This is belated as I have been travelling, but I have to mark the premature death of this great man.
Wired.com has one of the extensive biographies. Some extracts:
Steven Paul Jobs, 56, died Wednesday at his home with his family. The co-founder and, until last August, CEO of Apple Inc was the most celebrated person in technology and business on the planet. No one will take issue with the official Apple statement that “The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.” …
His accomplishments were unmatched. People who can claim credit for game-changing products — iconic inventions that become embedded in the culture and answers to Jeopardy questions decades later — are few and far between. But Jobs has had not one, not two, but six of these breakthroughs, any one of which would have made for a magnificent career. In order: the Apple II, the Macintosh, the movie studio Pixar, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad.
My first computer was an Apple IIe. And I was the last person in Parliament to have a Macintosh as my work computer.
After his call to Packard, Jobs worked at HP as a teenager. He later had a job at Atari, when the video-game company was just getting started. Yet he did not see the field as something that would satisfy his artistic urges. “Electronics was something I could always fall back on when I needed food on the table,” he once told me.
That changed when Steve Jobs saw what a high-school friend, Steve Wozniak, was doing. Wozniak was a member of the Homebrew Computer Club, a collection of Valley engineers and hangers-on who were thrilled at the prospect of personal computers, which had just become possible with the advent of low-cost chips and electronics. “Woz” was among several of the group who designing their own, but he had no desire to commercialize his project, even though it was groundbreaking in simplicity and also was one of the first to include color graphics.
I met Steve Wozniak when he came over to Wellington as a guest of the Wellington Apple Users Group, which he was patron of. One of WAUG’s co-founders was a school mate of mine, Grant Collison. Grant was in the 4th form when he helped form it, and off memory was the one who cheekily invited Woz to be the patron, and all were impressed when he accepted.
I have many fond memories of Grant’s massive collection of 5.25″ discs with various games and software. He was our generation’s version of Bit Torrent
In October 2001, Apple introduced a music player, the iPod. It broke ground as the first successful pocket-size digital music player. Because Jobs had a tremendous ability to locate and hire brilliant talent, his team produced it in less than a year. The process is indicative of the way Apple ran. Though Jobs could be overwhelming in pushing his point, he understood that ultimately, his products would not work if their best ideas were discarded. In the case of the iPod, hardware designer Tony Fadell knew how to get his best prototype approved by Jobs — he showed his boss three different designs, with one clearly superior, to give Jobs a chance to berate two efforts before saying, “That’s more like it!” with the last.
Sometimes, Jobs would dig in and only back down when the marketplace spoke. Again, the iPod was an example. Originally, he felt that the iPod should only work with Macintosh’s computers. But its instant popularity led him to agree with some of his employees who had been arguing for a Windows version. When iPod became available to the entire population, it really took off. Apple has sold over 300 million iPods.
Thanks Steve for my Apple IIe, for my many Macs, for my iPod and my iPad.
, Steve Jobs