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Saw a circuit board and envisioned a company; released the first Apple Computer.

Packaged a newer board with integrated keyboard and monitor, launched an industry.

Created the NeXT computer which was respected by industry but a commercial failure. A decade later it would form the basis of a new Macintosh operating system, and help Tim Berners-Lee develop the World Wide Web.

Turned Pixar, a small hardware animation company into one of the most successful motion picture studios in the world.

Singlehandedly tolled the death knell for floppy disks and later, CD's.

Launched one of the most innovative and successful retail chains in America, and now the world.

Took the languishing GUI interface from Xerox PARC and popularized it with the launch of the original Macintosh.

Created the first successful online music store and convinced cantankerous music executives at all major companies to agree to a common pricing scheme.

Recognized the utility of "the mouse" and incorporated it into the (Lisa, then the) original Macintosh, rendering arcane command lines obsolete.

Oversaw the design and launch of the most successful music player in history. Then enlarged and improved the idea with the iPod Touch.

Killed Apple clones, allowing for standardization and control of everything in the product line.

Championed wireless web surfing with the iBook.

In a time of duress created a partnership with Microsoft which assured continued software development and a direct investment of millions of dollars in Apple.

Upended the cell phone market with a radical new design, the iPhone.

Created a whole new product category between laptop and smartphone with the iPad.

Had a lifelong fascination with calligraphy and design, leading to the spartan look of Macintosh computers themselves, and the proliferation of fonts and design choices in all computers.

Popularized the use of laser printers with their ability to render artistic creations and page layouts in gradations previously available only with brush and pen.

Took the word "app" from a little used abbreviation to a worldwide industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

Oversaw the creation of the iconic "1984" Macintosh commercial, the "Think Different" campaign, and the long running "I'm A Mac" series of television spots.

Enraged Adobe and began the decline of flash as a necessary component of web design.

Popularized the use of color monitors long before other PC manufacturers.

Launched the all-in-one multicolored iMac computers. Others followed and tried to break out of beige box syndrome, but failed.

Oversaw the rise of Apple, Inc. from near death to - briefly - the most valuable corporation in the world.

----------------------------

When my wife called down the stairs and said that a TV bulletin had just announced that Steve Jobs had died, I felt like someone had punched me in the gut.

I can't explain why, but perhaps these are some of the reasons why. He had failures, to be sure, but if you don't swing at a pitch, you can't ever hit the ball, and he had hit after hit, and home run after home run. He was Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison all over again. You don't generally get more than one of those in your lifetime.

Thank you, Steve, for changing my life.
 
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"Singlehandedly tolled the death knell for floppy disks and later, CD's"

I'd say the Napster kid (Fanning) helped the later and the later helped kill the former (along with flash memory's help) ;-)

Whoops - I said I wouldn't read the tribute tomes being unleashed already let alone debate their content.
B
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. He was Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison all over again."


very good post...encompassing a great innovators life of so much of what we take for granted now..truly
right now...in some little garage; basement; small office space...is the next steve jobs...with a great imagination...single minded of purpose...a large brain...and a powerful will to achieve....when will we learn of this hidden gem?..and what he's dreaming up?..
who knows?

but one thing is for sure...he or she is out there..someplace..working 18 hours a day...7 days a week...and barnstorming or brainstroming a vast sea change of ideas to come


might not be the time now..but wondering how the stock will react to this inevitable news tonight????

how low will it be at the open?>?
will it bounce right off the lows again?

gnite all
a great post..from major TMF contributer

tr
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He changed IT from dreary to delightful.

He saw that information tech was too important to just leave to information technologists. It had to be made into a tool for Everyman.
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You know you want to say nice things about Steve Jobs, but you still have an obligation to avoid understating the contributions of others.

>> help Tim Berners-Lee develop the World Wide Web. <<

Yes, Berners-Lee coded the Web 0.1 on a NeXT. But there's no reason it couldn't have been a SparcStation 1.

>> Turned Pixar, a small hardware animation company into one of the most successful motion picture studios in the world. <<

Jobs brought much needed financial stability, but give John Lasseter his due credit.

>> Singlehandedly tolled the death knell for floppy disks and later, CD's. <<

No, he didn't.

>> Took the languishing GUI interface from Xerox PARC <<
>> Recognized the utility of "the mouse" and incorporated it into the (Lisa <<

He stole it. Good artists copy; great artists steal.
All the key tech was invested by Xerox PARC.

>> Championed wireless web surfing with the iBook. <<

WiFi made web surfing wireless.

>> Had a lifelong fascination with calligraphy and design, leading to ... the proliferation of fonts and design choices in all computers. <<

Raster displays, bitblock GUIs and laser printers were the enabling tech.
Xerox didn't invent the raster, but they did the rest.
The Xerox Star had fancy fonts before the Lisa.
PARC alums founded Adobe and invented PostScript.
Donald Knuth of Stanford created TeX.

>> Popularized the use of color monitors long before other PC manufacturers. <<

False. The Color Mac came years later.

>> Popularized the use of laser printers <<

In general, false.
You didn't need a GUI to benefit from a laser printer.
Plenty of WordStar users had laser printers.
But did popularized the use of PostScript in laser printers.

KB
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KodiakBear says

>>Took the languishing GUI interface from Xerox PARC <<
>> Recognized the utility of "the mouse" and incorporated it into the (Lisa <<

He stole it. Good artists copy; great artists steal.
All the key tech was invested by Xerox PARC.

Nobody stole anything.

I repeat:

Nobody stole anything.

I worked at Xerox PARC when they were developing the prototype GUI for Smalltalk on the Alto computer. Then I worked for Apple while they were adopting the elements of the GUI. It was an amicable agreement initiated by people at Xerox. Some money changed hands, not a lot, just enough to make it all kosher.

Nobody stole anything.

I really hate it when idiots keep repeating this idiotic meme. Everyone that has made even a slight attempt to find out what happened knows that nobody stole anything.

(By the way, Microsoft didn't steal it from Apple, either.)
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"Nobody stole anything."

Point taken.
"Stole" implies wrong doing.

KB
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"Nobody stole anything."
"It was an amicable agreement initiated by people at Xerox. Some money changed hands, not a lot, just enough to make it all kosher."

Xerox claimed otherwise in their 1989 suit against Apple.
But since the defendants won dismissals in both Xerox v. Apple and Apple v. Microsoft, you're right "Nobody stole anything."

KB


http://www.nytimes.com/1989/12/15/business/company-news-xero...

http://www.nytimes.com/1990/03/24/business/most-of-xerox-s-s...
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It's possible that Xerox lost the Apple suit because software wasn't considered patentable in 1980-1983.
It was years later when the courts ruled that it was.

I haven't found anything on the web supporting your claim that Apple licenses the technology from Xerox at the time.
If they did, why would the file the 1989 suit?

KB
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My position is that Apple expropriated the concept of the GUI from Xerox w/o compensation,
but broke no laws in doing so since copyright only covered the source code not the concepts contained there in.

If crassfool disagrees (and calls me a jerk), fine.

KB
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Yes, Berners-Lee coded the Web 0.1 on a NeXT. But there's no reason it couldn't have been a SparcStation 1.

Sure. And IBM could have used a different OS than MS-DOS, but that's not how it happened.

Jobs brought much needed financial stability, but give John Lasseter his due credit.

John Lasseter was an employee. Jobs owned the place. It does not diminish Lesseter at all to say that if the boss had decided they were in the hardware business (as George Lucas thought they were when he owned them,) then you would never have heard of John Lasseter.

No, he didn't.

I didn't say he singlehandedly killed floppy disks and CD's. I said he tolled their end. He took them out of Apple machines while every other manufacturer was still shoveling them inside. At the time these decisions, like the one on Flash, were controversial. In retrospect they seem prescient.

He stole it. Good artists copy; great artists steal.

He didn't "steal" GUI. Xerox was given the right to buy $1,000,000 worth of pre-IPO Apple stock. That is, by definition, "valuable consideration."

In return for the right to buy US$1,000,000 of pre-IPO stock, Xerox granted Apple Computer three days access to the PARC facilities.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Apple_Inc.

WiFi made web surfing wireless.

Sigh. How many laptops had wifi when the MacBook debuted it? Who engineered it into such a small package? Here, watch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFngngjy4fk

Raster displays, bitblock GUIs and laser printers were the enabling tech.
Xerox didn't invent the raster, but they did the rest.
The Xerox Star had fancy fonts before the Lisa.
PARC alums founded Adobe and invented PostScript.
Donald Knuth of Stanford created TeX.


And "interchangeable parts" and "assembly line production" actually began in the 18th century with gun and musket manufacture in France, but Henry Ford is given credit for it because he brought it to the masses and created a design which all others followed.

In general, false.
You didn't need a GUI to benefit from a laser printer.
Plenty of WordStar users had laser printers.
But did popularized the use of PostScript in laser printers.


Ditto. I didn't say "he invented" all those things. He popularized them. Be brought them to the masses. His company designed innovative products which were snapped up, and which competitors copied widely. Your attempt at pedantry falls flat.

How sad for you.
 
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"I won't call you a jerk. I'll just call you a liar. You know better." & "You position is fallacious"

Since a couple of people are trying to school KB on history and are getting personal over it - how about we try keep it real here?
Yes, reportedly Xerox did trade visits for pre IPO Apple stock purchase right- but what exactly did that give license to? If you don't know and aren't sharing or citing court transcripts then you don't get school or insult anyone. I dunno and that detail is often left out - some would assume it meant free license to any and all IP they saw at PARC but IMO this hasn't been reported and would make little sense anyway. That it was reported "you're giving away" trade secrets with a tour or demos isn't the same as saying you've licensed them. That Xerox claimed Apple never even cited PARC's work as prior art in patents Apple was using to sue & control license over others but that got no play in court. Court? Yes it IS also fact that Xerox DID sue Apple for (and others)- quite after that pre IPO stock trade - presumably for the reasons filed & as reported. It is FACT that Xerox claimed Apple stole IP (or in Xerox's specific words "taken substantial portions of the Star and claimed them as their own"). That all of Xerox's case was thrown out by the judge and/or they settled it out of court doesn't negate that history of Xerox claiming to the court that they were wronged or that there are both sides to this often rehashed rarely balanced discussion.

And that it was Steve Jobs who repeated the mantra "Good artists copy great artists steal" means to repeat THAT as a quote should not be taken as any kind of personal assault to his memory. Not when we can hear his use it in that context:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW0DUg63lqU&NR=1
Though interestingly even in YouTube someone said Jobs was misinterpreting the context Picasso was using...or T.S. Eliot or whoever (like with the product dev in question there was a lot of paraphrasing in these attributed and supposed quotes).
B
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I didn't expect this series of threads to get to this point, but my memory should have kicked in.

No one individual, nor company, can realistically claim to have completely done this or that. There exists an incredibly large pool of talent in this generation, and the generations that preceded them. Alas, it's the person or company that puts it all together, into a cohesive framework that is marketable, and profitable. Sometimes, technologies that are great, are also given away for the common good. This happens a lot in the world of technology. But, I digress.

Jobs meant a lot of things to a lot of people. But even amongst those that didn't like him, one thing generally comes up, RESPECT. He's earned that. I can't say the same for many of today's companies or leaders. There are some truly great, inspiration people nowadays, but I can't quite think of someone that puts it all in one package the way Jobs did. It wasn't just products, stock performance, or material whatever. He was a motivational speaker, and someone that chose words so carefully, he commanded everyone's attention. Nobody's perfect, but many times, these imperfections is what brings out the greatness.

It was this clip that has always stood out to me. A great explanation of what's different, and what Pride is, not to mention class.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOgOP_aqqtg

KB, you should keep this one handy ;)

Compared to the heart and soul aspect that Jobs strived to create, most other companies are shallow pits of emptiness. Soulless followers, many of which produce copies of Apple products, which still remain soulless and tasteless upon delivery. Not to crucify an entire industry and the legions of workers within them, but after listening to these mundane arguments for 20 plus years, I just reflect from time to time on where we are today. What Jobs said is still very true, and is true of many more than one company.

It's nice to see that in 2011, Apple didn't get mad, they got even. Maybe that isn't a spoken term around the campus, but I can't help believe that it is in some circles. I still consider Apple to be the underdog, and probably always will. I hope that they keep pouring it on, and producing insanely great products.

RIP Steve Jobs. You'll always be the one we remember. Thanks.
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>> How sad for you. <<

You're the one who seems to think Jobs' monumental achievements need embellishment.

What Jobs did in the last 15 years of his life is orders of magnitude more significant than what came before.
Taking Apple from the edge of the abyss to World domination is such an extraordinary achievement, everything else is small in comparison.
That's why we're talking about him.

KB
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"I still consider Apple to be the underdog, and probably always will."

I use to...but Apple is no longer just a computer company (with %x market share) and in computing now and esp. in other markets their success and related market cap makes them overdogs. They have, for example, buying power leverage that can leave the rest of the consumer electronics market, and especially startups, scrounging for parts or assembly line time in Asia (I have to deal with helping my customers through the former - that combined with recession effects is tough). You can consider them what you want but the reality might be so different as to be stunning and in the wake of that there will be fewer companies trying or able to compete. It's a huge shift and I find it funny that the company with the leverage could always be considered an underdog just because they had been one historically or in some new market they were in short time to dominate.

Ok, time for this dog to get back to more working less musings.
B
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Point taken, and yes, I facetiously consider them an underdog, if only in spirit;) Their buying power leverage was planned and premeditated, which I respect. While others were busy pushing "gadgets", or just making the same old same old, things were going on at Cupertino that won over customers, not shallow tech writers or hollow board rooms. They zigged and zagged while others marked a straight line course.

Apple saw the possibilities, and Jobs was inspired to take advantage of them. It's nice to see companies like Google and Amazon mark their own course, the latter I have always had exceptional respect for. It's going to be a competitive market for a long time now, and many are wondering if that other company from Redmond can get it going to compete in those markets. Apple is certainly not on the Yellowbrick Road, there will be bumps and roadblocks.

But at least one company, so far, has taste and compelling products across a wide swath of markets. Size is not the ultimate reason for their success, as many of their crushed competitors still don't realize.
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I think the folks a 37signals said it best:

http://37signals.com/svn/posts/3021-steve-jobs-changed

He changed computers.
He changed software.
He changed design.
He changed publishing.
He changed film.
He changed music.
He changed advertising.
He changed retail.
He changed business.

He changed beige.

He changed expectations.
He changed our minds.

He changed them.
He changed us.
He changed you.

“Don’t be sad because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

Now what are you going to change?
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Good follow up Steve.
B
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Thanks for that Ken, a very nice summary.


and B, always respected your discussions, we always manage to hit every inch around the circle of these discussions.

Without Jobs, none of these discussions would have much of a following. All we can do is appreciate his contributions, and his legacy.

I can think of no better way to say it than what Ken linked.

“Don’t be sad because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss
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You're the one who seems to think Jobs' monumental achievements need embellishment.

How is it "embellishment" to list what he did when he was at the company? Actual history is now "embellishment"???

He didn't do one great thing, or two great things: he had notable, industry changing success after success; he saw around corners when he discontinued popular peripherals that others were including, he turned Pixar upside down, then championed (and almost went broke supporting) Toy Story for four years of development. Anyone remember the previous successful computer animated movie? Oh right, there wasn't one.

No one individual, nor company, can realistically claim to have completely done this or that.

Of course. Henry Ford didn't turn every screw on the assembly line, Thomas Edison had a room full of engineers at his "invention factory", and I'm pretty sure Walt Disney didn't ink the cells for the Cinderella movie either, but they get the credit, because without them, it wouldn't have happened that way.

Certainly somebody else would have come up with the assembly line, another drawing house would have made animated movies, and somebody, somewhere would have come up with the lightbulb, the phonograph and the rest. But the names we remember are Ford, Edison, Disney, and, I suspect for a century going forward, Jobs.

Jobs was widely known as a micromanager. It's inconceivable that these things happened while he was at the company, but that he didn't have a very big hand in them, either personally championing them or at the very least allowing them to pass his famous tests of rigor. Even the advertising campaigns, likely not developed by him, were assuredly approved by him. That they are iconic and memorable, as thousands of others are not, speaks to something. (Quick, name the iconic Nissan series. Pipe up with the great Microsoft ad you remember. Tell everyone about the great Kraft foods spot you saw last week.)

[A few things happened during his time not at the company which I didn't include, such as the development of the Newton, the first hand-held PDA, and the first digital camera that worked with a PC, the Kodak Quicktake. In fact, it was Jobs who discontinued the association with Kodak shortly after returning. Right? Wrong? I have no idea. Didn't seem to matter, did it? Sculley took the Newton to outside developers because he didn't think Apple had the expertise to design and manufacture it themself. Could such a thing have happened with Jobs? No. What doomed the Newton? I think it's pretty obvious.]

In an era where the word "Genius" is bandied about for every living room designer on some forgettable cable show, Jobs was, and he did it in so many fields it's hard to put your arms around it all: music, video, animation, technology, software, hardware, marketing, design, personal computing and more. Whew! I don't think it's possible to "embellish" that record, it's as bellished as it could possibly be without words from us mere mortals.
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>> Actual history is now "embellishment"??? <<

"When you find yourself in pi$$ing match, it's important to get out of it right away." -Randy Pausch

While I have issues with your recollection of Jobs' exact role in personal computing history, they're too unimprtant to pursue farther.

KB
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"he saw around corners when he discontinued popular peripherals that others were including,"

To be fair to reality that's a helluva lot easier to do when your user base is relatively small and when you're absolutely trying to make a design statement, some would say minimalist, with each new product release ("think different" target etc)
<return to tomes>
B
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"Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, on the other hand invented things that changed peoples lives. Steve Jobs did that too."


You don't have to invent anything to change people's lives. It's only one way to do it.
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“Don’t be sad because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

Thanks for the smile.

PF
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