Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

Steve Jobs Dies: Apple Chief Created Personal Computer, iPad, iPod [ABC]

@Dodgerblue: And Darth Cheney. Mostly.

ADD: FUCK CANCER! Especially pancreatic cancer!

Somebody in Twitterstan said that Steve Jobs’s final gift was upstaging Sarah Palin.

A little levity, perhaps. Or not.

I’m a PC, but I fully concur: THIS IS NOT GOOD.

@chicago bureau: I didn’t post it on Twitter, but I cop to the same sentiment.

For the record, I like Weigel’s tweet: “And so Palin gets to be the big news for… 58 minutes or so.”

Also, a showman to the end, he didn’t upstage his own product announcement.

Breaking: In copycat move, Bill Gates dies too.

@nojo: My first thought was “the crappy 4S reviews killed him”.

I was actually navigating over to the apple site to check out the toys when I saw his face and the dates. No obit – he would be very pleased.

ADD: I also saw my first Air in the wild today. Nice, and they retail for *ahem* less than a thou.

@Nabisco: Nah. Everybody panned the iPad, too.

ADD: I saw my first Air a few weeks ago. It was fucking cute.


I was watching the iPhone product-announcement video last night — via my Apple TV, of course — and after it ended, I realized that nobody had mentioned Jobs. Clever, I thought. Looking forward. Steve probably insisted on it.

Which may still be the case. But now I’m wondering if there’s anything they could have said, knowing what was going down.

St. Peter: “Dude, AT&T sucks up here.”

@nojo: you mean MacBook Air?

And that guy changed so many lives, including mine. So sad.

I’m wary of this one I could post. What’s the hangtime on “too soon” (previous post of mine notwithstanding)?

@blogenfreude: My life’s been set ever since I used PageMaker on a Mac IIfx. Fonts! Fonts! Fonts!

@chicago bureau: I just had Bill Gates involved in a copycat suicide. Go for it.

Maybe the Apple employees in China will get a day off…with pay.


-Sent from my iPhone

Join me in hoisting one in Steve’s memory tonight.

@Dodgerblue: “One More Thing.”

There. I was looking for a place to slip that in.

@nojo: First day of grad school, ’86: they made us choose a platform to work on, and there was no line for the Macs in the computer room. In a month I was working Excel charts into my finance class papers, to the shock and fuckin’ awe of my peers.

True fact: Steve Jobs didn’t invent the Internet, but the Web was invented on a NeXT computer.

(And to play that out for civilians, NeXT is the software that underlies today’s Macs and iPhones.)

@nojo: OK. Here goes.

I don’t think they should rush out the iHearse. Something about the shuffle feature is a little buggy.

@Nabisco: I was still involved in Digital Avoidance during the ’80s, but a friend of mine made some money cracking encrypted discs on an Apple IIe.

When I finally couldn’t hold off any longer, I picked up a whitebox 386, using PC PageMaker with a wide range of fonts, as long as they were Times or Helvetica. Then somebody showed me a Mac, and the heavens opened.

@chicago bureau: Close. The judges would have accepted “Steve Jobs has gone to the iCloud”.

@nojo: damn.

Meanwhile, Keef has just read the #OccupyWallSt Port Huron Statement Thingy. Compelling stuff, terribly overwrought as it was.

@chicago bureau: Did they vote democratically on every word?

Just tuned in O’Donnell. He’s treating it like a state funeral.

Dear Steve,

You might have been a control freak’s control freak and a bit of a knob but your company made stuff that worked and didn’t make me go “Manchu SMASH!!” (I see you Bill Gates).

So long and thanks for the Macbooks.


@nojo: I noticed the hamsters aren’t running any alt-text on this post. A touch of class?

@Nabisco: SOP. I don’t like being snarky with obit images.

Holy Fuquing Shit.

I suppose we should have seen this coming but even so. I hope he had sensible people looking out for him who made his end as easy as possible, that he got all the good drugs he needed, someone to hold his hand and keep his mouth moist, and that he understood as much of what was happening to him as he wanted to understand.

I feel privileged to have been able to work on a masterpiece of design, hardware and software, even if I still have no fuquing clue what the fuck Automator is supposed to do. I don’t even care if the stock tanks tomorrow. I look forward to what comes next: full-size desktop tablets?

Good night and well done.

@Benedick: We’re here for you, babe. Read his 2005 commencement address at Stanford.

And Black Eagle hits the nail on the head:
“There may be no greater tribute to Steve Jobs’ success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.”

Too soon? From The Onion:
BREAKING: Panicking Apple Board Of Directors Attempt To Restart Steve Jobs #SteveJobs

@Benedick: And they almost certainly posted that Tweet using an iMac.

@blogenfreude: It’s never too soon. But they could have done better. And since the CEO shift was major news only six weeks ago, the gag doesn’t really work.

However, it did cross my mind this afternoon that when Gates goes, I should post a Blue Screen of Death.

@nojo: Remember the haiku they use in Japan:

Chaos reigns within.
Repent, reflect, and reboot.
Order shall return.

@nojo: +1

ADD: Now delete that comment before someone jacks your idea.

Missed the news. I was busy this evening installing a solar powered outdoor motion activated security light over Mrs RML’s parking spot so her wheels are lit up as she heads out to the gym at 5 fucking thirty in the morning, then I took a nap because I stayed up until 1 or 130 am watching Hanna, the movie about the bad ass little spy kid. (Minor spoiler) Hanna is a Weapon X type of product and could possibly qualify for the X-Men in the Marvel Universe.

If Apples cost the same as PCs, I wonder which I’d choose. Fucking iPad2 costs as much as a Glock. I’ve bought plenty of Apple stuff for Mrs RML, whereas I can’t even find my iPod right now. (Note to self: check bag from last road trip while in garage to use treadmill later).

I mean, here we go again. Someone famous dies. They did some interesting stuff while they were alive. They happened to suffer greatly. It’s the fucking human condition, and people need to step off the fucking pedestal if idiots put them there.

Speaking of perspective

@nojo: I thought of the same thing. However, Gates’ death would no doubt be delayed because of interface problems in the beta testing stage. (Too geeky?)

TJ/ Jr is loving programming. “They said it was all this math [he likes math], but it’s really logic!” He loves logic.

@matador1015: I’ve never known Microsoft to worry about an interface problem. I’d post the hilarious discussion of the new Windows Explorer, but that’s wayyyyyy too geeky for this crowd.

@JNOV: It’s all about the algorithms, baby.

@nojo: stop sending me to wikipedia!

ADD: Oh, Jesus! My dad had a plastic stencil with that flow chart business.

TJ/ “In his early work, Ludwig Wittgenstein attempted to separate metaphysical and supernatural language from rational discourse.” <– Is this the dude you guys talk about a lot? If so, I might stop turning off my brain when you bring him up.

@JNOV: I’m allergic to flow charts. I just scribble an order to things, and rely on gestalt to tie it all together.

Also, Wittgenstein is famously difficult to summarize. He wrote in a highly abstract fashion, which is tantamount to solving a puzzle with no hints.

@nojo: Instead of posting geeky, I will post (again) the link to Clippy Must Die!

Henry Edward Roberts invented the personal computer.

@nojo: I’d definitely be interested in that linque. IE never ceases to amaze me with its massive amounts of suckage.

@blogenfreude: That’s very funny. Funny show.

I thought the single cleverest decision made at Apple was the upside-down illuminated logo on the MacBooks. It’s impossible to watch TV or see a movie without looking at cool pretty people opening their laptop and presto! there’s that logo. That this was planned is demonstrated by the fact that to the user the logo is upside-down. I still have to remind myself to turn my Air around to open it.

As to the Air, it’s a lovely machine. I have the solid-state version which, though it has half the RAM of my iMac, runs Lion better. You have to get used to the idea that there is no disc drive, man up and buy one. Although, as becomes clear as one uses it, the Air is designed to connect to everything you need wirelessly. And at that it’s brilliant. As always, Steve knew better than we did what we wanted (remember the shift to OSX? The uproar? The shift to 9? The uproar? The shift to Power PC? The uproar? The shift to Lion? The uproar?) and that the App Store was on its way.

It can also be used to slice apples.


August 29: Improvements in Windows Explorer

Instant classic.

Note that this is Windows Explorer — their Finder — and not IE.

And, a caveat: “Metro” (based on their later Zune/Windows Phone interface) is definitely not classic Microsoft awkwardness. It’s actually (and ironically) overdesigned to my taste — it reeks of Sharper Image — but it’s original work. Shocking, really.

@mkultra: Apple invented very little, and the media’s been a bit sloppy in its generalizations. Then again, what Apple has done is difficult to characterize: It nails things.

There are more than a few steps between Xerox PARC and the Mac. There are more than a few steps between earlier MP3 players and the iPod. Even USB — thanks, Intel! — was lying fallow before Apple ran with it.

That’s why I like to refer to Steve Jobs’s taste and judgment: He makes outstanding choices.

@Benedick: As always, Steve knew better than we did what we wanted .

We pooled funds back in the 90s, and dragged my mom into the computer age with a purple iCandy and an AOL account. My siblings derided the thing – it doesn’t have a floppy drive! – but once again, Steve knew.

@Nabisco: And regarding his famous modern flop: I liked the Cube. I didn’t own one, but I used one at the photo museum where I geeked at the time. It was nice.

@Benedick: Based on Earthlink, if I recall. And I really liked Earthlink, back in the dial-up days.

Apple has infamously never gotten the Internet-service thing right, which is why geekdom is paying a lot of attention to the upcoming iCloud launch. I’m reserving judgment until I see it in action.

@nojo: It was actually AOL’s software given an Apple-style makeover to look like a town square. Which of course meant that every geek out there modified it. I remember an undersea version. Having no traffic in the sex chat rooms it didn’t last very long but I got the software with my first Mac.

@Nabisco: No floppy drive! Oh the outrage, the horror! I could kick myself now for getting economy-minded and not going for the Time Capsule last time I bought a back-up drive. Why didn’t I trust Steve? He knew my life would be better with fewer cables. Unless we’re talking Thunderbolt!

@Benedick: More tellingly, who remembers bulletin boards?

@nojo: I’m reserving judgment until I see it in action. I signed up for a Me account in the early days, but never felt totally comfortable using Cloud 0.1.

@Nabisco: Back when I was slowly being dragged into computing in the late ’80s — dBase III, anyone? — I had a friend with a dial-up BBS. He insisted that I dial in so we could chat. I never understood how that was better than, oh, a phone call.

@Nabisco: As of five years ago my alma mater still had a cork-and-paper ride board. Très charmant.

@mellbell: Heh. I meant Nojo’s variety, but yeah.

@nojo: My first encounter with someone posing as someone s/he probably wasn’t happened on a dial-up BBS.

@nojo: Dan Patrick, a sports talk radio guy, is including Steve Jobs in the opening (after beisbol, NFL, etc.) (Download Hour 2 from today’s show at to hear it.)

@Benedick: How about Theresa’s Sound World?

ADD: The iPad had a Cherokee language font.

Thanks, nojo. That hot mess of a “product improvement” reminded me of this.

@matador1015: “Human Ear Professional Edition XP”. Yup.

@nojo: So, in other words, Jobs was a marketing genius more than a computer genius?

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: I’ve always thought Gates was the marketing genius. Or marketing-deal genius. He was very, very shrewd.

With Jobs, it’s not the marketing, but the packaging. And not the physical packaging (which is great in itself from a design standpoint), but the decisions about what goes into their gadgets, and what stays out. “Build me a computer”, he commands his minions. “I want it to do this and this, but I don’t want it to do that.”

And then his minions build it.

He wasn’t a computer genius at all, in that respect — unlike Gates, who started as a programmer.

Latest example: “Siri”, the new iPhone voice-command/artificial intelligence function. The product and the company were only public for a couple of months before Apple bought it. I can see Jobs thinking something like “I want to command my computer like Star Trek”, and jumping on the opportunity when it comes up. Then, as the Apple geeks start working it into the system, he goes “That’s not right. It needs to work like this.”

I’m not sure what to call that. But that’s what he did, time and again.

You guys see boingbong today? Really cool.

Haven’t seen anything on the Lisa all day today, though . . .

@nojo: A design genius.
That makes sense. And, hey, I can get behind that. I appreciate a good designer, no matter the medium.

@redmanlaw: That’s giving me college flashbacks.

@redmanlaw: Lisa crossed my mind last night. The early pitch for the Mac was “Lisa technology”. Minus the fucking expensive part.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: Another Jobs story that’s been making the rounds since he retired last month…

Before the iPhone launched, when Apple and Google were still friends, he found something wrong with one of the Google functions.

So he calls the relevant Google engineer. On a Sunday.

There’s a pixel off in your logo, he says. The yellow’s not right.

That’s epoch-defining anal-retentiveness. But that’s also why he shares the patent for the Macintosh plug.

@TJ/ Jamie Sommers /TJ: “Design genius” is fair — as long as you bear in mind how thorough he regarded that mission. I was awestruck when I first learned the details of Mac software construction.

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