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Steve Jobs Dead At 56 1613

Posted by Soulskill
from the rest-in-peace dept.
SoCalChris writes "Apple cofounder Steve Jobs was found dead in his Cupertino home this morning. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him — even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon."
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Steve Jobs Dead At 56

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  • Lameness (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cfalcon (779563) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:02PM (#37619500)

    RIP. He was a visionary.

  • by ArcherB (796902) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:02PM (#37619508) Journal

    Bill Gates put a computer on every desk. Steve Jobs put one in every pocket, purse, dorm room and bedroom.

    His contribution will be sorely missed.

  • RIP Steve Jobs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crafty.munchkin (1220528) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:02PM (#37619516)
    Thank you for giving people something to be smug about, no matter what side of the argument they are on.
  • RIP Steve. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bartyboy (99076) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:04PM (#37619544)

    Also, if CmdrTaco's trend continues, tomorrow will be a very bad day for him.

  • Re:Lameness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FyRE666 (263011) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:04PM (#37619548) Homepage
    Love or hate him, no-one can deny the guy achieved a hell of a lot in his life. Even though he'd resigned his post the man still had a lot to offer.

    RIP Steve.
  • by unity100 (970058) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:04PM (#37619552) Homepage Journal
    He brought user friendliness, usability concepts to top of the pile, and caused computer technology to go for more style, but what he did with locking in his customers, limiting their freedoms and then making enormous profits over these, has caused almost all other companies to follow the same style. now every company, even google, is trying to lock in people to things so that they can cash-cow them. imagine how internet would be if it was limited to 10-15 companies and their app stores, estores, media stores etc from the start.

    unfortunately, due to what he did, this is the direction the movers and shakers of the information technology are taking.

    talk about the openness, freedom of apple at the starting stages, and talk about after jobs. i wonder if the other steve can turn things around and make apple more in line with the spirit of information technology freedom and progress again ...
  • Re:RIP (Score:5, Insightful)

    by willie3204 (444890) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:04PM (#37619558)

    At times like this it is best to remember the good contributions from a man who provided so much to our industry. Thank you Steve wherever you are now

  • by milbournosphere (1273186) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:04PM (#37619564)
    You may disagree with his ideologies, but you have to admit that he changed the world we live in. Allow me to hold up my glass and tip my hat to a man to made the world just a little bit better.
  • by bheer (633842) <rbheer AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:07PM (#37619632)

    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?

    ====

    The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. --George Bernard Shaw

    ====

    Goodbye Steve, and thanks for everything. Even the stuff I hated.

  • Re:Lameness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by exomondo (1725132) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:08PM (#37619674)

    Love or hate him, no-one can deny the guy achieved a hell of a lot in his life. Even though he'd resigned his post the man still had a lot to offer. RIP Steve.

    amen to that, he contributed more to driving the technology industry than just about anyone else.

  • God Damn It All (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gelfling (6534) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:11PM (#37619722) Homepage Journal

    Damn it all

  • by electron sponge (1758814) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:13PM (#37619790)

    He brought user friendliness, usability concepts to top of the pile, and caused computer technology to go for more style, but what he did with locking in his customers, limiting their freedoms and then making enormous profits over these, has caused almost all other companies to follow the same style. now every company, even google, is trying to lock in people to things so that they can cash-cow them. imagine how internet would be if it was limited to 10-15 companies and their app stores, estores, media stores etc from the start. unfortunately, due to what he did, this is the direction the movers and shakers of the information technology are taking. talk about the openness, freedom of apple at the starting stages, and talk about after jobs. i wonder if the other steve can turn things around and make apple more in line with the spirit of information technology freedom and progress again ...

    I hate to dance on a grave. So, I won't. His family and friends are saddened today, and I would offer condolences.

    But the Apple model is not one we want to have replicated - and it is being replicated. In 20 years will we mourn Jobs or curse him? A brilliant man, there is no doubt. Walled gardens do us no favors.

  • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:14PM (#37619800)

    His final will stated that he be buried in a glossy white coffin with no visible hinges or latches. RIP Steve.

    with rounded corners

    Rounded rectangles are everywhere [folklore.org]

  • Re:Lameness (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cayenne8 (626475) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:17PM (#37619868) Homepage Journal
    Yup. He was there in the beginning of the modern computing age...one of the main three that brought us the computer world we know now...Jobs, Wozniak, Gates.

    Think about them what you will, but no denying he's one on the big three that have brought us to the commonly known and use computer tech world that everyone knows today...

    RIP

  • by k6mfw (1182893) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:21PM (#37619956)

    Steve saw the future of computers from the mouse/windows concept those guys at Xerox PARC developed. He pushed to bring that kind of IO into the markets beginning with LISA. It bombed but he still had the vision so Steve wouldn't give up and brought out the Mac. Say what you want (many called him a AH) but like other visionaries they don't care what others think (good thing he didn't do a market survey of what computers should be, i.e. if Henry Ford did one, people would ask for a faster horse). If not for Steve (and others working 24/7/365) the IO many of us use on computers will probably still sitting in some building at an unknown address in Palo Alto. Then there's the iphone, etc....

    I could not help but noticed the tagline on bottom of /. "Man's reach must exceed his grasp, for why else the heavens?"

  • by peragrin (659227) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:21PM (#37619964)

    Gardens don't like walls. either you control it to tightly and everything whither and dies, or you let it loose and it over grows beyond real control.

    maintaining a perfect balance for any length of time is extremely difficult. Apple's controls will either be ripped away from them, or they will control it to tightly and it will whither. All it takes is time. It has been 4 years and the competition is just really catching up. In another 5 we shall see.

    All that said steve's push for usable interfaces pushed computing technology in directions that no other manufacturer dared to go. For that alone he will be missed.

  • Walled gardens do us no favors.

    I don't know about you, but I kind of like not having to worry about running malware scanners [google.com.au] on my phone.

  • by LordLucless (582312) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:27PM (#37620090)

    His contribution will be sorely missed

    No, it won't. He might be sorely missed, but his contribution is still here.

  • by rapidreload (2476516) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:30PM (#37620150)

    I don't know about you, but I kind of like not having to worry about running malware scanners [google.com.au] on my phone.

    Agreed.

    I used to have an idealistic belief that the walled garden was a bad thing too, that user convenience and security should not take precident over a locked-down infrastructure. But as I've gotten older that belief has withered away. People have clearly shown they LIKE the walled garden because it makes things the experience ultimately less painful, and more enjoyable. People seem to prefer a walled garden environment, and companies like Apple are gladly going to give them what they want. Geeks prefer the open environment but as it turns out, the benefits aren't substantial enough to negate all the other problems.

    Steve Jobs knew what he was doing, and Apple succeeded because of the fact he didn't believe the die-hard geeks were worth listening to. Sometimes it's important to realize geeks don't understand what normal people want in technology.

  • One Last Thing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by medcalf (68293) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:34PM (#37620232) Homepage
    Jobs made life better for millions of people. The world was inarguably a better place for his having lived. What higher praise could there be than that?
  • Re:Lameness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Penguinisto (415985) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @09:01PM (#37620642) Journal

    From the fall of AOL to the rise of iComputing, we had a 12 year golden age where walled gardens were derided, people owned their own devices, and the landscape of the internet formed more or less naturally.

    Nevermind things like WGA, TPM, DRM, the omni-present EULAs in nearly everything that the majority of humanity used, making backups of one's media was considered to be "theft", Windows(!?) was actually poised to take over the server room, decoding an encrypted file or a proprietary chip meant litigation and/or jail time, and many, many other examples...

    Golden age, my ass.

  • Re:Lameness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by artor3 (1344997) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @09:02PM (#37620672)

    No way. I don't want to in any way disparage the man, he was certainly a visionary, but it was the forgotten engineers and technicians, laboring away for 80 hours a week with no overtime who have driven and continue to drive the technology industry. People love to heap praise on the CEOs, because people like having a single figure to praise (and blame). But Apple would be nothing without the hard work of the faceless employees who actually gave form to Jobs's ideas.

    And before you say that Jobs contributed more than any individual one of them, let me ask: do you really even know how many of his contributions were truly his, and not his underlings'?

  • Re:Lameness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dohnut (189348) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @09:10PM (#37620784)

    And before you say that Jobs contributed more than any individual one of them, let me ask: do you really even know how many of his contributions were truly his, and not his underlings'?

    Doesn't matter. Being a great leader or CEO isn't about coming up with great ideas, it's about recognizing them.

  • america is dead (Score:2, Insightful)

    by decora (1710862) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @09:13PM (#37620806) Journal

    all we are now is hedge fund managers and checkout clerks.

    no more steve jobs.

    no more big ideas.

  • Re:Lameness (Score:4, Insightful)

    by swalve (1980968) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @09:14PM (#37620816)
    Torvalds was 9 when Jobs and Wozniak were doing their revolutionizing. There is a good case to be made that without Woz, Torvalds wouldn't have done what he did.
  • Re:Lameness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by swalve (1980968) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @09:15PM (#37620838)
    Armies need generals, and generals need armies.
  • by EdIII (1114411) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @09:25PM (#37620928)

    My 2nd computer was an Apple II. My first was a Commodore 64.

    I never cared much for Apple..... or Microsoft. Despite my disagreements that have mostly to do with privacy, hardware ownership, walled gardens, and perpetual live unpaid beta testing (Microsoft you...) the fact remains that without Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, The Woz all of us geeks would be enjoying a world that is far far less cool than it is.

    Those men made technology cool. If it were not for them, there were would be near infinitely less hot blondes that needed their computer fixed. Consider that :)

    I can't say I ever agreed with Steve much on his approach, but I will always be deeply awed and respectful by just how much he helped change the world. He truly was a genius at what he did.

    At Stanford in 2005:

    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.

    R.I.P

  • Re:Lameness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @09:33PM (#37621034) Homepage

    Statements like this make me no longer care about the inappropriate timing of the comment I'm about to make, but I'll make it anyway: I sure hope the latest news means that objectivity will return to how devices are rated

    But, the decision to buy something isn't purely an objective decision. It's as much about preference as anything else -- do you need a customizable, extensible command line, or do you want something that's largely idiot proof?

    When I was in university, Linux was the coolest thing ever because I could endlessly discover all of the free stuff there was ... not to mention coolness and multi-tasking.

    Now, for sitting in my recliner, or in an airplane, or a hotel room and essentially just noodling around, my iPad is pretty much exactly something I've always wanted. I'm not writing code on it, or tuning databases ... I'm playing games, watching videos, surfing the web. And in a way a netbook would never be appealing to me.

    From the fall of AOL to the rise of iComputing, we had a 12 year golden age where walled gardens were derided, people owned their own devices, and the landscape of the internet formed more or less naturally.

    And, the notion of a walled garden and openness is a political position ... to a lot of people the ease of a well-managed 'walled garden' makes for a pleasant user experience. They have no idea what you're talking about for the most part, they just want to click the pretty buttons.

    To put it in free market terms (which I generally avoid using), the market has decided they like these products. People have exercised their free will and chosen to buy these products.

    You can say it's because these buyers are stupid, or trendy idiots, or smug people in coffee houses with pony tails all you like ... it's awfully hard to argue with the sales figures Jobs drove Apple to with these devices.

    And, contrary to your expectation of objectivity, I must say that subjectively I like the iPods, iTunes, and now iPad progression of nice toys. And, maybe, just maybe, all of these people buying these devices subjectively believe they get value for money.

    At which point you might as well be complaining about Coke vs Pepsi. Because there is no objective criteria, and just because you don't like the product doesn't mean that other people are required to not like it either.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @09:34PM (#37621044)

    http://www.apple.com/stevejobs/

    Of course the text on that page is a big ol' .png file that is immune to indexing and unnecessarily difficult to modify. Typical apple behavior.

  • Re:RIP (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EdIII (1114411) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @09:36PM (#37621058)

    At times like this it is best to remember the good contributions from a man who provided so much to our industry. Thank you Steve wherever you are now

    I would say helped create our industry. Both Jobs and Gates were instrumental in showing the world what was possible with computing. I sincerely doubt there would even be an Internet without them. Geeks would not be the new coolness, or at least in such demand, and I truly have no idea what computing would be like.

    I have been with computing from the start of it and can honestly say that despite all the faults of both Microsoft and Apple, the entire industry was spawned by those two men and the groups of people they led.

    Everybody else was just a 3rd party vendor.

    Seriously... try to imagine an alternate reality where neither Apple or Microsoft existed. Who was going to create our industry the way that it is?

    IBM? I sincerely doubt it. They would have never believed in personal computing, or that there could even be personal computing. Computers would still be AS400 mainframes to this day most likely.

  • Re:Lameness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WaywardGeek (1480513) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @09:36PM (#37621062) Journal

    Jobs, Gates, Torvalds... I've spent a couple of decades slowly coming around to the idea that it's individual leaders who make the real difference, but everyone else who does the real work. Down below a guy is talking about all the brilliant engineers at Apple working 80+ hours per week, and how that's what really counts, and this CEO worship is stupid. Do you think Sun didn't have those guys? Did they fail because they were stupid and lazy?

    The world is far better off for having let Jobs lead. It's not that guys like Jobs are impossible to find, but getting them into places of power where they have permission to change the world... that is impossible to find. Sony had a guy like Jobs, and when he died, it left the music player market wide open for Jobs. The cell phone industry hadn't had a brilliant innovator with permission to make a difference since the Razor. Jobs fixed it. Bill Gates hasn't been a factor at Microsoft for a decade, and Jobs has walked all over them. The world is far better off due to what Jobs accomplished.

    That said, Jobs was an ass hole, who both saved us from the stupidity of failing innovation in several markets, and shacked us with the most oppressive crap ever invented. If you ever wondered why e-books now cost the same everywhere you normally by them, that's 100% pure evil genius, courtesy of Jobs, called the "agency model". Sony is banned from iPads, and GPL 3 software can't even run on any iOS device legally. Jobs arrogance had no bounds. He wanted no less than 30% of every dollar you spend, even if it was on bread. No one knows of any significant charity supported by this man.

    I hope Apple can find a new middle ground going forward that is somewhat innovative and somewhat less evil. However, the great man has passed through the veil, and while I'm not bashing Apple, there's no way their board could possibly let another Jobs take control. My guess is stock price is headed down... however, my stock advice is generally wrong.

  • by caitsith01 (606117) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @09:41PM (#37621096) Journal

    They're not fond of rules

    Apart from:

    - you must use itunes to sync your ipod and iphone
    - you must register and activate your hardware via our central database
    - you must use apps approved by Apple
    - you must use proprietary cable formats we approve
    - you may not run whatever software you want on your own device
    - you may not replace your own battery
    - you may not make products vaguely similar to our products
    - you may not purchase media which does not have localised price-gouging ...etc.

    Seriously, this is sad, but the guy was primarily part of a private company which exists to make money for its shareholders. He didn't cure disease or invent the internal combustion engine or walk on the moon. He took good ideas (generally thought up by other people) and refined them to maximise their commercial capabilities.

    So sad: yes. Was Jobs a significant figure in his field?: yes. Is it over the top to act like Einstein or Leonardo Da Vinci or JFK just died?: yes.

  • by Raenex (947668) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @09:43PM (#37621124)

    Somebody like Woz needed somebody like Jobs to reach the masses, at least before the Internet came around. He wasn't just "design and marketing", though those are areas are extremely important. He was also the guy who had a vision for a consumer product and brought the company to fruition. Woz was never going to do that on his own.

    It's not just Jobs, and it's not just Woz. They were a team.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @09:49PM (#37621164)

    Woz would still be doing what his boss at HP told him to do if it wasn't for Steve.

  • by Macgrrl (762836) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @10:08PM (#37621306)

    Maybe the "S" stands for "Steve".

  • Re:Lameness (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ixokai (443555) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @10:43PM (#37621630)

    Leaders are rightly credited with the accomplishments of their team. Apple would be nothing without the "faceless employees", but would just the right faceless employees have come together, and excelled together without him?

    Jobs cultivated a lot of very excellent lieutenants, despite (or because of) his mixture of passion and draconian habits. His lieutenants were very smart people with thoughts and opinions and could argue with him: but they better be right. That's an actual compelling environment for some types of innovative people: not all, certainly. But he gathered together people who seemed to work quite well in it, and even thrived. These, in turn, cultivated their lieutenants, and down through the company. How many companies get bogged down by bureaucracies and middle-management? You don't end up with a company like Apple without leadership from top to bottom: leadership *matters*. As much as any other single factor, I think.

    Jobs has never claimed the one-man-wonder credit certain parts of the press often heaps on him; he has always praised his lieutenants and their teams by name even, publicly. Is there countless others who are not named? Well, of course. But he's always held that it was a team effort, and that the team mattered.

  • Re:Lameness (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jackbird (721605) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @10:52PM (#37621696)

    Huh? 3D animation was on the desktop long before Jobs had anything to do with Pixar. Imagine 3D, Autodesk 3D Studio, and Lightwave (which started life as part of the Amiga-powered Video Toaster) brought real 3D animation tools to the desktop in the early 90s. While many of the great visionaries who laid the foundations of 3D animation ended up at Pixar, Pixar's Renderman-related patents also arguably held back the industry somewhat.

    And anyway, John Lasseter's genius directorial skills have a great deal more to do with Pixar's longstanding success than anything technological. Cars 2 was the first real dud from the studio after what, 12 features including a trilogy that didn't suck? And the graphics in Red's Dream are 1st-year student work by today's standards (although groundbreaking for the time), but the timing is brilliantly expressive and the script still makes you care about that unicycle 20-something years later.

    Anyway, back on topic - RIP Steve. I never liked using your computers myself, but I liked that they existed and I liked the things other people found easy to do with them.

  • Re:Lameness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @11:26PM (#37621932)

    Do you think Sun didn't have those guys? Did they fail because they were stupid and lazy?

    I think other companies fail because those people working 80 hour weeks are only paid to create crap.

    Steve Jobs isn't terribly unique. What's unique is Steve Jobs in a position of influence to devote the resources needed to execute said vision.

    A perfect example is something like the iPhone 4s Siri feature. Last week I upgraded to the new version of Windows Phone 7.5 and I was trying out the voice control features. You can say "Text ___" but you can't say "Message ___" or "Send Text To ____"

    I was lamenting how incredibly stupid that was. It even shows that it perfectly understood my message "Send Text To _____" it just was too brain dead stupid to know what that means. It would take one intern an hour to come up with a list of phrases to *hard-code* into the phone for a number of situations and associate basic commands to them.

    "Send Text to____"
    "Message ___"
    "Send a text to _____"
    "SMS ______"
    "Send a Message to ____"

    Regex those suckers and the feature would actually be pretty cool instead of playing "Guess the magic keyword."

    I have to believe (for the sake of my soul) that someone at Microsoft wanted to do that but was *stopped* for some reason from adding the extra 0.5 KBs of synonymous commands for each of the included commands.

    It doesn't take a Steve Jobs visionary--it just takes getting rid of the all of the anti-visionaries who are stopping innovation.

    Another example, I have a Galaxy Tab. When it shipped its keyboard was useless. I don't just mean "bad" I mean useless. Typing a word would result in a 3-5 second delay. That was how it came out of the box. I fixed it by using a different browser or using a different keyboard.

    Who the #)@# ships hundreds of thousands of products but doesn't do something so basic as... I don't know... turn one on and see if the #*^! keyboard works?!

    The reason the ipad has been so successful isn't because it's some genius product--it's because the competition is evidently brain dead.

    Thank God for Steve Jobs or we might not even have 'acceptable' products. He really pushed at least mediocrity on the industry for which we should all be thankful.

  • Re:Lameness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @12:03AM (#37622208) Homepage

    Gates created the IBM PC as much as anyone who worked for IBM.

    I suppose, in a way... His wasn't the only disk operating system. The IBM PC would not have been significantly different without him.

    The choice of MS-DOS and the non-exclusive licensing agreement they signed with Gates did have an effect on the PC-clone market that developed since they could use the exact same operating system.

    However it was Compaq who actually did all the technical work of reverse-engineering the IBM BIOS, and fought the resulting IBM lawsuit, that really enabled the PC-clone market. Gates' shrewd business decision wouldn't have mattered had it not been for that.

    And without that decision, the clones would have used a DOS work-alike and maybe the OS monopoly would never have gotten established. But now I'm just speculating.

    Nevertheless, I can't say Gates did nearly as much to create the PC as either IBM or Compaq.

  • Re:Lameness (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Divebus (860563) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @12:49AM (#37622418)

    Sun did some amazing things, so did a lot of other companies and individuals. The thing Steve Jobs did is make off the shelf technology useful. Ever try to make some random person care about ZFS or Solaris? They couldn't care less. But a music player that held 1,000 songs at high quality and didn't skip when you jogged with it was an innovation. Nobody had put that together like that before. For the next five years, they kept improving the function and form factor of the iPod by orders of magnitude in the face of almost no competition. Anyone can call it "nothing new was invented here" and it wasn't - but nobody ever put so much thought into the product, using slimmer, lightweight materials, menu layouts that made sense without an instruction manual, battery life that mattered and a hundred other things completely absent from anything made by a "competitor". It cost more to make than the other crap but it was worth it, so I wouldn't call it "overpriced". Ok, so maybe I'd want it to be a lot cheaper... but it worked well and I got way more value out of my iPods than any other music player (and I've had a few).

    That brings me to the "stifle competition" statement. Believe it if you like, but I view it as Apple selling something people actually wanted instead of the junkyard class crap getting shoveled out by everyone else. Making something that made anything else on the market look 10 years behind isn't "stifling" competition - it's embarrassing the competitors right out of the market.

    My $0.02

  • by melted (227442) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @12:50AM (#37622430) Homepage

    Disgusted with some people here dancing on the coffin.

    WTF is wrong with you? "Walled garden" my ass. It was his garden. Don't like it — buy something else, he never forced anyone to buy Apple products. The guy was a visionary. If it wasn't for him, the tech industry would be where it was 10 years ago, if that. Had Apple not released iPhone, your Android would look like ass today, which is what it looked like shortly before iPhone was released. That's assuming there'd even _be_ Android. Your PC laptops would be 1.5 inches thick and would have a battery life of 1 hour. Had NeXT not existed, Tim Berners Lee might not have invented the web. Had Steve not taken those typography classes way back when, chances are we'd have shitty monospaced fonts everywhere. Linux would be a lot more CDE like, and Windows would not look the same either, assuming there'd even be Windows. There would be no Toy Story, no Cars, no Up, no Finding Nemo, all computers would be made of shitty beige plastic, USB, CD/DVDs and WiFi would be set back years, there'd be no Chrome, no usable Clang and LLVM, no mainstream UNIX OSs, no DRM-free downloadable music, no ideas for other people to rip off.

    Steve's reach extended far beyond Apple and iPhone. The guy simply gave a lot to this world, while not really taking much for himself. He has put a dent in the universe. You may glorify him or vilify him, but you can't ignore him. And if you're a decent human being, you can't cheer his death either.

  • by epine (68316) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @01:16AM (#37622578)

    The Apple II had a forty column display of upper case only, which made it well suited neither for programming nor word processing. The TRS-80 had 64 columns, but no lower case, either; despite the font ROM having these characters, the video memory was organized as 1Kx7 bits, to save a single 1024x1 memory chip. Early versions of the Commodore Pet were also limited to 40 columns.

    The Apple III has a proper 80 column display, but it also had bank switched memory, and did not become successful.

    The early success of the IBM PC was in large measure driven by providing a decent keyboard and monitor, which I regard as ergonomic virtues. It certainly wasn't sold on performance.

    I purchased a fat Mac with dual floppies which I soon regretted. Trying to run a compiler, it would constantly request a floppy by ejecting the floppy it would immediately need next. I'd have to push that one back in and paperclip the other one (or was there a keystroke if I was feeling less bitter?) The hard drive upgrade was prohibitively expensive, so I purchased a beige crap-box with a 20MB hard drive, and finally managed to write some code without being in a constant state of exasperation.

    Jobs was brilliant at marketing, but I never felt Apple lead the market in technical innovation. Mac OS had tragic memory management for years and years. For everything they got right, they got another thing wrong.

    What Jobs had was the vision to define the customer's aspirations. All these aspirated customers go around redefining history, but what can you do?

    Moore's law more or less dictates that innovation follows a straight line (e.g. the slow adoption of adequate displays). The person who gets to claim the innovation is whichever sales guy is good at getting the customer to buy a more expensive machine before others can afford it. The real innovation took place--in almost every case--in the context of designs that hardly anyone could yet afford.

    His real genius for innovation didn't emerge until devices became a lot less expensive.

  • Re:Lameness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfish (1653411) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @02:46AM (#37622954)

    Who the #)@# ships hundreds of thousands of products but doesn't do something so basic as... I don't know... turn one on and see if the #*^! keyboard works?!

    The reason the ipad has been so successful isn't because it's some genius product--it's because the competition is evidently brain dead.

    Mod up. I've lost count of the number of times I've tried a new product and thought "what the fuck were they thinking". Are Apple and MS the only companies in the world that do user interface testing?

  • by EdIII (1114411) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @03:03AM (#37623018)

    The reason you should be modded down, and not up, is that it is not appropriate to bring it up on the day the man dies.

    Neither you or I have a great appreciation for how Apple does things, but make no mistake about it.... that man was partly responsible along with some other great men in ushering in a new age of technology.

    All great men stand on the shoulders of other great men, and through the ability to benefit on their achievements make their own.

    You sit here on Slashdot today, on a computer, with the Internet, and talk badly about the man on the day he dies without even realizing (or at least acknowledging) that the very same man contributed to your ability to do so in the first place.

    Give respect where respect is due. You have 30+ years in computing... you should know better.

  • Re:Lameness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by localman (111171) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @04:26AM (#37623358) Homepage

    Most of what you say is true, however:

        "he either openly ripped most of it off from the Palo Alto Research Center"

    Apple paid Xerox for the tech. You may think they got a good deal, but there was no theft or coercion and Xerox took it. That isn't ripping off.

        "Apple nearly died in the early 90's"

    That is correct, they almost died after Steve was booted. If you don't see how that fact, combined with their mind-blowing recovery after his return, indicates that he was an amazingly effective leader, then you seem to be lacking basic comprehension skills. I'm much more of a technical and creative guy than a leader, so it pains me to say this, but being an effective leader (what Steve did) is a much harder and rarer talent than being technologically proficient or creative. I've known many, many people with amazing minds for technology and creativity. I don't know if I've met _any_ great leaders personally.

    Hate him all you want, he had an impact. Your comments on the stock price indicate a profound misunderstanding of the market. Did you not notice that the stock closed higher today than it was before the iPhone 5 non-announcement? Why would anyone laugh their ass off at meaningless short term market fluctuations unless they were a creepy obsessive trying to feel better about their inability to make sense of the world?

    Good luck, sir. And stay classy.

  • Re:Lameness (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo@NOspaM.world3.net> on Thursday October 06, 2011 @07:33AM (#37624138) Homepage

    But a music player that held 1,000 songs at high quality and didn't skip when you jogged with it was an innovation.

    Sure, it just wan't Apple's innovation. The day it was released and instantly panned by Taco for not being as good an iRiver has become part of Slashdot lore. Apple's genius was the scroll wheel interface, and perhaps making it easy to rip CDs with iTunes.

    Jobs didn't invent much, he just figured out how to make things easy to use so that consumers would buy them, going right back to their early computers. I'm not saying there wasn't some impressive technology too, but that wasn't his area.

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