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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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  • Goodbye (Score:5, Funny)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:02PM (#37619502)

    Sent from my iPhone

  • by Fireking300 (1852630) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:02PM (#37619506)
  • 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.

    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:09PM (#37619696) Journal

      I think you're not giving Jobs enough credit even for the first wave of personal computers. The Apple II was probably the most important step into the world of computers in the home, school and business, moving us from the era of hobbiest kit computer to what we view as the standard computer, keyboard and monitor. Jobs was instrumental in that as well. 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.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:29PM (#37620132)

        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.

        • 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 RogerWilco (99615) on Thursday October 06, 2011 @08:23AM (#37624434) Homepage Journal

          Yeah, but I think Jobs proved that it's not just the engineers that make a product a success.

          I think Jobs brilliance was in steering brilliant engineers to make something non-engineers can understand and use.

          Engineers left to their own devices will give you Linux and BSD, but Jobs could get them to make OSX.

          An engineer will give you an IBM PC, Jobs had the vision to have them make a Mac.

          An engineer will give you an Alienware, Steve got us the iMac.

          An engineer will give you fixed font, Steve thought text should look good.

          iRiver vs. iPod, Windows Mobile vs. iOS, iPAQ vs. iPhone, PirateBay vs. iTunes, netbook vs. iPad, the list goes on...

          What Steve was good at, is getting some brilliant engineers together, and have them make something that my grandmother and my 3 year old kid would be able to use almost intuitively.

          He will be missed, because ow the engineers will take over again. (I'm one of them).

        • by laird (2705) <lairdp@nOSPAm.gmail.com> on Thursday October 06, 2011 @11:20AM (#37626252) Journal

          Good point. But while I think that Woz is a brilliant engineer (his Apple ][ floppy disk controller made personal computers feasible), there are great engineers at all sorts of companies, and very few companies that can have a clear, unified vision and execute on it. So as much as I admire Woz, it was Jobs that had the vision and the drive to take Woz' technical brilliance, Ives' industrial design, etc., and drive them to produce brilliant products.

      • 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

      • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LordLucless (582312)

      His contribution will be sorely missed

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

  • 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.
    • Sad news. I don't own Apple products and the last time I used one, there was no OS X yet, but I have a deep respect for Jobs. I admire his spirit, his constant desire and drive to innovate and push things forward, and his efforts in making technology more accessible.

      So RIP Steve Jobs, a man with profound impact on personal computing.

  • by EkriirkE (1075937) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:02PM (#37619520) Homepage
    If you haven't already, filter through http://folklore.org/ [folklore.org] , his antics at the beginning of Apple are hilarious.
  • by flosofl (626809) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:02PM (#37619526) Homepage
    RIP, Steve. Love or hate you, you definitely made a huge impact on the tech industry.
  • 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.
    • 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

      • 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.

  • by schnikies79 (788746) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:03PM (#37619538)

    :(

  • 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.

  • 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 ...
    • 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 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.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by PhunkySchtuff (208108)

        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 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.

          • 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 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.
  • 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.

  • by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:05PM (#37619586)

    Some inspirational speeches
    "Focus is not about saying Yes, but about saying No"
    http://www.businessinsider.com/steve-jobs-1997-video-2011-6 [businessinsider.com]

    Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF8uR6Z6KLc [youtube.com]

    âoeThis was a very typical time. I was single. All you needed was a cup of tea, a light, and your stereo, you know, and thatâ(TM)s what I had.â ...Steve Jobs, at home in 1982.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/pacman3000/4042368287/ [flickr.com]

  • by ethoxyethaan (2261350) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:05PM (#37619590)

    The IPhone 4S announcement must have hit him really hard.

  • by bheer (633842) <.rbheer. .at. .gmail.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.

    • by Stormwatch (703920) <rodrigogirao AT hotmail DOT com> on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:17PM (#37619870) Homepage

      Here's the complete version:

      - - -

      Here's to the crazy ones.
              The misfits.
                      The rebels.
                              The troublemakers.
                                      The round pegs in the square holes.
      The ones who see things differently.

      They're not fond of rules.
              And they have no respect for the status quo.

      You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,
              disbelieve them, glorify them or vilify them.
      About the only thing you can't do is ignore them.

      Because they change things.
              They invent. They imagine. They heal.
              They explore. They create. They inspire.
      They push the human race forward.

      Maybe they have to be crazy.
      How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
              Or sit in silence and hear a song that's never been written?
      Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

      We make tools for these kinds of people.
      Because while some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.

      And it's the people who are crazy enough to think they can
      change the world who actually do.

    • Truly tragic, but not really unexpected. When he stepped down from Apple you had to believe there was something critical going on behind the scenes. He wasn't the kind of guy who would have walked away if he'd had any other choice.

      RIP Steve.

    • This is also (Score:4, Informative)

      by mario_grgic (515333) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:30PM (#37620154)
      text on the TextEdit app icon on every Mac OS X installation :D.
  • by SixDimensionalArray (604334) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:07PM (#37619636)

    Thank you for inspiring millions and helping make some really cool dreams into realities.

  • iSad (Score:5, Informative)

    by xjerky (128399) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:10PM (#37619718)
    'Nuff Said.
  • God Damn It All (Score:3, Insightful)

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

    Damn it all

  • by Deathlizard (115856) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:12PM (#37619748) Homepage Journal

    I'll be honest. I've never been a fan of Apple products, But I have and will always be a fan of Steve Jobs.

    The man was truly one of the last great manager's and CEO's of American Business. Competitive to the end, Dedicated to the end, and capable of pushing people to their absolute limits for better or for worse to the point that something insanely great gets produced.

  • by TechyImmigrant (175943) * on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:14PM (#37619808) Journal

    Can we have Woz back in charge now?

    • by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @10:09PM (#37621316)

      The guy freely acknowledges he can't run a company nor does he want to, that's why Apple is a story of 2 Steves instead of 1.

      "I designed the computers just to do it and show the world that it could be done and help them happen. Later Steve Jobs suggested starting a company to make money from it. I'd been giving out schematics for free at the Homebrew Computer Club. That's what I believed in. It was hard for me to even start the company when it looked like there might be real money in it." - Woz

      "Steve and I are very different. Mainly, I want to be an engineer and make neat things for my own fun, forever. I told Steve and Mike Markkula that I wouldn't expand Apple into a real company because I had to quit HP (I'd designed all the Apple stuff moonlighting for a year!). I loved HP. But I finally realized that I could do it and not have to run it. From the start, Steve wanted to run a company and learn the ways to. " - Woz

  • by caywen (942955) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:15PM (#37619822)

    The immediate cause of death wasn't made clear, but this is immensely sad news for me. I have a friend who has recently been diagnosed with the same type of (rare) pancreatic cancer. Jobs' version of the cancer is supposed to be more treatable, and he wouldn't have lived as long as he did had he the more common, deadly form. I had hoped that he would survive longer.

    • by pclminion (145572)
      I recently lost a coworker to the same disease. Obviously I didn't know Steve Jobs at all, but it still feels like another body blow. Fuck cancer. Stupid piece of shit buggy firmware is what we have there. Hopefully my friend is now chatting it up with Steve somewhere non-corporeal.
  • by ktappe (747125) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:19PM (#37619906)
    I'm seeing nothing in any story including the CNN one linked to that says he was "found dead in his home this morning". Seems dubious.
  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki@co[ ]et ['x.n' in gap]> on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:20PM (#37619918)

    âZ"No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It's life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new."

    I wish I was more in tune with his philosophy earlier on in life. When I was a teenager, I really could've fucking used it.

  • 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.

  • 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 goldspider (445116) <ardrake79NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:24PM (#37620016) Homepage

    Well-played Subby!

    Are Stephen King and Alan Thicke still OK?

  • 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.

  • 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?
  • 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.

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