Thursday, October 6, 2011

In Honor of Steve Jobs

Better writers than me have written better eulogies than this for Steve Jobs in the past 24 hours. I recommend the ones at Wired and NPR. I'm sure Time will have something worthwhile to read. Since I don't have anything new or exclusive to add, this entry will be short.

Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer on Wednesday, October 5, 2011. He was 56 years old. He left behind a wife and four children, whom he loved and whom he carefully kept out of the spotlight during his very public career. He also left behind a vibrant computer company, one that in its own way (and in his own way) defined consumer computing, leading the way for Microsoft and IBM, and later for Google, Motorola and all the other "me-too" companies.

What did he do?  Well, an automobile is a complex piece of machinery, and yet every single automobile in the world is controlled in exactly the same way, with a steering wheel, a gear shift, and two pedals.  Jobs did the same thing for computers and computing.  Outside of what he has left for his family, that may be his greatest legacy.

With the iPhone, he also reinvented the mobile telephone.  And with Pixar, he reinvented animated, feature-length, family movies.

 He is named as inventor or co-inventor on over 300 patents, covering computers, telephones, music, and more.  Steven Levy, in his eulogy in Wired, named Jobs' six biggest technical and business accomplishments:
  • the Apple II computer
  • the Macintosh computer
  • Pixar Studios
  • the iPod
  • the iPhone
  • the iPad
In the NPR story, Robert McNamee, a venture capitalist, called Jobs a modern-day "Thomas Edison."  Moviemaker Steven Spielberg (what is it with all these Stevens today?) echoed that sentiment.

Whether you own an Apple product or not, Steve Jobs has had a profound and lasting effect on your life.

Edit:  I added the picture.  Not sure what the original source was; I swiped it from FB.

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