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Apple

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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  • RIP (Score:3, Interesting)

    by danbuter (2019760) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:03PM (#37619528)
    While I'm not a fan of Apple's business practices, Steve made a lot of advances in technology. RIP.
  • Battery? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jmac_the_man (1612215) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:04PM (#37619572)
    If only he had a user replacable battery.

    jk...I'm not a big fan of his company, but RIP.

  • i wonder? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by johnsnails (1715452) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:09PM (#37619690) Homepage
    cant help but wonder how long ago he died and if they wanted to wait till after the iphone 4s announcement?
  • by TechyImmigrant (175943) * on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:14PM (#37619808) Journal

    Can we have Woz back in charge now?

  • Very sad news. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Gavin Scott (15916) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:21PM (#37619954)

    I never met him in person, but for a while my company leased space in an Apple-owned building on Valley Green Drive, and Steve would frequently walk past my window on the sidewalk on his way back and forth from HQ to various buildings on VGD (which tended to have all the windows covered up or painted black). He would just be walking alone without any entourage or anything, at a time when Carly was running HP and seemingly couldn't leave her office without press followers, support staff, security detail with automatic weapons, and a helicopter.

    I can't imagine how much different (and for the worse) the history of the last thirty years of computing would have been without him.

    He will be greatly missed by friends and foes alike.

    G.

  • Re:Lameness (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sarysa (1089739) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:23PM (#37619984)

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

    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, how interfaces are criticized, how Apple is viewed by the media, and how computing will progress from here on out. 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.

    That said, I will miss how he made it okay to latch onto a particular fashion and stick to it. That's one of the few things we'd agree on.

  • Thanks, Jobs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JBMcB (73720) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:33PM (#37620210)

    I was ten years old. After wearing out a Timex Sinclair 1000 and a VIC-20, my dad took me to the computer shop to pick out a new one. They all looked cool and incredibly complex - the TI/99 with it's bizarre cartridge slot, the Apple II with it's strange ribbon cables coming out of the back (sorry Woz) the Atari 400 with it's horrid keyboard, the clunky PC with it's austere green display.

    Then there was the Macintosh. It made the other machines look like junk. It had real fonts. It had *graphics*. It could make sounds other than a harsh piezoelectric bleep. You looked at it and could figure out how to get something done. My dad saved up and pulled a deal from a friend, and my early Christmas (and birthday and second Christmas) present that year was a shiny new beige Macintosh 512K with a wide-carriage Imagewriter and external floppy drive. Using it felt like you were using something from Star Trek. I learned how to touch type doing papers on that thing. I learned how to program using Microsoft Basic, then Metrowerks Pascal. I took it to Heathkit and had it upgraded to a 512KE with an enormous 800k drive. While there I drooled over the completely maxed-out Mac II with color ImageWriter II, LaserWriter II, dual 1.44MB floppies, a stack of SCSI drives (40MB HD, tape backup, and CD-ROM) and every desk accessory known to man loaded and ready to go. I finally retired it when I got a job out of high school and saved up enough to buy a PowerMac 6100/60, which I still have, and still works. Since then I've gotten into DIY, building my own PC compatables to experiment with Windows, Linux, Inferno, BeOS, and OS/2. Then I needed a PC at home to run all the development environments I had to learn for work. But I still have a soft spot for the elegance and simplicity of Mac hardware and software.

    Thanks, Jobs, for pushing computer design forward on all fronts - from UI design to standardizing iconography used for ports, and forcing everyone else to at least attempt to be as innovative. I think, for my next computer, I'm retiring the water cooled behemoth running Windows 7 under my desk, and buying a Macbook Air.

  • by Daetrin (576516) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:35PM (#37620242)
    "I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him"

    No, not really. I haven't used an Apple computer in... about 20 years now. The first time my family got an IBM clone to replace the old Apple 2c(?) i was amazed by how much more i could do with it and never looked back. Yeah, he did some "great" things, but nothing he's done has had a direct impact me in a long time and most of the indirect impact over the last few years has been to aggravate me (misleading commercials, bogus patent lawsuits, etc.)

    I never wished the man ill (well, not seriously anyways) and it's always a tragedy when any human being dies, but about 150,000 people die every day and almost every one of those deaths is a tragedy for someone. Jobs had a lot of fans who are upset by this, the same way that i'd be upset if one of my personal cultural heroes died, but Steve Jobs didn't mean a great deal to me one way or the other.

    It's quite possible i'll get modded as a troll for saying so, but i just thought i'd point out that not everyone has been directly affected by Steve Jobs or feels a personal connection to him, so not everyone in the community will miss him.

    RIP to all 150,000 or so people who died today, Steve Jobs no more or less than any of the others, even if i don't know those others by name.
  • by Niris (1443675) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:36PM (#37620264)
    Watch Pirates of Silicon Valley, too. Good flick, and a fair amount of background on Jobs' early years.
  • by ScottyLad (44798) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:47PM (#37620474)

    Sometimes it's important to realize geeks don't understand what normal people want in technology.

    This is an important point which is often overlooked in technology discussion forums such as this one.

    Steve's genius was in predicting the things nobody thought they wanted until he showed it to them. "You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them," he once said. "By the time you get it built, they'll want something new."

  • by RobinEggs (1453925) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:49PM (#37620496)
    It was pancreatic cancer. Without any knowledge of Jobs particular case I'd opine that he moved on to alternative medicine "bullshit" after he realized that hospitals had about as much help to offer him as a mountain of *actual* bullshit.

    The disease has a 4% five-year survival rate. You can't fault the guy for concluding that, what the hell, he might as well try something unproven and crazy sounding rather than stake his life on treatment that *was* proven...to be almost hopeless.

    Not to mention that there's some truth to alternative medicine. Not to crystals or vaccines-and-autism theories, but just because a field has a fuckton of loonies doesn't mean there aren't some correct (if anecdotal) notions there and some genius ideas that simply never get the funding to become proven.
  • Re:Lameness (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Hijacked Public (999535) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:51PM (#37620524)

    I had maybe a dozen iPods, mostly for photo storage. Not sure how many Apple laptops. 3 iPhones.

    None of them ever tried to control me.

    I'd be sitting on the couch surfing the web with my MBP and would think "I want to go outside". I'd then do that, seemingly with no interference from the MBP. Similarly I'd be driving down the street with my iPhone in my pocket and never once felt like the phone was trying to get be to drive to the Apple store.

    But I will admit that the MBP I am typing this on auto-capilatized iPhone. Maybe that is what you mean...

  • Interesting: Steven Paul Jobs [myspace.com].

    Quote: "I have 3 kids (Lisa is not my daughter, enough of those rumors)."

    Wikipedia: Steve Jobs [wikipedia.org].

    Quote: "The couple have three children. Jobs also has a daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs (born 1978), from his relationship with Bay Area painter Chrisann Brennan.[43] She briefly raised their daughter on welfare when Jobs denied paternity, claiming that he was sterile; he later acknowledged paternity.[43]"

    Wikipedia's reference 43 is page 2 of Fortune Magazine's March 5, 2008 article, The trouble with Steve Jobs [cnn.com].

    Quote: "When Jobs had his own illegitimate child, also at the age of 23, he too struggled with his responsibilities. For two years, though already wealthy, he denied paternity while Lisa's mother went on welfare. At one point Jobs even swore in a signed court document that he couldn't be Lisa's father because he was "sterile and infertile, and as a result thereof, did not have the physical capacity to procreate a child." He later acknowledged paternity of Lisa, married Laurene Powell, a Stanford MBA, and fathered three more children. Lisa Brennan-Jobs, now 29, graduated from Harvard and is a writer."

    From page 1 of that article: 'Pondering this issue, Stanford management science professor Robert Sutton discussed Jobs in his bestselling 2007 book, "The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't." "As soon as people heard I was writing a book on assholes, they would come up to me and start telling a Steve Jobs story," says Sutton. "The degree to which people in Silicon Valley are afraid of Jobs is unbelievable. He made people feel terrible; he made people cry'

    Another quote from page 1: "... his deployment of stock options at Apple and Pixar, which exposed both companies to backdating scandals."

    From page 2: 'Jobs' break-the-rules attitude extends to refusing to put a license plate on his Mercedes. "It's a little game I play," he explained to Fortune in 2001.'

    'One former board member described Anderson's role as "tantrum controller." '

    'The company discovered "irregularities" with 6,428 grants between 1997 and 2001 - roughly one in six that Apple issued during that period. (New disclosure requirements after that time caused backdating to dry up.) The company also found no instances of backdating before Jobs took over as CEO. Apple was forced to restate its earnings, taking a pretax charge for unreported compensation expenses of $105 million.'

    "Disney, which bought Pixar in 2006, also investigated and found a backdating problem there during Jobs' time as CEO."

    Page 3: "Anderson, in an extraordinary public statement he issued after settling his case with the SEC, disputed Apple's exoneration of Jobs. Through his lawyer, he said he alerted Jobs to the accounting implications even as the CEO was in the process of picking a retroactive date for the grant to his top lieutenants. He also said Jobs assured him that the award had been properly approved by Apple's board."

    Page 4: "It was a great speech, simple and moving - though it clearly left the false impression that Jobs had learned of his illness in mid-2004 and immediately proceeded to surgery, when in fact he had learned of it in October 2003."

    I've studied the issues for many years, and have formed the theory that Job's abusiveness is possibly the cause of his illness.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @09:51PM (#37621180)

    I think you're not giving Jobs enough credit even for the first wave of personal computers.

    I think you're not giving Woz enough credit.

    This is a man, whether you liked him or not or approved of everything he did or not, who was in fact instrumental in a number of steps in the post-1960s computer revolution.

    Although Jobs had his part, it was Woz that designed the first two generations of apple computers himself.

    I'm not trying to make light of this death, but the engineers behind all the devices are still alive.

    So? He was an engineer. And he did a damn awesome job of it, too. Without Woz, early PCs might have taken longer to bring to market; they would have had more chips and would have cost more because of it. It probably would have taken an army of engineers to build what Woz did.

    But the world has armies and armies of engineers.

    On the other hand Steve Jobs, more than anyone, realized that computers could be made into consumer appliances that every housewife, artist, author, schoolchild and, yes, hipster would want to own. The design and marketing of computers and smartphones to ordinary people, not just businesspeople or techies.

    Woz without Jobs would have been happy to stay in his garage and solder. Linus Torvalds would probably still have been inspired to create an open-source OS for geeks to play with and build upon. Bill Gates would have gone ahead and put business machines on the desks of every cubicle drone in the corporate world. But without Steve Jobs, personal computers would never have become personal.

    Much of Slashdot hates him for this, of course. They hate the lack of choice, the warm and fuzzy design, the drool-proof UI and the high prices. But what they really hate is that he took this wonderful world of powerful technology, a world where they are kings, and turned the keys over to the unwashed masses of housewives, schoolkids, artists, and, yes, hipsters.

  • Re:Lameness (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mikael (484) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @10:12PM (#37621332)

    Steve Jobs and Woz did work for Atari as technicians.

    Wikipedia has a story on how they were paid to reduce the chip count on some arcade boards. They worked together to create one ASIC to replace 50 logic chips. [wikipedia.org]

    Reading computer magazines between the 1970's and1990's was an experience. Seeing the evolution of computing from home-assembled S-100 boards in the 1970's to Apple ]['s, Apple Mac, NEXT workstations in the early 1990's, hand-held devices like the Newton in the later years.

    How many other people need three separate pages of historical time lines to list all the products that they were involved in designing?

    Time Line of Apple Products [wikipedia.org]

  • by Scareduck (177470) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @01:26AM (#37622634) Homepage Journal

    Steve Jobs isn't terribly unique.

    Like hell.

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