R.I.P. Steve Jobs : 1955 – 2011…

Visionary Apple Computer founder Steve Jobs has died, aged 56.
Jobs, who co-founded the technology company in 1976 with childhood friend Steve Wozniak, has lost his eight year battle with pancreatic cancer, Apple confirmed this evening.
The mastermind behind the iPhone, iPod and iMac, and dozens of other devices, Jobs is remembered for revolutionizing the way we communicate today.

Jobs died in Palo Alto, California on Wednesday evening. He had been fighting the disease publicly since 2004.
His family said in a statement Jobs ‘died peacefully today surrounded by his family… We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief.’
Steve Jobs was the biological son of Joanne Schieble and Syrian Abdulfattah ‘John’ Jandali, 23-year-old students at the University of Wisconsin. Within months of giving up their baby son, the pair got married and had a daughter, Mona Simpson, whom he did not meet until he was an adult. Simpson later wrote a book based on their relationship, called ‘A Regular Guy’.

The boy was named by his adoptive parents, Paul and Clara Jobs, a working-class couple from Santa Clara County, near San Francisco. They lived in the same house in Mountain View where their son would later hand-build the first Apple computers.
Upon graduation from high school, Jobs went to Reed College in Portland, Oregon – and lasted precisely one term, unable to stick to rigid academia. Instead, he focused on the Homebrew Computer Club and became a technician at the videogame company Atari; the work paid for a philosophical odyssey to India that saw him returning with his head shaved, wearing Indian robes and having taken LSD. Just two years later, the unlikely combination of countercultural thinking and a visionary passion for technology led to the creation of Apple Computer.

It was at a gathering of the Homebrew Computer Club that Steve Wozniak, a computer genius who worked on calculators at Hewlett-Packard, unveiled something genuinely revolutionary. It was a beige motherboard containing 30 or so silicon chips soldered together, by Wozniak, outside of his working hours at Hewlett-Packard. Its ‘PROM’ chips stored a string of ones and zeros, laboriously typed in by hand, again by Wozniak. The ‘monitor’ programme he had written enabled you to type a letter on a computer keyboard and see it appear on a screen in front of you. This was the first computer in history that could perform this feat.
The unveiling of what was to become the company’s first product, the ‘Apple I’ machine released in 1976 that resulted from Wozniak’s prototype were assembled in Jobs’ garage.
To pay for the first circuit boards, Jobs sold his VW van for $250, and Wozniak sold his Hewlett-Packard calculator for $500.
The machines the pair went on to sell were far from what we imagine as a computer today – to make them work, you had to wire in a keyboard and connect a monitor yourself. At the time, the idea that ‘personal computing’ would be profitable seemed almost laughable.
Yet in 1977, the Apple II was unveiled – a machine that would revolutionise home computing and become the first truly consumer-friendly PC.
As the company grew rapidly, history seemed to be repeating itself in Jobs’ personal life. At the age of 23, just like his biological parents, Jobs had a child, Lisa, with his girlfriend Chrisann Brennan, which he struggled to accept. Already with millions in the bank, he’s said to have declared in a court document that he couldn’t be Lisa’s father as he was ‘infertile’. Eventually he did acknowledge paternity of Lisa, but went on to marry organic-foods businesswoman Laurene Powell, nine years his junior, at a wedding in 1991 presided over by Zen Buddhist monk Kobun Chino. The couple would have three children together, a son, Reed, born in September 1991, followed by daughters Erin in August 1995 and Eve in 1998.

Meanwhile, as Apple grew in the early Eighties, Jobs began another odyssey: trawling the globe for the best engineers, designers, software developers and marketing people capable of turning his vision into reality.
Jobs lured marketing guru John Sculley from Pepsi in 1983 to become Apple’s CEO. A year later, Apple started its think-big approach with an unheard-of $900,000 budget Ridley Scott-directed Super Bowl television commercial entitled ‘1984’. Two days later an emotional Jobs introduced the Macintosh, the first successful computer with a graphical user interface.

First of four children: At the age of 23, Jobs had a child, Lisa, with his then-girlfriend Chrisann Brennan. Jobs had three children with his wife, Mrs Powell
The Jobs-Sculley relationship went downhill during the industry-wide sales decline at the end of 1984. Within months Jobs was out of his own company following a boardroom power struggle but he was far from finished with the company.
Jobs started NeXT to develop computer hardware and software. And in 1986, he bought what would become Pixar animation for $5million, the studio that went on to produce blockbusters such as Toy Story and Monsters, Inc.
A decade later Apple bought NeXT for $429million, and soon afterwards appointed Jobs interim CEO. He was back where he wanted to be. Jobs rid the company of projects he didn’t rate. Crucially, he canned dozens of different beige-coloured Apples and replaced them with a single unit, the iMac G3, in vivid ‘Bondi Blue’ and later in other colours that turned computers from functional to fashionable; 3.7million of the computers, created by visionary British designer Jonathan Ive, were sold worldwide.
During his tenure at Apple, Jobs oversaw every detail – from which prototypes to develop to the packaging of products, and even hiring the chefs to work at Apple’s gleaming, postmodern headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California. He was such a fixture, in fact, that in January, 2009, after announcing his second medical leave, Apple stock dropped to $78.20 per share. The stock recovered to become one of the most successful on Wall Street.
Industry watchers called Jobs a master innovator – changing the worlds of computing, recorded music and communications.

In 2001, the iPod turned MP3 players from a geek obsession into a mass-market phenomenon. And in 2003, the iTunes Music Store proved that online music sales could be a viable business.
In 2007, he transformed the cell phone with Apple’s iPhone, known for its touch screen, it operates as a handheld computer complete as music player, messaging device.
By 2010, the iPad was unveiled a sleek tablet computer with a touch screen and almost no physical buttons. It could be used for almost anything software designers could conceive, from watching movies to taking pictures to leafing through a virtual book.
Jobs was listed in March as 109th on the Forbes list of the world’s billionaires, with a net worth of about $8.3billion. After selling Pixar animation studios to The Walt Disney Company in 2006, and became a Disney board member.
But during much of his final years on the rise, Jobs was embattled with failing health. In 2004, he beat back an unusual form of pancreatic cancer, and in 2009 he was forced to get a liver transplant. He took three medical leaves from Apple.

Finally, he announced on August 24, 2011 that he was stepping down as Apple’s chief executive.
Though his resignation letter was short and to the point, it was obviously full of emotion as he thanked ‘the best friends he made for life’ at the billion dollar company.
Jobs wrote to the Apple board of directors in his letter of resignation: ‘I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.’
Jobs was subsequently replaced by former Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook.
A statement by Apple’s board released on the evening of his death read:’We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today.
‘Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.
‘His greatest love was for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our hearts go out to them and to all who were touched by his extraordinary gifts.
In addition to his daughter, Lisa, Jobs is survived by his wife, Laurene Powell, and their three children: Reed Paul, Erin Sienna and Eve.

He will be remembered as the man who put the world into the palm of your hand.
Without Steve Jobs, there wouldn’t be an iPhone, an iPad or an iPod – and we may not even know we needed them.
The visionary Apple founder helped usher in a new era of personal computer. In 1984, the Macintosh made computing simpler with a little invention called the mouse and an elegantly innovative operating system.
But that was just for starters. The hippie geek went on to revolutionize the way we live our lives.
He was not a software programmer or a hardware technician. He had a unique ability to know what we want before we realised what it was. With his ingenuity and imagination, the creative genius behind Apple was being compared tonight to Thomas Edison in respect to the immense impact he had around the world.
Who would think a computer company would change the way we listened to music or made phone calls to one another?
As much as his early achievements with the Macintosh II played a key role in the march of the PC, it was his second go round at Apple that cemented his legacy.
He once famously said he wanted to ‘make a dent in the universe’ and the way he went about it was to ensure Apple made ‘the whole widget’ – both hardware and software. The company introduced colour monitors long before any of its rivals.
After falling out with Apple, he was ousted at the age of 30, but he returned in 1996 and became CEO the following year. Once back in control, he set about transforming the consumer electronics industry.
Jobs foresaw that the Mac could become the hub at the centre of a digital lifestyle.
With the music industry in chaos with shared music causing online anarchy, Jobs took advantage by creating the iPod, a pocket-sized computer that carried an entire music library. Then came the iTunes store, allowing customers to buy individual songs at just 99 cents a time.
In 2007, he did the same to the mobile phone business, transforming the iPhone into an iconic touchscreen mini-computer that worked as a music player, GPS, camera, paid for Starbucks and did just about everything that was asked of it…including being a cell phone. The App store, allowing users to buy their own applications online, was introduced shortly afterwards.
Three years later came the iPad, the sleek personal tablet computer that combined the ease of use of an Apple computer with the convenience and accessibility of the iPhone.
With each new product, Jobs was the frontman, introducing his latest invention to a public hungry to snap up his latest innovation.
Sadly, he was missing when his successor Tim Cook, showed off the new iPhone yesterday. Now Apple is on its own.

If you would like to share your thoughts, memories, and condolences, please email rememberingsteve@apple.com

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