jobs was an amazing person, so I don't mean any disrespect by this, but:

Calling it now -- Zombie Steve Jobs is going to be big this Halloween.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:25 AM on October 6, 2011


The Onion: Last American Who Knew What The Fuck He Was Doing Dies
posted by anastasiav at 10:26 AM on October 6, 2011 [19 favorites]


Steve Jobs: Arab-American, Buddhist, Psychedelic Drug User, and Capitalist World-Changer
posted by naju at 10:27 AM on October 6, 2011 [11 favorites]


Alexis Madrigal gets it more or less right in "Why We Mourn Steve Jobs," I think.

Thanks. That was short but good. I was looking for some meta.

I don't know that this is true. I can easily imagine the public obsequies following Gates' death focusing heavily on his very generous philanthropies with a great deal of solemnity and gravitas.

But you won't get pilgrimages or shrines or pictures like the one you posted. No way.

Has anyone had a greater impact on the 21st century?

Michael Faraday. Albert Einstein. Bill Clinton.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:29 AM on October 6, 2011


Crazy Ones Logo
posted by jeffburdges at 10:29 AM on October 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Steve Jobs: Arab-American, Buddhist, Psychedelic Drug User, and Capitalist World-Changer

A bit of a tortured analogy, but that was pretty good too.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:31 AM on October 6, 2011


Steve and Bill chilling, 1991

actually a nice picture
posted by Ad hominem at 12:01 PM on October 6 [+] [!]


Not only did he have an impact on my life, he apparently somehow had an impact on my 1991 hair style as well.* And I'm pretty sure I had that shirt.


* Who am I kidding? According to recently tagged Facebook pictures, I had that hair in 1993 and 1996 as well.

posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:31 AM on October 6, 2011


I work in a creative field, without actually being an artist. And I've found that for most people like me, trying to find fulfillment at the ugly intersection between commerce and art is a really hard road. And at some point everyone seems to find themselves clutching a copy of The Fountainhead and saying "to hell with all those philistines who don't understand or appreciate art!" And then either quit and starve, or give in to financial realities and dull their edge accordingly and always feel bitter.

What Steve Jobs represented was a third road. What he did was say that maybe people aren't hating your art because they're common or morons. Maybe your art just isn't good enough yet, because people don't appreciate it. Apple products (and packaging, and ads) are beautiful not despite their functionality, but because of it. They do what they are supposed to do, what people want them to do, and they make it seem effortless. Steve Jobs stood for that. No extra buttons that you don't need. No clutter. You can be true to your best instincts and give people what they want - if your instincts are true, that can happen simultaneously.
posted by Mchelly at 10:31 AM on October 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


I spent last night with a great friend of mine having a wake for Steve Jobs. It's absolutely not putting too fine a point on it to say that I do what I do for a living because of him. More than that, I love what I do and strive to be incredibly focussed and dedicated about it in large part because of him. My work has also given me great friends, and interests I never would have had. I think you could do much worse than Steve Jobs for a mentor and life template.

I worry for human-machine interface, for ethical marketing, for user experience, for design, now that one of the greatest champions of those endeavors is gone. The only choice is to carry on for him. This was a man of singular, uncompromising vision—a vision that he laid out and utterly executed on with every waking hour of his life up until, literally, the very last.

I will miss him dearly and I never even met him, except for using his products every day. In that way, I think perhaps I did meet him. So sad today. It sucks to outlive your heroes.
posted by littlerobothead at 10:38 AM on October 6, 2011


.
posted by fremen at 10:43 AM on October 6, 2011


.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:45 AM on October 6, 2011


From just after Jobs' retirement:

Jean-Louis Gassée: Steve: Who’s Going to Protect Us From Cheap and Mediocre Now?

Until the last sinew, the last synapse gives up, Steve will continue to influence the company he co-founded and later recreated. Seeing he could no longer ‘‘meet [his] duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO’’, Jobs kicks himself upstairs and becomes Chairman, director, and “mere” Apple employee. In a distant future, I see him haunting the circular hallways of Apple’s Cupertino spaceship, the Commendatore hunting the clock punchers and damning the linear thinkers straight to Hell.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:47 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jobs Talks About His Rise and Fall

And so I haven't got any sort of odd chip on my shoulder about proving anything to myself or anybody else. And remember, though the outside world looks at success from a numerical point of view, my yardstick might be quite different than that. My yardstick may be how every computer that's designed from here on out will have to be at least as good as a Macintosh.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:49 AM on October 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


.
posted by dripdripdrop at 10:50 AM on October 6, 2011


sad to hear of his death

but gosh, what hyperbole for a cultural icon
and very successful capitalist
yes, brilliant PR, design and marketing
surely a team effort and not all down to him
posted by hopefulmidlifer at 10:54 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


.
posted by koroshiya at 10:55 AM on October 6, 2011


Phelps Clan Tweets Intent To Picket Jobs Funeral Via iPhone
(I wonder if anyone took my logo comment seriously)
posted by jeffburdges at 10:56 AM on October 6, 2011


My son is on the autism spectrum and has a severe receptive and expressive language delay. He’s four years old, and can read and spell words, and sing entire songs, but is more like an 18-month or two-year-old in normal conversation. He cannot use a telephone and has a hard time sitting still for video telephony. He has a thoroughly well-loved iPod Touch, filled with videos and apps that have helped him learn to speak and augment his ability to communicate.

‘This Stuff Doesn’t Change the World’: Disability and Steve Jobs’ Legacy
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:57 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wednesday's child is full of woe.

I can't contribute much new to this, having come late after reading all the way through last night and this morning.

What I can say is that the thing that sticks to me most of all the memorable things Steve Jobs said and did, and all the innovative products I've seen and bought and used over the years, was this one quote I remember from some Apple press conference or back around the time netbooks started to hit big. I'm paraphrasing but the gist was:

"We don't know how to make a $500 machine and have it be anything but garbage..."

that's it. No apologies, and no compromise, straight from the hip. This was at a time just before the iPad came out, when Apple was being roundly criticized for having "dropped the ball" on netbooks.

Steve's passion and drive and absolute bloodyminded refusal to cut corners to cater to the ever-changing whims of the consumer market, or accept anything less than the best out of his products or employees, and his ability to somehow predict what we wanted as consumers before we even knew what that was, exactly, ourselves, is something rare indeed.

It's a hard concept to articulate really, and people upthread have done it much better. It's something I finally "got" for reals, when I threw up my hands in disgust and ordered a 2006 MBP, after years of fighting with DIY cobbled-together heaps of Windows boxen FAIL and angst.

I've been back and forth between Windows and Apple products my entire life, but ever since that day in 2006 when I booted up that lovely, shiny aluminum

In a random minor way, Apple also made it possible for me to advance to a very high level administrative position at a major pharmaceutical industry leader, without a college degree and with a checkered history of being a service industry slacker. Back in the 90s, I was working as a bottom-of-the-barrel clerical temp in a tough job market. One of the few things I had on my resume to differentiate me from the mob was the fact that I was fluent on both the PC and Apple platform, thanks to my boyfriend at the time being an Apple disciple. Procter & Gamble still happened to be using (I think) 6500 PowerPC clones or some such at their world headquarters. They paid well and had great benefits, but it was UNGODLY difficult to even get a foot in the door, much less an interview there. The fact that I was the only one of dozens of applicants and interviewees for an admin job who even understood how to turn the damn thing on (much less use Lotus Notes) got me the job. This was during the Clone War years of Apple's nadir, when their stuff was ugly and quirky and slow and for business users it could be aggravatingly non-integratable on a Windows network. I suffered through many system bombs and those stupid incomprehensible little white error boxes and sad-Mac icons but oh my god how I wish now that I had bought stock in the company back then.

Rest well, Steve. I'm thankful that you're at peace and beyond pain. My heart goes out to his family, friends, and colleagues. We went through this at my company a couple of years ago with a much-loved director with similar drive and imagination, who also worked right up until the end, and oh my god is it ever devastating to one's employees, in ways I can't articulate.

.
posted by lonefrontranger at 10:58 AM on October 6, 2011


.
posted by dhdrum at 11:04 AM on October 6, 2011


Tears of guilt and shame are streaming down my face as I read this thread.

I'm a breast cancer survivor. I survived. And am doing what with this precious gift? Oh, a few gigs here and there. Working a desk job to pay the bills and blaming my lack of a robust singing career on other circumstances and people. And always, always, always making goddam excuses.

Steve Jobs changed our world. Thank you, Steve.

I'm gonna get my shit together, NOW.

.
posted by operalass at 11:05 AM on October 6, 2011 [20 favorites]


A few weeks ago, I visited Jobs for the last time in his Palo Alto, Calif., home. He had moved to a downstairs bedroom because he was too weak to go up and down stairs. He was curled up in some pain, but his mind was still sharp and his humor vibrant. We talked about his childhood, and he gave me some pictures of his father and family to use in my biography. As a writer, I was used to being detached, but I was hit by a wave of sadness as I tried to say goodbye. In order to mask my emotion, I asked the one question that was still puzzling me: Why had he been so eager, during close to 50 interviews and conversations over the course of two years, to open up so much for a book when he was usually so private? “I wanted my kids to know me,” he said. “I wasn’t always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did.”
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:07 AM on October 6, 2011 [20 favorites]


Steve to St. Peter: "Is all that pearl really necessary?"
posted by Lon Mem at 11:10 AM on October 6, 2011 [12 favorites]


Steve's passion and drive and absolute bloodyminded refusal to cut corners...

He might not have cut corners, but he did round them.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:12 AM on October 6, 2011


"I'm already getting tired of that commercial where John Hodgman brags about how he's a PC and is alive."
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:12 AM on October 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


You know, that Onion piece really resonates. It is funny, but it definitely resonates with my own frustrations.
posted by neuromodulator at 11:19 AM on October 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


goddammit I accidentally a whole paragraph. oh well.

forgot to mention, I am also wearing a black turtleneck today in his honor.

apropos of nothing I just had the serious heebie-jeebies thinking about some poor IT tech person who has to go and delete the "sjobs@apple.com" user account from their corporate email server. brrr.
posted by lonefrontranger at 11:19 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


but gosh, what hyperbole for a cultural icon
and very successful capitalist
yes, brilliant PR, design and marketing
surely a team effort and not all down to him


True. But someone had a vision, put together the team around that vision, and kicked their asses and took no prisoners to get to that vision.

And that was Steve Jobs.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:20 AM on October 6, 2011


I'm hoping for a couple centuries worth of spontaneous Hari Seldon-like keynote appearances.
posted by hal9k at 11:25 AM on October 6, 2011 [11 favorites]


He was born to an unmarried American graduate student and a Syrian Muslim immigrant who were forced to give him up for adoption because the student's parents didn't want her marrying a Muslim Arab. Was adopted by an Armenian-American family. Went to high school, dropped out of college after one semester, (he kept on auditing courses while living off the kindness of others -- free meals at the local Hare Krishna center, sleeping on friends' floors and by collecting cans for recycling for money to live on.

It took him two years to get his life together and get a steady job at Atari as a technician. Which he only took because he had become a Buddhist and wanted to visit India.

He came from nothing. And look what he accomplished.


Good thing nobody is asking for his birth certificate or middle name...

And I just want to speak up (though I'm on record for not buying into the Apple value system/biz model/brand cult/or even their OS) on those who're wondering why the hyperbole, why the shock or why the "its all team work etc" business

If you've ever tried to shove an idea through the much that's middle management, filled with naysayers of the fearful kind, you may begin to understand the appreciate of someone who stood by what he believed enough to manifest his philosophy tangibly in the form of the design you see.

Design is first and foremost a philosophy, a system of values. He did not compromise *and* he didn't starve in a garrett for it.

Do that, and you'll get the same hyperbole.
posted by infini at 11:29 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Steve Jobs: A Few Memories

As Mathematica was being developed, we showed it to Steve Jobs quite often. He always claimed he didn’t understand the math of it (though I later learned from a good friend of mine who had known Steve in high school that Steve had definitely taken at least one calculus course). But he made all sorts of “make it simpler” suggestions about the interface and the documentation. With one slight exception, perhaps of at least curiosity interest to Mathematica aficionados: he suggested that cells in Mathematica notebook documents (now CDFs) should be indicated not by simple vertical lines—but instead by brackets with little serifs at their ends. And as it happens, that idea opened the way to thinking of hierarchies of cells, and ultimately to many features of symbolic documents...

I used to see Steve Jobs with some regularity in those days. One time I went to see him in NeXT’s swank new offices in Redwood City. I particularly wanted to talk to him about Mathematica as a computer language. He always preferred user interfaces to languages, but he was trying to be helpful. The conversation was going on, but he said he couldn’t go to dinner, and actually he was quite distracted, because he was going out on a date that evening—and he hadn’t been on a date for a long time. He explained that he’d just met the woman he was seeing a few days earlier, and was very nervous about his date. The Steve Jobs—so confident as a businessman and technologist—had melted away, and he was asking me—hardly a noted known authority on such things—about his date.

As it turned out, the date apparently worked out—and within 18 months the woman he met became his wife, and remained so until the end...

In my life, I have had the good fortune to interact with all sorts of talented people. To me, Steve Jobs stands out most for his clarity of thought. Over and over again he took complex situations, understood their essence, and used that understanding to make a bold definitive move, often in a completely unexpected direction.

posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:29 AM on October 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


Famous deaths don't get me much. But there are now two that make me heartsick. Steve Jobs and Douglas Adams. Each of them, through their hard work, curiosity and vision helped me literally think differently about who I am, and what this thing life may be all about. Both were taken from us too soon. My sadness is greed, tempered by thankfulness. I wish they could've lived so I could learn more from them, enjoy their work, and continue to be surprised and delighted by whatever they did next. But thankful for what they gave us while they could.

Computers (and now 'mobile' devices) are so personal in large part because of what Steve fought for, and believed in,for his entire working life. I can say that I have never had any other thing that I feel as emotionally attached to as my laptop and my phone, because they both let me connect with people and learn about the world in ways impossible just a few decades ago. I wonder if that emotional attachment is stronger for apple fans because so few of us end up with a love-hate relationship like I did with every windows and linux box I've ever had. Apple products are not perfect, but they are the best at getting out of the way and becoming extensions of ourselves.
posted by gofargogo at 11:33 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I saved my paper route money for months so that I could buy my first computer, an Apple IIc with the built-in diskdrive. So much fun, so many good memories.

Thanks Steve.
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:34 AM on October 6, 2011


Walking to walk this morning I noticed a sad black bunting over the entrance of Tekserve on 23rd st.
posted by JBennett at 11:41 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


NYTimes: Steve Jobs, Son of a Syrian, Is Embraced in the Arab World.

His biological father apparently is alive in Reno, Nevada, but it doesn't appear that they've ever contacted each other.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:44 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm wearing my icon watch as my own little tribute.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:49 AM on October 6, 2011


.

Incredible guy, unbelievable work. Thanks for your impact on my life, my family's life, and the world. Goodbye, man.
posted by Hartham's Hugging Robots at 11:58 AM on October 6, 2011


This morning my seven year old daughter asked why I was so sad, and I told her that a famous American inventor had died. She asked if she knew any of his inventions.

"Well that computer you play Minecraft on, he invented that. And the iPod nana gave you for your birthday, he invented that. And the iPad you use at school, that's also his work. Oh and he was in charge of Pixar, so he helped create Toy Story and Cars and Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc. and Wall-E and and Ratatouille and The Incredibles and Up."

"So he invented things for children?"

"Yeah, kind of."

"Does he have kids?"

"Yes, he did."

"I guess his inventions show how much he loved them."

"I guess so."
posted by Toekneesan at 11:59 AM on October 6, 2011 [54 favorites]


We should also remember that even Steve Jobs' remarkable life should be viewed as partially a matter of circumstances, maybe less so than everyone else's, but still.

In particular, there were plenty of larger companies that could've squished, or bought and sidelined, Apple early on. Apple survived mostly because IBM and HP ignored the personal computer market.

You create business leaders like Steve Jobs by breaking up oligopolies, preventing regulatory capture, nurturing startups, and generally creating opportunity. If you don't, all your business leaders will be MBAs like Meg Whitman.
posted by jeffburdges at 12:00 PM on October 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


I always thought I would get to meet him, ever since I was a kid, but I never knew how or why; I just assumed it had to happen. Then I had an idea for building something cool on one of his platforms, and yesterday I met for the first time the team that was going to build it with me. When I got home I overheard someone casually telling someone else the news. My only chance of ever meeting him was given and taken away yesterday. I sound selfish writing this out.

Steve Jobs could tell a story. Tell it, and sell it. There will never be anyone like him, but there will be a generation of kids who followed him and were inspired by him. That's gotta mean something.
posted by nostril at 12:01 PM on October 6, 2011


Last night after reading this thread on my little PowerBook in a brightly lit kitchen, by myself in an otherwise darkened house, I experienced a kind of visitation.

There was a noise as of the front door scraping open-- I knew it to be locked and chained-- and when I walked into the living room, defiantly, to face down whatever might be happening out there, my scalp tingled and my hair absolutely stood on end (I'd considered that partly a myth, but it's not!). The tingling spread over the rest of my body in waves, and every slightest sound was full of growling words I only just failed to comprehend.

The tingling and the growling words kept on unstoppably for the next half hour, finally driving me to bed in hopes that sleep would extinguish them, which it did.

Rest in peace, Steve, and thank you from the bottom of my heart.
posted by jamjam at 12:04 PM on October 6, 2011


So I grew up with PCs, I even made a couple of home builds, and then this summer I realized that I was tired of looking up stuff on Ubuntu forums and I sure as hell wasn't going back to Windows. So I bought a MacBook air during the time between Jobs' resignation and his death. Such an elegant computer! Such functionality! I'm sorry that I showed up just as the party was ending. His was a life well lived, so I don't think that we can be too sad. He made the best of the time he had.



posted by no mind at 12:04 PM on October 6, 2011


Apple survived mostly because IBM and HP ignored the personal computer market.

??????
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:05 PM on October 6, 2011


Oh man Toekneesan, that just made me tear up again.
posted by naju at 12:07 PM on October 6, 2011


It's both fun and saudade-magnifying to read the personal experiences with the technology here. Like a lot of you, my youth was the youth of these tools. I remember being young in the smell of the school rooms and office buildings and plastic and hints of ozone, the glow of phosphor screens; touching texture of static electricity off a TV hooked to a computer console; playing text adventure games like Lost Dutchman's Gold, simulation games like Lemonade stand, platform games like Loderunner. I remember teachers lecturing on LOGO, watching patterns appear on the screen -- from my programs! -- snippets of assembly or BASIC. And knowing, despite all the shin-banging that actually happened when I went to really do anything, that this was a world of possibility that was opening up. Open to me.

I didn't know who Woz and Jobs were. I only learned later that they'd played key roles in making this world part of my youth. But the stories were woven together in my head somewhere along the way. Knowing that Jobs has passed feels tied up in remembering both the joy and potential of that time and in the awareness that it has passed.

Those specific moments, anyway -- my youth, those experiences, the youth of those specific technologies, the time where Jobs has helped drive the creation of so much illustrious in this field. It's not *really* done. Sometimes I get the joy of watching this world open up to others... now using Python or JavaScript or something else instead of BASIC or Assembler. It makes me suspect there will be more. A lot of it won't have the singular vision of someone like Jobs, very little of it will have his specific flavor... just like there isn't any more Douglas Adams or John Lennon coming. But I think there will be more.

"You needn't worry about them. They'll be all right, and thousands like them. If you come along now, I'll show you what I mean."
posted by weston at 12:08 PM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think a lot of the outpouring of emotion from people who never met Steve Jobs and aren't even programmers is because we feel like we were along for the ride in some small way. Not only are Apple products beautiful, intuitive, and well-built, but the company has a dramatic history that spans much of our youth (for most of us here).

Many of us can remember falling in love with the Macintosh, reveling in how easy it was to use compared to the Windows95 boxes our workmates were stuck with, and feeling genuinely upset when the beancounters decided that Macs were too expensive and everybody was gonna use Windows from now on. It felt like cheap and ugly would triumph again, forevermore. Microsoft terminating Mac IE was like a death blow.

But Apple was a scrappy underdog and kept fighting, and Mac users loved them for it. All the drama (Jobs in, then out, then back again) added a compelling story arc that drew us in like a serial novel and whenever it seemed like Apple was on the ropes for good, there would be another unexpected twist. I remember laughing with amazement when the lampshade Mac was introduced - it looked nothing like any computer before yet it made so much sense.

I'm not a programmer but I've used computers in every job since 1988. I've championed Macs at every opportunity, recommending lab equipment based on Mac-compatible software (and the machines that ran Mac software were also well-designed, robust, and easy to use - not a coincidence, I suspect). I even bought my own Pismo laptop to use at a small biotech company that was otherwise Windows, and their part-time IT guy thanked me - he said it was one less thing for him to worry about.

Anyway, that's many years of my life slightly intertwined with Apple's story, and I bet most of the "" commenters here have had a similar experience. Even if we're not programmers we're emotionally involved to a small extent, and thinking back on Jobs' career leads to reminiscing about our own past. That makes his death feel a bit personal, in a way.

I decided to come back to this thread when I was sitting at my sewing machine, which I bought about 15 years ago, and realized that I decided to get the Pfaff, rather than another brand, because it was the only one whose embroidery software ran on a Mac. Even my SEWING MACHINE is a tribute to Apple. RIP, Steve Jobs.
posted by Quietgal at 12:25 PM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Well that computer you play Minecraft on, he invented that. And the iPod nana gave you for your birthday, he invented that. And the iPad you use at school, that's also his work. Oh and he was in charge of Pixar, so he helped create Toy Story and Cars and Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc. and Wall-E and and Ratatouille and The Incredibles and Up."

Without John Lasseter and Toy Story, Pixar dies or gets sold in the mid-1990s. And Bob Iger probably had more to do with Cars, Ratatouille, Wall-E and Up than Jobs did. Jobs had a great life even without the specious mythologies.

And the iPod nana gave you for your birthday, he invented that.

Tony Fadell

that computer you play Minecraft on, he invented that

Not himself. Not even the early Apples.

Jobs was a great manager and good judge of talent, but it's wrong to give him complete credit for everything the people who work for him make.

There were myriad people involved with the success of the Macintosh, iPod, iPad, and iPhone. To give all (or too much of) the credit to Jobs is a slight to them, imo.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:27 PM on October 6, 2011 [9 favorites]


Apple, Inc. went public exactly one week after I was born. Today, the price of one share is slightly more than what I have in my bank account.

All valuation facts aside, Mr Jobs was like the kid sitting next to you on the bumpy schoolbus with the coolest new gadget...except HE (and probably one or two collaborators) invented the dang thing, and was just as eager to SHARE it with you than twiddle with it himself. Just watching the 2001 iPod release, we can see a man whose mere curiosity and dissatisfaction with all things clunky makes them seem so...silly. And then, whips out some rectangular object of sleek genius from his back pocket.

.
posted by obscurator at 12:27 PM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just another note. In 30 minutes I'm going to walk into a classroom filled with young adults who grew up in the age of the internet. I teach world history to 1500 as a history of material culture and objects. And today, before I tell them about Ashoka's pillars and the Rosetta stone using a MacBook Pro I bought using my first academic publishing check in my field, I'm going to talk to them about the importance of Jobs and Apple to modern material culture. Because the story I always try to get them to see is that these objects, sitting in a museum today, were made by someone who had a story. And Jobs had a story. And his company has a story. And all of his employees have a story. And all of the people who are employees of the companies that work for Apple have stories. And each person who bought, used, and owned an Apple product had a story.

And one day, somewhere in the future, some world history teacher is going to be teaching her students about the man named Jobs.
posted by strixus at 12:28 PM on October 6, 2011 [13 favorites]


... And part of me hopes the Discworld Death met him at the door, took the iPod earbuds out of his hood, and said, "STEVE, WOULD YOU LIKE AN APPLE, BEFORE YOU GO?"
posted by strixus at 12:30 PM on October 6, 2011 [12 favorites]


Without John Lasseter and Toy Story, Pixar dies or gets sold in the mid-1990s.

Without your left foot, it's awfully hard to walk, but that doesn't negate the importance of the right one.
posted by empath at 12:30 PM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Steve Jobs was not a foot! He was the brain!

Or maybe the tongue, as it relates to taste.

And feet don't do too much walking when the tongue ain't there.

It's a well known fact.
posted by mazola at 12:33 PM on October 6, 2011


I'd say tongue. As said, he was a great hirer of talent, but he was an even better salesman and promoter.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:41 PM on October 6, 2011


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posted by tr33hggr at 12:42 PM on October 6, 2011


Thanks, Steve.
posted by Auguris at 12:42 PM on October 6, 2011


> There were myriad people involved with the success of the Macintosh, iPod, iPad, and iPhone. To give all (or too much of) the credit to Jobs is a slight to them, imo.

I'd say this: Jobs had final say on all of those products (minus the specifics of Pixar production, who he fought to keep open and hired bright talent). If the concepts and work didn't meet his standards, you weren't going to see it.

As that, he shaped and influenced the design that gives an iPhone it's iPhone-ness, the iPod the iPod-ness. This is reinforced by it was almost always him presenting these devices. It was something that he had helped make, and he was now sharing it with you.

That is a connection hard to lose, those devices may have come out sooner, may have looked different, but they probably wouldn't be as memorable if he hadn't worked on them.
posted by mrzarquon at 12:45 PM on October 6, 2011


Why so much attention on Steve Jobs?

Like so many things in mass culture, it's not about the specifics of what Jobs did, but about what he represents. Jobs, via his work at Apple (and yes, as many have pointed out, others, from Wozniak on, mostly did the actual work, and Jobs was not even with Apple for a crucial decade of its history), is a symbol of the new wired, digital, DIY-via-computer era that really has changed many people's day-to-day lives. And symbols are often more important to people than facts.

On another tack, Jobs' death also reinforces something that haunts many of us who have lost loved ones to cancer: not even this fabulously wealthy, motivated, connected person could turn the disease back.
posted by aught at 12:47 PM on October 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


There were myriad people involved with the success of the Macintosh, iPod, iPad, and iPhone. To give all (or too much of) the credit to Jobs is a slight to them, imo.

Yes, but all of these successes had only one person in common. And he just happened to be the guy in charge. Don't act as if the man wasn't due credit. He was.
posted by grubi at 1:00 PM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Stay hungry, Stay foolish"
posted by jeffburdges at 1:02 PM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


And symbols are often more important to people than facts.

No one is suggesting that Steve Jobs was responsible for every single step in the design and manufacturing process of the various Apple products. To do so would be ridiculous. Of course there were tens/hundreds/thousands of talented folks who contributed to these projects in myriad ways. No one is attempting to slight their contributions.

However, when people talk about Steve Jobs 'creating' or 'being responsible for' these items, they're addressing the fact that other teams of tens/hundreds/thousands of equally-talented folks at other companies have created superficially-similar objects that repeatedly fall short of the Jobsian versions. His vision, his focus, his taste (and now, hopefully, his ability to create an institution that values and instills those qualities) really seem to be the sine qua non of the whole thing.
posted by BlueDuke at 1:02 PM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Jabberwocky at 1:02 PM on October 6, 2011


This hit me deeply in unexpected ways, not just because the first computer I touched was a ][, not just because I started using Macs in '87 and they overnight converted a hopeless luddite of an art major into someone who could stay gainfully employed, not just because they have been an essential tool in my career, not just because today I work as an iPhone game developer. But because my mom died of cancer at the same age after a decade of illness and I remember what that was like: his older kids being the about the same age I was then, his youngest child being the same age as my son.

Feels like losing family.

.
posted by jamaro at 1:03 PM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gruber: Universe Dented, Grass Underfoot

After the WWDC keynote four months ago, I saw Steve, up close.

He looked old. Not old in a way that could be measured in years or even decades, but impossibly old. Not tired, but weary; not ill or unwell, but rather, somehow, ancient. But not his eyes. His eyes were young and bright, their weapons-grade intensity intact. His sweater was well-worn, his jeans frayed at the cuffs.

But the thing that struck me were his shoes, those famous gray New Balance 993s. They too were well-worn. But also this: fresh bright green grass stains all over the heels.

Those grass stains filled my mind with questions..

posted by charlie don't surf at 1:06 PM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


My first experience with computers was playing Oregon Trail on a Mac in second grade.

Thanks, Steve.

.
posted by clavier at 1:14 PM on October 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


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posted by crepesofwrath at 1:17 PM on October 6, 2011


Rush Limbaugh: Steve Jobs: American Exceptionalism
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:27 PM on October 6, 2011


I cannot imagine any circumstances under which I would voluntarily click that link.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 1:35 PM on October 6, 2011 [19 favorites]


I was shocked at how hard this hit me. We lost Prometheus yesterday. Thank you, Steve.
posted by kryptondog at 1:36 PM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I remember getting a second generation ipod for my 18th birthday. It was in a big cube of a box. I loaded some music from myaafaftafteafterafter ggeggetting a usb cable for the thing-had never seen firewire before. I have a really strong memory soon after, being on a coach from a small town to the airport to see my girlfriend. Rolling out with legs pressed against a tray table feeling the onset of pins and needles and pressing on the menu button and the blue screen backlit, red lights under buttons, some stupid pong game, big headphones- probably the hardcore i listened to leaking out and the town drifting past. that girlfriend I'm no longer in touch with. i still have the ipod.

.
posted by multivalent at 1:38 PM on October 6, 2011


Thanks for reminding me how much I dislike Rush Limbaugh: Steve Jobs epitomized American exceptionalism. His life epitomized it. His philosophies epitomized American exceptionalism.

Yeah. Except for that little issue where everything Apple made was built in China, Taiwan or Korea. By Chinese, Taiwanese and Korean engineers and factory workers. Not one American exists that can build the physical parts of the new iPhone.

But he was indeed a hell of a salesman, just like Rush.
posted by GuyZero at 1:45 PM on October 6, 2011


from myaafaftafteafterafter ggeggetting

What happened here?
posted by grubi at 1:46 PM on October 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


What was Steve Jobs time of death?
posted by matimer at 1:50 PM on October 6, 2011


a quarter to too early.
posted by GuyZero at 1:51 PM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]



posted by caphector at 1:58 PM on October 6, 2011


What happened here?

autocorrect?
posted by desjardins at 2:11 PM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


.
posted by joedan at 2:13 PM on October 6, 2011


Yeah. Except for that little issue where everything Apple made was built in China, Taiwan or Korea. By Chinese, Taiwanese and Korean engineers and factory workers. Not one American exists that can build the physical parts of the new iPhone.

You know, I try to be constructive with these sorts of remarks. It is because electronics are made in China, Taiwan, and Korea that they're cheap. And their cheapness is a huge boon to the world. Technology should be as cheap as possible in order to be ubiquitous and accessible. The phone model that's sold the most in the world is not the iPhone. It's the Nokia 1100. Hell, all the best sellers are Nokia bricks. Even I own a slightly nicer Nokia brick (the 6300 for the curious).

Yes, the iPhone is awesome and represents the best that Apple and Jobs has to offer. Undeniably, it's an industry leader and points the way for other manufacturers to strive for. But not everyone can afford one. I'm not even saying only in the West, but there are 3 billion people in the world that don't even make enough money in six months to equal the cost of an iPhone. They all need cell phones too. Probably much, much more than I do.
posted by FJT at 2:19 PM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


.
posted by defcom1 at 2:26 PM on October 6, 2011


Just returned from MAC store at the Grove in Los Angeles.

2 post-its near altar

"In our pockets forever...."

"Thanks for stage-one rocket, Steve. We'll do our best from here!"
posted by goalyeehah at 2:42 PM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Aww, Apple weeping.
posted by nickyskye at 2:46 PM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Stephen Fry:
It is a very dismal business when a great personality dies and the world scrabbles about for comment, appraisal and judgment. I have been asked in the last 24 hours to appear and to write and to call in to join in the chorus of voices assessing the life and career of this remarkable man. But what was Steve Jobs? He wasn’t a brilliant and innovative electronics engineer like his partner and fellow Apple founder Steve Wozniak. Nor was he an acute businessman and aggressively talented opportunist like Bill Gates. He wasn’t a designer of original genius like Jonathan Ive whose achievements were so integral to Apple’s success from 1997 onwards. He wasn’t a software engineer, a mathematician, a nerd, a financier, an artist or an inventor. Most of the recent obituaries have decided that words like “visionary” suit him best and perhaps they are right.

[...]

Henry Ford didn’t invent the motor car, Rockefeller didn’t discover how to crack crude oil into petrol, Disney didn’t invent animation, the Macdonald brothers didn’t invent the hamburger, Martin Luther King didn’t invent oratory, neither Jane Austen, Tolstoy nor Flaubert invented the novel and D. W. Griffith, the Warner Brothers, Irving Thalberg and Steven Spielberg didn’t invent film-making. Steve Jobs didn’t invent computers and he didn’t invent packet switching or the mouse. But he saw that there were no limits to the power that creative combinations of technology and design could accomplish.
It ends with an interesting story about Jobs and Tim Berners-Lee.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:48 PM on October 6, 2011 [24 favorites]


.
posted by exlotuseater at 2:50 PM on October 6, 2011


It ends with an interesting story about Jobs and Tim Berners-Lee.

Oy, talk about a missed connection. So close.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:51 PM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


that henry ford paragraph really stuck with me too. he's absolutely correct about that comparison.
posted by nadawi at 3:04 PM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


While I'm loathe to give attention or credence to anything the Westboro Baptist Church does or says, I must admit they're right in saying God created the iPhone. And the iPhone was created by Steve Jobs, so therefore, the WBC thinks Steve Jobs is God. Hyperbole, maybe--but who's to say?

Sent from my iPhone
posted by George Clooney at 3:15 PM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


He made awesome gadgets but I don't understand the personal weeping thing. He was just a dude who made stuff that we all spend way too much money on. Kinda strange. It's not like he cured cancer or anything. And I'm an extremely early iPod adopter and Mac lover.
posted by ReeMonster at 3:19 PM on October 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


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posted by ye#ara at 3:23 PM on October 6, 2011


It's not like he cured cancer or anything.

Ouch, that was a tad unnecessary.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 3:26 PM on October 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


It's not like he cured cancer or anything.

There are other worthy activities out there in the human experience.
posted by TedW at 3:31 PM on October 6, 2011 [10 favorites]


ReeMonster: ... He was just a dude who made stuff ...

It is interesting to see how this is affecting everyone, so I guess that aspect is worth talking about.

I think you make a mistake when you call it 'stuff' - its not just 'stuff', its PCs and post-PCs - the newest tech in the age of tech - and he basically set or pushed the standards for two decades. His influence and ideas about how things should work is going to be felt for decades, if not longer.

(Also, the thing I said earlier about Douglas Adams)

Also, more psychologically, he represented the bang-up-to-date present-and-future. His name is synomynous with the unveiling of some tech-changing gadget or other. So to hear of his passing is to be reminded that although the future may be exciting, we only ever get to see a tiny part of it.
posted by memebake at 3:47 PM on October 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


A couple of things:

- I was going to write a long entry regarding my own long history with Apple technology (starting with an Apple II in Caracas, Venezuela around 1978 or so, to being one of the founding members of NYMUG and MacUser magazine, running a leading multimedia production studio in NYC in the roaring late eighties (before anyone know what the hell you could do with computer-based multimedia, oh the stories), showing a Mac II (COLOR!) in NYC publicly BEFORE Apple did their official rollout (those were the days, though you better believe I almost got into some serious trouble), using Mac II FXs and Photoshop 1.0 at Industrial Light and Magic in 1991 (if you happen to still have the manual for that version of Photoshop, check out the single page of acknowledgments, I'm proud to listed there), teaching students at Yale how to create media for theatrical projection, and soooo much more), but I realized that it really would take me a few weeks to get it all down.

Instead, for those of you who are longtime MacHeads, and are interested in reading about another great creative soul from the Apple Universe that you've probably never heard of, send me a MeFi mail with your email address, and I'll send you an extensive illustrated eulogy I wrote for artist and Apple Fellow Jim Ludtke of The Residents fame, a very close friend and creative collaborator of mine. It's an very personal, detailed story of technology, friendship and Apple, and it was never published. I've been thinking of Jim since I heard about Jobs yesterday, and I feel the urge to remind people that there are a universe of great Apple folks you never hear about, and that you should be aware of. I won't link directly to it - I love my MetaFilter account and don't feel like Cortex trying to ban me, so I'll play nice and send it directly to whomever wants it, and I'm happy with it being redistributed.

- I am abiding my time for when George Lucas kicks the can, and folks start to talk about his great creative genius. I know that I will have to bite my tongue and sit on my fingers, for I know all too well the _real_ stories of the folks who helped make him the billionaire he is today, and the nasty, dirty shit that went on behind the scenes. I promise I will simply enter a dot here on that day, and nothing more, out of respect to those of you who feel strongly about the creative legacy that you perceive Lucas has created. In the case of Jobs, I heard lots of stories from Dan Kottke, Apple employee #3, who became a regular guest at my place in Marin in the early nineties when I moved out there to work at ILM. I know he's really sad about the passing of Steve, these guys were insanely tight friends in the earliest days, and friends often do really shitty things to each other (the day Bert Monroy croaks, I'm afraid that I will have to tell the stories of him that only I know, so I hope I die first, no kidding), so just keep that in mind if you feel compelled to dump on Jobs. Whatever you want to say, because of him, our world is a different - and better - place. And besides, almost all of my closest friends were folks who connected with me via some Apple tentacle, directly and indirectly, so if for nothing else, I'll always owe Jobs for that fact.
posted by dbiedny at 3:47 PM on October 6, 2011 [11 favorites]


That Onion article does hit surprisingly close to home. I kind of deflated when I found out... there are so few bright lights left in the US, the loss of even a single one really takes a toll.
posted by tempythethird at 3:56 PM on October 6, 2011


This one hits too, but...not in the same way:

Apple User Acting Like His Dad Just Died
posted by FJT at 4:01 PM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


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posted by acb at 4:09 PM on October 6, 2011


Like the commenters above, (discussing children and teaching) I teach ninth grade in a rowdy inner-city school. I am not high tech and don't own an iphone but I grew up around Macintoshs (viva kendo/helicopter game circa 1984!) And have seen the evolution of the company. So today at 8am I told my students that Steve Jobs has died. They said "Who's that?!" And I told them that he invented (okay..sometimes I simplify things) their ipods and iphones and mac computers. They were stunned into silence that there was actually a person behind all of the technology they are so familiar with. Eventually one guy said "well, who's gonna invent all that stuff now??"
posted by bquarters at 4:16 PM on October 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's not like he cured cancer or anything.

He did what he could. When cures for cancer are found, Steve Jobs' influence will still be felt. Jobs personally appointed his friend Arthur D. Levinson, CEO of Genentech, to the Apple Board of Directors. With help from Levinson, Jobs put considerable corporate effort into supporting biotechnology and medicine, as well as pretty much every academic field.
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:48 PM on October 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


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posted by Toecutter at 5:01 PM on October 6, 2011


My father has Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, a rare form of pancreatic cancer, and has been comparing his health with Steve Jobs since they were diagnosed at the same time. Steve's death is strikingly personal for me, and I found that I can't write much about it.

.
posted by chinesefood at 5:16 PM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


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posted by freshwater at 5:39 PM on October 6, 2011


I'm a 3rd-grade teacher at an inner-city school, and today, I told my students that Steve had died. Our school won a grant that allows every 3rd-grader in the school to have their own iPad. The kids use them all the time in every subject, and it's made my job a lot easier to have that kind of technology in the classroom. Plus, it makes learning math facts and spelling words a lot more fun for the students.

I asked my students how many of them had watched the news last night or this morning, and out of 30 students, only about 6 raised their hand. For the rest, I explained that Steve had died, and as I spoke, I held up his picture from the Apple homepage on one of our class' iPads. I told my class that Steve was responsible for iMacs, iPods, iPhones, and most importantly to them, the iPads that they use and love every single day. As soon as I said that, many of them looked at me in shock, some gasped, and a few even opened their mouths in disbelief.

Last night when I heard the news, I cried. I knew that this day would be inevitable, but even so, I was saddened to think of the loss of such a great innovator and inspirational figure. However, I didn't want my sadness to be the message that I passed along to my students.

So then I told them all about how Steve co-founded Apple in his garage. I told them stories about how computers used to fill entire rooms, and how crazy it would be if it still took 30 classrooms for each student there to be able to have their own computer. Steve did so much to change that, and they understood.

I also told them that I hope that they can be inspired by him and invent something that doesn't exist yet. Or, they can improve on something that already exists and make it even better. The possibilities are endless.

The last thing that I said to my students about Steve was a short excerpt from his Stanford commencement speech. I took out a few sentences from the transcript of the speech to make it easier for them to understand, and I read to them:

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking until you find it. Don't settle."

I paused for a moment to allow my students to take in everything that I had just said, and then I pulled up a picture on the iPad so that we could shift into our next lesson. "And here's a SPIDER!" I exclaimed. Their response? "OOOOOH!!!"

Thank you, Steve, for setting the example that if you set your mind towards a goal, it can be achieved. My students ought to hear and see that more often, and I hope that at least one of them will look back on this day and remember when they learned all about the guy who invented those awesome iPads that they had in 3rd grade. Also, thank you for creating the technology that allows my students to see that learning is (and should be) fun.

.
posted by sabira at 5:45 PM on October 6, 2011 [27 favorites]


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posted by Dalton at 5:50 PM on October 6, 2011


Apple User Acting Like His Dad Just Died

This one was better: Last American Who Knew What The Fuck He Was Doing Dies
posted by kirkaracha at 6:47 PM on October 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


worth mentioning that the above comment was the 1337th
posted by obscurator at 7:33 PM on October 6, 2011


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posted by erinfern at 7:34 PM on October 6, 2011


Outside right now using a local stores wi-fi getting some work done. About 5 minutes ago an older black man gets my attention tapping this small piece of metal on the metal table I am working on. He has a thick African accent, looks to be in his mid-60's. Maybe even early 70's. I can hardly understand him and say no to his question.

He just came out and said, "I have to tell you why I asked the question" He goes on to explain that he never has had a computer in his life and just recently bought a Toshiba. The directions say to keep it away from magnets. He seemed to be asking me if the magnet he had would affect it. Again I assured him no.

Then he taps the apple on top of my MB Pro and says, "I'm sorry this guy is gone. He did a lot of good."

I pretty much lose it again after he leaves.
posted by goalyeehah at 8:40 PM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I know I'm late to the wake here, but I've been following this thread since when it was posted last night. I wanted to read everything you all wrote, and to collect my own thoughts, before I said anything at all.

My grandfather started an Apple reseller in the early 80's, so I had the sort-of unique experience of growing up entirely surrounded by Apple products, through all of the good and the bad years. I suspect this experience will become much less unique with time, but anyway...

My first computer was an Apple ][, which I got when I was about four years old. I cut my teeth with Sticky Bear, Reader Rabbit, and the Carmen Sandiegos, and then got into the straight-up for fun games when I got a bit older and right around when that computer was upgraded to a ][GS. You know what was great about having the 80's equivalent of an Apple Store in your family? Besides EVERYTHING, I'll tell you what: You could floppy copy any game you wanted, and then just shrink-wrap it back up. I got to play the classics like Oregon Trail, California Games, Paperboy, Kings Quest or Crystal Quest, sure, but I also got to play Arkanoid, Spy vs. Spy, Wings of Fury, Marble Madness, Hardball!, Mean 18, Roadwar 2000, ALF (fucking ALF!), and one of my very favorites, Tass Times in Tonetown. I also got to try and figure out trivia questions with paper encyclopedias so that I could unlock my parent's copy of Leisure Suit Larry, and to top it all off I had an ImageWriter II that I could print kickass event banners with.

Our family computer at that point was in the corner of our kitchen on a red metal school desk, it fit me perfectly at the time but I laugh to think of my step-dad using it, which he did often. I would sneak out at night to play games when I was supposed to be sleeping, and he would sneak out after I did. Somewhere, there's a photograph he went to great lengths to take of himself in the middle of the night to show me he had beaten Arkanoid, since saving games wasn't an option.

After that, I got a hand-me-down Mac, an SE20. On that, I played things like Stunt Copter, Cairo Shootout, Life and Death (one of the few medical simulators ever created), Mac Vegas, Mac Challenger (my first "flight simulator), and Shufflepuck Cafe. I also got my first real word processor, and a place I could write down, save, and then hide my ramblings from the world, as well as Hypercard, which I guess served as my first dabbles in programming.

Next, I recovered an LCIII, it was one of many that had been in a corporate customer's building during a fire and was abandoned at my family's store. It worked just fine, but it was matte black with soot both inside and outside, and it smelled really bad. In other words, it was FUCKING BADASS. As components failed because they were, ya know, covered in soot, I learned to replace them with the guts of the many other machines we had from that fire. This was when I first learned how to not only swap the easy parts, but to solder chips. It was a beautiful freak, it was my Frankenstein. Of all the machines I ever had, it's the one I miss the most.

Then I had a Powerbook 540c, the first (and only) laptop I've ever owned and the first color display laptop I ever saw. Then I had a Performa. Sometime right around this era was when I first got to play Descent, and when I wasted a whole perfectly sunny summer vacation beating Myst. Then I had an original iMac, then an iMac tangerine, then an eMac, and then finally the iMac I write this on now. My parents got me an Apple QuickTake 150 for Xmas, so I had a digital camera in the mid-90's when no one I knew had ever seen or even heard of a digital camera. It was completely rudimentary now but pretty amazing in its day. Shit, to be able to see pictures you took and to plug in a cable to show them on a TV was shockingly cutting-edge at the time...

I also got to play with the numerous weird crash-and-burn devices like the Newton, the eMate, the Cube, the 20th anniverary Mac, the Power Computing clones, etc and etc...I've also had four iPhones, a couple of iPods, and countless peripherals that have been amazing and rock-solid. Outside of a StyleWriter that shit the bed way early, I've never really had any Apple product crap out on me until well after it deserved a rest, if ever.

Anyway: I literally got to be amongst the first groupings of children to be raised on Steve's vision, from birth until today. It literally did change my life. There's a lot of shit I can do today that was rooted in those old machines and that I would've never picked up otherwise. I got my current job busting ass at the dot com I'm at, I got my original position there based on my first dot com position, and I got THAT position during the height of the late 90's bubble at a huge dot com, simply because I had way more Mac knowledge and experience than the dozens of other more educated people that also wanted the job.

My point in sharing all of this, besides that it was a blast to recollect it all, is that my career and life in general has been so profoundly shaped by Apple, Steve Jobs, and the more general philosophy of his vision. I really enjoyed doing educational installs for the dyslexic back in the day, and it's truly been a joy to read about the many currently struggling with a disability, including the disabled using assistive devices, have had their lives changed in ways more profound than I could imagine.

The world creates good businesspeople often enough, maybe too often. True visionaries, though? That mold doesn't get cracked out nearly often enough...I will miss you very, very much, and I owe my personal and professional relationship with computers to you, Steve.

Single most influential person for my family who wasn't actually a member of it. Godspeed, you magnificent fucking whacko.
posted by rollbiz at 8:43 PM on October 6, 2011 [16 favorites]


Yes, the iPhone is awesome and represents the best that Apple and Jobs has to offer. Undeniably, it's an industry leader and points the way for other manufacturers to strive for. But not everyone can afford one.

As of about now, the 3GS (my current phone) is free with a two year contract in America. Yeah, that's still out of reach for lots of folks, but give it some time.

Tech is one area where trickle-down usually works.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:46 PM on October 6, 2011


Yeah, I signed up for a long term phone plan and kept updgrading phones until i hit an iPhone.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:07 PM on October 6, 2011


Abstruse Goose's epitaph
posted by jeffburdges at 10:22 PM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Farewell, Steve. You and your wonderful machines have enriched our lives immeasurably.

Thanks to all of you wonderful MeFites for sharing your stories and goodbyes. I was staggered, unable to cry. Your accolades and memories have unleashed the tears that need to be shed.

.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:25 PM on October 6, 2011



posted by TheDonF at 10:29 PM on October 6, 2011


This is an email my 74 year old mom sent me that I find a pretty good tribute:

My deepest sympathy to you and all the millions of Apple customers and fans.  I feel I should go out and buy an iSomething, since I am in the minority and don't own any iProducts.  Your life would certainly be different without the various Apple products, so at least I feel I have benefitted in a second-hand way.
 
His life is another example of how important each life can be.
 
Love,
Mom
posted by monkey!knife!fight! at 10:34 PM on October 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


rollbiz, you are my hero. That is a fantastic piece. Bravo. I loved Shufflepuck Cafe - pretty sure I reviewed it for MacUser, totally remember Mac Challenger, all the stuff that comes rushing back - Airborne!, the very first game with sampled sound, by Silicon Beach Software, who also had a great game called Dark Castle. Charlie Jackson, the founder, is someone I recently reconnected with after at least 15 years, we were reminiscing about Digital Darkroom, which really was the first workable grayscale bitmapped retouching software (soon followed by Letraset's classic ImageStudio, and a couple years later, ColorStudio).

And then there's the pantheon of bitmapped paint programs: FullPaint (look, it's MacPaint with four simultaneous open docs and distortion tools), Studio/1, Studio/8 and Studio/32, by none other than Electronic Arts, The Realist (and if anyone remembers that without the googlefu, MeFi mail me for a prize), SuperPaint (another one from Silicon Beach), LaserPaint, Photon Paint (hunka shit, I did evil things to the box and manual and kept it around as a conversation piece), PixelPaint and the unique mindfuck known as ArtMixer, and a dozen or two other obscure applications that kept me immersed in that screen for days and nights on end. The stories go on and on. :-)

While the PCs and Windows boxes were all known for their button-down, biz-related vertical software and mainframe/mini support, the Mac was the only real choice for creatives that wanted to make media without losing their minds, and making tech support calls to friends at all hours. And I did my time programming some simple dBase databases with multiple entry and report layouts, slightly more complex Lotus spreadsheets for a pair of Drexel Burnham brokers, so I think I've got a decent handle on historical framework and context. For many years, if you wanted to see where the end-user software development excitement and innovation was happening, the Mac was the only real choice.
posted by dbiedny at 10:36 PM on October 6, 2011


I've been mulling over a lot of this for the past few days. As the kid of a technologist, one who also died this year, there is a lot of compare/contrast going on on my head. We had Macs in the house from 1984 on, though I didn't get my own Mac [a Plus] until I went to college. Dad just took them apart for "research" and would sometimes let us play with them. I had a PC Jr. at first, what a user-unfriendly thing that was [though it did have a wireless keyboard back in 1986] the Plus was like light years different from it. And I remember when you took it apart, you could see everyone's signatures on the inside of the thing. Truly a different vision.

I just read the crabby Gawker piece and was a little surprised to learn that Jobs dated Joan Baez, a woman my father also dated, though way back when they were more or less teenagers.

I'm not a religious person, but I like the metaphor of heaven at times like these, because I like to think of my dad and Jobs fucking around somewhere with computers and I wonder, when I'm falling asleep, what sort of sweet-ass computers they have in heaven?
posted by jessamyn at 10:37 PM on October 6, 2011 [25 favorites]



posted by rjc3000 at 11:34 PM on October 6, 2011


mrgrimm: " Michael Faraday. Albert Einstein. Bill Clinton."

You're thinking of the 20th century. We're in the 21st.
posted by IndigoRain at 11:53 PM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dear Steve.
Have you found your way home?

With love, from the future,
-kaibutsu.
posted by kaibutsu at 11:58 PM on October 6, 2011


Like so many others in this thread and elsewhere, I too grew up with an Apple in the house (Apple IIe) and, behind my dad, Jobs and Wozniak are probably the two most influential forces in my life. It's because of them that I'm a software engineer and believe in the transformative power of information technology.

I just spent a few hours messing around with an old Apple II emulator, reliving the nostalgia:

]CALL -151

*


Those prompts were like gateways to another world. It's fun and feels good reliving my childhood.

But I need to watch that. Jobs didn't get lost in the past. He kept building the future.

Damn, so sad.
posted by formless at 12:10 AM on October 7, 2011


Jessamyn, the Data General Eclipse MV/8000 is a lovely piece of Minicomputer history... and DG/UX sounded like a solid UNIX. Just goes to show... beautiful machines are lovingly cared for, long after those whose hands give rise to them fail.

The Soul of a New Machine is an awesome read.

In regards to Steve...

I have never met the man. I have only ever briefly owned a mid 2007 Aluminium iMac... a graceful machine, coupled with a robust UNIX. A grand machine... a shame to have lost it to the now long gone ex...

I was a Commodore Kid, grew up with a C=64, then on to a C=128. Then is was a long relationship with IBM PC clones running DOS... then Windows... an all too brief love affair with BEos 5.03 on x86 (sigh...) many of those boxes I built myself. I still prefer that route....

These days it's GNU/Linux, a BSD or three, Syllable, OpenIndiana, Solaris... I also collect obsolete Sun Hardware... I loves me some SPARC... I still lust for Alpha and MIPS.... SGi and Digital... Next and 680x0...

All the while, there he was... being a magnificent, god damned Titan. Re-defining how we interface with computing... how it really has become ubiquitous. From Big Iron to Portable Iron. All united in the legacy of UNIX.

Brilliant.
Tyrannical.
Iconic.
Unstoppable.

A magnificent Pagan God of our interconnected computational future.

How could he not be loved. His passing has hit me hard... damn hard.

I can't say I agree with his Cathedral style, but my god... what beauty, and style.

May wherever we go after we leave this world... be brighter for his arrival.

May it be full of loving grace.

May those he loves, who are still here on our now darker world, find peace.

There are so many I look forward to seeing again when I arrive... in time.

Thank you Steve... for your vision, and sharing it with us.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 12:15 AM on October 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


NYTimes: With Time Running Short, Jobs Managed His Farewells
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:21 AM on October 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


when I'm falling asleep, what sort of sweet-ass computers they have in heaven?

If your program has an infinite loop, it's detected and stopped.
posted by GuyZero at 12:34 AM on October 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


My thoughts are conflicted, and this will be long. Feel free to skip ahead.

My first computer was an Apple ][+. I loved the thing. I wasn't alive or aware enough to realize what a revolution in computing it was at the time; for me, it was all that had ever been. It was virtually impossible to get me off it. I learned BASIC and LOGO on that machine. I learned how to type on that machine, which means that I learned how to speak on that machine. I'm not mute, but the written word has always been better to me than speech. But, most importantly, I learned how to game on that machine. I played Karateka and The Bard's Tale on my beloved Apple ][+, which was not the best computer in my neighborhood. That honor went to my friend down the street, who had an Apple ][e. He had the color monitor and better games. I went to his house as often as I could to watch him play the Bruce Lee game in 4-color resolution.

At the strange elementary school I went to, the computer lab was front and center. The hall was shaped like a rotunda in the model of Jefferson's Monticello, so literally the first thing you saw as you passed through the pillars was the array of computers, arcing to either side of the double doors. Every one was an Apple computer. I was at a school for the gifted, which I did not think that I was. I had no talent for math or history or art. But I could write, and I did. Somewhere on one of those ancient machines is a detective novel written by a child about a New York cop sent to LA to solve a crime. I didn't know where LA was, and I didn't really know where New York was, but my computer didn't care.

When I wasn't writing that, I was writing BASIC adventure games for my friends, Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style games that I modeled on my faint recollections of Zork. I made them more intricate as my friends requested more options and pathways, and BASIC made it easy. I didn't code a single variable, because I didn't know what a variable was. I can't remember now if variables were even possible. If you saw that code now, you'd laugh at its convolution. But my Apple never told me what I was doing was wrong, so I just kept going, because I could see the adventure and my Apple made it real.

I don't remember when my dad brought home the Macintosh Hyperdrive. I just remember my life as bifurcated: before, and after. With a 1200-baud modem I connected to the LA I'd written about through a BBS and racked up phone charges that I did not live down for weeks. I discovered message boards. I discovered Hypercard, and discovered I couldn't understand it. I discovered The Fool's Errand, which created an obsession in me that still lives. And, in the mid-90s, I discovered Prodigy and then, later, AOL. These were not Apple inventions, but my Apple still made them possible for me. For years, I played messageboard and chatroom RPGs through my beloved Macintosh, upgraded now to a 2400-baud modem, and made the earlier phone charges look like a slap on the wrist. I wrote there. I became a minor celebrity there. I found love and lost it there. That Mac was the portal to my whole world.

By this time, I'd also discovered PCs, and I began to comprehend an unpleasant conclusion: my Apple was not for gamers. I fought that idea for a long time, pooh-poohing Doom and Quake as fads. But, finally, I went to college, and when my dad offered to buy me a new computer for school, I asked him to buy me a Dell laptop. I told him it was for school, which may be the only lie I've ever told him. It was for the games. I thought at the time that Apple and my Mac had moved on, but that's not true. They'd just refined their focus, and my games, and I as a gamer, were not part of their plans. I think I felt abandoned, but I didn't look back. I wanted a machine that could play Wing Commander, now years old, just because I couldn't before. My fate was sealed. From then until recently, I didn't own another Apple product.

I find Macs hard to use now. I struggle with the single button that Steve thought was already too much. I've never liked an iteration of the Macintosh since that first one, long lost to memory. I'm in the minority here, I know, but I find Windows PCs more intuitive and easier to navigate. Probably that's because I've spent man-weeks downloading and installing drivers, running optimization programs, and playing with virtual memory. But I rarely found those things tedious, because I knew that I was doing those things so that I could play this new game, and the new game would be worth it. Almost without exception, they have been.

Last year, I bought an iPod Touch. Most of my music is on there, which is as convenient as you'd expect for a person who's never owned an iPod before. I could check my email, set appointments, and browse the Internet on it. But I don't really do any of that, because that's not why I bought it. I bought it because there are some excellent games on iOS and I didn't have one. I doubt they meant to do it like this, but Apple once again made a product that could deliver me games I'd never seen before. So, once again, I'm an Apple customer.

Somewhere in my old house where my dad still lives, in the dusty attic, there is a plastic disk case full of 5 1/2 floppies that can probably never be read again. On half of them are stories, dreams, and memories of a little kid for whom imagination was the only gift he could recognize. The other half are the games of my youth, unplayable now, though I could still arrow-key my way through Skara Brae or kick down the door to the princess with my eyes closed. Maybe I would have discovered computing eventually another way, but I didn't have to. Jobs and his genius made it easy. I don't have any special fondness for Apple or any other brand, but he made the computer personal and told me that I could do whatever I wanted on it. I'm still learning what I can do, and I hope that I don't ever stop.

Thank you, Steve.
posted by Errant at 2:44 AM on October 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


.
posted by snowysoul at 3:33 AM on October 7, 2011


.
posted by schyler523 at 4:38 AM on October 7, 2011


You're thinking of the 20th century. We're in the 21st.

So Einstein had no impact on decades after the 1950s?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 4:44 AM on October 7, 2011


Businessweek:

Steve Jobs: The Beginning, 1955-1985
Steve Jobs: The Wilderness, 1985-1997
Steve Jobs: The Return, 1997-2001
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:44 AM on October 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


.
posted by effwerd at 5:36 AM on October 7, 2011


I struggle with the single button that Steve thought was already too much.

Macs have shipped with a two-button mouse since 2005.
posted by unSane at 5:41 AM on October 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


From now on I'm going to (actually I've already started) hold doors open for people.
posted by cynicalidealist at 6:25 AM on October 7, 2011


who also had a great game called Dark Castle.

AHHH, THANK YOU! I was remembering this game but couldn't remember the name of it. It was awesome!
posted by rollbiz at 6:41 AM on October 7, 2011



posted by jonclegg at 7:18 AM on October 7, 2011


1982 photo of Steve Jobs on display at the (US) National Portrait Gallery.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:23 AM on October 7, 2011


Unlike a lot of people here, my first computer was not a Mac. I've played, studied, wrote silly things, graduated, grew up (well a little bit), became a writer, worked, and now have built my own business — and I still don't own a Mac. I've changed phones only five times in my life, and it's not an iPhone. The only Apple product I own is a first-generation iPod, given to me in 2007 by my parents, as a gift for my 18th birthday. I turned 18 in 2004.

For as long as I can remember, I've always wanted an Apple computer. Where I live, the cost of an iPad 2 64GB WiFi is equal to about two and half months' salary of a minimum wage worker. If someone here owns an Apple product, they can count themselves among the lucky ones. It means their family can afford enough to not worry about how to put food on the table daily. I've witnessed the Apple products come and go and felt so unlucky and envious for never owning one. I hated classmates who boasted of having an iMac in the house, while I'm still stuck doing my assignments at the library. Once, we watched a movie at a friend's house. It was the latest installment in the Japanese horror series, The Ring. I can't remember anything at all except that gleaming, flat Apple monitor that was like a work of art. I was a senior in high school and I resented my parents for investing in Microsoft Encarta encyclopedia instead of a Mac. In college it was the same — everywhere I look, the rich kids were holding a Powerbook, and then later on, a Macbook, and then a Macbook Pro. By the time I held my own iPod, I was already late to everything. I could hear Marguerite Duras in my head: 'Very early in my life it was too late.'

One thing never changed though, and it is this: I have always looked up to Steve Jobs. It's not so much as him becoming the man a lot of people revered, but a man with a vision and was relentless in achieving it. Those Think Different ads have made an impression in my life, and Here's to the Crazy Ones I felt was a love letter addressed especially to me. Steve Jobs taught me that it was okay to have a dream and pursue it. That in the grander scheme of things, my dream is the one thing definitely worth pursuing.

More importantly, he also thought me that the reality is this: in seeking to make your dreams come true, you might have to give up a lot of things along the way and even get fucked by the very people whom you thought had your back. In seeking to do what you love, you would have to go through a lot of failures, and travel roads and get presented with opportunities that at first will not make sense — it will make you think that you have strayed so far away from the goal, it will give you sleepless nights, it will make you say, fuck, I might never get back. Oh, but you will. Eventually the time around the scars will enable you to connect the dots together, and you'll sit there and go, huh. When I graduated in 2007 with a degree I didn't want, contemplating about a future I'm afraid to face, I sat on my computer and watched Steve Jobs' commencement address to a class in 2005. I felt inspired. But the next day, I applied and got accepted to a job I didn't want, to please people I didn't like. Eight months later, I felt like shit. One day at work, I watched his speech again, over and over until I have mustered up the courage to send my boss my resignation letter. A month after that I was free, and three years later I am here, following my dream. And the man who had encouraged me to do it all is dead.

I still own just a first-generation iPod. Someday I would like to own an iMac, a Macbook Pro, an iTouch and an iPad. I still can't afford it, but I'm damn sure saving up. It will probably feel bittersweet when that moment arrives. His genius in my hands, and I'll never be able to thank him enough. So here is a love letter that he'll never read, from someone he'll never know. For now, it's enough.

Thank you, Steve Jobs, sir, and goodbye.

And thank you, MeFi, for giving me a space to grieve for someone who was dear to me even though we've never met. Someday I'll go back to this thread and read it using an Apple device I finally own — and I'll see what all those crazy little boxes are all about, and feel my world stop for a few moments again, remembering what happened. To be able to gather strangers and mourn the man and know how much he has changed our world — I think this, too, is insanely great.
posted by pleasebekind at 7:32 AM on October 7, 2011 [14 favorites]


Stunt Copter! Life & Death! Shufflepuck Cafe! Oh my god, yes, rollbiz. Yes. Thank you.

I was there. (Especially that moment when you forced Shufflepuck Cafe to win against the Elvira lady and she showed you all that cleavage.)

Also, Spacestation Pheta. And, of course, the original Prince of Persia — before I lost the manual (which was cleverly required for copy protection purposes: "What is the third word on page 14?").
posted by thejoshu at 7:58 AM on October 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


oh right, I forgot about "Dark Castle". I played that at a friend's house. Then I went to a different friend's house and played Commander Keen, and then gave up on Macs for many years.
posted by Theta States at 8:08 AM on October 7, 2011


I discovered computers before my brother but he discovered apple before me. We always clashed on it (not in a bad way) but it was the cliche writ large. A little while ago I bought an iPad, mostly because my 10yo son was fascinated by the very concept of them. I'm still searching for the way to do things, instead of just doing them. My bro and son are different. They just do. I'm coming around.

RIP, Steve Jobs.
posted by h00py at 8:09 AM on October 7, 2011


I think that Jobs' passing strikes a chord b/c so many people in our cohort -- children of Baby Boomers -- wanted to have meaningful lives that bridged the realms of art (fun stuff) and tech (enduring value).

Now that Jobs is gone, he's taken a little bit of us with him. He was an avatar for our generation -- socially progressive and innovative. Elvis is now dead.

.
posted by vhsiv at 8:51 AM on October 7, 2011



posted by aielen at 9:02 AM on October 7, 2011



posted by Katjusa Roquette at 9:21 AM on October 7, 2011


NYT Crossword Puzzle Tribute to Steve Jobs
posted by anastasiav at 10:57 AM on October 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Tributes from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert

The latter is a funny montage with a touching end.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:06 AM on October 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


"He told a reporter that taking LSD was one of the two or three most important things he had done in his life. He said there were things about him that people who had not tried psychedelics — even people who knew him well, including his wife — could never understand."

Did Dropping Acid Make Steve Jobs More Creative?
posted by homunculus at 12:14 PM on October 7, 2011


The death of Steve Jobs has provoked the biggest online reaction of any event in recent history, with social media monitoring firm SR7 expecting official Twitter figures to come in at 10,000 tweets per second.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 1:15 PM on October 7, 2011


Opt-Shift-
posted by MysteriousMan at 2:22 PM on October 7, 2011


What Everyone Is Too Polite to Say About Steve Jobs
posted by homunculus at 2:57 PM on October 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Everyone except for the ever-classy Gawker ("Anything For a Buck!") Media, apparently.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:06 PM on October 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I AM EDGY BECAUSE I CRITICIZED SOMEONE WHO DIED THAT PEOPLE LIKED BUT I DEFEND MY RUDENESS BY TELLING PEOPLE I AM KEEPIN IT REAL
posted by grubi at 3:31 PM on October 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Some people think it's totally fine, or somehow refreshing to speak ill of the dead. I disagree with those people.
posted by sweetkid at 3:39 PM on October 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


when i saw the gawker article i thought of the brian lam post again.

Now I've learned it's better to lose a job I don't believe in any more than to do it well and keep it just for that sake.

i applaud gawker - as always, they got the desired results - that article sure got a lot of clicks.
posted by nadawi at 3:45 PM on October 7, 2011


Some people think it's totally fine, or somehow refreshing to speak ill of the dead.

I don't think it's totally fine in an absolute sense, nor do I find it refreshing in a sort of counterculture, fight-the-establishment sense. But I do think it's important to tell the truth to the best of one's ability, which means saying the good, the bad, the indifferent, whatever. I disagree with whitewashing the story of a person, and I disagree with blackening that story for points or in order to position oneself as edgy.

If Gawker were interested in the same thing, they would have written all of this into the first piece and presented as complete a summation of the man and his life as they could. I could respect that. Instead, they wrote one glowing piece of tribute and one hit piece. Double the clicks, don't you know.
posted by Errant at 3:49 PM on October 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Many mefites above mentioned the things "everyone" is "too polite to mention", anyway, and I've seen them linked to and discussed all over the web. Perhaps by "everyone" Gawker actually meant "people who run a for-profit online magazine and are classy enough not to write a front-page article specifically shitting on somebody's legacy not two days after he died, at which time they ran an entirely glowing article just like 'everyone' else".

Or, on preview: what Errant said.
posted by vorfeed at 4:06 PM on October 7, 2011


Some people think it's totally fine, or somehow refreshing to speak ill of the dead. I disagree with those people.

I think it's important to tell the truth. I've got my own tribute to Jobs upthread, but I'm not terrified of reading criticism of his work. I think it's worth considering that some great people have flaws and terrible moments. In particular, I suspect anyone who has a singular vision and uses all powers they have to set it in motion is going to have some kind of train of unintended (or unattended) consequences following them.

Like I've said before, it turns out you can be really quite smart, even make serious contributions in your profession or to society at large... and still be pretty wrong about important things, maybe even accidentally or even intentionally be terrible to people. It's good to be able to respect and recognize the best in people while learning (if possible) from what might not have been so great about them.
posted by weston at 4:14 PM on October 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah... when people are literally calling him a god a little bit of countervailing realism is in order, no edginess required.
posted by XMLicious at 5:19 PM on October 7, 2011


i don't mean that you can never say anything bad about anyone who's died, but I think writing articles about how terrible he could be just days after he died is kind of tasteless and seems attention-seeking. That's just my impression.
posted by sweetkid at 5:26 PM on October 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's nothing in that Gawker piece that hasn't also been said many times elsewhere. I don't think it's a hit piece.

I'm as grateful to Steve Jobs as any, and he undoubtedly achieved more in his short life than most of us could do in ten. Like any great achievement, though, his came at the cost of considerable suffering. It seems to me that his death is a perfectly appropriate time to reflect on both.
posted by flabdablet at 6:11 PM on October 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


12 lessons that Steve Jobs Taught Guy Kawaski, a talk focussed on Jobs' wisdom for entrepreneurs delivered at Silicon Valley Bank, one of the places that Bay Area entrepreneurs meet up:
  1. "Experts" are clueless -- Experts embody a weak form of conventional wisdom. A social media "expert" is a person to avoid like the plague
  2. Customers cannot tell you what they need -- customers describe improvements on existing products, could not have described the Mac before it was made.
  3. Biggest challenges beget the best work -- give your cofounders and employees the biggest challenges
  4. Design counts -- design is the product, it's not a skin on the product. Many companies could have done what Steve did, starting with PARC, but they didn't. Why?
  5. Big graphics. Big font. -- presentations, packaging.
  6. Jump curves, not better sameness -- ice harvesting from lakes to ice factories to refrigerator.
  7. "Work" or "doesn't work" is all that matters -- don't hew to ideologies like "closed system" or "open system," evaluate based on results. Initial iPhone app system: web pages. Didn't work, moved to native apps.
  8. "Value" is different from "price." -- Products which are valuable and unique have a high price. Valuable and not unique: businesses must compete on price. Not valuable and unique: stupid product. Not valuable and not unique: Pets.com and other VC me-too inanity.
  9. A players hire A players -- B players hire C players. Watch out for the bozo explosion. Hire people who are better at their jobs than you are.
  10. Real CEOs demo -- don't be a BS MBA, know how to use your product. If you can't demo your product, quit.
  11. Real entrepreneurs ship
  12. Some things need to be believed to be seen -- you can't create something new without belief, and without the vision.
posted by Llama-Lime at 7:03 PM on October 7, 2011 [15 favorites]


My reaction to Gawker piece.....

"Don't tell people how to grieve!"
posted by goalyeehah at 7:19 PM on October 7, 2011


The NYT posts a column about Apple's failings.

Llama-Lime, most of that is good (except 7 -- take it to its logical conclusion and you get the kind of environment-snubbing assholishness we've sadly got way too much of right now, and dismissing open systems because HTML apps were years too early was a misstep, Amazon now has a fully HTML version of the Kindle app that gets around Apple's sales restrictions).

But would those work in a world full of Steve Jobses? (Imagine Gollum saying that. Jobses.) Steve Jobs rocked the world because the contrast between him and the oatmeal-colored practices of the rest of the business world was so great. That is nothing against the man, certainly, but could he have been as successful if his competitors were already doing it that way?
posted by JHarris at 7:27 PM on October 7, 2011


Steve Jobs rocked the world because the contrast between him and the oatmeal-colored practices of the rest of the business world was so great. That is nothing against the man, certainly, but could he have been as successful if his competitors were already doing it that way?

I think he would have been selling a hell of a lot of very well-polished oatmeal.
posted by vorfeed at 8:38 PM on October 7, 2011


Great guy that changed the word, people will remember him.
posted by gmc_manufacturer at 8:59 PM on October 7, 2011


RIP Steve, from another Mac user of 25+ years. You and your products certainly had style. (I always enjoyed the photos in this blog post comparing the presentation visuals of Jobs and Gates.)
posted by LeLiLo at 9:35 PM on October 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Good link, LeLilo!
posted by goalyeehah at 9:40 PM on October 7, 2011


My favourite Jobs observation about Microsoft: they just have no taste. Which is perfectly true, and quite sad.
posted by flabdablet at 9:43 PM on October 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


From pinwheels in LOGO on an Apple ][ to bioinformatics on a MacBook Pro - thanks.


posted by cftarnas at 12:39 AM on October 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Thanks, Steve by Jonathan Mak.
posted by pleasebekind at 2:20 AM on October 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm sure the Kevin Kelly piece has been linked already but this is an excellent and timely question to ask:

This week something unusual happened. At the very same time that tens of thousands of ordinary citizens were camping out in New York, Washington, and Seattle to protest corporate greed, and the capitalistic wealth of the very rich, a similar number of ordinary citizens were depositing flowers and spiritual offerings at the corporate stores of the wealthiest company in the world (with earnings larger than most countries), in memory of one of the richest people in the world, the late Steve Jobs. Why would a billionaire elicit such affection and love during this moment of fierce dissatisfaction with global capitalism? Because Steve Jobs was a CEO of beauty.
posted by infini at 2:29 AM on October 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Videos of Steve Jobs, as collected by Devour.
posted by pleasebekind at 4:57 AM on October 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cult of Mac: Steve Jobs Watched iPhone 4S Launch Live From Home. In an easy chair.

MSNBC: A little bit on how Steve Jobs affected the sports business. Doesn't cover it all, but touches on a couple of interesting aspects.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:07 PM on October 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I switched to Macs after a life of PCs just after I finished college. There's a lot of knowledge that I've forgotten and regret forgetting—so much history and science, facts and figures lost to time. I think the only thing I'm glad I don't know anymore, that I'm glad I've forgotten, is how to fix and maintain Windows PC. Good riddance.

Thanks, Steve, for that.
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:56 PM on October 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cult of Mac: Steve Jobs Watched iPhone 4S Launch Live From Home. In an easy chair.

Not just any easy chair, I'm sure. The article you cited says, "Our source reports: “He was sitting in his favorite single soft leather sofa chair.."

Gruber once wrote an essay entitled "The Chair" about Jobs' keynote, demonstrating the iPad 2 while seated. I emailed him, that's not the chair, that's THE chair. That is a one of the most famous chairs ever designed, I recognized it instantly. It is the Le Corbusier Grand Modele Armchair.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:31 PM on October 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Abstruse Goose's epitaph (more permanent link this time)
posted by jeffburdges at 9:52 PM on October 8, 2011


OK, I've read almost all of this thread, and burst into tears a number of times. I'm grateful to all who've contributed.

I'm a fairly recent Mac convert - just the past 10 years or so. But I'm on my third Mac (second MacBook Pro) and I also have an iPhone and an iPad. I even own the Apple battery charger, for goodness sakes. So I have a lot to thank Steve for. I'm so very sorry he's gone.

I thought I'd share one poignant comic I hadn't seen anyone else post — although I may have missed it.

On a related note: Pancreatic cancer research doesn't get much funding; I made a contribution to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network on honor of Steve - and my mom, who died of this disease back in 2007.
posted by jeri at 1:19 AM on October 9, 2011 [4 favorites]



posted by ppl at 9:20 AM on October 9, 2011


Short blurb about how Jobs' changed the mobile app industry (there was one before the iPhone existed, but most people didn't notice it):

In the US, before the iPhone, the carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile) had an ironclad grip on the rest of the value chain – particularly, handset makers and app makers.
posted by mrzarquon at 12:32 PM on October 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Some videos from the Charlie Rose Show:

2011: Charlie Rose talks to Eric Schmidt, Marc Andreessen and Walt Mossberg on Steve Jobs’ legacy - "Google's Schmidt Says Jobs Merged Art, Science" - was both artist and technologist.

1996: Steve Jobs and John Lasseter, on mostly the success of Pixar, and also Steve's perspectives on the computer industry then.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:27 PM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Short blurb about how Jobs' changed the mobile app industry (there was one before the iPhone existed, but most people didn't notice it):

In the US, before the iPhone, the carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile) had an ironclad grip on the rest of the value chain – particularly, handset makers and app makers.


I noticed it all too well, and also that none of those carriers or their app providers seemed to know jackshit about user experience. The usual too many steps & burying functions several levels down in the menus, etc. What kind of moron puts things you might want (or need) to access quickly several levels down? (I could snark endlessly about the Frankenstein mess of MS Word as one precedent, but...) I did play a few games on my Motorola, but the graceless way it would behave if I happened to get a call during play...Sheesh. Mostly the apps, including the process of getting photos off the thing, were too much of a pain in the ass to bother with, let alone become enthusiastic about.

As with so many things Apple, the contrast when iOS came along was stark: ah, yes, of course, this is how it should work; it doesn't get in my way; the designers seem to have considered the system thoroughly in the context of all the task flows people will actually perform. Big sense of relief.
posted by Philofacts at 9:35 PM on October 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


As with so many things Apple, the contrast when iOS came along was stark: ah, yes, of course, this is how it should work; it doesn't get in my way; the designers seem to have considered the system thoroughly in the context of all the task flows people will actually perform. Big sense of relief.

Ironically, though, that contrast made me spend less money on Apple products. I knew my old phones could TECHNICALLY play MP3s, but the interface was such a mess and I needed special headphones, so I stuck with my iPod. When I got the iPod and my iPhone broke, the way was clear.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:53 PM on October 9, 2011


You mean your iPod broke and you had an iPhone, so you didn't buy a new iPod?

And instead of buying a product that is already declining in sales (and possibly being phased out in a year or two), you've moved your digital lifestyle fully onto an iPhone, which probably means you have a pretty good chance of buying apps, music, movies, iBooks, and other content that Apple gets a 30% cut on. Not to mention that every two years or so, you might be buying a new iPhone (compared to 3+ years for an iPod, as it's really hard to make a music player more interesting as this point, unless it is smaller / has more space than a nomad / wifi). And additional revenue from services such as iCloud and iTunes Match.

If you don't see the genius in that, maybe you should take some LSD.
posted by mrzarquon at 10:45 PM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


And instead of buying a product that is already declining in sales (and possibly being phased out in a year or two), you've moved your digital lifestyle fully onto an iPhone, which probably means you have a pretty good chance of buying apps, music, movies, iBooks, and other content that Apple gets a 30% cut on. Not to mention that every two years or so, you might be buying a new iPhone (compared to 3+ years for an iPod, as it's really hard to make a music player more interesting as this point, unless it is smaller / has more space than a nomad / wifi). And additional revenue from services such as iCloud and iTunes Match.

If you don't see the genius in that, maybe you should take some LSD.


I'd already be buying Apps for my phone, though, and I'd upgrade to the newest model whether I had an iPod or not. And in the rare times that I bought digital music I'd use iTunes to buy it anyway.

I feel bad for my poor, neglected Nintendo DS.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:48 PM on October 9, 2011


At the time iPhones came out, handset makers were getting adept at creating stylish phones, as much as the carriers allowed them to anyway. Underneath all that though were UI's crafted first by engineers, then by marketing, then by carriers, and then if you were lucky, by user experience people who had to make all that look good, rather than design something from scratch that users would like.

But it was one thing to be stylish, and another to be a pleasure to use. Before the iPhone, one used cellphones at the pleasure of the carriers.

The comments in mrzarquon's link are entertaining. For example:
“Shellshocked” is exactly the right word.

At a lunch recently [2010], I found myself sitting next to a Telefónica executive in Mexico, where iPhones and Androids haven't really taken off yet. We struck up a conversation, and I was showing him the Foursquare iPhone app (I work at Foursquare). He said the app looked cool and asked me what carriers we had deals with. When I said we didn't do deals with carriers–that we just developed for platforms and ran on any carrier–his eyes widened a bit. Then he asked me how much we had to pay each time someone used the geolocation feature. (Telefónica in Mexico provides a geolocation service on their phones, but they charge consumers for every use.) When I said we didn't have to pay, that it was provided by the platform and for free, he was visibly shocked.

It was an interesting reminder of what carriers in the US used to take for granted not too long ago, and of everything we as consumers and developers take for granted now.
Carriers around the world set themselves up as gatekeepers, charging tolls and subscriptions for everything. There's little competition in most countries, and little pressure to change. Apple continues to chip away at this perception, for example, potentially taking a chunk out of text messaging revenues with iMessage.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:50 PM on October 9, 2011


I thought I'd point out the worst product Steve Jobs ever demoed, the "iTunes Phone," the Motorola ROKR. This is what the phone carriers wanted to give you, instead of what Steve Jobs wanted to give you.
posted by charlie don't surf at 1:26 AM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Many have paid tribute to the way the user interface design of Apple products was ground-changing. Fewer seem to have noted how Steve Job's company helped revolutionise the way everybody else did user interface design. The impact today is not just on the design of GUIs but on the user interfaces of everything from ship bridges to hospital scanners to microwave ovens.

In the early 90s I started working in the "Human Factors" department in British Telecom's research labs. At that stage we were already established as an island of Mac users in a sea of PCs and Unix workstations. This was absolutely no accident - but our choice of OS was influenced by more than just the desire to set an example by working with computers exemplifying good UI design. By this stage members of the Mac design team had come up with a number of publications that were widely influential: Bruce Tognazzinis "TOG on Interface", Brenda Laurels "The Art of Computer Interface Design" and Apple's own "Apple User Interface Design Guide" (apparently used as a key inspiration for "Snowcrash") for example. So Macs were important to us not just as a product but as the successful end-result of the design process we were trying to follow and evangelise.

But apart from this there was the family of powerful, robust, easy to learn UI prototyping software for Macs that started with Apple's own Hypercard and also included Macromind Director. These applications allowed UIs to be rapidly prototyped without having to spend months obsessing over code and flowcharts. When I arrived a colleague had just finished designing a payphone using Hypercard. She had user tested a number of design variations and when she was happy with the results we sent the stack to the manufacturers as a specification (I quite like how the finished result still reminds me of the look of Hypercard). Ironically Apple were never as good at recognising this market as they were for desktop publishers, musicians, educators, etc - but these methods caught on and the descendants of these methods and applications are in common use today.

Payphones, and the many other quotidian devices developed using these methods, may never inspire the love that has enveloped so many products from Cupertino - but you can rest assured that the world of tools, vehicles and gadgets that surrounds us would be more ugly, frustrating, costly and even dangerous without the influence of Apple.
posted by rongorongo at 4:17 AM on October 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Bruce Tognazzinis "TOG on Interface", Brenda Laurels "The Art of Computer Interface Design" and Apple's own "Apple User Interface Design Guide" (apparently used as a key inspiration for "Snowcrash") for example.

I've had the first two of these books since the late 90's, and borrowed the third from a developer friend. They, along with books like Bell Labs' Thomas K. Landauer's The Trouble with Computers: Usefulness, Usability, and Productivity, MIT's Michael Dertouzos' What Will Be, and Don Norman's The Design of Everyday Things, as well as everything else Norman has written, started me down a long bibliographic trail that began with books on design, moved to cog sci and psychology, cognitive linguistics (especially Lakoff & Johnson's work on the centrality of metaphor to cognition), and ultimately to philosophy, my current field.

(I still haven't read Snow Crash - cue snorts of disbelief, horror and contempt from the tech community en masse - but have read other Stephenson, such as his epic Baroque Trilogy.)
posted by Philofacts at 5:49 AM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Many have paid tribute to the way the user interface design of Apple products was ground-changing. Fewer seem to have noted how Steve Job's company helped revolutionise the way everybody else did user interface design. The impact today is not just on the design of GUIs but on the user interfaces of everything from ship bridges to hospital scanners to microwave ovens.


The irony being that when Steve Jobs returned to Apple, he shuttered the Advanced Technology Group, which had been responsible for a lot of UI Design thinking in his absence. The problems were that usability often came ahead of aesthetics, and that Apple was broke and Jobs decided that this group was dispensable.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:46 AM on October 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I thought I'd point out the worst product Steve Jobs ever demoed, the "iTunes Phone ," the Motorola ROKR. This is what the phone carriers wanted to give you, instead of what Steve Jobs wanted to give you.

In the end, I'm convinced that the point for Apple was to learn how to work within the cellular industry, and to learn who could be wooed from Motorola to work for Apple.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:47 AM on October 10, 2011


I've been traveling all week, without access to a keyboard because I took my iPad with me and figured I wouldn't do anything more than fire off a few emails here and there. Somehow, typing on its glass screen to toss in a comment to this thread seemed a little inelegant. A little too clunky and not quite the tool to use for this.

I'm having a bit of a hard time wrapping my brain around his death. You can nitpick at the details of his life, Apple's business practices, the arc that individual technologies would have followed had he never existed, but that misses both the big picture of where Apple sits and the way his products affected individuals.

Jobs was Apple, and Apple's products are so deeply woven into my life that they're just background noise. They're simple conduits for information exchange and they always get the hell out of the way. I use my iPhone, iPad and my 3 Macs at least 10-12 hours each day, but it barely registers. This last week, I've made an effort to be a bit more mindful.

All night long, my iPhone whooshed out pleasant white noise to help me sleep. This morning it woke up me at 6:30am. For 15 minutes while I was in the shower, Steve was absent from my day. That'll be his longest absence until I sit down to dinner tonight. After getting out of the shower, I used my iPhone to check the weather before getting dressed. I read my email quickly while puttering around for a half hour. On my hour long walk to work, I listened to podcasts on it.

At work, I parked my butt at my desk. Work provides a Dell machine running XP, but I spend all day using the Mac Mini and Apple keyboard/trackpad that I spent my own money on. In meetings I'll be taking notes on my iPad. At lunch I'll go for a walk over to my wife's office, listening to podcasts and coordinating a little lunchtime rendezvous over the iPhone. Then, back to work in front of the mac.

At the end of the day, I'll walk home streaming NPR to my phone, then continue streaming it to the airport express plugged into my kitchen stereo once I arrive. I'll cook dinner using recipes stored on the iPad. When my wife and kids get home, after a few minutes of catching up, I'll park the 4 year old in front of the iMac for 15 minutes so he can play Minecraft and so my wife and I can finish cooking and dote on the baby.

After dinner, we'll all hang out for an hour. Maybe wander we'll around the neighborhood aimlessly, but the iPhone will be there to look something up on wikipedia, record a memory, or contact a family member or friend. The kids will take a bath, and while they're splashing in the tub I'll read a book on the iPad (or maybe I'll watch last weekend's Formula 1 race).

Then it's off to bed, where I'll read a couple books to them, possibly on the iPad. I'll sit in bed with the eldest until he falls asleep, reading the Times or the New Yorker on the iPad. Then it's off to clean up from dinner and veg out, either listening to something streamed off of an Apple device or displayed on the iMac's screen. At bedtime I'll set the alarm on the iPhone, start up the white noise generator and go to sleep. Tomorrow will be the same.

At no point will any of these electronic gadgets call attention to itself. I won't curse at them or spend one moment fiddling around trying to make something work. They'll do their job, simplifying my life and blending into the background.

There are no piles of newspapers in my house, or even many books. There aren't stacks of CDs, big bulky stereo equipment, TVs, portable radios, or rapidly deteriorating photos or videos. I don't need to carry around folders of files to meetings, take notes on paper that I'll later need to file, or keep track of a paper calendar. I'll never want for a camera, a map, a portable radio, a bus schedule, a phone number or any other piece of straightforward information. Every time I travel, I'll be able to live like a local, eating at the best restaurants and catching the best local entertainment.

If something is information and it belongs to me, I put it on something Steve birthed. If it's something I need to know, I learn it on something he created. If it's something I need to tell someone else, it usually goes out through one of his products. Ideas no longer need a physical manifestation in my life, and it's incredibly liberating. All that clutter took away from what's important to me. Steve's babies made more time and room for learning and communicating and thinking.

Beyond just that magical integration of the physical and information world, Steve kicked everything onto a higher plane. I don't know for sure how far we would have come down this road without his contributions, but I suspect I'd still be living in a world that looked a lot like it did in 1999. We'd spend more time angry at companies and their stuff. There'd be MP3 players and GUIs and smartphones and tablets, but they'd all be shit. All around us, products and services from every industry would be uglier and less intuitive because Steve Jobs raised the bar on design and interfaces. Arguably he created the expectation that products should be perfect. We all appreciate and expect greatness because he showed it to us.

Thank you, Steve. Thank you so, so much. You made the world a better place and will be missed.
posted by pjaust at 7:46 AM on October 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Richard Stallman offends everyone (as usual)

I'd agree that Jobs harmed everyone by pushing closed source software, and later a closed ecosystem. In fact, I'll never buy an iOS product precisely because the ecosystem is so anal-retentively closed.

Yet, he helped us all even more by raising the bar for user interface design. Android kicks the crap out of Windows Mobile partially thanks to Jobs' indirect influence.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:49 AM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't get the hate for ROKR on a conceptual level. I never touched one, so I'll leave the judgment on whether it was a bad product to the people who have. But on a design level, what's wrong with a flip phone that has MP3 player functionality? They exist with or without Apple in that particular market, and they do the job they're supposed to. That job is not "be a smartphone."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:00 AM on October 10, 2011


Stallman hates Apple because they don't use the GNU license exclusively, and instead use the MIT license, which allows companies to build proprietary apps on top of open source software. His complaints are sour grapes. Apple is the largest open source software publisher in the world. Apple is responsible to the whole Unix community for major software systems like WebKit, CUPS, and IIRC the lead maintainer of Perl works at Apple.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:27 AM on October 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Stallman hates Apple because

...Stallman hates everything he doesn't back.
posted by grubi at 8:54 AM on October 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Stallman hates everything he doesn't back can't hack.
posted by empath at 10:06 AM on October 10, 2011


Stallman's a genius, and given the fact that he traffics in true blue notions of freedom, it's a great irony that he's practically a sociopath -- unable to appreciate human beings as human beings.

I'm still proud though, that I got to shake his hand once at a BarCampLA. I think Stallman would be a good addition, maybe after he's dead, to the "Here's to the Crazy Ones" ad.
posted by artlung at 10:49 AM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't get the hate for ROKR on a conceptual level. I never touched one, so I'll leave the judgment on whether it was a bad product to the people who have. But on a design level, what's wrong with a flip phone that has MP3 player functionality? They exist with or without Apple in that particular market, and they do the job they're supposed to. That job is not "be a smartphone"

On a functional level, a phone with an mp3 player is fine. It's a good thing to have, and it's very convenient, much more than having separate devices. On a design level, there's nothing wrong with that specific feature either, as long as it works within the overall phone schema.

That said, by the time the ROKR, the first iTunes phone from Motorola, came out, Apple had a reputation for both good user experience design and consumer electronics. This was a notable cooperative venture between the two.

Generally, on a design level, phones often are designed by committee. It's a blend of engineers, designers, usability experts, marketing, random corporate executives, and carrier representatives. Each has their own agenda, which play into the final experience of the phone. Often times this leads to compromise, both of agendas and of features.

I found a couple of reviews at iLounge (ROKR review, SLVR review), two of the three phones that had iTunes capability. Some notable points in these reviews include very slow syncing (USB 1.0), only allowing songs to be stored on external storage (microSD), capping number of songs at 100 (to allegedly prevent competition with iPods), slow menu scrolling, and requiring a SIM to use the music player. It looks like the compromises were made in favor of then traditional Motorola UI design and cell phone hardware design.

The overall feel is that Apple compromised their design standards to get on a phone, with an overall experience that compares poorly to an iPod in some areas. The initial iTunes ROKR was so lacklustre that its price was quickly dropped and it appears to have been discontinued quickly. Given the timing, I have to believe that Apple was well into developing the iPhone when they started working with Motorola, which probably led to some design compromises. On the other hand, I wonder if Motorola was hoping iTunes could extend the product lives of otherwise average to below average phones.

What's clear though is that when Apple decided to develop a cell phone for themselves, they wanted to be more than just a standard phone with an mp3 player.
posted by ZeusHumms at 3:36 PM on October 10, 2011


Hmm, that took too long for something with grammatical mistakes.
posted by ZeusHumms at 3:58 PM on October 10, 2011


For everyone who liked the retrospective in The Register posted by charlie don't surf, he was nice enough to email the link to Part Two, which is now up.
posted by TedW at 5:53 PM on October 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dave Winer - Steve Jobs as Frank Lloyd Wright.
posted by unliteral at 6:05 PM on October 10, 2011


Two opposing viewpoints:
Steve Jobs Succumbs to Alternative Medicine
Steve Jobs dead at 56, his life ended prematurely by chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer

The infamous "No Pans!" article at Cult of Mac.
posted by meehawl at 8:24 PM on October 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


Christ, what an asshole.

Dave Winer always hated Jobs with a bitterness so intense, it warped his personality. He tried to get Apple to buy Frontier and make it part of the Mac OS, and Apple (quite correctly) was completely uninterested. So Winer never forgave Jobs for not bowing down before him, and took shots at Jobs at every opportunity. This was his Parthian Shot.

He proves he doesn't understand Jobs at all:

To both Jobs and [Frank Lloyd] Wright the people who used their products were not as important as the computer or the building.

Yeah right.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:13 PM on October 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


from NaturalNews: Yet his remaining life was stolen from him by the cancer industry and its poisons.

Wow, I didn't realize how douchey the naturopath industry has truly become.
Oh wait, there's an add on the right of the page advertising this guy's lecture "Vaccines: A Hidden Agenda".
What's the term of someone who is douchey, but who's doucheness endangers the lives of gullible believers, and whose primary motivation for being said douche is profit? Because that's this guy.
posted by Theta States at 6:32 AM on October 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


OK, here's all you need to understand about the NaturalNews link:
Apple has increasingly become a corporation that has routinely chosen for-profit domination over public service
posted by Theta States at 6:35 AM on October 11, 2011


Apple has increasingly become a corporation that has routinely chosen for-profit domination over public service

As opposed to every other corporation on Earth. God, the simplistic thinking of these idiots is staggering sometimes. "A corporation wants to make money? Who knew?" Well, everyone. Ever. It's a corporation. By definition, they're about profits. Even the most giving, socially-responsible corporation is about money. I'm not being cynical or judgmental about it; it's just a fact. This pollyanna nonsense about how the world "should work" versus how it DOES work... it's frustratingly stupid.

As liberal as I am, I hate hippies for this very reason.
posted by grubi at 6:40 AM on October 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


The writers taking issue with Jobs making the choice to pursue other kinds of treatment before going surgical: FUCK YOU. This kind of kibbitzing after the fact is useless horseshit and is indicative of an axe to grind. The truth is cancer is a dick, and dealing with it is really complicated. Can you basically go be an inpatient and get round the clock care every hour? Sure. Can you simply ignore it and wait to die? Sure. The truth is each patient is different, and the right mix for one, might not be the right mix for another. Cancer patients also want to live their life, in addition to being treated. People often say "well, if I were just on machines I would prefer not to live" about end of life care. It's no different for people who need complex, invasive and destructive radiation, surgery, drugs to treat cancer. The patient MUST be in charge, ultimately, to decide on the course of their care, and the course of their life. It's not enough to treat, treat, treat cancer at the expense of living ones' life.

Now, granted, I'm biased. My Mom had kidney cancer and had aggressive care right from the start. Found the cancer: 2007, died, 2010. If she hadn't died probably some asshole would be saying "well, if you had just tried alternative medicine maybe she'd still be alive." Do everything right, and you still might be dead.

Monday-morning quarterbacking of Jobs' care is an indicator that a person is ignorant about cancer care.
posted by artlung at 9:25 AM on October 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


Monday-morning quarterbacking of Jobs' care is an indicator that a person is ignorant about cancer care.

My Mom has said that the absolute worst part of having cancer besides, you know, the cancer part, is the tons of well-meaning people who think they have the right idea about how to treat it who basically act like if you don't follow their advice it's because you are 1) stupid or 2) want to die. It's the same old personal-autonomy issue as we see with a host of other medical and parenting issues and it's pernicious and actively harmful to people.

It's easy to morning-after quarterback the choices someone with cancer made because there's no clear path, often, about the right way to proceed and so many balancing act and quality-of-life decisions to be made. My mother told her stunned but well-meaning relative that if eating macrobiotic would extend her life a few months, she'd rather be dead thankyouforyourconcern, but it was the only thing that made him shut up with his constant badgering about the "bad" choices she was making. Horrible. Don't be that guy.
posted by jessamyn at 9:40 AM on October 11, 2011 [20 favorites]


My girlfriend was going through breast cancer. I just finished teaching a yoga class. A young woman came up to me and said something like, 'How can someone so spiritual get such a disease" I wanted to slap her!

Like my response to the morons who are lambasting others regarding their effusive responses to Job's passing, I would say to people like this....

"Don't tell me how to die!"
posted by goalyeehah at 11:12 AM on October 11, 2011


Wow. This article, written by a surgeon at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, is amazingly informative.

The money quote: "Aside from the initial nine months, Jobs, as far as we know, relied on exclusively on conventional therapy to treat his disease. In fact, he underwent the most invasive, cancer aggressive operation (the Whipple pancreaticoduodenectomy), which is one of the biggest, if not the biggest operation, that surgical oncologists do. Then, after his tumor recurred in his liver, he underwent the biggest, mot technically complex type transplant operation there is, a liver transplant." [...] "So, is it possible, even likely, that Jobs compromised his chances of survival? Yes. Is it definite that he did? No, it’s not, at least it’s not anywhere as definite as Dunning makes it sound. In fact, based on statistics alone, it’s unlikely that a mere nine months took Jobs “from the high end to the low end of the survival rate,” as Dunning puts it."

"If there’s one thing we’re learning increasingly about cancer, it’s that biology is king and queen, and that our ability to fight biology is depressingly limited. [...] Jobs was unfortunate in that he appears to have had an unusually aggressive form of the disease that might well have ultimately killed him no matter what."

As is so often the case, cancer fails to fit our neat little do-this-and-live-forever narratives, no matter which narratives they happen to be. I'm not willing to second-guess someone's decision to take nine months of normal living over "having to eat a diet like that of patients who have their stomachs (or large portions thereof) removed", given a form of cancer which "might well have ultimately killed him no matter what".
posted by vorfeed at 1:09 PM on October 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


vorfeed: " As is so often the case, cancer fails to fit our neat little do-this-and-live-forever narratives, no matter which narratives they happen to be. I'm not willing to second-guess someone's decision to take nine months of normal living over "having to eat a diet like that of patients who have their stomachs (or large portions thereof) removed", given a form of cancer which "might well have ultimately killed him no matter what"."

Thank you for posting that link. Thank you very, very much.
posted by zarq at 1:11 PM on October 11, 2011


5by5 put together a podcast Thank You, Steve Jobs collecting "stories, thoughts, and memories about Steve Jobs and Apple by hosts and friends, expressing how their lives have been changed for the better by Steve and Apple." Contributors include Andy Ihnatko, Merlin Mann, Jason Snell, and many others.
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:17 PM on October 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Thank you for posting that link. Thank you very, very much.

You're welcome!

In particular, I hadn't realized what a nightmare surgery this Whipple procedure was. It's not a "slice out the tumor and go on your way" kind of thing -- it involves removing the gallbladder, bile duct, and half each of the stomach and pancreas, then sewing what's left back together. Jobs had what is usually a slow-moving form of cancer, so I can't blame him for choosing to keep an eye on it rather than immediately jumping at having his bowels rearranged. What an awful, awful situation.
posted by vorfeed at 2:09 PM on October 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


you know, I am normally among the first people to rag on steve jobs for having an overblown reputation -- but seriously, he was absolutely smart enough (and had access to such incredible information resources) that I see absolutely no reason to question his own health care choices.

I might make different ones in his shoes. I'm not. He's the one who was dying of cancer, he was a smart guy, he was blunt enough to get the straight shit from his doctors -- he rolled some dice that I'm as close as I can get to being absolutely sure he knew he was rolling.

It didn't work out. But that was his damn choice, he was the one with (all of his) skin in the game, and I for one am not going to get on his retrospective case about it.
posted by lodurr at 11:02 AM on October 12, 2011


the last time I saw Steve Jobs

via Gruber
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:38 PM on October 12, 2011 [11 favorites]


As liberal as I am, I hate hippies for this very reason.

The US "liberal" of course, meaning mid-right conservative. ;)

“What a loss to humanity it would have been if Jobs had dedicated the last 25 years of his life to figuring out how to give his billions away, instead of doing what he does best,” he writes. “We’d still be waiting for a cell phone on which we could actually read e-mail and surf the web.”

What a crock. Qualified by "actually" as if reading mail and surfing the Web on an iPhone is a sublime experience completely different than using a Blackberry.

Steve Jobs can still be a great philanthropist.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:46 AM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


When my dad was dying of stomach cancer, he had terrible cravings for bacon, cheeseburgers, and all manner of 'not good for you' foods. Because the hospital wouldn't give him what he wanted, I personally made him every fucking thing he desired and snuck it in during visiting hours. He refused to take any medication and even though he knew that food would cause him nothing but misery later, he chose to eat it anyway. If someone is dying, I think it's the height of condescension to try to tell them what they should and should not do with the few remaining months of their life.

RIP, Steve.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 1:03 PM on October 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


With nearly 1500 comments I am not sure if this has already been posted, but this video from 1987 essentially predicts Siri (as well as touch screens, phone computer integration, etc.) and it looks to be depicting the year 2011, or so. It is eerily prescient, like Jobs had the whole future of computing figured out back then and just had to wait for the technology to catch up with his imagination. (via Kottke)
posted by caddis at 2:18 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


> With nearly 1500 comments I am not sure if this has already been posted, but this video from 1987 essentially predicts Siri (as well as touch screens, phone computer integration, etc.)

Thats because I posted it the day before as the Siri announcement thread.
posted by mrzarquon at 3:58 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, in 87, Jobs had been ousted from Apple two years previously and was working on Pixar and NeXT at that point. Not that his legacy may have inspired people predicting this work, and maybe folks at Apple then may still have been around later. But seeing him talk about shared network (NFS pipes!) and describe iCloud workflow in 1997 when he is addressing folks at Apple after his return, I think, shows more of his concrete vision of where to bring Apple to save it.
posted by mrzarquon at 4:01 PM on October 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Without Dennis Ritchie, there is no OS X, no iPods, no iPhones (by the logic oft used in this thread).
posted by mrgrimm at 10:48 AM on October 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


As liberal as I am, I hate hippies for this very reason.

The US "liberal" of course, meaning mid-right conservative. ;)


Not in my case. I'm a social democrat.
posted by grubi at 9:13 AM on October 16, 2011


California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared it “Steve Jobs Day.”

No, you definitely don't get the day off, Jobs would not have wanted that.

Oh, it's Sunday? Well, try doing some work on the side, for Steve.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:03 AM on October 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Jobs Wanted To Destroy Android

'Isaacson wrote that Jobs was livid in January 2010 when HTC introduced an Android phone that boasted many of the popular features of the iPhone. Apple sued, and Jobs told Isaacson in an expletive-laced rant that Google's actions amounted to "grand theft." ... "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this."

In a subsequent meeting with Schmidt at a Palo Alto, Calif., cafe, Jobs told Schmidt that he wasn't interested in settling the lawsuit, the book says. "I don't want your money. If you offer me $5 billion, I won't want it. I've got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that's all I want." The meeting, Isaacson wrote, resolved nothing.


Android, Inc. was founded in 2003 and acquired by Google in 2005. Apple began development of the iPhone in 2005 and released it's the first iPhone in 2007.

Apple's patent war has engulfed almost every major player in the mobile phone sector.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:23 AM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Android: Before & After

I'm sure Android did not benefit at all from Eric Schmidt being on Apple's board.
posted by entropicamericana at 7:49 AM on October 21, 2011


Android, Inc. was founded in 2003 and acquired by Google in 2005. Apple began development of the iPhone in 2005 and released it's the first iPhone in 2007.

I'm no fan of software patents, but this point is irrelevant. The Android GUI was very different originally, and it took a sharp turn after the iPhone was demoed publicly. That's what got Jobs upset; that he felt Google was copying the iPhone UI. It wasn't that Google was selling any old phone.
posted by alms at 7:50 AM on October 21, 2011


Thanks, entropicamericana. Those are the images I was looking for but couldn't find.
posted by alms at 7:51 AM on October 21, 2011


Android, 2007

Android before and after iPhone
posted by artlung at 10:50 AM on October 21, 2011


During the memorial service at an Apple Store in Utah, a little girl wanted to buy an iPod with money saved up in a jar.
posted by jabberjaw at 11:01 AM on October 21, 2011


Aww, that was surprisingly touching!
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 11:48 AM on October 21, 2011


That whole "android before and after" thing brings to mind one of the things that has always really annoyed me about Steve Jobs: He seemed to think art direction was the same as art creation.
posted by lodurr at 6:08 AM on October 22, 2011


I earlier wrote "his passing takes away one of the few examples of a CEO who did more good than harm."

I now wish to retract that statement.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:42 AM on October 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


His story calls for a book that is clear, elegant and concise enough to qualify as an iBio. Mr. Isaacson’s “Steve Jobs” does its solid best to hit that target.
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:53 PM on October 22, 2011


Android before and after iPhone

Hmm, Google must have ripped off Apple. Nobody ever produced a touch screen handheld device with icons in a grid pattern before iPhone.
posted by MikeMc at 2:25 PM on October 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


I agree!
posted by artlung at 4:00 PM on October 22, 2011


Apple's phone, before and after the LG Prada
posted by empath at 4:38 PM on October 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Heck, the very first smart phone from 1993 had is app icons in a grid.
posted by octothorpe at 6:31 AM on October 23, 2011


This is my favourite version of the smooth touchscreen phone with icons for communication
posted by infini at 6:57 AM on October 23, 2011


Steve Jobs advised Bill Clinton over Monica Lewinsky
posted by unliteral at 9:40 PM on October 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought it was based on the Nintendo DS
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:59 PM on October 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


During the memorial service at an Apple Store in Utah, a little girl wanted to buy an iPod with money saved up in a jar.

"Everyone, please give [redacted] a round of applause for saving her money and buying an iPod today."

And there's that slight taste of vomit in my mouth I have about the beatification of Steve Jobs.

"Well done, consumer!"
posted by mrgrimm at 8:56 AM on October 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm 22% through (according to the Kindle app) the "Steve Jobs" bio. Flows well, reads well, and is definitely worth the purchase.

Nothing earth-shattering or surprising yet, as I'm still in the "Mac Development" chapters, and a lot of the material was covered well in one of my favorite books as a kid, Jeff Young's book about Jobs from '88 called "The Journey Is The Reward".
posted by mrbill at 10:54 AM on October 24, 2011


mrbill, just fyi, there is a whole nuther post about the Isaacson biography.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:04 PM on October 24, 2011


Really moving 90-minute event held on 19th October on the Apple campus: A celebration of Steve's life. With brief speeches from Jony Ive, Al Gore and others, plus two surprise musical guests.
posted by progosk at 1:34 PM on October 24, 2011


Apple's phone, before and after the LG Prada

The ROKR was designed by Motorola. The first pictures of the Prada surfaced less than a month before the iPhone was announced and shown off at MacWorld.

Nice try.
posted by grubi at 8:00 AM on October 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


grubi: "The first pictures of the Prada surfaced less than a month before the iPhone was announced and shown off at MacWorld."

While its commercial launch date was first announced on December 12, 2006, the Prada was first *demoed* as a complete unit at the iF design awards in September 2006, for which it won one of the 2007 "Best in Show" awards for the previous year's designs. The Iphone was announced at MacWorld on January 9th, 2007.

iF awards are kind of a big deal - if you think Apple/Ive didn't either attend personally or obtain the show award catalogue then you must know more about secret design voodoo than anyone else on the planet. Now, it's probable that both Apple and LG were working on smartphone designs right through 2005 and into 2006. But the historical record is that LG was the first to get finished units of flat/slab glass with an icon wall responsive to finger gestures into a global exhibition and put them in front of thousands of product designers. That's the seed DNA for a design evolution right there, and it happened almost six months before Apple unveiled its own *demo* units. Of course, 3rd-party smartphone software vendors such as SPB had been bringing out icon launcher shells with finger gestures since at least 2005. It was simply an idea that was en vogue.
posted by meehawl at 10:51 AM on October 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Steve Jobs solved HBS Professor Clay Christensen's Innovator's Dilemma
posted by jeffburdges at 5:21 PM on October 25, 2011


But the historical record is that LG was the first to get finished units of flat/slab glass with an icon wall responsive to finger gestures into a global exhibition and put them in front of thousands of product designers.

And that idea, although pen-based instead of finger-controlled, was pretty much the direct evolution of the PDA app launcher icon walls of the Newton and General Magic's Magic Cap (a product so ahead of its time that it was too advanced for the Newton, so Apple spun off the company to develop it only to turn around and sue for all they could once they realized what Scully let walk out the door), and of course the Palm Pilot. Those, in turn owe a great deal of debt to Apple's At Ease (wikipedia) UI (a simplified mode for the Mac OS, vaguely like Microsoft Bob without the hideous living room metaphor).

The iPhone design was fantastic in many ways, but its hard to see the basic app wall design as much more than the continued evolution of this long-established idea, executed in combination with Apple's preferred design aesthetic.
posted by zachlipton at 12:36 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Apple granted patent for slide to unlock

Apple : We're not patent trolls. Steve says your product should not exist.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:45 AM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Apple granted patent for slide to unlock

Wow. I had to double-check to make sure that article was actually published on October 26, 2011.

What possible good can this kind of patent do for anyone, Apple included?
posted by vorfeed at 2:09 PM on October 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Another weapon for the patent war that Steve Jobs' ego started.

Ironically, Jobs desire to litigate Android out of existence might be raising awareness of the deep fundamental flaws in our current patent and copyright systems.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:31 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, that is a HORRIBLE patent.
posted by Artw at 4:03 PM on October 26, 2011


Patent issues, might, in fact, be fodder for an entirely different thread that's not a RIP thread.
posted by artlung at 4:13 PM on October 26, 2011


Ironically, Jobs desire to litigate Android out of existence might be raising awareness of the deep fundamental flaws in our current patent and copyright systems.

It's like Obama and medical marijuana. Those darn 12th-dimensional chess players are way ahead of us ...
posted by mrgrimm at 3:34 PM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


What Kind of Buddhist was Steve Jobs, Really?
posted by homunculus at 8:48 AM on October 29, 2011 [6 favorites]


Emotional eulogy by Steve Jobs' sister, Mona Simpson..
posted by Rumple at 10:32 AM on October 30, 2011 [12 favorites]


I always forget that Mona Simpson was his sister, and am always surprised by that fact, and then by the fact that I forgot it.
posted by gingerbeer at 5:49 PM on October 30, 2011


Intubated, when he couldn’t talk, he asked for a notepad. He sketched devices to hold an iPad in a hospital bed. He designed new fluid monitors and x-ray equipment. He redrew that not-quite-special-enough hospital unit. And every time his wife walked into the room, I watched his smile remake itself on his face.

This seems like Steve Jobs in a nutshell. I wonder what happened to that notebook.
posted by empath at 7:24 PM on October 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another weapon for the patent war that Steve Jobs' ego started.

Google entirely changed their phone design after the release of the iPhone, to copy that of the iPhone. This is just a fact. We can argue about individual patents etc., but patent law exists to stop outright theft of designs and implementations. Jobs' ego has nothing to do with Google not having the technical and creative chops to come up with an original idea.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:23 PM on October 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Apple's multitouch lawsuit is both dumb and dangerous.

Apples dumb patent war (link fest)

Apple vs. HTC proves USPTO is dumb
posted by jeffburdges at 8:34 AM on October 31, 2011


Tech bloggers can complain about Apple all they want, but this didn't happen out of some hermetic fit of pique, nor are judges ruling in favor of Apple because of a dead man's supposed fit of pique. The patent system isn't broken, just because Apple holds some for inventing something new. Whether a patent here or there deserves criticism is one thing, but at some point it would be good to hear some facts acknowledged. And one of those facts is that Google scrapped their old phone design, once the iPhone came out, and they replaced it with a design nearly identical to that of an iPhone. In light of that fact, a legal dispute seems inevitable.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:31 AM on October 31, 2011


Also, google was involved in the development of the iphone and the ceo of google was on Apple's board.
posted by empath at 10:33 AM on October 31, 2011


The patent system isn't broken,

I've really got to remove this thread from recent activity.

Meanwhile, this bit of meta... From the eulogy:
In the last year of his life, he studied a book of paintings by Mark Rothko, an artist he hadn’t known about before, thinking of what could inspire people on the walls of a future Apple campus.
posted by Chuckles at 11:01 AM on October 31, 2011


I wouldn't be too worried about improvidently granted patents in a suit between two large players such as Apple and HTC. If the patents should never have been granted because there was prior art that will come out in the litigation, and it may well have already.
posted by caddis at 11:46 AM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


If I recall, Apple's only major victories were 'design' cases against the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Those are copyright-like laws designed to cover clothing, not patents, but you can avoid such legal problems almost trivially, usually simply changing the cardboard box's color or something.

I've never much liked these design rights either, but apparently they haven't been abused like patents, well until Steve Jobs' hissy fit about Android being used on tablets.

Apple has obviously launched many real patent cases against Android manufacturers in American courts where their dumbest patents like 'slide to unlock' apply, but apparently Apple lost their patent fight with Nokia who infringes upon all those obvious patents as well.

What's good for Apple's legal department isn't good for you.
posted by jeffburdges at 12:00 PM on October 31, 2011


Google not having the technical and creative chops to come up with an original idea.

Google has its problems, but the cautious and astute would probably take it as a warning sign something was awry if they'd produced an analysis concluding a lack of technical chops at the company.

Google scrapped their old phone design, once the iPhone came out, and they replaced it with a design nearly identical to that of an iPhone.

The entire market, Google included, was pretty clearly influenced by the introduction of the iPhone, but the implication that this means Google or anyone else somehow simply stole from a concept that Apple could lay sole claim to is pretty well dismantled by closer looks like this one.

Apple created a distinctive product by studied fusion and strong execution of existing concepts, not by creating the touchscreen mobile concept ex nihilo. They deserve real credit for the former, not the later.

They also may or may not reasonably lay claim to specific patents on engineering solutions involved in said studied and strong execution, and I suppose to the extent those are solid claims, they have as much right to take an adversarial and possessive approach (vs the more generally productive reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing) as the rest of the world of people who've invested in inventing the multitude of technologies involved in the the modern smartphone.

But if every party with some reasonable claim chose to do that, Apple would be in the same boat as the competitors they'd be charging with infringement, and we'd have the problem that nobody would have permission to create a modern smartphone. That seems like a broken state of affairs. Even the next most likely outcome (lots of money invested in litigation and damages instead of product innovation) isn't a particularly smooth one.

It might also be worth pointing out that under the current system, we don't exactly find Apple winning all its patent cases. Even against trolls. Nor is it really clear they won some victories fairly.
posted by weston at 12:31 PM on October 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Apple created a distinctive product by studied fusion and strong execution of existing concepts, not by creating the touchscreen mobile concept ex nihilo.

The Newton is probably the first "iPhone" in terms of adding a touch user interface to mobile computing. It wasn't very successful, and it didn't have a cell phone built-in, but it is the "prototype", as such, and did come out of Apple investing in research and development to bring that technology to market. The iPhone came with a reinvented interface that removed the need for a stylus and added cell phone technology to what is, in some important respects, a squeezed-down Newton, which in turn was made possible by technological innovations from the iPod line.

Once Apple announced the first iPhone in January 2007, Google followed with a redo of Android, which was released at the end of 2007. That much is a fact, regardless of the validity of one or another patent.

As I said before, I don't necessarily disagree that some patents are worth discussion, but the courts aren't debating the issue because of one person's impression of Steve Jobs' "ego". Come on, that's just silly. There are so many obvious similarities between Apple's original and Google's subsequent copy that lawsuits were, for all practical purposes, inevitable. Why would Apple let Google pull another Microsoft on them, and watch their hard work get copied?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:37 PM on October 31, 2011


The Newton is probably the first "iPhone" in terms of adding a touch user interface to mobile computing. It wasn't very successful, and it didn't have a cell phone built-in, but it is the "prototype"

The idea that the Newton gives Apple a patent claim on the very concept of mobile touchscreen computing has a number of problems, particularly as it relates to the argument that Google is infringing:

* The general ideas of touchscreen computing, mobilization of form factor, and software productivity assistants all pre-date the Newton. Heck, they pre-date *Apple*. Apple deserves credit (and patents) for the specific engineering it did to bring those things into a single device, but they didn't conceive of those concepts or their combination themselves.

* Assume they actually did have such a claim. It would seem safe to assume that rather than familiar PDA landscape of the 1990s including a profusion of devices from Psion, HP, EO/AT&T, and Palm, we'd instead have seen only the Newton and a smoking crater left by irresistible legal action launched from Cupertino. Either Apple didn't believe they had the basis to make such a claim, or they couldn't convince the courts and their competitors.

* Also, patent claims have a lifetime of up to 20 years in the US. I'll assume if Apple believed they had a claim on mobile touch computing itself, they would have filed a patent sometime around the rumored start of the Newton project in 87 or 88 -- or, at a stretch, by the time of one of the 1992 demos of the Message Pad prototypes. So, that should put the idea in the clear somewhere between 2007 and next year.

* In a full look at all aspects of the device, the iPhone is arguably as close (if not much closer) in terms of form factor and functionality to the "before" handset linked here than it is to the Newton itself.

Google followed with a redo of Android, which was released at the end of 2007. That much is a fact, regardless of the validity of one or another patent.

Influence seems likely, but it's not a forgone conclusion that they weren't already thinking in similar directions (it's already demonstrated that other people were), and even if they weren't, whether they appropriated anything specific on which Apple has a reasonable claim of ownership is a different question.
posted by weston at 3:27 PM on October 31, 2011


I bet IBM are mad nobody remebers this: The IBM Simon.
posted by Artw at 3:57 PM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


In a full look at all aspects of the device, the iPhone is arguably as close (if not much closer) in terms of form factor and functionality to the "before" handset linked here than it is to the Newton itself.

I did not say that iPhone is a Newton. I said that the interface and hardware took cues from it and from the miniaturization advancements in the iPod.

Influence seems likely, but it's not a forgone conclusion that they weren't already thinking in similar directions

Influence is one way to describe it. But it's a substantial turn of events in six months, to go from a Palm-like keyboard phone with a tiny screen and poor apps, to a fullscreen device with a touch interface and full-fledged apps to go along with the UI redesign — exactly like the iPhone and iOS. That's a lot of influence to account for, which is what the courts are hashing out, probably.

I don't know how the patent war will ultimately play out, but I found it interesting that a judge held up both an Android-based Samsung tablet and an iPad in front of Samsung lawyers, and when the judge asked them to discern the two devices, Samsung's lawyers could not tell the difference between them. Apparently the judge did not ask them about "Steve Jobs' ego", but maybe that question will come up later on as the various trials proceed.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:42 PM on October 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


> I bet IBM are mad nobody remebers this: The IBM Simon.

I bet Radio Shack is mad nobody remembers the GRiDpad from 1989. Your fun, weird fact of the day: GRiD also invented the clamshell form-factor laptop (1981) and survives to this day after many, many, buyouts as a military contractor based in England.
posted by ardgedee at 5:10 PM on October 31, 2011


Influence is one way to describe it.

It's the sensible way to describe it, unless you believe that Apple has a legitimate claim to ownership of any mobile product which has "a fullscreen device with a touch interface."
posted by weston at 8:34 PM on October 31, 2011


Influence (making something new from what came before) is one thing, copying without making something new is another.

For example, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs were influenced by Charles Babbage, but they didn't copy off of Babbage any more than Intel's Moore or Sun's Bechtolsheim. These people built new technology from what came before.

Just like any other company, Apple has a legitimate claim to ownership of its inventions, including the iPhone. From a top-level view of the device all the way to critical hardware and software aspects of the user interface, it has been increasingly clear that, from 2007 and onwards, the Android operating system and related hardware implementations have copied major aspects of the iPhone, iPod and iPad devices and the iOS operating system, without adding much that's new.

It's a problem for Google to rip off Apple, for the same reason that it's a problem when Microsoft rips off Google search engine algorithm (by way of directly cribbing results from the implementation of that algorithm) to facilitate its Bing product providing better answers.

One entity ripping off another in this way is not only unfair, it's anti-competitive, especially when there are no consequences. While patent laws grant a temporary monopoly, and while there can be abuses or instances of prior art that can be addressed by revocation, patents have done a lot to drive innovation, and related laws have done their part to create a level playing ground for innovative companies to compete.

This has all been a valuable thing to have in modern society. Medical technology and biotechnology are good examples, but the computers that you and I are typing on are the products of these social and legal contracts, for example. Even Linux users benefit from patents, which allowed the x86 platform to flourish.

That's not to say that individual patents shouldn't be reviewed—patents can be revoked, and they are. Patents should expire, and they do. It's not a perfect system, but it has done a lot to improve the human condition and we would do well to acknowledge that before we get rid of them, just because we don't like Apple's former CEO or think Apple users are dullards who are easily manipulated with marketing, etc. etc. etc.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:06 AM on November 1, 2011


For example, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs were influenced by Charles Babbage

And we're all inspired by Og, Discoverer of Fire.

As for the term "rip off," well, phooey. Much of what is "ripped off" here are software patents, and you are going to have a damn hard time convincing all of us of their worth.
posted by JHarris at 12:49 AM on November 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


iPhone 4S antenna furthers Apple v Samsung patent war

The Patent War: Is it killing innovation?
posted by jeffburdges at 1:23 AM on November 1, 2011


Just like any other company, Apple has a legitimate claim to ownership of its inventions, including the iPhone.

Does that also include their invention of the concept of sliding an object to change a system state?

Which is to say: Patents are for people who create the first practical implementation of a novel invention. I see no evidence that Apple's done that with the "app wall" or the slide-to-unlock concept. The prior art in each case is sufficiently similar that Apple should not have the right to bar people from natural advances just because their phone was more popular than the LG Prada, or because their video brick is prettier than most android video bricks.
posted by lodurr at 4:47 AM on November 1, 2011


Steve would have wanted it this way.
posted by mkultra at 5:24 AM on November 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


sorry, i forgot it was Steve's world and we just live in it. I would like to speed up reading of the will, though, so we can advance the probate case for getting it the fuck back from his estate.
posted by lodurr at 6:28 AM on November 1, 2011


Just like any other company, Apple has a legitimate claim to ownership of its inventions, including the iPhone.

More specifically, aspects of the iPhone to which Apple has reasonable claims of intellectual property. There's a raft of reasons already explained in this thread why a number of the elements you've focused on which Android itself and popular handsets have incorporated aren't amenable to such claims on Apple's part.

Much of what is "ripped off" here are software patents

JHarris, I think you misunderstand BP. As far as I can tell, he isn't just defending software patents. He appears to believe that the very idea of mobile hardware with a touchscreen can be owned -- not any specific implementation or engineering, but the idea itself -- and that Apple has a strong claim to sole ownership of it. Perhaps along with any idea of a matrix of icons for a launcher, or sliding an object to change its state.
posted by weston at 7:34 AM on November 1, 2011


Is moving a slider to change state really what one of Apple's patents is for? How is the exsistance of sliders in assorted guis since at least win 3.1, hardware sliders on stuff like lighting going back to the dawn of electrification, and physical sliders on pneumatic and hydrualic systems going back at least a couple millenia (EG: the common lever activated dam spillway gate) not considered invalidating prior art? Is there some nuance that is being glossed over?
posted by Mitheral at 8:12 AM on November 1, 2011


Mitheral: This is the patent.

So, no, it isn't patenting moving sliders to change state - it's patenting unlocking a device with a touch-sensitive display using a gesture, and specifically by using a gesture that corresponds to an object on the screen - whether that is a slider or the lock icon you drag to unlock in Android and WebOS.

I'm guessing, but I'd assume that qualification was added after the European patent application was rejected, because sliding a finger up the screen of the Neonode N1 de facto unlocked the phone, but did not involve interacting with a graphical image on the screen.
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:30 AM on November 1, 2011


The question is not what patents are held, the question is what patents are being litigated on. The slide-to-open patent sure seems silly, but have there been any lawsuits on it?

The thread about the TAL patent show might be a better thread for this, if it wasn't closed. Clearly there's enough here to warrant a whole new MeFi thread, composed properly it could be just the indictment of Steve Jobs' vendetta on Android and Apple's clear and present patent malfeasance folks seem to wish this thread would be.
posted by artlung at 9:59 AM on November 1, 2011


Actually, I think the indictments in general are meant to be going over to MetaTalk. This thread sort of feels like Halloween Havoc at the moment, which is at least reasonably date-appropriate - a pro-wrestling royal rumble with some funerary trappings.
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:59 AM on November 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


The FPP says RIP = Rest In Peace
posted by infini at 11:18 AM on November 1, 2011


There is a thread on Apple's patent war that's most appropriate for discussing the details of the patents, especially whether Google copied them. In this thread, we started discussing Steve Jobs' role in starting the fight, which certainly sounds like part of his legacy.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:26 PM on November 1, 2011


HBR: Idolize Bill Gates, Not Steve Jobs -- "Both leaders are highly admirable, but Gates used his talents in ways that stretch further beyond the business world, says Harvard scholar Maxwell Wessel."
posted by ericb at 2:03 PM on November 1, 2011


Obviously, there are worse places for dirty money to spend, but for every dollar that Gates is paraded for throwing at malaria, I hope a few people might ask themselves where that dollar came from.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:35 PM on November 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Capitalism?

The guy sold Windows, not slaves.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:39 PM on November 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Dude.

Dude, seriously.

What planet are you from?
posted by Artw at 7:43 PM on November 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


[For the love of god, don't do this at the end of this thread, please.]
posted by jessamyn at 7:47 PM on November 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


but for every dollar that Gates is paraded for throwing at malaria, I hope a few people might ask themselves where that dollar came from.

...and that about wraps things up here.
posted by Theta States at 5:49 AM on November 2, 2011


PBS is airing a new documentary tonight, Steve Jobs - One Last Thing, at 10 PM or 9 PM in most places.
[It] not only examines how his talent, style and imagination have shaped all of our lives, but the influences that shaped and molded the man himself. The documentary takes an unflinching look at Jobs' difficult, controlling reputation and through interviews with the people who worked closely with him or chronicled his life, provides unique insight into what made him tick.
It also features a never before broadcast exclusive interview with him a year after his cancer diagnosis.

In the UK this will apparently be on Channel 4 under the title Steve Jobs: iChanged the World at 11:05 PM.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:25 AM on November 2, 2011


Another trend partially attributable to Jobs' design philosophy, which presumably occurs in the Android app store too though :

Apple's app store more casino than gold mine for developers
posted by jeffburdges at 11:37 AM on November 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is way more than that to Steve Jobs' legacy around the App Store too :
Why the Mac App Sandbox makes me sad. (via weston)

Also, a small Spanish Android tablet maker Nuevas Tecnologías y Energías Catalá (NT-K) has won a design right case brought against it by Apple, roughly analogous to the Samsung Galaxy Tab case in Germany. NT-K is now counter suing Apple for damages.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:00 AM on November 4, 2011


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