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Steven Paul Jobs – February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011


  1. JuliaM says:

    An announcement I’ve been expecting for a while, I have to say…

  2. Ian B says:

    Apparently he’s going to be buried in a small white plastic box.

  3. APL says:

    Ian B: “small white plastic box.”


    That would be the icoffin?

  4. NickM says:

    Could be worse. If he’d abort, retry, failed about 12 years ago he’d be buried in a semi-translucent tangerine eCoffin. Anyway, that’s the black polo-neck trade of America fucked.

    Seriously though we shouldn’t take the piss. The only reason I have taken the piss out of Apple in general is their long history of producing for want of a better word bizarrely flawed products. Recall the old Apple standard keyboard with weirdly positioned cursor keys to “look neat”. I wouldn’t mind so much if it wasn’t for their moments of brilliance. And the greatest of those was the Powerbook which I think pretty much defined the laptop as we know it. But Jobs’ arguably greatest achievement was taking a niche computer-maker and turning it into a consumer electronics behemoth. Imagine trying the same with Silicon Graphics.

    But the greatest testimony to Jobs and Apple is the copy-catting. Little things like putting an “e” (now an “i”) in front of the name of anything. Even those godawful eMacs were copied. As were trackpads. Admittedly MacBook trackpads are pretty good but give me a “tit” between GBH anytime.

    So joking about iCoffins aside it’s a sad day.

  5. Ian B says:

    The Daily Telegraph mac-obsessed tech department have got a live blog running. A live rolling news feed, for a death? I can only presume they’re going to keep it running for three days, just in case he rises again.

  6. Lynne says:

    Watch out for the commemorative iPad and iPod. They’ll be launched in a flurry of publicity using a sympathy marketing pitch Jobs would no doubt appreciate.

    On a more personal level, it’s sad to see him struck down at such an early age.

  7. PeterT says:

    While people laugh at the ‘cult of Steve’, its refreshing that somebody who actually has contributed to the world is getting (has got) this level of attention. This level of worship is usually reserved for pop stars and politicians; neither of which deserve it, especially the those in the latter category.

  8. NickM says:

    Amen to that.

    Yes about the age.

  9. Sam Duncan says:

    Well, I guess my cynicism about the timing of his retirement announcement was misplaced. I never like being wrong, but I really don’t like being wrong about that. 56 is no age to die.

    I never liked his products – the only Apple thing I’ve ever owned is a Mac IIx ROM*, salvaged from a skip so I could have a clear conscience about running Shapeshifter on my Amiga (hated the Mac OS, but it was the only way to get Netscape); it’s hanging on a hook screwed into my desk as I type – or the cult that sprang up around them, but there’s no doubt they were his: he was intimately involved with them in a way that few CEOs are, and you have to admire that.

    He greatly added to what used to be known as the gaeity of Nations, and he’ll be missed. Dammit, even by me.

    *I rather like the fact that it’s a PCB, with no brushed chrome or blue plastic. And it has a whacking great SAMSUNG logo on the back.

  10. Sam Duncan says:

    Over at Samizdata, Michael Jennings reminds us that most of his wealth actually came from Pixar. Easy to forget, and I did. Even if Apple had never existed, Pixar is a hell of a legacy.

  11. Kendall says:

    Even if he wasn’t a true innovator, Jobs definitely deserves credit (or maybe blame in some cases) as a populariser of new ideas and technologies. Apple may not have invented the mouse, GUI, clamshell laptops, MP3 players, trackpads, or much of anything else, but their products were usually the first time people encountered those ideas, and definitely did a lot to make them mainstream.

    NeXT definitely deserves a mention when discussing his legacy, and not just as a rare example of Jobs failing. The influence of NeXTSTEP/OpenStep on other software was far greater than the poor sales and obscurity might lead you to believe.

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