Thursday, October 06, 2011

Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

The hallingblog has a nice post on Steve Jobs, which could serve as a launching point for a number of articles.

Separately, from cbsnews, Wozniak: Jobs' health "did bother him"

"Steve spoke to me of the illness more recently than a few months ago as something that really did bother him, that he did not like the fact that he had been close to death, and sort of survived," Wozniak told "The Early Show" from his home in Los Gatos, California.

"It kind of surprised," said Wozniak. "He's got a logical mind that understands, you know, as he is quoted as saying, that death is really an affirmation of life as part of the circle, and, you know, once you have a healthy thinking like that, you aren't necessarily bothered by that. But he spoke like he was very bothered by it."

Also from CBSNews

Steven Paul Jobs was born Feb. 24, 1955, in San Francisco to Joanne Simpson, then an unmarried graduate student, and Abdulfattah Jandali, a student from Syria. Simpson gave Jobs up for adoption, though she married Jandali and a few years later had a second child with him, Mona Simpson, who became a novelist.

Steven was adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs of Los Altos, California, a working-class couple who nurtured his early interest in electronics. He saw his first computer terminal at NASA's Ames Research Center when he was around 11 and landed a summer job at Hewlett-Packard before he had finished high school.

Jobs enrolled in Reed College in Portland, Ore., in 1972 but dropped out after six months.

"All of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it," he said at a Stanford University commencement address in 2005. "I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out."

When he returned to California in 1974, Jobs worked for video game maker Atari and attended meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club — a group of computer hobbyists — with Steve Wozniak, a high school friend who was a few years older.

AND, as to intellectual property,

During a 1979 visit to the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, Jobs again spotted mass potential in a niche invention: a computer that allowed people to control computers with the click of a mouse, not typed commands. He returned to Apple and ordered his engineering team to copy what he had seen.

It foreshadowed a propensity to take other people's concepts, improve on them and spin them into wildly successful products. Under Jobs, Apple didn't invent computers, digital music players or smartphones — it reinvented them for people who didn't want to learn computer programming or negotiate the technical hassles of keeping their gadgets working.

"We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas," Jobs said in an interview for the 1996 PBS series "Triumph of the Nerds."


from Defending Life’s Work With Words of a Tyrant :

“Amidst the oceans of enforced mediocrity in the bland, deflavorized culture of managed-by-committee corporate behemoths,” the entrepreneur Perry Metzger posted on his Google+ page, Mr. Jobs “showed that the real path to excellence was excellence — that you could do great things by, who would have imagined, being smart and having excellent taste and not ever settling for second best.”


Mr. Jobs castigated competitors, particularly Microsoft. Bill Gates’s company, which dwarfed Apple in power and wealth during the 1980s and 1990s, was not even described as second rate; it was deemed third-rate. Worse, it was not even trying.

“The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste,” Mr. Jobs said in a typical broadside. “They have absolutely no taste. And I don’t mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way, in the sense that they don’t think of original ideas, and they don’t bring much culture into their products.”


See Snapshot of Steve Jobs -->

(It never occurred to me before, but Keanu Reeves, "The One" in "The Matrix," bears an eerie physical resemblance to the Steve Jobs who drove me around Cupertino that long-ago afternoon in his new Mercedes, while challenging me to identify the familiar female voice singing "Happy Birthday, Leonid Brezhnev" on the car radio—I couldn't—and intimating that they were more than just friends.) [it was Joan Baez]

"This is orchard land," he said of the passing light-industrial landscape. "And now it's growing silicon."

Jobs boasted that the Apple II was even empowering the company's secretaries, or rather transforming them into something more than secretaries. "We got rid of our Selectric typewriters about four years ago and we said, 'Look, we're out preaching the office of the future; we're living in the office of the past.'

"So we gave everyone an Apple and we had classes after work and we told the secretaries, 'You're in a dead-end job. What we want to do is open up this job. So we're going to do away with the title secretary and we're going to make up another bulls--- title called Area Associate. We're going to pay you 25% more but you need to upgrade your skills level—not only to do word processing but financial modeling and things like that. And everyone who doesn't upgrade after six months we'll help you find a job at an old wave company.' And we had 99% upgrade.


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