back to article On the seventh anniversary of Steve Jobs' death, we give you 7 times he served humanity and acted as an example to others

Seven years ago on this day, Steve Jobs, the cofounder of Apple and a man held up as one of the most remarkable innovators of modern times, died at his home in Silicon Valley, aged 56. To commemorate the day, this morning Apple CEO Tim Cook posted a picture of Jobs in his prime with the simple message: "Steve showed me – and …

  1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    if he wants to eat, one of twenty servants immediately brings him what he would like, and if he thinks about his favorite song, it starts playing

    Perhaps it's just me, but this sounds agonizingly awful. Every inclination immediately satisfied without effort? What a dreary and unrewarding existence that would be.

    Of course, it's also completely incommensurate with the notion of nirvana, so the idiot that said it (in the article OP linked to) is obviously a cheap charlatan who's just peddling bullshit for attention. Still, if that's what the afterlife is like, I don't want any.

  2. Bibbit

    Bang on!

    Nice article.

  3. Steve Button

    "oh boy"

    There goes your ticket to the press events, just when they were thinking of letting you back in. Really Reg, this was quite beyond your normal level of snark. And totally true.

    On the other hand, the company did make many amazing things under his leadership and has made nothing revolutionary since. They are still living off Steve's legacy, and aren't brave enough to bring out even one truly new thing (which might cannibalise their existing business).

    Yes, he was a total arsehole but he did bring us the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone and Toy Story. Not on his own, but none of these things would have happened without him.

    Still, good article and it needs to be said.

  4. Waseem Alkurdi
    Happy

    Re: "oh boy"

    Shows you that El Reg really sticks to their motto, "Biting the hand that feeds IT", doesn't it?

    But a question is to be asked:

    Do his material contributions "cancel out" his moral attitude (or rather, the lack of it)?

    Or to give an inflated example that shows the dilemma more, let's say Nikola Tesla was in jail for a bunch of serious crimes. Is he entitled to an honorable mention post-mortem for his work, regardless of his "dark side"?

    but none of these things would have happened without him.

    It could be argued with equal facility that another genius might've come along and invented these same things, just in a different fashion.

    Phones might've still retained buttons BlackBerry-style (and Android would've continued as planned originally, an OS for BlackBerry clones), or Microsoft could've possibly introduced Windows Mobile to the consumer market.

    Or Steve Wozniak might've invented the Mac et al on his own.

  5. VinceH Silver badge

    Re: "oh boy"

    "or Microsoft could've possibly introduced Windows Mobile to the consumer market."

    They already had done IIRC.

  6. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Re: "oh boy"

    On the other hand, the company did make many amazing things under his leadership

    Ah, yes, amazing items, shame a lot of them were the tech equivalent of one of those mousetrap stick of gum tricks.

    I often thought about buying an Ipod, I was rather impressed by my brothers, until I saw itunes in action, that is.

  7. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Re: "oh boy"

    Shows you that El Reg really sticks to their motto, "Biting the hand that feeds IT", doesn't it?

    I thought the fruity ones refused to go near the Vulture Pond at feeding time these days?

    Which, of course doesn't stop them taking a bite out of apple now and again.

    And if some think attacking the (perhaps selective) memory of the late apple head honcho is in poor taste, remember Vultures are Carrion eaters.

  8. The Dogs Meevonks

    Re: "oh boy"

    "It could be argued with equal facility that another genius might've come along and invented these same things, just in a different fashion."

    You mean those people that invented things and brought them to market 'before' apple 'claimed to have invented' them?

    Like the first mp3 player in 1997... 4yrs before the ipod... or the first touch screen phones...some 4-5yrs before the iphone.

    Apple 'invented' very little... they stole ideas with impunity and marketed them in such a way that people 'believe' they invented them... and then he cries foul when others release similar stolen ideas. Which makes me think... did he actually believe his own bullshit?

    Steve Jobs wasn't a genius 'inventor, designer' or anything else... although... He was a genius at marketing bullshit and convincing people to follow him.

    I know the fanbois are out in force on this article and down voting to oblivion anyone who dares to criticise their 'idol'.

    So by all means go at it, but just know that it doesn't make you right, it just proves that you aren't capable of accepting criticism of a very flawed man who did more shitty things than good, who treated his own flesh and blood worse than the current US president does... because when you can say Trump behaves better than Jobs... WTF has this world come too.

  9. LDS Silver badge

    Do his material contributions "cancel out" his moral attitude

    History is full of bad people who in one way or the other had great ideas or made great products.

    Still, we have to be able to separate them - in no way they can become "models" to be adored. Because history is also full of good people who did the same, so being an a*****e is not really required.

  10. Chronos Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Re: "oh boy"

    He was a genius at marketing bullshit and convincing people to follow him.

    I wish I could up-vote you more than once for this. Woz is the engineer¹. Ive is the designer. Jobs was the sales droid. It just happened to be a particularly persuasive sales droid with a built-in reality distortion field generator and zero scruples. Cook isn't quite the salesman Jobs was but all the hard, ground-breaking work has already been done. All Cook has to do now is whisper "new iPhone" to himself in an empty bar somewhere and the free marketing comes piling in.

    ¹ Actually, Woz is an über-geek, despite his Masonic connections. The epitome of non-greedy techie nice bloke with roots in the early phreaking and hacker culture and the naivete that usually accompanies those traits. Many of us can relate.

  11. Stork Bronze badge

    Re: "oh boy"

    No, Apple did not invent that much. But they implemented in a way that made other's inventions useful, e.g. dtp and an mp3 player that people would buy, with huge capacity for the time.

    And I doubt it would have happened without a visionary behind.

    He was also a certified @rsehole, no doubt.

  12. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Re: "oh boy"

    "Steve Jobs wasn't a genius 'inventor, designer' or anything else... although... He was a genius at marketing bullshit and convincing people to follow him."

    I'd not go quite that far. Genius inventor? Probably not. Genius designer? Maybe. Marketing genius? Definitely.

    He was very, very good at re-developing and re-packaging others inventions in a vastly improved way. I'm no fanboi and have never actually owned any Apple products, but on the whole, they look good and work well and are usually better than the originals incarnations or others current competition if you can stomach the price.

    Yes, tablets, mp3 players and smartphones all existed before Apples products came along, but Jobs and Apple improved them considerably. There doesn't appear to have been anything new out of Apple for a many years though. Just step changes and incremental improvements. (note that I differentiated there. Not all changes are improvements.)

  13. AJ MacLeod

    Re: "oh boy" @John Brown (no body)

    "Yes, tablets, mp3 players and smartphones all existed before Apples products came along, but Jobs and Apple improved them considerably. "

    That's merely a matter of opinion, and I couldn't disagree more.

    My cheap and ancient Sansa Clip MP3 player sounds significantly better than any iPod I've tried and I don't need a huge and awful piece of bloatware to operate it. My Blackberry smartphone is 8 years old now and still operates as my main business phone, three or four days minimum between charges. Tablets are all pretty dumb, but I remember using a Nokia one back in 2007 which ran proper Linux and didn't stop you getting at it either.

    Apple certainly "dumbed down" each of those items considerably, but that's not an improvement to your average Reg reader.

  14. jimbo60

    Re: "oh boy"

    Jobs was, quite simply, one of the best snake oil salesmen in ages.

  15. *jr*

    Re: "oh boy"

    "And I doubt it would have happened without a visionary behind."

    An @rsehole with a visionary behind, no doubt

  16. Mage Silver badge
    Coat

    Do his material contributions...?

    What material contributions?

    The Lisa / Mac a copy of the Xerox star enabled by falling cost of 68000 and RAM.

    He killed the Newton (which was cursed by the excessive hype of the handwriting recognition, one of the first portable gadgets with ARM CPU).

    Apple nearly went bust and was bailed out by MS.

    The two big successes, iPod and iPhone were based on marketing / infrastructure, not innovation, as MP3 players already existed (the Album destroying 99c per track and iTunes made it succeed). The iPhone used bought in Fingerworks and Samsung innovative layer chip, SC6400 family (CPU, RAM, Flash chips in layers in one package). It succeeded mostly because of the carrier deals with big data cap. Till then you needed to be rich or business user to afford data.

  17. james_smith

    Re: Do his material contributions...?

    The Lisa was a failure, and the Macintosh was pushed over the much more capable Apple IIGS. Jobs had Wozniak's IIGS deliberately crippled to make sure the Macintosh was more appealing in a bit of corporate dick swinging. The Mac wasn't even Jobs' idea - he happened upon it when it was a low key experiment and then used it to try and shore up his already shaky position in the company.

    NeXT was a failure as well. Jobs' insistence on a perfect cube for the case of the original model went against engineering reality - a perfect cube has a very high failure rate when molded since it's difficult to get it out of the mold without cracking, so the NeXT factory was littered with broken cases. The software was too ambitious, and exceeded the capacity of available hard drives so they went with an unproven technology that ended up being unreliable.

  18. steviebuk Silver badge

    Re: Do his material contributions...?

    And ended up being overpriced. The "away" trips found on YouTube are really interesting though. Especially when Joanna Hoffman calls out Steve on his "Relation Distortion" bullshit.

    The funny thing with Steve Jobs is he appeared to just get lucky with most stuff. Most of the stuff he was involved with failed when you look into the history of it.

  19. NanoMeter

    Give this guy a Nobel Peace Prize already

    Posthumously

  20. Trollslayer Silver badge
    Devil

    In polite terms

    It is extracting the urine.

  21. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    A fair assesment of Steve Jobs

    A Great man to some

    A Greater bas***d to the rest.

  22. bpfh

    Someone isn really trying...

    To keep out of Apple’s Good Books! No Press Releases for you!

    Long may it last!

  23. HmmmYes Silver badge

    Wel, he was a total cunt who did get some good products out. Eventually.

    Most other ceos are just total cunts.

  24. YetAnotherJoeBlow

    Pass the Kool-Aid.

  25. Tannin

    This is a parody, right? Only two answers are possible.

    (a) "Yes, this is parody." In that case, it is in very poor taste.

    (a) "No, this is not a parody." In that case, it is in very poor taste.

  26. Hollerithevo Silver badge

    Not a parody

    It's mostly brilliant and acidic, and not in poor taste, unless you believe that the dead should not be spoken ill of. Who is this hurting, despite Jobs' reputation? Why is telling the truth in a clever way, to make your points, in poor taste?

  27. DavCrav Silver badge

    Re: Not a parody

    "Who is this hurting, despite Jobs' reputation?"

    Reporting on all the bad shit someone does does not damage their reputation. It was the doing of the bad shit that damaged the reputation, it's just that the effects were delayed.

  28. Chronos Silver badge

    This is exactly the sort of thing that keeps us coming back here time and again. People who have received a humour bypass are going to be offended, usually because many a true word is spoken in jest.

    For the intended audience, it is pitched perfectly and poor taste is infinitely preferable to none at all.

  29. lee harvey osmond

    Asshole!

    Yes, clearly a total asshole, upon whom we look back in fondness and admiration.

    I’m no fanboi; I do not own the watch or the TV thing or whatever. But I’m on my sixth Mac at home, I have three on my desk at work, and as for my second iPhone ... I’m tapping on it here.

  30. JohnFen Silver badge

    Re: Asshole!

    "upon whom we look back in fondness and admiration."

    Not all of us.

  31. steviebuk Silver badge

    Very...

    ...funny and accurate. Although I disliked the tit I read his book. His wife said she wanted it to be accurate, walts and all so it does mention alot of his arsehole moves.

  32. HmmmYes Silver badge

    Re: Very...

    Now compare and contrast Jobs biography with Jack Welchs vainglorious bullshitting ponzi fraudster cunt.

  33. Hollerithevo Silver badge

    Re: Very...

    Welch's book was laugh-out-loud. I wonder if he himself believed it.

  34. MrMerrymaker

    He's probably rolling in his grave

    ... As his coffee has rounded corners.

    Too soon?

  35. Geoffrey W Silver badge

    Re: He's probably rolling in his grave

    Since when did coffee have corners? No wonder I get indigestion after my 10th cup

  36. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Re: He's probably rolling in his grave

    Your 11th cup should sort that out.

  37. Scunner

    Re: He's probably rolling in his grave

    Indigestion? You're drinking it wrong...

  38. Anonymous Coward
  39. Rainer

    All true

    But look into the mirror - if your own life was put under a microscope, what would people find?

    Also, he didn't write books to encourage people to follow his lifestyle, as other rich people have and continue to do so. He was probably aware of the fact that the planet is big enough to accommodate only a single person of his character.

    At least, his kids seem to have turned out well, unlike other billionaire's kids.

    He made sure the one and only authorized biography appeared after his death, so he wouldn't be bothered by the comments.

    He's been dead for seven years.

    It's easy to spit on a grave.

    Let's give him some rest.

  40. Hollerithevo Silver badge

    Re: All true

    We can only rest when the hagiographic stuff ends. While he is being touted as an example we should all follow, we need to keep insisting on uncomfortable truths.

    And remember, he isn't agitated or unrestful. He is dead.

  41. Toastan Buttar

    Re: All true

    Rainer:

    "At least, his kids seem to have turned out well, unlike other billionaire's kids."

    Yeah, he did a great job of ensuring that Lisa turned out well.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: All true

    "Yeah, he did a great job of ensuring that Lisa turned out well."

    As if naming a computer after her wasn't enough. I'm surprised she's so ungrateful.

  43. M E H

    Re: All true

    My wife's met Lisa Jobs.

    Said she was alright. Quite quiet, didn't mention her dad.

  44. JohnFen Silver badge

    Re: All true

    "if your own life was put under a microscope, what would people find?"

    Nothing as bad as Jobs'.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pity there wasn't more mentioned about his Appalachian organ transplant ploy.

  46. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    "You think I'm an arrogant asshole who thinks he's above the law," "

    You don't usually get that level of self awareness from someone that high up the PCL-R scale.

  47. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Joke

    7 times he served humanity

    That's Steve for you - he didn't go to 11.

  48. stephanh Silver badge

    An exhaustive list of really nice people who built a multi-billion business:

    *crickets*

  49. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Re: An exhaustive list of really nice people who built a multi-billion business:

    "Other people are bad, so let's ignore the bad things this one did."

  50. DerekCurrie
    Megaphone

    Sarcasm Noted.

    Practicing how to be a propagandist asshole, are we? This is the era. I'm sure you'll be a winner.

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