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Steve Jobs Passes Away
post Oct 6 2011, 19:35
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I'm sure everybody know by know, but yesterday, after struggling with cancer for years, at the age of 56(!) Steve Jobs passed away.

He was the person that made the iPods ubiquitous, and with them, the AAC format.


I would surely miss him.


MAREO: http://www.webearce.com.ar
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post Oct 15 2011, 06:35
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I'll preface this post by saying that I have never owned a single Apple product in my life, aside from installing iTunes a couple times to try it out (and whatever I might get from our local orchard tongue.gif ), and I largely dislike Apple's business practices and the culture around their products.

That said, Steve Jobs was quite literally a cultural icon. The fact that you are reading this on a graphical user interface was due to either his work or his influence (i.e. his competitors). That could have been it for him, and his name faded into the background, not unlike his predecessor Dennis Ritchie, who also passed recently, known only for developing C and Unix, both things that have influenced programming languages and operating systems (including OSX), or his contemporary Steve Wozniak, for whom few can describe the work he's done since Apple and few can say that his work since then has been revolutionary.

When I started University over 13 years ago, a computer science student doing work on an Apple computer was considered strange at best and frequently looked down upon. Unix and Linux were the preferred choice, with Windows being a distant second. Apples were largely the domain of the humanities majors who thought that Windows was either too complex, didn't work well, or preferred the way the iMac looked (with its different colors). That changed with OSX, which was a direct Steve Jobs innovation, courtesy of his work with NeXT. That innovation was the start of a series of revolutions to different industries.

The iPod was mentioned before, but I don't think much appreciation has been given to it here. Before the iPod, the portable mp3 player was largely unimpressive. It was not unlike the current digital picture frame market these days. The iPod changed that industry culture so much that for many, the very word "iPod" is synonymous with portable mp3 player. To provide another example, the concept or technology of putting an mp3 into an RSS feed is called Podcasting, named after said mp3 player. Children and teenagers started asking for iPods for their birthday presents, something which was unheard of before for any computer gadget. It is so ubiquitous now that it's difficult to find an mp3 player that can compare to it. Steve Jobs gave the order for the iPod and Apple now essentially owns the portable music player market.

iTunes should be mentioned at this point as well, since they went hand-in-hand with the iPod and is another area of revolution. The idea of being able to buy mp3s (or any other digital music file) online was not new, but the idea skyrocketed with iTunes. They're the biggest player in an industry that barely existed 10 years ago.

The iPhone originally made people think that Steve Jobs had lost his mind for giving this order. Why would you want a phone on your mp3 player? And why does it look like a PDA? Again, before the iPhone, the closest equivalent were Palm devices used mostly by people who needed to keep notes, contacts, and sometimes email and documents on the go. The rise in popularity of the smartphone largely started with the iPhone. Now, it's difficult to go into mobile store and find non-smartphones. Earlier this evening, I threw out a piece of junkmail from my mobile provider that offered me a $100 credit if I traded in my regular cell phone for a smartphone. In short, Steve Jobs, by ordering Apple to make the iPhone, revolutionized the mobile industry.

Most recently, the iPad, when it came out, was sometimes referred to as the bigger version of the iPod touch. But those who remember tablet PCs prior to iPod, know that this is another market sector that barely existed before Apple, courtesy of Steve Jobs, stepped in.

Now Steve Jobs, as pointed out, wasn't exactly a saint and had his fair share of failures as well. There are plenty of horror stories from those who worked for him. Jobs denied paternity of his own daughter for years (though he later accepted her and even paid for her to go to Harvard). And from a business perspective, the Apple III, the Lisa, Pixar Image Computers, and NeXTCubes pretty much bombed in terms of sales (Pixar made up for it with their graphics division though).

I find it mildly amusing that people are criticizing Steve Jobs for his lack of philanthropy or the Foxconn factory conditions. The reason he is being talked about is that his work has had a direct influence on first world culture in such a way that it is difficult to imagine what it would be like without it. And that is a rare thing to say about any individual.
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Posts in this topic
- kwanbis   Steve Jobs Passes Away   Oct 6 2011, 19:35
- - seVen   Stay hungry, stay foolish... Goodbye, Steve.   Oct 6 2011, 19:49
- - mudlord   I don't see the big deal. some famous person d...   Oct 6 2011, 21:24
- - Northpack   Every day important and merited people die - most ...   Oct 6 2011, 21:36
- - pdq   Sure important people die all the time, but how ma...   Oct 6 2011, 21:56
- - Northpack   Steve Jobs was a manager. He lead a company that d...   Oct 6 2011, 22:27
- - Destroid   Agree with Northpack, the head-figure thing and th...   Oct 6 2011, 22:42
- - q-stankovic   I want to add one point to northpacks comment: be...   Oct 8 2011, 23:43
- - db1989   Yep, Apple were no different (absurd working condi...   Oct 10 2011, 20:06
- - greynol   Apple could have kept much of their production in ...   Oct 11 2011, 10:30
- - sthayashi   I'll preface this post by saying that I have n...   Oct 15 2011, 06:35
- - q-stankovic   QUOTE (sthayashi @ Oct 15 2011, 07:35) I ...   Oct 15 2011, 16:11
|- - sthayashi   QUOTE (q-stankovic @ Oct 15 2011, 11...   Oct 16 2011, 08:24
|- - greynol   QUOTE (sthayashi @ Oct 16 2011, 00:24) Al...   Oct 17 2011, 18:07
|- - sthayashi   Greynol, I never said or intended it to be a ...   Oct 18 2011, 05:32
- - greynol   I am being a discourteous and unkind asshole; so b...   Oct 18 2011, 20:05
- - IgorC   I won't be a guy who will talk bad about Steve...   Oct 23 2011, 19:49
- - kraut   QUOTE It's usually considered a courtesy and k...   Oct 25 2011, 08:46
- - polemon   It kinda kicked me in the guts, when I learned abo...   Oct 27 2011, 05:32

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