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Steve Jobs taking 6-month medical leave of absence
January 14, 2009 2:12 PM   Subscribe

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Steve Jobs is taking a medical leave of absence until June, saying his health-related issues were "more complex than I originally thought."
posted by mattholomew (107 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
His letter to Apple employees.
posted by R. Mutt at 2:15 PM on January 14, 2009


Sad. Get well.
posted by ericb at 2:15 PM on January 14, 2009


THIS IS WHAT YOU GET FOR MAKING WOZNIAK CRY YOU HEARTLESS BASTARD.
posted by loquacious at 2:16 PM on January 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


Get better, Steve.
posted by etaoin at 2:17 PM on January 14, 2009


⌘Q
posted by troy at 2:17 PM on January 14, 2009 [15 favorites]


We can't all live forever, but I would like to try. Especially if Steve were there pushing for the products I like.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:18 PM on January 14, 2009


Gee, so that former pancreatic cancer patient with a penchant for secrecy might not simply be suffering from a hormone imbalance?
posted by leotrotsky at 2:18 PM on January 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


PS PLEASE TAKE BONO WITH YOU KTHXBYE
posted by loquacious at 2:18 PM on January 14, 2009 [7 favorites]


Perhaps Dan Lyons can fill in.
posted by netbros at 2:21 PM on January 14, 2009


time to buy more apple stock!

Seriously though, the man has had his hand in some of the best products of the last 20 years. I hope he feels better soon, and I am huge fan of his work (iPhone, iPod, iMac, Pixar, OSX, etc...)
posted by slapshot57 at 2:22 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think anyone who reads too much into this is... reading too much into this.
posted by markkraft at 2:22 PM on January 14, 2009


Apple or no, I hope he gets better soon.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:23 PM on January 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


Apple stock sales have been halted in after-hours trading, slapshot57.
posted by infinitewindow at 2:23 PM on January 14, 2009


Looks like trading resumed about 5pm eastern. Down 8% from the close and bouncing around rapidly. It was over -10% at one point like 45 seconds ago.
posted by jeversol at 2:24 PM on January 14, 2009


time to buy more apple stock!

I'm too lazy to go looking for the link, but I read recently that the street has already factored Jobs' permanent absence into the share price - or, as they untenderly put it, "To investors, he's already dead."
posted by Joe Beese at 2:26 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I had no idea the Wall Street Journal wrote in the first person singular. Huh.
posted by dhammond at 2:31 PM on January 14, 2009


yeah nevermind Apple, I just hope he makes it in good health. work is great but life's more important, and I say this as someone who has bought exactly one Microsoft product in his life (an Xbox360). thank you Sir for all the great stuff you've been instrumental in making available to computer users, now just think about your health.

and to the pessimists out there, everybody was like, huh Teddy Kennedy won't see Obama elected President, that sucks. Teddy's still here. he's seen election night, he's about to see the inauguration. I bet Jobs will surprise a lot of people who are already polishing his obituary. medicine is kicking quite a lot of ass as of late.
posted by matteo at 2:31 PM on January 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


as someone who's been a long term investor in apple I was only half kidding. Sure a lot of people priced in his death but they are confusing this departure with the previous one. Last time Jobs left apple him and his team were shown the door and it was decided apple should be shifted in a completely different and unsuccessful direction. This time Jobs has his own successors picked out and a two year plan for apple. I disagree with investors pricing in his death.

now, the death of the world economy on the other hand, that one caught me a little by surprise. I thought it was going to be bad, but not THIS bad
posted by slapshot57 at 2:33 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


*quietly picks Jobs in death pool*
posted by fixedgear at 2:34 PM on January 14, 2009


Steve Jobs leaves Apple.
posted by mazola at 2:36 PM on January 14, 2009


When the light on the back of your laptop screen goes out, you will know something has gone wrong.
posted by pokermonk at 2:38 PM on January 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


I can't wait to see what the conspiracy theorists do with this news.
posted by ardgedee at 2:39 PM on January 14, 2009


Seriously - nevermind Apple, because he's got some very well-screened first lieutenants standing in. What will this do for Disney and Pixar?
posted by ardgedee at 2:40 PM on January 14, 2009


I like Apple products a lot, but I've never been a fanboi. I am, however a fanboi of animation, and I was hoping for some of that Jobs magic to rub off on Disney now that Pixar owns them they bought Pixar outright. Yeah, Lassiter is the real brains behind Pixar, just as Woz and the engineers are the brains behind Apple, but the RDF is a thing to be reckoned with.
posted by lekvar at 2:41 PM on January 14, 2009


This is how Jobs responded to the previous round of rumors about his health.

Still, this fits with Gizmodo's anonymous source's claim last month that "Apple is choosing to remove the hype factor strategically" rather than come out and admit "Steves[sic] health is rapidly declining."
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:42 PM on January 14, 2009


Seriously - nevermind Apple, because he's got some very well-screened first lieutenants standing in. What will this do for Disney and Pixar?

I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding was that he had very little to do with the success of Pixar as an animation company and that is really Lassetter's ship.
posted by mattholomew at 2:42 PM on January 14, 2009


mattholomew, according to wikipedia, Jobs is Disney's largest single shareholder. As I said, Lassiter is the guy who makes the magic happen on the animation side of things, but Jobs wields immense influence in both companies.
posted by lekvar at 2:48 PM on January 14, 2009


It's sad, not for the stock price, but because Apple will probably become another HP or Dell now--just another computer making behemoth that occasionally makes a good product, but far more often turns out crowd-pleasing compromises that are mediocre.

Seriously, which of his lieutenants will be the kind of bastard necessary for Apple to retain a distinct personality?
posted by fatbird at 2:48 PM on January 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Teddy's still here. he's seen election night, he's about to see the inauguration.

Nasty rich white men can live a very long time.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:49 PM on January 14, 2009


why don't we just leave him alone? it seems to be what wants.
posted by radiosig at 2:49 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


^^^. Steve Jobs was nothing but a money man to Pixar. Lasseter and Catmull are Pixar. And I realize that Jobs is a monumental figure, but it's a little frackin' weird to read hand wringing about useless physical products and commerce when a man is facing his mortality.
posted by cavalier at 2:49 PM on January 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


This is ominous.
posted by mazola at 2:53 PM on January 14, 2009


When the light on the back of your laptop screen goes out, you will know something has gone wrong.

There is no separate light on the back of the screen. It's the normal backlight shining through a cutout in the shape of an apple. Try shining a bright light through the apple and you'll see it on the inside of the screen.
posted by odinsdream at 2:56 PM on January 14, 2009


I've never understood why so many Apple fans address him as "Steve". Are you guys tight? Does he let you watch movies on his big screen? While working at the Apple call center in Austin it was totally alien to me why other employees felt buddy-buddy with him. They would walk around talking about "Steve" like he had just been at their barbecue. Because he sends out a few emails a year?

Brilliant guy? In some ways. Nice guy? Not really.
posted by Roman Graves at 2:57 PM on January 14, 2009


"More complex than [he] originally thought ..." One way of measuring complexity is entropy.

Just a chilly thought.
posted by adipocere at 3:02 PM on January 14, 2009


Oh man, I wish him well. He brought so much beauty and wonderfulness (along with a tablespoon of interpersonal ugliness, from what I read) to this old world.
posted by Auden at 3:02 PM on January 14, 2009


If I had to make a guess, I'd guess that the purpose of this leave is to permit Jobs to go through aggressive chemo. I do hope it works.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:03 PM on January 14, 2009


I've never understood why so many Apple fans address him as "Steve"

Because he has a personality, unlike Gates.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:05 PM on January 14, 2009


cavalier, regarding your first point, yes, Jobs was just the money guy, but he's also the guy who wound Lasseter and Catmull up and set them loose. He's the guy who bankrolled one of the biggest experiments in animation history and had the foresight to recognize it for what it was. Speaking as a drooling animation fan, that counts for an awful lot. Lasseter and Catmull would still be making special effects (or, god forbid, full-length CG animated Star Wars chaff) for Lucasarts otherwise.
posted by lekvar at 3:06 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'd feel presumptuous and silly refering to him as "Steve" but I'd still kind of semi-secretly want to because, frankly, I'd love for him to have showed up at my barbecue. He's a cool dude and I hope he gets better.
posted by Neofelis at 3:09 PM on January 14, 2009


Weird. This morning, I watched this teaser titled "Apple without Steve Jobs" for the recent documentary Welcome to Macintosh. I thought, it would be years until Apple had to worry about that. I guess not.

Hope he gets better.
posted by jaimev at 3:11 PM on January 14, 2009


I suspect impending hardware failure.

Jesus, whoring for favorites just hit a new low.
posted by mediareport at 3:14 PM on January 14, 2009 [10 favorites]


An aside: last night I was looking for old high school friends on Facebook. I typed in one guy's name, and got 3 people, none of whom had profile pictures. In looking at their friend lists, one was friends with Jobs, who had something like 117 friends (sounds kinda low).
posted by neuron at 3:18 PM on January 14, 2009


Jobs will not die, he will become one with the reality distortion field.
posted by device55 at 3:23 PM on January 14, 2009


Calling him "Steve" makes me dream of peace and prosperity.
posted by digsrus at 3:35 PM on January 14, 2009


Let's all hope for the best, and, Steve, if you're reading this, take care and get well.

Having said that, it seems your plan of being the supreme ruler of Apple, Inc. does have its downside. That is, if there were another public face or two for Apple that could maintain confidence, the stock price might not be tumbling now. But as with a totalitarian dictator, if he stumbles, the whole nation gets the jitters.
posted by zardoz at 3:36 PM on January 14, 2009


I've never understood why so many Apple fans address him as "Steve".

For some reason he responds best to that. Others have tried "Giancarlo," Big Boy," "Freddie You the Man," "Jack LaLanne," and "Mr. Lion King Sir," but he doesn't answer these salutations as readily.
posted by terranova at 3:36 PM on January 14, 2009


Apple will probably become another HP or Dell now...

Why would you think that? There are lots of smart dudes at Apple. He has a bunch of people ready to step up.
Tim Cook appears to be the operations and management guy, the adult supervision. Jonathan Ive has a similar design taste to Jobs. Phil Schiller actually does a pretty good job as a demo guy — I think most tech companies would love having Phil Schiller be their keynote guy. Jonathan Ive is a brilliant designer — I don’t think he needs to be a CEO or good with a clicker on stage in front of thousands of people. -- Jason Snell
posted by chunking express at 3:39 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


"More complex than [he] originally thought ..." One way of measuring complexity is entropy.

Just a chilly thought.
What? Are you saying the randomness of his molecules has increased? *blink*
posted by !Jim at 3:42 PM on January 14, 2009


"The Search For The Next Steve Jobs" by Dan Lyons, aka "Fake Steve Jobs."
posted by Marky at 3:43 PM on January 14, 2009


Why would you think that? There are lots of smart dudes at Apple. He has a bunch of people ready to step up.
There were lots of smart people the last time he left. They put Ive to work designing the Performa. And the coders to work writing OpenDoc.

But, yeh, while I think Apple without Jobs is in a great hole, I don't care about it more than the cancer. Cancer's a fucking nightmare thing; I'd rather he and his family/friends didn't have to go through it and a fanboi shitstorm as well. Though that's sadly inevitable, I know.
posted by bonaldi at 3:57 PM on January 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Why would you think that? There are lots of smart dudes at Apple. He has a bunch of people ready to step up.

Apple is what it is today largely because Steve Jobs was a bastard. He had no qualms about dictating how a particular product would look and feel and act, and it shows. The Apple style is the Steve style, but more than that, it's a single style. It's not that Steve's taste is unquestionably good, it's that having Steve avoided design-by-marketing and committee-mediocritization of products that need 'just one more feature to capture this segment'.

It's not a matter of whether there are competent executives to succeed him. It's a question of whether or not there's another tyrant to succeed him and put a singular vision into action. If none of those lieutenants step up and force Apple to make distinct choices in their products, they're headed the way of the rest of the behemoths: focus-group-tested, spreadsheet designs that have no distinctiveness.

In my dreams, the succession plan for Apple is to send Tim Cook, Jonathan Ive, and Phil Schiller into a pitch-black boardroom, each with a third of a brick. Whoever comes out with the whole brick gets to succeed Steve.
posted by fatbird at 4:02 PM on January 14, 2009 [11 favorites]


fuck.
posted by krautland at 4:02 PM on January 14, 2009


Apple will probably become another HP or Dell now

Saving this quote to make you look dumb later.
posted by Mikey-San at 4:09 PM on January 14, 2009 [6 favorites]


Jobs gone would be like William Shawn leaving The New Yorker. It could all fall apart, but the aesthetic and oversight is so well established, the right editor could keep up the quality.
posted by bendybendy at 4:41 PM on January 14, 2009


Jobs gone would be like William Shawn leaving The New Yorker. It could all fall apart, but the aesthetic and oversight is so well established, the right editor could keep up the quality.

Too bad the right editor never came along, eh?
posted by Joe Beese at 4:44 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Best wishes. What else can one say?

I got my first Apple computer in 1987. I'm writing this on what has to be my 30th or so since then, and that's just the personal machines (which I tend to replace every 6-9 months), not the hundreds of Macs I've purchased for various labs and departments . I've bitched about them, sure. I've had lemons. There have been bad times.

But my creative life without Apple (nee Apple Computer) would be greatly impoverished. Steve, thank you for all the cool shit you thought up (and Woz, you too). Apple only ever lets me down because I love their products so much that I can't believe it when they do screw something up.

And since Steve came back, they've screwed up very little, and soared so often. OS X has been magnificent and improves with every version. Build quality has been good to very good on most machines I've owned. I've fallen in love with various iPods, but none more than my Touch. And every time I have to sit in front of a Windows machine (which is fairly regularly), I am reminded of just how good we have it on the other side.

Steve Jobs is sort of proof that even a multi-billion dollar company comes down to just a few of its creative people. I am sitting here in the shadow of an iMac, typing on a Macbook, with an xServe roaring away under the desk, an iPod in my pocket. My little shrine.

Thank you Steve.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:47 PM on January 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


Newsfilter.

sorry.
posted by lunit at 4:48 PM on January 14, 2009


Steve Jobs is a fucking awesome dude. I hope he comes back.

If he doesn't, I hope he manages to sell Apple to Google before he goes.
posted by empath at 4:52 PM on January 14, 2009


Too bad the right editor never came along, eh?

Kinda what I was trying to imply. There's ups and downs, but it's still a more-than-worthwhile quality product.
posted by bendybendy at 4:53 PM on January 14, 2009


What? Are you saying the randomness of his molecules has increased? *blink*

That might not be a half-bad way to describe cancer, actually.
At any rate, I wouldn't wish cancer on anyone, and though he may scream at people, which lowers him several notches in my estimation, he's a real visionary who made a real difference in the way the (industrialized) world works. I hope he gets better, so he can do some more of that -- he seems to enjoy it.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:53 PM on January 14, 2009


I do hope he rebounds from this. But I also hope that he has a protogé with a decent personality and some vision. If nothing else, this is a good time to start introducing everyone to the new Dread Pirate Roberts.
posted by condour75 at 5:34 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


The moment I saw Steve Jobs' face in the photograph of the post, I suspected he's suffering from hyperthyroid issues, so I went googling and found this article, which I think seems to have an interesting, informed, take on the details of his medical situation with some possibly useful information, Steve Jobs’ Wasting-Away Health Problem by Byron Richards.

My sincere wishes for Steve Jobs' recovery to better health.
posted by nickyskye at 5:40 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


We can rebuild him. Faster! Stronger! Jobsier!
posted by blue_beetle at 5:42 PM on January 14, 2009


Fortunately, Time Machine keeps multiple backups.
posted by designbot at 5:48 PM on January 14, 2009


Countdown to the pending shareholder lawsuit...
posted by prunes at 6:06 PM on January 14, 2009


Little known fact: Under his shirt, Steve Jobs has a glowing white apple in the center of his chest.

No one is sure if this is related to rumors of the Apple iRonman robosuit, but some insiders are sure it will be announced in the first quarter of 2010.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:12 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Apple now has the lightest, thinnest CEO in the industry."
posted by weston at 6:53 PM on January 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Boom?
posted by katillathehun at 7:06 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've never even owned an Apple product and this makes me sad.
posted by grouse at 7:24 PM on January 14, 2009


He looks a lot like my mom did a few months before she died of multiple metastases.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:32 PM on January 14, 2009


Thanks for the iPod, Steve.
Being in declining health or seeing someone you love in declining health really sucks. That's pretty much all there is to say, except 'thanks for all the awesome'.
posted by Monsters at 8:10 PM on January 14, 2009


Has anyone else realized that steven p jobs is an anagram for seven pj bots? And by 'pj bots' I mean pajama bottoms: http://pjbot.co.uk/... what do you think all this even means?
posted by pwally at 8:25 PM on January 14, 2009


An Apple a day couldn't keep the doctor away.
posted by Soliloquy at 8:26 PM on January 14, 2009


Good luck to him. His bravado reminds me a bit of Michael Landon. I will never forget Landon's appearance on afternoon tv (Mike Douglas I think) and he was touting coffee enemas to treat his colon cancer. Painful. Most of us have suffered through a close friend or relative fighting cancer. It sucks the life not just out of them, but everyone around.

This sucks for Jobs and his friends and family, but it also really sucks for Apple. That company is nothing without Steve. It's like a clothing design house losing its name designer. Apple products have always been about the cool factor, the design, fashion, not the technology. Steve Jobs is Calvin Klein in silicon.
posted by caddis at 8:28 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Fatbird nails it. Steve's greatness comes from that fact that he honed and focused the power of being a relentless asshole into getting great work from good people. He is the absolute and unquestionable master of this.

And I mean that with all possible kindness.

He went from grinding a single talented engineer into doing something greater than he'd ever have done on his own to pulling a trillion dollar corporation around by the nose, all in order to create exactly the computers and gadgets that he wanted to make... and for the most part, they rocked in a way that nobody else has touched. The Mac, NeXT, Pixar, the iMac, the iPod and the iPhone were all laughed at... and yet they're all premium exhibits in the state of our world, and every one of them spawned dozens/hundreds of followers and knockoffs.

Great innovators profoundly change their industry once. Jobs has done it, what, six times?

Nobody can replace that. I doubt another such person exists. But Apple has enormous market advantages, a huge war chest and a great brain trust. As long as they avoid debacles like the horrible late-80's management, they can still be very successful. They'll just have to... do it different.
posted by rokusan at 8:33 PM on January 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


I have no doubt that working for Steve Jobs would be 99% agony and 1% freaking awesome. That said, his style is often in mind when I'm putting in twice as much work to make one of my own projects another ten percent better. Kick ass and do great work. Get better soon, Steve.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 9:15 PM on January 14, 2009


Apple products have always been about the cool factor, the design, fashion, not the technology. Steve Jobs is Calvin Klein in silicon.

Many of the smartest people I know use apple products. I use apple products after years of bashing them. I never thought I'd switch. The company will be fine. Will it be a challenge when jobs is gone? Of course. But to say the only reason apple is successful is because people think they're cool is remarkably ignorant.
posted by justgary at 9:34 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have no doubt that working for Steve Jobs would be 99% agony and 1% freaking awesome.

I was an engineer there and he mostly stayed out of our hair. Apple, the company, is a pretty big place.
posted by ryanrs at 9:41 PM on January 14, 2009


As someone who does not own a mac, and finds the ipod irritatingly crippled, I must admit that he is the single greatest businessman of the last 50 years, and deserves to take his place in the American business pantheon alongside Henry Ford and Thomas Edison.

He could take over GM now and make it a massive success in 5 years. He could make the pencil industry interesting. And he's the great counter-example to the corporate manage-by-focus-group-and-consensus thinking that has handicapped American business.

Of course he was a bastard. Do you think Edison was a nice guy? He invented the electric chair as a marketing strategy. Business is war, and Jobs is running a colossal enterprise in an industry of super colossal enterprises. I never bought one of his products for myself, but I invested money in his company for years.

I hope he gets well.
posted by Pastabagel at 9:48 PM on January 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


Actually, I should amplify that a bit. Apple is a really great place to work. High salaries and benefits, a very laid-back work environment, everyone gets their own office, great on-site restaurant. Google may have more miscellaneous perks, but I'll take the private office, thanks.
posted by ryanrs at 9:56 PM on January 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Apple products have always been about the cool factor, the design, fashion, not the technology.

This is flat-out not true. It's an easy slam, but it's not grounded in reality.

Macs brought many things to market first that were fundamental technology changes, and most seemed crazy or pointless at the time. Most became industry standards later. The mouse, windows, the CD-ROM, built-in Ethernet, USB, WiFi, the trackpad, Firewire.... the bloody keyboard at the back of the laptop, for crying out loud. And so many more. Apple is seldom the original inventor, but usually first to see where the wider market will go and add these things as standard items so that their OS and users can count on them...

And I suppose you can put "MP3 player" in there too. I owned a Rio too, but Apple nailed it and everything since is compared to the iPod, not the Rio. It's not just design. It was a fundamental change in what the music player was.

Traditionally the adoption of a new technology by Apple is followed by a period in which the PC/Windows universe makes fun of the "weird" thing Apple is doing, and then that is followed by each one of them quietly adding the same thing to their standard models, too, until we all forget that it started with Apple.

For fun, go read some of the pre-release slams of the iPhone, and how it would fail horribly. I think Ballmer actually laughed at it himself.
posted by rokusan at 10:10 PM on January 14, 2009 [7 favorites]


Ballmer laughs at things he doesn't understand.

Like the moon. And manners.
posted by mazola at 10:50 PM on January 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


The NYT article (via Gruber) mentions that two insiders have indicated that cancer is not the problem. Googling around reveals that malabsorption of food is sometimes caused by severe pancreatitis, and can require hospitalization.

I wonder what would happen to Linux if Torvalds got sick.
posted by mecran01 at 10:51 PM on January 14, 2009


OK, while I *am* a user of apple products, I am by no means a fan-boy, so it's curious to me that I desperately hope this man makes a full and speedy recovery.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 11:00 PM on January 14, 2009


Get well soon, boss.
posted by patr1ck at 11:18 PM on January 14, 2009


Are you a ... ?
posted by metaplectic at 12:05 AM on January 15, 2009


Get well soon, Mr Jobs.
posted by ninthart at 1:08 AM on January 15, 2009


The NYT article (via Gruber) mentions that two insiders have indicated that cancer is not the problem. Googling around reveals that malabsorption of food is sometimes caused by severe pancreatitis, and can require hospitalization.


Steve Jobs doesn't need to absorb food. He feeds off of the adoration of Mac zealots around the world (including me).
posted by gyc at 1:11 AM on January 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


He could take over GM now and make it a massive success in 5 years.

He probably could. There are some institutional costs and other issues with American cars, but one of the biggest problems right now is the perception that they are not stylish, not reliable and not worth the money. He has perfected the reality distortion field like no one else and he could convince you that even the current Chrysler products are golden, and then just think about how great they would become under his watch. see Cringely for more
posted by caddis at 4:51 AM on January 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Business is war
Ah, Jack Tramiel's motto. And we know how Commodore and Atari turned out.

Jobs drives a hard bargain, but he's not in it for the business or to drive the deals, he does that as a means to an end: it used to be hippy stuff about changing the world; god knows what it is now. But it's certainly not plain old money or business.
posted by bonaldi at 5:08 AM on January 15, 2009


It sucks to be reminded that for cancer survivors, every time we get sick the world will think we have cancer again. I hope it's NOT a recurrence, and I really hope to see Steve Jobs back in his CEO seat in August, as promised.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:40 AM on January 15, 2009


Pancreatic cancer "survivor"??? Wow, there's a pretty elite club.

Wishing you all the best, Steve.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:18 AM on January 15, 2009


slapshot57 writes "I disagree with investors pricing in his death."

Well, Wall St. thinks, and not unrealistically, that Jobs has a great deal of influence in the company and is an asset. Apple could go on without him, but it would be very tenuous for the stock price for a while. Anyway, the real problem isn't that, but the way it's been handled. There is a strong feeling that Jobs has not been completely forthcoming about his health, and given that he's the CEO, founder and driving force behind a publicly traded company, that he owes the shareholders more than he's been willing to share about his condition. I have mixed feelings about someone's private life being held up to such scrutiny, for the sake of investors no less, but that's the way he molded his company, and I think he does have to own up to that fact.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:57 AM on January 15, 2009


caddis writes "Apple products have always been about the cool factor, the design, fashion, not the technology."

OS X has the underpinnings of UNIX, BSD to be exact, which has a long pedigree and is an excellent code base. Apple contributes a hell of a lot back to the project since they've started using it.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:00 AM on January 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Steve Jobs’ Wasting-Away Health Problem

Wasting away? Is he in Margaritaville?
posted by kirkaracha at 9:25 AM on January 15, 2009


The NYT article (via Gruber) mentions that two insiders have indicated that cancer is not the problem. Googling around reveals that malabsorption of food is sometimes caused by severe pancreatitis, and can require hospitalization.

An oncologist I work with suspects it is islet cell cancer and that diagnosis usually results in 5 to 10 years of pretty good life followed by what Jobs is currently experiencing and pretty rapid death. Hope it's not that.

I have never been a big fan of Apple computers. Every time I've tried to use one, it has frozen, bombed, or spontaneously rebooted on me. However, they have always looked cooler than anything else on the marker and I was convinced that was the sole appeal of the company's products. However, I was given an iPod Touch for Xmas by my spousal equivalent and I have to say, after using an iRiver MP3 player she gave me four years ago, this is one cool piece of technology. Realizing it is just an iPhone without the phone, I suspect that is one nice piece of technology as well. Hat's off to the man.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:37 PM on January 15, 2009


frozen, bombed or spontaneously rebooted? that is not my experience and rather it is more like leaving them on for months at a time without ever needing a reboot unlike a windows appliance in which a few days at best can be achieved without a reboot. No one makes jokes about Apple's blue screen of death. Do they even have one?
posted by caddis at 5:07 PM on January 15, 2009 [1 favorite]




No one makes jokes about Apple's blue screen of death. Do they even have one?

Yeah, it's like a Unix crash to console prompt, and pretty damn rare. I've only made it happen by pulling RAM out while a machine was running, though. (Don't ask, I was half-asleep.)

Pre-modern Macs got pretty wonky with System 9.2.5.4.4a or whatever back in the 90's, but since OSX they are damn solid. The MacBook I am typing on right now has been running for...
  1:49  up 313 days, 9 hrs, 4 users, load averages: 3.63 3.67 3.64
Without a reboot or crash.
posted by rokusan at 10:51 PM on January 15, 2009


Most of us have suffered through a close friend or relative fighting cancer. It sucks the life not just out of them, but everyone around.

It pisses me off to read that and if I ever suck the life out of anybody please tell me to stop. Or is it that people are afraid to confront their own mortality and hate to be reminded when anybody else goes through the dying process? Or is it that somebody else's dying process isn't attractive or convenient? grrr.
posted by nickyskye at 4:38 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


frozen, bombed or spontaneously rebooted? that is not my experience and rather it is more like leaving them on for months at a time without ever needing a reboot unlike a windows appliance in which a few days at best can be achieved without a reboot. No one makes jokes about Apple's blue screen of death. Do they even have one?

Haven't used them recently. My experience is from > 3 years ago, so things may be different for me now if I ever try one again. Or maybe I just have bad luck with them. Anyway, I'm still extremely impressed with my iPod Touch and love the hell out of it.

It pisses me off to read that and if I ever suck the life out of anybody please tell me to stop.

I don't think the comment was referring to something that the sick person was doing but rather the emotional toll that constant presence of the illness and potential loss takes on everyone. My older daughter had a stage III Wilm's tumor when she was 5 and it made a basket case of me and my ex-wife for a period of about 18 months. This was back when they were still figuring out how to treat this cancer. My younger daughter felt neglected as we had to spend so much of our energy on the older and she developed coping skills by essentially forcing us to pay attention to her. At some point we slowly pulled back from the brink. However, our combined immaturity and the stress eventually led to the demise of our marriage.

There certainly wasn't anything my daughter could have done to not make me a basket case. That was my reaction to her illness and the fear of losing her.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:05 PM on January 16, 2009


the emotional toll that constant presence of the illness and potential loss takes on everyone

Right. So the person who has cancer now has to feel like shit for "sucking the life out of everyone else" around them? Being such a burden to everybody else? Why can't they just get off their whole, selfish cancer jag and be healthy for everybody else's convenience!!? Maybe the should go to a nursing home, away from sight, not be mentioned again.

There is not a single person here - or on the planet- who will not get deathly ill at some point in their life. Maybe for a long time. It's part of being human. It's part of being born.

our combined immaturity

As somebody with 3 cancers, 2 of them late stage, had 4 aneurysms in the last several years and had all my closest friends in NYC 'disappear' I'm damn disgusted with the cowards who are only able to emotionally hack being around Stepford people, the"immaturity" of people seeing else with cancer as soooo difficult for them that they couldn't be bothered to deal with my "sob story". They got obsessed with THEIR fear of loss and left me feeling like shit.

the fear of losing

Yup. Your fear of loss neither helped the daughter who was ill and harmed the daughter you neglected out of that fear. I'm glad you were able to mature from the experience.
posted by nickyskye at 7:28 PM on January 16, 2009


So the person who has cancer now has to feel like shit for "sucking the life out of everyone else" around them?

Absolutely not! Hey, what are family and friends for? However, it still happens. We give that energy willingly through love, but, nevertheless it still takes its toll all around, and when we take it, the same. This is a burden meant for sharing; it is life's great challenge. Nothing in life is more of a challenge, a burden, and yet somehow a privilege than facing its end with each other. There are benefits as well, as painful as they are. A quick death in sleep with no warning, a tragic accident, people think these are easy, but they rob both the deceased and their friends/family of that very ... well, I can't put words on it, other than to say that it has value... act of facing mortality, the contemplation, which is not always easy, of what is our life, what have we learned, what have we taught, what impact have we had, what impact have others had on us etc. Perhaps "sucking the life out of everyone" is a poor term, but it is one of life's most excruciatingly demanding challenges, and it is universal. No one escapes this one. Nevertheless, there is no guilt, there is no feeling like shit for any burden which is placed, everyone will eventually place this burden, everyone gets to bear it (mostly), it is one of life's defining moments. Anyway, I ramble. sorry.
posted by caddis at 6:04 PM on January 17, 2009


Apple products have always been about the cool factor, the design, fashion, not the technology. Steve Jobs is Calvin Klein in silicon.

Quoted for bullshit. You obviously don't know your history.

Most of the computer science faculty I know use Macs as their personal machines. Dumb fashionistas.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:04 AM on January 18, 2009


Also, is this where I can brag that I just got budget authorization to buy my shop a new top-spec xServe with 16GB of RAM and 3TB of internal storage? Costs more than a fucking Honda, but I'm not paying for it. Oh, and our last xServe production server -- the one we're replacing -- still kicking ass, albeit too slowly, after 5 years of hard service. Like most of the Macs in my world. Hell, I have a 1992 Powerbook Duo 230 that still works like a top, running Mac OS version 6. Can't do a thing with it (SCSI and serial ports only), but it still boots and runs perfectly. I used that computer to write my dissertation while on the road with my band, so I beat the hell out of it 9 ways to Sunday. It has no business still working perfectly *17 years later.*
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:10 AM on January 18, 2009




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