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back to article The life and times of Steven Paul Jobs, Part One

When sober, F. Scott Fitzgerald may have been devastatingly intelligent, but he got it dead wrong when he wrote "there are no second acts in American lives". Think Elvis, for example. Or lefty sinkerballer Tommy John of the eponymous surgery. Or, for that matter, Grover Cleveland, whose two acts as US president were separated by …

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Angel

He changed the world of computing.

Thinner, lighter, faster. Your devices moved the world into a new age of ubiquitous computing.

Wherever you are now, may your code always compile and your devices "just work."

RIP Steve.

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Angel

And

May those who imitate your software & products, continue to fail dismally

RIP Steve

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Can't you leave it alone even now? Everybody imitates everybody.

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Sorry, but I had to downvote that. Uncalled for, N2.

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Anonymous Coward

Never been an Apple guy...

But Steve's life is amazing. Watch "Pirates of Silicon Valley" for more insight, though take it with a grain of salt.

Thanks for a well written, well researched, insightful article.

Truly the end of an epoch with Steve's passing.

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Meh

Kind of a long article ...

for The Reg.

He was an American businessman. He hsad many of the attributes of Oracle's Ellison. Both could read the market.

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Anonymous Coward

My Nan used to tell me "if you've got nothing nice to say, say nothing". Sage advice, but I'm going to ignore it for now. We all know what a vitriolic little shit you can be, so please do the world a favour and keep it to yourself for a day or two, not out of respect for anyone but yourself. You really are a petty and small man.

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Anonymous Coward

I know I know

Im about to get blasted here but....

I cant say that I am sorry about this. I believe apple has done more hard to computing with Jobs at the helm than even Microsoft.

They have pissed off numerous people just to keep their untarnished image.

This is not the way to do things in business as I see it. They need to address the problems rather than sweep them under the rug. They need to not ban people from forums for posting about issues they are having with their hardware. etc etc

Although a death is sad I cant hope but wish with this having happened Apple will become more open with their devices and will someday become what they are meant to be, a company who is on equal ground with Microsoft so that we have choices in computers instead of being forced to chose based off what we want to do with a device.

Let the flaming commence.

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Anonymous Coward

enough said

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Anonymous Coward

Fuck off.

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"This is not the way to do things in business as I see it"...

Maybe, but I think the stock price would suggest otherwise.

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Anonymous Coward

Stock price

So you'd support "bankers" and their high stock prices (and business practices) then?

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"This is not the way to do things in business as I see it."

Making oodles of money, is not the way to do business?

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Gold badge

Name ten or so things you've done to change the world for the better?

It's very easy to be an armchair pundit and slate people, but the medium you are using to spew your negative comments (ie. the WWW) was developed on a NeXT computer, y'know the company Steve Jobs created when he left Apple.

Who knows, maybe the WWW would have been worse if Tim Berners-Lee had written it on another computer. Those who have programmed NeXT machines were always praising its ease of development.

Monopolies don't help any industry and the re-emergence of Apple has been good for the industry. Windows Vista and Windows 7 are heavily inspired by OSX.

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Never let facts get in the way of a good rant.

The funny thing is he did create it on something else.

Enquire, which was were he first "invented" hypertext (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ENQUIRE) was written on a Norsk Data mini-computer, a NORD-10 no less.

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I knew mine would be rejected.

The person nixing mine would do well to ask himself "why", rather than pointing me to the "why" page.

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Congratlations! Level Complete!

New High Score!

Get Ready for Next Level

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Headmaster

Er, whut?

Whatever one may think of Steve Jobs, his impact was immense, and he left this world far too early for someone with such drive.

On a different note entirely... "Tommy John of the eponymous surgery" - Tommy John surgery may well be something that baseball fans know about, but over on the eastern side of the Pond it's going to cause 'John Thomas' jokes...

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Megaphone

Not to be morbid or anything, but how long have you had this one ready?

And more importantly, can I proof the copies of Linus' and Bill's? Or even Ballmer's?!

Edited for being rejected:Seriously, it's perfectly acceptable to have had this written in advance, considering his health complications, you wouldn't be performing due diligence if you didn't. Doesn't mean I can't poke the angry bear from time to time. I would still love to have Ballmer's reg edited biopic though.

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Newspapers -- in so far as there still are newspapers -- have these things in readiness for a lot of well-known people, particularly those who are or have had health issues. It seems a bit morbid from the outside, but it makes a lot of sense. You give a more accurate, lengthy retrospective on someone, which is in fact a more respectful result.

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Indeed, as proved by the dozens of occasions where an obituary got published by accident when its subject was very much still alive.

It does allow for a much more complete obit though, which is why it's always been done this way.

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Pint

Nothing personal against the guy, he was a stunningly good businessman who knew how to hire the best people to design things to offer people, that people didn't even know they needed, that's a great talent.

Rather tragic end to a stunning career in technology.

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Angel

Polarising, maybe.

But undeniably one of the world's greatest inspirational men. Thank you Steve.

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Silver badge

Too soon

We didnt have to agree with him or like what he stood for but without doubt he was worthy of admiration.

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Anonymous Coward

He was a true visionary who in his work always made quality his first priority, something from which so many in the tech. world can and should learn. rip.

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Second Acts

Fitzgerald got it right: There are no second acts in American lives because they jump straight from the first to the third act. It's a theatrical metaphor.

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Anonymous Coward

Excellent.

RIP Steve.

No matter what my personal opinion of your methods or your company, you were a hell of a businessman to be able to drive the wreckage of Apple to become what it is today..

Looking forward to part 2.

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Pint

You can hate Apple and there business practices all you want, but remember this, without the drive of Steve Jobs in the last 10 years we wouldn't have things as good as we do now. Apple products have forced other companies to up their game and that's a good thing for everyone.

RIP Steve :(

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Angel

Agreed, imagine if it wasn't for Steve, we may all still be using feature phones with 12mpx cameras and triple led flashes and innovation would have been stifled.

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Happy

We've up'ed our game...

...now up yours!

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samsung will be gutted

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On the plus side...

...his death is a boon for tech journalists who had set aside thousands of column inches which were to be devoted to the iPhone 5.

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Sad, Steve.

He upped the bar for all the consumer products we enjoy today. (eg. Mp3 players , phones, Pods, Pads et al)

Even The Register will be a duller place, flamers have no whipping boy and punching bag ( No Sarcasm intended) .

Thanks for everything, Steve. Will miss ya! :(

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FAIL

He wasn't a stunningly good businessman.

My opinion of him completely changed after reading this article. He used the fact that he had money and his Pixar employees didn't to take their shares from them. That's what made him rich.

The type of man who would make Herman Cain proud.

For those who missed it. Herman Cain said if you are unemployed and not rich it is your fault.

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Anonymous Coward

No he didn't, stop being a nit.

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Pint

Work is the best antidote to sorrow

"Work is the best antidote to sorrow" suggested Sherlock Holmes to a shocked Watson upon his reappearance in London in the story "The Adventure of the Empty House".

This morning I feel creative and it's time to make something insanely great.

How about you?

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Alien

Have a smooth journey

Opened up my Google home page and saw his name and dates, from - to. My thoughts:

1) Fuck :-(

2) Flash on the ipad :-)

3) That was cheap, even for me :-(

4) Wonder if he transferred his consciousness to that server farm he built.

The only paper carrying his picture was The Guardian - classy.

Wherever you're bound Mr Jobs (assuming an afterlife), may you be happy - you made the world a more interesting place.

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Thumb Up

Superb Article

Looking forward to part 2. I'm not an apple fanboi, in fact quite the opposite, I dislike hate them and their products, and their closed approach, but I am enjoying a well researched and well written article as to how they (Apple) achieved so much in so many markets - Apple laptops define "cool" for so many (so many non tech ppl I might emphasise) and they really did define the mp3 player and "pad" products. (Remember the "it will never catch on" threads when iPad was revealed?) I want to hear how these products were born and became what they are today. Thanks!

I am also interested in the "effective CEO" phenomenon. Do CEOs deserve their high salaries? Steve seems to be a case where the answer is "yes". Even in a company with so many employees, he seems to have made a genuine difference. In most companies I have worked in you would never notice a CEO change at the ground / engineering levels (where I work).

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"No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame."

I used that the other day when a crap-wagon-driving friend claimed he wouldn't buy the car we are considering because he didn't see the point of having something that can actually accelerate.

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RIP

I don't own any Apple tech but you can't deny Steve Jobs changed the perception of technology vs consumerism and brought it to a much wider audience.

Some might dislike him/his philosophy/Apple on a number of levels, including myself, but no one can deny he was instrumental in a lot of positive developments that steered the tech world to where it is today.

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A fully tricked-out Apple II – every geek's object of lust

Indeed it was.

I was but a young whippersnapper when my school received its one and only Apple ][ computer way back in 1980 and what a time of wonder it was.

We used to book time on "the computer" in 10 minute lots, most of which were spent copying each others disks.

Apple Panic (aka Lode Runner) , Escape From Castle Wolfenstein (Ach Leiben, your caught!"), Wizardry and Blitzkreig! were favourites that I remember to this day.

I had a disk box that I built out of wood with my own hands that would hold the handful of 5.25 inch single sided floppies that I could afford to buy.

Joyous was the day when we discovered that the judicious application of a boxcutter knife enabled us to double our "storage capacity" x2 by cutting out the write enable notch allowing the flip side of the diskette to be used.

Learning how to write programs in BASIC and later 6502 "machine code".

PEEKS and POKES.

In those days computers were exciting. They were a new frontier. It was like riding a wave. With a computer *anything* was possible.

These days it is all about lock down and lock in.

Computer users are something to be controlled and harvested for personal information.

Gone are the exciting days of finding a new program and the wonder of what can be achieved.

Ditching Windows (which has long been a tool for corporates intent on user control) for the "wild west" of Linux (and the Internet) has bought some of that innocent wonder of old back but the truth be told we will never see those halcyon days again.

I'm just grateful that I had some small involvement in the wonder of those times

I pity the kids of today. Bought up on Windows and WGA not to mention iOS and the "walled garden".

The tech is much more impressive these days, but it is also much more cold and sterile.

God I feel old.

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Boffin

Just one thing.

Box cutter? We used a hole punch ;-)

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Gimp

re: A fully tricked-out Apple II – every geek's object of lust

Absolutely agree with all of this.

My days with Apple ][+ were the best. I remember opening up the disk drive case to tweak the drive speed to beat copy protection schemes; writing assembly code called from a basic loop for searching disks for splash-screen sectors, loading them up in order, editing the graphic with beagle bros and writing them back; hooking the reset button to display fancy graphics. Ahhh.

Perhaps some of the "walled garden" issues and the complete focus on the consumer rather than business market were/are really more about isolating the apple environment and preventing things becoming beholden to outside commercial interests, allowing Steve to do new things he found fun, rather than worrying about backward compatibility of some database app. Perhaps the apparent lack of care for customers is about the focus on "doing fun, cool stuff," and assuming someone somewhere will like it enough to pay for it. Finding something you love doing and never working a single day, and all that.

Having watched the NeXTStep demo, I'm struck by the fact that functionality-wise, we really have not progressed much with integration. I'm sad that mostly we have prettier window-managers and more complex document formatting (for all the good it does us) but not much more to show for the massive increase in power and resources at our disposal. Mostly, it's been eaten up by abstraction and incompetent coding. Whatever you think of the current Apple regime, at least they do try to "bring to the masses" the coolest stuff they can think of, whether or not they actually invented it.

Linux and even OSX going out against the windows monoculture has provided a little diversion but now there is little chance for radical change. It is no longer about better tech, its about the size of your patent portfolio (defensive or otherwise), its about the cost of managing change, its about the fear of the pagination being wrong if a document was created in OOo and exported to Word format rather than created in Word.

Castle Wolfenstein... how I remember the adrenalin pump of rushing to stab a guard before he turned and saw me, then whipping out a pistol and shooting the other guard as he raced towards the alarm, or getting the password wrong twice in a row. Black-ops my have better graphics but there's no substitute for game-play. The hours I spent playing Falcon, Space War, Karateka, Swashbuckler, Conan, Aztec, Bards Tale, Choplifter...

Let's hope the *pad tech, ARM and arduino-type systems push people to consider what can be done with less, so that we can get some interest back. Perhaps embedded is the last space where ecosystem is not the over-riding factor of importance.

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Anonymous Coward

SJ RIP

RIP SJ - thank you for the great gadgets - wherever you are may you find the peace and health you could not find here on earth

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I'm posting here 'cos the other article's comments are WAY TOO long already!

The arguments can rage back and forth about SJ and Apples' influence on the world, but for Pixart alone he deserves so much gratitude: some of the best (childrens?) films ever made, and entertainment to countless millions the world over! Thanks from me, and my kids, Steve ;-)

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iDied.

Pat pend.

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Brilliant!

See title.

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Coat

Some of my thoughts...no order implied

Apple][, Lisa...wow, neat ad, Macintosh, Mac Plus...wow, 10MB HD brick-- scsi forever, System 7 sucks less, Think...LightSpeed!..wow!, Mac II, MPW, *COLOR*, Codewarrior, MacApp, ..., *struggle*, NeXt cube, Obj-C {bleech} long live Pascal!, iMac - Yum, PIXAR...wow!,...Newton (stylus)...Macbook Air...wow, iMac TNG 'all-in-one' (again) redux...iPod...wow,..."Cars" DVDs/Blurays for every under 6yr male I know-- good grief!, iOS/iTouch...WWDC closer: "Welcome to the party Microsoft...we're leaving".

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Trollface

A shit to his own?

"Jobs took credit for the design and snookered Wozniak out of his rightful share of the pay and bonus that Jobs was given for "his" work."

What a mate!

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