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Steve Jobs is dead

I’m typing this on a Mac laptop. I heard about it while browsing the news on my iPad. I have an iPhone in my pocket. There’s an iPod in my bedroom that we use for alarm and music. I bought my first Mac in 1984; I wrote my Ph.D. thesis on an Apple II. Maybe you use a Windows machine, but face it: Microsoft has been chasing Apple’s interface design since the 1980s.

And now Steve Jobs has died.

We owe a lot to him. He’s the guy who shaped our virtual world.

(Also on Sb)


One bit of levity: Westboro Baptist plans to picket his funeral, simply because they’re assholes. Look at the bottom of their tweet, though.

Comments

  1. Aquaria says

    RIP, Steve. Thanks for all that you did to make computing fun and easy. I don’t care what the PC people say about expandability and power and all that. I only know your computers have worked when I needed them to, how I needed them to, and that’s all that matters to me. I now carry 12,000 songs in a lovely and easy-to-use device that fits in the palm of my hand, thanks to you.

  2. otrame says

    My first Mac was the original 128K. Steve Jobs had a lot to do with how my life goes every day.

    I knew he was pretty sick. I am sorry he is gone, but if he was suffering, I am glad he is freed from that.

  3. says

    We owe a lot to him.

    Don’t worry, we’ve paid him a lot (not myself, though).

    I guess it’s pretty clear that he stepped down from the CEO position for health reasons. Not at all prematurely, it would seem.

    Glen Davidson

  4. RJ Langley says

    Bert Jansch died today as well. Never been a Mac fan but still reeling from that loss…

  5. John Morales says

    Yeah, pretty impressive dude.

    GUI?

    Apple may have popularised it, but Xerox PARC developed it.

  6. Dan says

    I’ve never owned an Apple product, and I reluctantly used one in school, but I do agree that Apple is an innovator in design. Too bad they’re too expensive for use third-world folks. With Jobs’ passing, will the Apple board make the same mistakes they did in the 90s? I hope not, we can’t afford to have a MS monopoly (even though I use a Win7 PC).

  7. Zugswang says

    I’m NOT looking forward to the week-long media love-fest chronicling the achievements of a guy who, at the end of the day, was just a very successful businessman. Especially because it won’t be any different from the week long media love-fest that followed him retiring.

  8. says

    Zugswang:

    I’m NOT looking forward to the week-long media love-fest chronicling the achievements of a guy who, at the end of the day, was just a very successful businessman.

    Then get off the net for a week. I’m sure it won’t collapse because you aren’t whining all week.

  9. sean says

    “Bert Jansch died today as well.”

    Very sad to hear that; I still have some vinyl of Pentangle. I loved Bert’s style a lot.

    As for Steve Jobs, sorry to hear that too, but I’m afraid it doesn’t move me in the same way (and his style didn’t move me at all).

    Can’t deny his influence on the IT and media world though, despite my wallet insisting I stay away from his products.

  10. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    My first Apple experiences date back to the II+ with a 16 Kb language card. An 80 column card was considered a big upgrade back then. The progression in personal computing since then has been amazing. I’m typing this on an 18 month old iMac, with an iPod nano G5 sitting under the mouse pad. I’m attached to the internet through a cable modem, and have a bandwidth of 250 GB/mo. The technology may not be the latest and greatest, but it still does the job, and my 10-year-old Cube can still be used for e-mail and web browsing. New technology needs visionaries, and Steve Jobs was one. He will be missed for the “one more thing”.

  11. Matt says

    Terrible news. I thought he stepped down as CEO because he wanted to retire, but obviously his health had taken a real turn for the worse.

    Steve Jobs was a superhuman in terms of what he achieved. He helped invent the personal computer. In the 1990s he had the foresight to buy Pixar which went on to make billions. He came back to Apple when it was at its weakest launch and went on to launch the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Apple is now pretty much the world’s richest company, and is expanding rapidly in China of all places. Apple will go on, but under Jobs it did so much, it is hard to see who the next great visionary will be at that company.

    We have seen the comments, in this thread and no doubt elsewhere in the days to come, from the grouts who will relish the opportunity to say how much they hate Steve Jobs, Apple and its products. Stephen Fry put it best. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/14664694 “You not only don’t let them have their Apple, you have to attack them, you have to let them know how much you hate them and everything they stand for.”

  12. Matt says

    Not sure what happened there but when I wrote ‘weakest launch’ I just meant ‘weakest’, I wish there was an edit option.

  13. jonhendry says

    “In the 1990s he had the foresight to buy Pixar which went on to make billions.”

    1980s. He bought it from George Lucas, it was originally the computer graphics group at ILM. He then supported them for a decade through the IPO, after which Jobs was a paper billionaire for the first time.

  14. ckitching says

    He was an incredible businessman, and amazing marketer. I won’t give him or his company credit for inventing many of the things they’re credited with, but they did have incredible skill in taking certain nascent technologies and refining and popularizing them. Smart phones and MP3 players might still be niche markets if Apple hadn’t created the wildly successful iPhone and iPod products.

    Personally, though, I don’t like things quite as locked down as Apple tends to make them.

  15. Richard Austin says

    I didn’t agree with Steve Jobs about a lot of things, mainly his concept of the Walled Garden. Then again, he built up a multinational, multibillion dollar company and I haven’t. Regardless, I don’t buy Apple products for those reasons.

    That doesn’t mean the man wasn’t very very good at what he does.

    And that doesn’t mean it’d be okay to ridicule him in death if he wasn’t.

    I disagree with a lot of where he wanted to take computing, and I’m glad that his vision of the PC industry ever became the mainstream, but I also acknowledge that he led a lot of innovation and creativity in that industry.

    It’s always great to have a competent foil, and Jobs and Gates filled those roles for each other very well. His absence will be felt keenly even by those who mock or despise him, whether they realize it or not.

  16. Robin Raianiemi says

    Even if you hated Steve Jobs, and aren’t an Apple fan, you’re indebted to him, because every time Apple came up with an innovation, Microsoft and the PC world came up with an inferior, lower-priced knockoff.

  17. David Utidjian says

    iToo am sad.

    I have never actually owned a new Apple product. I have several second hand Apple devices (laptop, iMac, cube.) I am typing this on an iMac running Linux at work. I (almost) always liked the design and quality of Apple hardware but despised their mice. I have been working and playing with Apples since the late 1970s. We have used Macs almost exclusively in my department at work for the past 20+ years. For the past 10 years I have run Linux on them (multi-boot.)

    I don’t think if I would call Steve Jobs a “great innovator” so much but I would call him a clever director of great innovators.

    I hope that Apple and its employees weather this well and continue to innovate and bring to market excellent products.

  18. Matt says

    @19 I stand corrected. Really quite incredible what he did with Pixar when other people in the biz just weren’t interested.

  19. MadScientist says

    I’ll miss Steve Jobs – I wonder if anyone will step up to replace him soon. He had crazy ideas which worked and wasn’t afraid to put up the money to create his products. The Newton and the Next were far too early and expensive and consequently failed, but years later PDAs and the Mac with OSX are everywhere. MSWindows is still nothing like OSX.

    However, being a cheapskate I haven’t used a Mac in 15 years. I’m waiting for someone to commoditize great PC hardware (like a Mac) with some version of Linux. It can certainly be done – Steve Jobs did it with BSD UNIX and the Next (progenitor of the Macs with OSX).

  20. Carlie says

    Regardless of one’s feelings towards his products or the way he ran his business, he was a man who died far too young.

  21. Larry says

    I find it amusing that several people have proudly claimed to have never bought an Apple product. That may very well be the case, but unless you live in a cold, dark cave without electricity, and make your clothes from bear skins, many of the products you have bought have been directly influenced by Jobs and Apple. If you play at all in the technology sandbox, Jobs has been there. You simply cannot deny the man has been a major influence in the computer and electronics business.

  22. sean says

    If you distinguish the man from his products, then their are some interesting comparisons with Gates. Microsoft was/is a company with some less than desirable practices, some feel Apple is too. But in private life, Gates is a true philanthropist in that great US tradition. Jobs? Not that I’m aware of, though he was certainly rich enough. Also he was less than stellar when it came to working conditions in China and the use of recyclable products. Apparently not so nice to work for either. Then again, I doubt Gates was a barrel of laughs either.

    Another thing…funny how people get so emotional over plastic boxes that look goofy ten years down the track. I’ll stick to loving my fiddle, it’s well over a hundred now, works better than ever and still looks great. ;-)

    Each to their own though and if love your Apple gear then I’m pleased for you.

    (OK, I forgot to mention my wife and the dog. I love them in a different way though.)

  23. robro says

    Think Different

    It might have been marketing hype, and perhaps SJ didn’t even come up with it. But those words have meant a lot to me, more than the gadgets, and i’ll always, always associate them with him.

  24. Tom says

    PZ, your Apple fanaticism disturbs me. How can you be so brilliant and logical in one respect and then be entirely ignorant and fundamentalist in another. I guess nobody’sperfect. It’s sad though when you see it in your hero.

  25. sean says

    What continues to astonish me is how slow rival companies were/are to catch on to Job’s innovations. OK, the original Mac GUI and mouse may have been “borrowed” from Zerox labs, but things like the Mac and much later the iPhone just transformed the way we look at personal computing devises.

    Like all true computers, they are universal machines.

    Years later, other market leaders like Nokia still think they are making phones.

    Meanwhile Samsung produces well-made gear with software so all over the place it’s like the people who design their stuff have never actually met each other.

  26. says

    The guy made some cool stuff. I don’t like the company’s closed software and stuff, but they popularized a lot of good stuff. I’d buy more if they had business practices I could agree with.

    Also, I’m impressed you got this story posted even before Slashdot did.

  27. Tethys says

    I will observe an imoment of silence for his passing, and hope he considered his life well-lived.

    I suppose you could say Thomas Edison had serious character flaws too, but there is no denying the impact that his work has had on our world.

  28. John Morales says

    sean,

    But in private life, Gates is a true philanthropist in that great US tradition. Jobs? Not that I’m aware of, though he was certainly rich enough.

    Certainly not publicly; if anything, the contrary.

    Matt,

    @32 Steve was a Buddhist.

    And wooish, from various accounts.

    This article from CNN/Money refers to the above.

  29. says

    Tom:

    PZ, your Apple fanaticism disturbs me. How can you be so brilliant and logical in one respect and then be entirely ignorant and fundamentalist in another. I guess nobody’sperfect. It’s sad though when you see it in your hero.

    Oh FFS. Try not to be such an idiot. So PZ has a preference when it comes to computer stuff, everyone does. It is not a big deal.

    Now you could have said something relatively pertinent, such as expressing condolences, given that a man is dead.

  30. says

    Zugswang says:

    I’m NOT looking forward to the week-long media love-fest chronicling the achievements of a guy who, at the end of the day, was just a very successful businessman.

    With some rare exceptions, business is how technology gets into people’s hands. Technologists who aren’t successful businessmen typically don’t make a difference to the world.

  31. andyo says

    Even if you hated Steve Jobs, and aren’t an Apple fan, you’re indebted to him, because every time Apple came up with an innovation, Microsoft and the PC world came up with an inferior, lower-priced knockoff.

    Hey, hey! This is an atheist website!

  32. Cerus says

    I didn’t care for Apple culture, though I admire a lot of the engineering behind their products, as well as the effect they had getting several good ideas spread throughout existing markets.

    I find it interesting how closely Jobs life and work was tied to Apple, I hope they don’t lose their edge

  33. Julia says

    My first “Apple” experience was around 1976[!] in San Jose. I was 10 years old and my best friend had a brother with cerebral palsy. Her family had an early “Apple” computer to help him communicate. I remember all the rainbow colors of the logo the best[I was not into tech stuff at the time, obviously]. Everyone know that Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc. had a Syrian father (Abdulfattah Jandali)?

  34. Comrade Carter says

    Steve lived as he died.

    Yeah, he wasn’t as upfront as Gates, but he was (and until the end has been) a Democrat all his life.

    Look at Apple’s, NeXt’s and Pixar’s contributions, and look at Steve’s. He’s been there for us, I will be there for his memory.

  35. Therrin says

    I’m NOT looking forward to the week-long media love-fest

    FYI, news organizations have obits written up for famous people ahead of time, so that they have content to run the minute their death is announced.

  36. Chris Booth says

    Jobs =/ Gates.

    One was an innovator, one was a technology sea-anchor.

    If Gates is a philanthropist in the American tradition, American philanthropy is a tool of hypocrisy and is a dodge and a pose.

    Some people don’t know the history and write from ignorance.

    I’m a Linux/BSD user, but I caught the *nix bug right around the time that Jobs was at Next. Without Jobs, Apple nose-dived and Apple OS stagnated and Apple’s innovative ways faltered and ceased. When Jobs returned he brought them back to innovation; and using a BSD core for OS X was inspired and courageous.

    Jobs gave us “one more thing” and Gates gave us “that’s not a bug, its a feature.”

  37. andyo says

    What continues to astonish me is how slow rival companies were/are to catch on to Job’s innovations.

    I’d think Apple doesn’t cater to quite the same markets as most others. I’ve long disagreed with people who say Apple is overpriced. It’s priced more or less right, but it sells you hardware or features you don’t necessarily need. Most people who want a $600 laptop (which is even midrange nowadays) don’t need Thunderbolt, or Firewire 800.

    Another example: I just got a smartphone for the first time. If I wanted an iPhone, I would have had to get a 2-year contract with one of the big companies like ATT or Verizon (and now Sprint), whose limited data plans don’t go below about $70 plus taxes and fees. If I wanted an unlocked phone, it would have been $600-700 maybe, and the cheapest plan I could do would have been probably T-mobile (cause of SIM cards) again limited and 2-year contract.

    Instead I got a no-contract $100 LG Android phone, which is working amazingly well, has much better WiFi reception than my Ipod Touch 4, makes great free wifi/3G google voice calls with a $5 app, which is much better integrated than its iOS competitor. In general integrates excellently with google services, which Apple doesn’t really offer alternatives to. And best of all, on a $35 (including tax/fees) unlimited data/text, 300-minute plan (great for me since I only use mobile voice minutes when there’s no good 3g reception or Wifi). So, I wasn’t really gonna be an Iphone person any time soon.

  38. No One says

    I think I met Steve briefly when a friend of mine bought one of Capt Crunchs little boxes out of the back of a van. That was in early 70s in Bezerkly.

  39. Tom says

    #37 “Steve Jobs made the 21st century look like the 21st century.”

    Sure, but if he hadn’t been so bent on making every extra little penny he can it could have looked like the 22nd. Steve’s brilliance is in capitalism, not technology. Not that capitalism is a bad thing just extreme forms like Steve’s business practices. Admittedly, OSX is way better than windows, but you can only enjoy it by paying a HUGE premium. This stifles the potential that it had in pushing the envelope. A reasonable premium and license to use it on whatever you want would have ushered in a cascade of innovation. We would have had tablets back in the 90’s if that was the case.

    #42, chill out. PZ can have his preferences. I’m just disappointed that he lets his desire for shiny cloud his ability to see a bigger picture. And why should I care about expressing condolence. I’m not happy he died, but I’m not sad. I’m rather apathetic about it. I guess it’s sad that a person died, but it’s no different to me than when a random person dies in a car accident.

  40. jonhendry says

    sean wrote: ” But in private life, Gates is a true philanthropist in that great US tradition. Jobs? Not that I’m aware of, though he was certainly rich enough.”

    Sure, but don’t forget that Gates was many times richer, and Jobs wasn’t even a paper billionaire until after the Pixar IPO in 1995. It’s not surprising that their philanthropic behavior would be different.

    Also, another difference between the two is Jobs’ formative experience of having gone from the early heights of success at Apple, to being booted out in 1985. Gates never went through that. Jobs may not have felt secure enough to give out lots of his wealth.

    “Also he was less than stellar when it came to working conditions in China and the use of recyclable products. ”

    Him and every other CEO of a company that sells electronics-based devices. And Apple’s improved a great deal on the recyclability issue and in reducing packaging.

  41. What a Maroon says

    I’m from a Mac family, and at the beginning of my computer life I was a Mac person, but unfortunately my wife and I live in a PC world professionally, and so for years we’ve had to buy IBMs, Dells, Sonys, etc., and we haven’t had one that I haven’t come to hate after a few months. So when I finally decided that I needed a light laptop for traveling, I bought a MacBook Air. OK, it’s only been about a month, but the honeymoon is still going strong.

    And I love that I can carry all the music I’ve ever bought, 11,000 song and counting, in the palm of my hand.

    Too late, but thanks, Steve.

  42. Ichthyic says

    you know what I really like about threads like this?

    posts like Andyo’s at 52.

    that’s some useful info.

  43. timberwoof says

    I was at the Penultimate Demo of the Xerox Star in Palo Alto in the late 1990s. Someone had dug out enough old Star parts to make a few working examples, and did a demonstration of its capabilities. My conclusion was that Windows (and later, Linux with KDE or Gnome) is a whole lot more like Macintosh than any of them were like the Star. If you know any of these modern systems, you’d be able to get around in any of the others with minor fuss. (Setting system preferences is trickier.) But faced with a Star, you would be lost.

    I’m not convinced that Apple charges an unreasonable premium for its products. I’ve done tech support for people with Windows computers and I test stuff on Windows all the time. The machines are cheap with attention-seeking doodads all over the place. The OS is … cheap, with attention-seeking doodads all over the place. My Mac laptop is clean, elegant, easy to use with a minimum of fuss and bother. It was not all that much more expensive than a comparable Windows laptop, but given how well it works and how long I can realistically expect it to work, it’s a bargain. (Disclosure: I’m a contractor at Apple. I’d be saying this even if I wasn’t.)

    Apple is in good hands. Steve has been collecting brilliant engineers and product managers. People here “get it” or they would not be working here.

  44. Jan says

    Bloomberg must have prophets and seers in their ranks. They called this days ago :@

    Rest in iPeace Steve, you made the world a better place in your own way, you will be missed.

  45. GregFromCos says

    Facebook has just made me shake my head tonight. The cognitive dissonance is out in full force.

    Have had 2 fundamentalist friends put up the comment.

    “RIP Steve Jobs”

    But I just want to ask them if they really believe in Hell, because he is there if there is one.

    Just interesting to see their lack of tying their beliefs to people in the real world that they respect.

    Maybe its just a case of people wanting to be more empathetic than their religion should let them be. And for that I have hope.

  46. DerelictHat says

    Second best boss I’ve ever had, and he only loses out to the chef who would let us take home boxes of steaks.

    “Death is very likely the best invention of life. All pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure, these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.” -Steve Jobs 1955-2011

  47. Sudoma bin Usri says

    Apple may have popularised it, but Xerox PARC developed it.

    For fucks sake, can we not recycle every stupid fanboy argument right now? Did Steve Jobs ever claim to have invented the GUI? No? Then have a littte respect.

  48. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Sudoma, your indignant defensiveness is noted, but that was a direct response to PZ’s OP, wherein he referred to Apple’s interface design.

    (If MS copied Apple, Apple copied Xerox)

  49. says

    Maybe you use a Windows machine, but face it: Microsoft has been chasing Apple’s interface design since the 1980s.

    Linux actually. And Jobs took a lot from unix and open source.

    That would not be bad (since it’s open source), if he played well in the sandbox. He didn’t. Microsoft contributes more code to open source projects than Apple ever did. Designing devices with planned obsolescence when we are running the planet into the ground is obscene. Just making batteries replaceable would significantly decrease the environmental impact of many apple products. The iPhone alone contributed almost 2 billion dollars to the US-China trade deficit. It could be manufactured in the US, but if it were instead of making $320 profit per iPhone, they would make only about $250 – still a 50% profit.

    Also, that innovation? In Apple Computer, Inc. v. Microsoft Corporation, (9th Cir. 1994) Apple sued to prevent MS and HP from having any GUI because the ‘look and feel’ was something Apple innovated. Apple lost the case because Jobs and Woz stole the original design for the Lisa and Macintosh line (and Doug Engelbart’s idea for the mouse) from Xerox PARC. They did win one point in that case. They innovated and own the trashcan. That’s why you can only have a ‘trashcan’ on Apple products.

    Even today their anti-competitive practices and patent trolling have stifled innovation. It’s easy to be the big innovator if you squash anyone else in your way. A good example is their claim that the Galaxy Tab violates their patent on any tablet-ish device… despite the fact that Star Trek showed similar designs when Jobs was a teen.

    Moreover Apple’s opposition to net neutrality is possibly the worst thing that Apple has done. Tim Wu, the Columbia Law professor who coined the term ‘Net Neutrality’ has described Apple as the number 1 threat to Internet freedom. His book The Master Switch is a pretty terrifying read. In a NYTimes interview he said of Jobs: “Steve Jobs has the charisma, vision and instincts of every great information emperor. The man who helped create the personal computer 40 years ago is probably the leading candidate to help exterminate it. His vision has an undeniable appeal, but he wants too much control.”

    I hope his death was painless and I wish the best for the people who loved him. But the climate that he fostered, the ferocious opposition to Net Neutrality, and the patent-trolling for which Apple is famous is not a great legacy to leave behind.

  50. says

    Not sure if popcorn time yet.

    Apple sucks! No wait. Gates is a liar and over all scum bag! Linux is for neckbeards!

    DerelictHat:

    I wish… I wish I was you.

    The generation above me has (collectively) had some amazing life stories. (Verb agreement?) While it is possible that my generation- the 20 somethings- are simply too young to have experienced life, I think that we are being stifled by the economy. Seriously. I am making a dollar fifty over minimum wage as a research assistant, (which is more than most of my peers could claim) and have yet to have an odd- job filled with perks like that. My older relatives can tell me stories about odd jobs that they made a living off of. I can tell you about a job that I bust my ass at and still make 1/2 poverty line.

    Anyway, this isn’t about me. RIP Steve, I wish the best for your family. I am no Apple fanboy. I own an iPod I bought in high school nearly six years ago. It works amazingly well. There is no doubt about the influence he had on the tech market. Apple has really shaped the world, and I am, in some ways, appreciative of that.

  51. Sudoma bin Usri says

    Sudoma, your indignant defensiveness is noted, but that was a direct response to PZ’s OP, wherein he referred to Apple’s interface design.

    I’m not being defensive, I’m offended that anyone thinks now is the appropriate time to rehash these tired old arguments. The man just died, but having some respect for that fact is obviously beyond some people.

  52. grolby says

    That would not be bad (since it’s open source), if he played well in the sandbox. He didn’t. Microsoft contributes more code to open source projects than Apple ever did.

    Quality, not quantity. From Apple, we have WebKit. Please name any MS open-source contribution with anything near the importance of this.

    Designing devices with planned obsolescence when we are running the planet into the ground is obscene.

    Cite for Apple (and Jobs) designing devices with “planned obsolescence” above and beyond the rest of the tech industry.

    Just making batteries replaceable would significantly decrease the environmental impact of many apple products.

    Citation needed.

    The iPhone alone contributed almost 2 billion dollars to the US-China trade deficit.

    Citation needed. (Also, WTF?)

    It could be manufactured in the US, but if it were instead of making $320 profit per iPhone, they would make only about $250 – still a 50% profit.

    Apple sure fights dirty, what with trying to make a profit against its friendly not-for-profit competitors, which make their products in the United States with unionized labor from angels and unicorns.

    Eh, screw the rest of the bullshit haterade. Steve Jobs was a visionary. He changed the world. He was not a being of perfect light and pureness. Some will insist that this made him evil. The rest wil, understand how fucking stupid and bitter that is. I’ll miss him.

  53. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    The first computer I ever bought was an Apple IIe. Nice machine, did what I wanted it to, cost me just over $1000 in 1982. I finally put it in the basement in 1992. I would have continued buying Apple products but they were just a little more expensive than Windoze boxes and there wasn’t quite as much software available for them.

    Jobs was a superb entrepreneur and a mediocre human being. Considering how he treated his daughter and her mother, perhaps I’m being a bit generous. Now he’s gone and life goes on.

  54. John Morales says

    Sudoma, yeah, you are offended.

    If you must be offended, be offended at PZ who invoked the Apple/MS issue, and to which I responded.

    As for respect, did you note you quibbled to my afterword, and not to my main point (“pretty impressive dude”)?

  55. says

    I remember how awesome Apple were, back when the iPod 1 was released. My girlfriend was lucky enough to win one, as a Uni Open Day door prize. Even the guys at the Apple store hadn’t see one at that point.

    Over the years I have seen Apple become a company far worse than Microsoft, in controlling and limiting users’ choices. Itunes is a very bad system for distributing and selling music. You can’t even get the WAV file from iTunes, instead you pay the full price for a compressed audio file.

    Apple, today, is a horrible shell of a company, compared to Apple in 2002.

    While it is sad another billionaire is dead, I just don’t care because Steve turned Apple from the best company in the world, to one of the worst (right next to Google).

    RIP Steve. You won’t be missed.

  56. Brownian says

    He’s the guy who shaped our virtual world.

    Yeah, fuck “the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions”!

    Oops, sorry—meant to post in the Carlin/revolution thread.

    ¡Viva la iPad2ución!

  57. says

    Surely Steve Jobs bought the rights to Xerox’s interface ideas. If he’d stolen them, Xerox was big enough to hobble Apple with legal action as soon as they’d released the Lisa.

  58. grolby says

    The nastiness from people who are acting as though it we’re Pol Pot who had just died because they happen to dislike the products his company made and his vision of technology was sadly predictable.

    Stay classy, assholes.

  59. jonhendry says

    “If he’d stolen them, Xerox was big enough to hobble Apple with legal action as soon as they’d released the Lisa.”

    And Xerox probably didn’t care, because their vision for the technology was so limited. They most likely wanted to market it (if at all!) like their copiers, to corporate customers.

  60. Frances Macomber says

    This is a sad day for all of us. One of the few remaining truly brilliant people has passed away. It always hurts when a truly bright light is snuffed forever.
    Even though he will never see this: Thank you sir for all that you have done to change the world.

  61. jonhendry says

    “Microsoft contributes more code to open source projects than Apple ever did.”

    Right. WebKit alone likely outweighs the importance of Microsoft’s contributions. Clang and LLVM are likely to be increasingly significant, as well.

  62. Frances Macomber says

    Of course this thread disintegrates into madness. This truly is either the asshole capitol of the world or the world’s greatest grouping of trollbait.

  63. says

    Quality, not quantity. From Apple, we have WebKit. Please name any MS open-source contribution with anything near the importance of this.

    They had no choice with WebKit. They derived it from the rendering engine for Konqueror, which is GPL’d. Contrast that to what they did with Darwin (now dead which is what happens to closed-source bullshit). That said, to answer your actual question: http://www.dwheeler.com/blog/2011/07/14/#microsoft-linux-author

    And the reality is that if WebKit didn’t exist Chrome would have used the one from Firefox or Google would have written their own. And half the reason that WebKit is that good is because it was derived from the rendering engine from Konqueror, which is fast as hell.

    Cite for Apple (and Jobs) designing devices with “planned obsolescence” above and beyond the rest of the tech industry.

    Easy. You just tell me what other smartphones don’t have replaceable batteries. (While your at it, tell me what laptops other than the Air don’t either.)

    The the cost to replace the fucking battery makes older Apple items not worth fixing, thus they end up in the trash heap. If that was not the case, they would be re-purposed or reused by less wealthy users. If you would like a better description http://www.ifixit.com/blog/blog/2011/01/20/apples-latest-innovation-is-turning-planned-obsolescence-into-planned-failure/

    Citation needed. (For “Just making batteries replaceable would significantly decrease the environmental impact of many apple products.”.

    Really? You really think that needs a citation? Are you that dull?

    Citation needed. (Also, WTF?) (That the iPhone has added almost 2 billion to the US-China Deficit.)

    http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2010/12/15/iphone-adds-19-billion-to-us-china-trade-deficit/

    And yes. Exactly, WTF?

    “Eh, screw the rest of the bullshit haterade.”

    Nothing you can really say about the fact that Apple is biggest danger to freedom on the Internet, huh? Or are you going to tell me how Net Neutrality will stifle content producers?

  64. says

    I never got caught up in the cult of Steve, but I appreciated his existence, which I think benefited us all. He got shafted on the number of years in his life, but did a lot more with those he got than most people do. As for his foibles, which I’m sure he had (as do we all), certainly this is not the time to fuss over them.

    On a different note: I’m beginning to appreciate Westboro Baptist Church. Those assholes give religion a bad name. Good.

  65. chigau () says

    An Apple of some kind was the first computer I used that let me get through a whole session without:
    SYNTAX ERROR
    SYNTAX ERROR
    SYNTAX ERROR
    every time I ; instead of :

  66. terryg says

    Bummer – I hope it was relatively painless; I wouldn’t wish a terminal illness on anyone – they suck majorly, for all involved :(

    I first saw an Apple in 1980 IIRC – I played Apple Panic, then watched, fascinated, as an engineer compiled some (6502? not sure, I think so) ASM code, then burnt it to an EPROM and fixed a bug with a 3000psi CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) pump, that Dad had the maintenance contract for. So I went home and wire-wrapped up a 4-bit SREG-based EPROM programmer I found in a magazine, that used the joystick port of my Atari. It took a long time to make it work – partly because I had no way of testing the contents…..but hey I was 11.

    Later on I used an Apple Lisa during my first attempt at uni, and thought it was both ugly and weird. Got a PC and went out working as a tech for a few years, before re-doing uni but properly this time – by then I was an accomplished DOS programmer (INT21 calls memorised…..anyone recall TSRs?). So of course all the comp sci stuff was either Macs (baby stuff) or SPARC, both of which I hated. Mouse? silly thing, what possible use is that?

    And then in 3rd year we studied software & user interface design – and the Mac was used as examples of how to design systems (the PC for counter-examples). things like not forcing a user to do a particular thing, just because; Motorolas orthogonal instruction set taken to the next level basically – everything works with everything. minimise constraints; avoid unnecessary rules etc. One of the most useful classes ever – it has directly influenced every piece of hardware/firmware I have ever designed, and will continue to do so.

    I still hated Macs though, but learned to love the rationale & architecture (OMFSM – linear address space! a pox upon iAPX86). Professionally, all the engineering SW I used ran on PCs only, so Macs were never an option, and it grew to really piss me off – because unlike PCs, Macs just work. To this day I am constrained to use PCs, and I hate them with a passion; Windows et al is a festering pile of kluges.

    And then Apple turned evil. Dont blame SJ, AFAICT all huge companies morph into rat bastards – and the bigger the Co., the bigger the bastardry. The corrupting influence of big money…..

    I got an iPod touch a few years back, and was horrified to discover it was iTunes or nothing*, with total wipeouts the result of plugging it into the wrong hole. The aesthetics rocked, and the UI was totally cool, but fuck that – I bought it, but I didnt own it. So I gave it away, and have studiously avoided Apple products since then.

    Walled garden? Razor-wire compound more like.

    Then just to piss me off, the products got cooler whilst the razor wire grew taller. So nowadays i am simultaneously gloating and jealous…..

    But dont give apple shit about using Foxconn – all the big tech co’s do. FFS they have 8,000 staff in their purchasing dept – if a design gets made at Foxconn, the BOM cost drops one to two orders of magnitude. And compared to some of the places I have seen in China, Foxconn are positively nice to their workers. Hell, one time a project manager came back from a casting shop adamant that it was, literally, hell on earth and under no circumstances were we to use them; worker mortality was a serious issue….

    so Hail Steve Jobs, you’ve not so much left a legacy as steered and developed entire industries, mostly for the better. We shall stand on your mighty shoulders as we forge new paths, and BY so doing will eventually be able to step out of the garden and into the sunshine.

    *yeah, its possible to crack them but I dont care enough about sw to learn how. electrons are more fun.

  67. Brownian says

    Of course this thread disintegrates into madness. This truly is either the asshole capitol of the world or the world’s greatest grouping of

    It’s capital, not capitol, and I’m just irritated that yesterdays’s planned storming of the Bastille has been postponed so we can mourn the death of a king.

    I feel sorry for all the billionaires who didn’t inspire rabid legions of nerds. Poor Wall Street tycoons. Maybe it’s the suits. We should put together a mock turtleneck fund for them so they can get some of this hot geek love.

  68. The Prancing Spaniel says

    @#17: So far you’ve posted the most factually incorrect statement I’ve seen yet, “Apple is pretty much the world’s richest company”. No. That is incredibly wrong. Wrong by a long shot. And don’t start with the Apple hater bull-shit, because this wasn’t a matter of opinion, you were just flat out wrong.

  69. says

    Fanboys transcend even Pharyngula.

    Does anyone else hate buttered pop corn? I’ll take mine with salt, surely, but butter? Meh.

  70. M Groesbeck says

    mikeg @ #88 —

    Once you’ve had popcorn with brewer’s yeast, nothing else ever tastes quite right.

  71. jaydenreynolds says

    Bah, I’m on Ubuntu and use Sandisk media players and have an Android phone. Open source. It’s the way to go. Fuck both Apple and Microsoft.

  72. says

    All the kvetching about Apple’s business practices or who really invented what misses the point of why Jobs was so important, and why his loss is so significant: Steve Jobs’ critical, unique insight was that computers were tools for regular people (or at least, that they could be; surely they weren’t when he started). Not just for scientist and artillery gunners and soldering-iron-wielding hobbyists; not just for banks and governments and universities, but for… well, for you.

    Everything Apple did, and that everyone else in the computer/digital tools game did, afterward flowed from that vital insight. Someone upthread said Jobs made the 21st century look like the 21st century, but what he really did was lay the paving stones for a 21st century that never would’ve been but for him.

    Gutenberg… Marconi… Bell… the Wrights… Edison… Ford…. Each had a vision that changed the fundamental paradigm of the world. So did Jobs. Maybe — probably — somebody else would’ve seen the same vision if we hadn’t had Steve… but in the actual event, it was him.

    Get back to platform wars and squabbling over how many buttons a mouse should have tomorrow, if you must; tonight, a visionary is gone.

  73. mcedgarallanfloe says

    @#86

    No, “capitol” could be correctly used in that sentence. This thread is neither a building nor a city which officially heads all the assholes of the worlds, so Frances Macomber was obviously being figurative. So who cares which word is used as either could work in the figurative sense?

    Making an inane hypercorrection is just more of the trollbait that was being pointed out in the first place (conveniently left out of your quote).

  74. chigau (-_-) says

    M Groesbeck
    The only living thing I’ve ever met that actually liked brewer’s yeast was a cat.
    No. I don’t have a point.

  75. says

    Zeno:

    On a different note: I’m beginning to appreciate Westboro Baptist Church. Those assholes give religion a bad name. Good.

    Yah, when I first saw that, my thought was something along the lines of “with ‘friends’ like these, does God really need enemies?”

  76. John Morales says

    [OT]

    terryg,

    (INT21 calls memorised…..anyone recall TSRs?)

    Yeah. I wrote a screen-dump routine for my Hercules monochrome card, since it didn’t come with one nor could I find one.

    (80×25 text, 720×348 graphics, woo-hoo!

    Good times)

  77. Circe says

    grolby: I think you deny the KDE project a lot of credit when wyou give all the credit for webkit to Apple. But I do agree with you that Apple has done a significant amount for open source: an especially interesting tool Apple supports a lot is LLVM: a compiler construction architecture with almost no parallel for its combination of usability and power.

  78. John Morales says

    Bill Dauphin:

    Steve Jobs’ critical, unique insight was that computers were tools for regular people (or at least, that they could be; surely they weren’t when he started).

    Hardly critical or unique, he was just one of the first, he caught the crest of a wave. If not he, then others.

    It was in the air, back then, as I well remember.

    (Does nobody remember Clive Sinclair, for example?)

  79. chigau () says

    Bill Dauphin

    Steve Jobs’ critical, unique insight was that computers were tools for regular people (or at least, that they could be; surely they weren’t when he started). Not just for scientist and artillery gunners and soldering-iron-wielding hobbyists; not just for banks and governments and universities, but for… well, for you.

    Thank you.
    I wanted to say this.

  80. says

    I suppose you could say Thomas Edison had serious character flaws too, but there is no denying the impact that his work has had on our world.

    History books that are missing numerous references to Tesla?

    ((Yeah screw your Jobs/Gates fanwars, I’m going OLD school baby))

  81. says

    John:

    Hardly critical or unique, he was just one of the first, he caught the crest of a wave. If not he, then others.

    You could say — and people have said — the same about all the other names I listed, too; nevertheless, they have gone down as pivotal figures in history. Nobody ever really creates anything entirely on hir own… but some people have the combination of clarity of vision, singleness of purpose, and the accident of the historical moment necessary to change the course of life in the world as we know it.

    I contend that Jobs was one such. I, for one, will miss him.

  82. The Celestial says

    I’ve been using Apples since 1985 when I was introduced to them at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary, Alberta. I used the Apple IIe computers in the library there for nearly 4 years… until I bought my first Mac in 1991… the same day as the San Francisco earthquake! After that… upgraded to a Mac IIvi… used it for 13 years (and it still runs… real slowly), then upgraded to the 2nd generation iMac (the lampshade), and have gone up to the two latest version of iMacs… as well as ipods, Ipod Touch, iPadd and soon to get a new iPhone. If it wasn’t for Steve and the Apple crew… I wouldn’t have been doing graphic design and written three books with these wonderful machines.

    Steve, you will be missed… you made my live a hell of a lot less boring!

  83. says

    Ing:

    History books that are missing numerous references to Tesla?

    Tesla was almost certainly more brilliant than Edison, and right about a large number of things Edison was wrong about.

    But Edison changed the world (arguably in at least three different ways); Tesla changed museum science demos.

    BTW, Beta was superior to VHS, too. (How’s that for old school? ;^> ) It’s not about who (or what) is better; it’s about who (or what) changes things.

  84. says

    Making an inane hypercorrection is just more of the trollbait that was being pointed out in the first place

    Uh huh. Whatever would we do without you to point such things out? Gee, it’s not like we had any idea at all that Macomber is a troll, nooooo. :eyeroll:

    BTW, Macomber seems to think that disagreeing with me results in an instaban. I’ll save him the trouble of warning you about a completely non-existent threat.

  85. says

    But Edison changed the world (arguably in at least three different ways); Tesla changed museum science demos.

    Tesla gave us long-distance electricity transmission. Edison’s vision was a powerhouse every few blocks–lovely coal-fired things.

    AC was the key to reasonably-priced electricity.

    Edison made a lot of good inventions, no question, although he had more help on a lot of them (movie pictures, especially) than many realize. And his company’s power system are what give him credit for the light bulb, as a Brit invented the same thing around the same time–but not a means to power it.

    Tesla was the mad scientist, ending up wasting his life on death rays and the like. But AC electricity changed the world–if someone else would have come up with it, and likely that would have happened if Tesla weren’t first, it probably would have meant at least several decades of delay before electricity became a highly practical form of energy.

    Yeah, screw the Apple-PC wars, who needs them? Basically, it’s capitalism working well enough, at least now.

    Glen Davidson

  86. Ichthyic says

    Does anyone else hate buttered pop corn? I’ll take mine with salt, surely, but butter? Meh.

    so the Steve Jobs memorial webthread has turned into a debate over popcorn tastes?

    ROFLMAO

    I actually bet Steve would have been amused.

  87. Ichthyic says

    Yeah screw your Jobs/Gates fanwars, I’m going OLD school baby

    yeah, fuck Galileo, he was just standing on the shoulders of Copernicus.

  88. Jose says

    Sorry for you. Not for the dead of Steve whom I didn’t meet; but for owning one too many apple products. :)

  89. Alex, Tyrant of Skepsis says

    I would have wished him more time to enjoy his semi-retirement, it is always a sad thing when that happens. I have mixed feelings about his legacy. It frustrated me in the old days how they could take an old technology like an mp3 player+mp3 downloads, make it expensive and absurdly restrictive on purpose just for profit’s sake, and everyone suddenly seemed to believe that apple had not only invented it but that it was the greatest thing ever. It was as if all the other, reasonably-priced and more flexible products simply didn’t have the magical glow that apple products seem to emanate nowadays. That only as a response to PZs exaggerated praise in the OP. Apple certainly has given other companies an incentive to try harder when it comes to innovations, but there is so much about how they did it which I dislike.

  90. laurentweppe says

    So the next step is canonisation, I guess.

    Come on: we all know that Job’s real goal had always been to be reincarnated into Skynet

  91. Ichthyic says

    Job’s real goal had always been to be reincarnated into Skynet

    yup, he just got tired of waiting.

    :)

  92. says

    Xerox got a whole bunch of Apple stock in exchange for GUI technology. Apple got zilch from Microsoft.

    Xerox’s GUI stuff wasn’t terribly practical, either. The Alto’s screen was hooked up to a filing-cabinet-sized $20,000 computer, and it used Smalltalk, which even on that much hardware was too slow to be practical. There were dedicated keyboard buttons for things like opening, renaming, and closing files. The mouse had three buttons, and there was a weird “chord” attachment with piano-like keys you would hold to modify things even more. In short, it was a mess. There was a lot of promise in it, but it was only Jobs’s taste and his talented, driven engineers that refined it into a $2500 machine that fit inside a square foot, kept up with what was asked of it, and needed only an alphanumeric keyboard and a one-button mouse.

    I’ll miss Steve terribly. His story was, and is, an inspiration to any entrepreneur or technologist who wants to make a difference.

  93. Ichthyic says

    Those dumbshits better not disrupt the funeral.

    didn’t they get slapped with a “must remain 100 yds away from any funeral gathering” order or somesuch?

    I kinda hope they actually try.

    it’s about time these roaches got squashed, and that much publicity might finally be the straw.

    I picture millions of geeks raiding the Westboro compound.

  94. seabounatheist says

    Apple fanboys are some of the most blinded, deluded on the planet. Never have I seen so much justification for inferior, obsolete hardware

    That said, too bad for Jobs. He died to young.

  95. John Morales says

    [OT]

    Brent, a little detail you neglected to mention: the Alto was a 1973 box, the Macintosh a 1984 box.

  96. terryg says

    [OT] and thems wuz some mighty significant 11 years – the difference between a 4004 and a 68000. Yikes.

  97. martinbenson says

    Sorry to hear of his death. He was indeed a visionary.

    But, PZ – you have twice in the last week epitomized why it is that Apple users get so much hate. Comments like yours above about Windows chasing Apple since the 1980’s and the one a few days ago that “all the cool kids have iPads” – well, they are smug and patronizing.

    And no-one likes being patronized.

  98. terryg says

    Bill Dauphin @91:

    Exactly, and nicely put. They worked, and you didnt need a tertiary education and a truckload of personality defects to use them. Its what always annoyed me – dammit I like mastering obscure meaningless complexity! My Aunt and Uncle were printers/typesetters, and they adopted Macs pretty much immediately – not at all uncommon. I was always amazed that they had no “useful” sw on their Mac, only a whole bunch of desktop publishing rubbish. no cross-compilers, not even an assembler. WTF?

    John Morales @96: [OT]
    heh. with the aid of a 6845 datasheet, I wrote an astonishingly annoying TSR – after a random period of time it would slowly start to move the picture back and forth, increasing in speed. when it got fast, I messed up the Sync registers, to make the picture tear into a diagonal, screechy mess. Then it went back to normal, for some random but long time. I am a bad man. Turns out some monitors would break…..

    Ing @ 101:
    Not only could Tesla visualise rotating space vectors, he could also visualise wave propagation on distributed transmission lines. Alas his prose was nigh unintelligible, and his genius was surpassd only by his idiocy in mundane matters.

    Ichthyic @ 118:
    Them westboro roaches are just a phishing scam. they say awful things precisely to evoke a reaction, and then sue all and sundry when it occurs (councils, police departments, etc). Thats why they are all lawyers (pronounced with a strong Irish accent, as in “ye fecking lawyer, dats moi potato”.)

  99. jonhendry says

    @117:

    his talented, driven engineers

    therein lies the true key.”

    Every company has “talented, driven engineers”.

  100. jonhendry says

    @120: “Brent, a little detail you neglected to mention: the Alto was a 1973 box, the Macintosh a 1984 box.”

    The Xerox Star was a 1981 box, and cost $16,000.

  101. jonhendry says

    Brent @115: “. There was a lot of promise in it, but it was only Jobs’s taste and his talented, driven engineers that refined it into a $2500 machine that fit inside a square foot, kept up with what was asked of it, and needed only an alphanumeric keyboard and a one-button mouse.”

    Exactly. Xerox saw it as a new kind of “document processing workstation” that fit into their product line next to the big, expensive departmental-size photocopiers. According to Wikipedia (which is probably reliable on something like this) “a typical office would have to purchase at least 2 or 3 machines along with a file server and a name server/print server. Spending $50,000 to $100,000 for a complete installation was not an easy sell, when a secretary’s annual salary was about $12,000.”

  102. idlemind says

    Back in the early ’80s I had a chance to use a Xerox 1100 (first produced in 1979 and nicknamed the “Dolphin”). It had a bitmapped display and a three-button mouse; I used it to hack on Smalltalk (other folks in the lab where I worked were hacking Interlisp), though it also ran what at that time was called “office automation” software. Well, when Steve Jobs saw something similar, he saw a vision of the future. And he did something that is oh so rare — after years of trials and setbacks, he made his vision a reality.

    It’s easy to disparage Apple as doing nothing original. As someone who saw first-hand the technology that came out of Xerox PARC, I’d be the first to agree that much of what Apple did came from elsewhere. But that misses the point entirely. The Xerox researchers couldn’t even sell their technology to their own management. Steve Jobs sold it to the world.

    (He also sold Bill Gates on the idea, since the Macintosh would have had very little software if Microsoft hadn’t filled the gap. Windows might not even exist if it were not for that early intensive cooperation between the two companies.)

  103. John Morales says

    idlemind, can’t argue with that.

    That, I think was his genius: as a visionary, as a salesman, as a businessman (in no particular order).

  104. Adam says

    Apple’s main innovation was in presentation. Most of the stuff they have produced and which people would mistakenly give them credit for (GUIs, MP3 players, smart phones etc.) was around in one form or another WAY before Apple marched in.

  105. =8)-DX says

    I’ve never had any apple products. Never really saw the point in overpriced “I’m so snazzy” design, as well has hating closed user-limitting applications. But Jobs was really a figure, someone with vision, guess you gotta leave him that.

  106. c0wr0ck says

    Perhaps too soon, but it saddens me that he might possibly have been around longer if he hadn’t fallen victim to quackery:

    http://money.cnn.com/2008/03/02/news/companies/elkind_jobs.fortune/index.htm?postversion=2008030510

    “If the tumor were surgically removed, Jobs’ prognosis would be promising: The vast majority of those who underwent the operation survived at least ten years.

    Yet to the horror of the tiny circle of intimates in whom he’d confided, Jobs was considering not having the surgery at all. A Buddhist and vegetarian, the Apple CEO was skeptical of mainstream medicine. Jobs decided to employ alternative methods to treat his pancreatic cancer, hoping to avoid the operation through a special diet – a course of action that hasn’t been disclosed until now.

    For nine months Jobs pursued this approach…

    In the end, Jobs had the surgery, on Saturday, July 31, 2004, at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, near his home.”

  107. crissakentavr says

    What’s to hate-on about Apple ‘culture’?

    You don’t like purpose-built stores? Their current aluminum aesthetic? And why mention it when the guy who chose it dies? The number of people here who need to get a bit of perspective vis-a-vis ‘life and death’ vs their own self-centered assholeishness. What we have is here. Why are you wasting it whining about how you don’t like his sense of decor?

    People who worked with him were expecting this – he apparently wasn’t one to step away lightly.

    Personally, I always liked the text interface, and so most Macs and Apple products had nothing for me until they adopted a unix core with OS X. Since my first computer was a PCjr, that was quite a long bit. Whines about Apple+’closed system’ really ring hollow to my ears when faced with having to fix PCs for many years.

  108. DLC says

    So sorry to hear it. At least Jobs will be remembered for a time.
    Say what you will of him, he was an innovator and a creator, in a time when the computer industry was overfilled with engineers and scientists. Apple computers were always stylized and streamlined, and made so that they appealed to artists more than to engineers and accountants. (not saying there’s anything wrong with being an engineer or accountant, sit back down and relax).
    Au Revoir, Steve Jobs. you may be gone, but you won’t be forgotten.

  109. crissakentavr says

    …I might point out that while the battery on my celphones can be replaced, I never have. They’ve been obsoleted by the network long before that’s ever occurred. Le sigh. And you can get your battery replaced, it just takes an actual shop to do it.

    You want a tight, hard to destroy form factor, it ends up like that. There’s a certain point at which thinner and lighter must use glues and permanent tension. Else it just doesn’t work.

  110. maureen.brian says

    I’ll miss Steve Jobs because he understood where the tactile and the intuitive come in good design. That plus what Bill said about insight and regular people – including wimmin, for fuck’s sake.

    Yes, we could operate our Macs at home without difficulty while at work we were at the mercy of regular crashes, constantly delayed and patronising tech “support” which blamed us for each crash but left us none the wiser about preventing the next one. Oh, and Finance Directors whose knowledge was 20 years out of date but who insisted on buying even more out of date computers and definitely not the ones which would do what we truly needed done – like the ones we had at home.

    (I’m leaving now: there are people here I don’t wish to be associated with.)

  111. madtom1999 says

    @133 What’s to hate-on about Apple ‘culture’?
    It is annoying when an important meeting is held up by some oaf showing everyone his new apple toy* and been demonstrated the amazing new technology.
    Even more annoying is being told about the innovative new interface which I have to say I used to use 30 years ago. Been given an iPhone by work that didn’t actually work well as a phone was fun -it did some of the things my netbook did but not enough of them to allow me to leave my netbook at home so its fantastic slimness was wasted in the carrying case – as indeed all slim things seem to have to be put in padded protection after being shown around.
    Worse now is Apples determination to sue anyone with any competing product that looks like an iPad – e.g. a piece of paper.
    Apple relies on the fact that having paid over the odds for something people are unable to be critical about it. The new iPhone4s’ amazing innovation is something that has been removed from the Apple store recently having been there for 18 months!
    The term JesusPhone sums it up fanbois nicely. Thirty years ago they had a well deserved reputation for well designed hardware and a good OS they’d borrowed from elsewhere – it seems hard to shake that!
    The real problem I have with apple (and ms) is selling you the lie that making computing easy is for your benefit – it merely means you choose the path of least resistance rather than making an effort to learn to drive your computer. Computing over the last twenty years is comparable to gym membership where all the exercise equipment is powered – the views may be great and you don’t sweat but it really hasn’t achieved anything.

    *I’ve never been shown an apple product by a woman.

  112. NelC says

    Cancer’s a shitty way to die. Truly there are few great ways to die, but cancer has got to be one of the shittiest.

  113. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, purveyor of candy and lies says

    I am by no means an Apple fangirl, but I certainly give credit to Apple and Jobs for making technology accessible. For instance, I highly doubt that the ‘Droid that I’m typing this comment on would exist as it does if it weren’t for the iPhone.

    What depresses me (and this isn’t necessarily a critique on Jobs) is the cult of consumerism that has grown up around Apple’s shiny gadgets*. It’s just stuff, people.

    But, in any case, we’ve lost an innovator and that’s a sad thing.

    *Which is not limited to Apple products. I own an Xbox 360, my bff has a PS3. We don’t talk about videogames anymore.

  114. says

    If you’re whining about Apple in this thread, I’m afraid there’s no getting around it: you’re an asshole.

    If you’re calling Apple’s gadgets “shitty”, I’m afraid you’re an ignorant asshole.

    It’s fine to joke about the ‘religion’ of people’s computing preferences, but it’s rather tasteless to do it over an obituary.

    Here’s reality: Apple succeeded in the marketplace of ideas. So did Windows. So did Linux. They have different strengths and weaknesses, but all hit the sweet spot of appealing to customers. Apple has done an excellent job of producing well-crafted, elegant products that do the job they’re supposed to do, and us Apple users are happy with that. Microsoft has done a fine job of producing the ubiquitous commodity OS. Linux has the tools to attract the tech-savvy.

    So get over it already. Some of us like the salmon brioche at the upscale restaurant, some like a burger and fries, some like to pick up the ingredients and cook a meal at home, and some of us will do all three. It’s really stupid to whine about differences in taste.

  115. says

    Apple’s main innovation was in presentation.

    Oh, jeez, another one of those.

    No.

    Apple’s genius is in synthesis. None of the big OS’s is built from scratch — every single one is produced by splicing together scattered new ideas into one single place. You might as well say Rembrandt’s main innovation was presentation — he was just using pigments produced by chemists and craftsmen, drawing simulations of real life, using techniques he stole from his teachers and peers.

  116. Bernard Bumner says

    Steve Jobs undoubtably sold a great deal of innovation to the public, and in the process helped to make society much more receptive to technology. Apple’s position as market leader certainly helped to drive development.

    I think it is entirely possible to appreciate the contribution of Jobs to modern culture, without losing sight of some of the shoddy business practices and consumption-driven business model at Apple (as per technology corporations in general).

    As with most good and innovative ideas, Apple’s aesthetic and approach has become so ubiquitous as to become the orthodoxy. Which is why so many companies are following similar formulas when developing their products. The backlash is not only predictable and inevitable, but probably required for the next generation of great innovators to seek change.

    Steve Jobs, not a saint then. But certainly a signficant individual who will be long remembered.

    (Aside: I’m sure that if Windows had to work on a small number of system configurations it would probably have been about as stable as MacOS. As it is, there is less and less to choose between them.)

  117. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    The first two computers my family owned back in the early 80’s were apple ][+ and apple //e.

  118. ChasCPeterson says

    Had CNN on while cooking dinner last night. Their oft-repeated soundbite was that Jobs was “one of the greatest CEOs of the 20th Century” or something like that.
    Pretty faint praise, in my book. Corporate bullshit is corporate bullshit, no matter how elegant and tasteful the products they’re pushing.

  119. Eidolon says

    I had to laugh – PZ in his post said ‘maybe you use a Windows machine…” Maybe? Apple computers have maybe 10% market share so there is a very good chance this is being read by someone on a Windows machine. A Windows machine that is inexpensive and thus something that is available to far more people. A Windows machine that is easy to expand and upgrade to fit a user’s particular needs.

    Job’s understood design, style, and marketing. Sorry he’s dead – cancer is a lousy way to die.

  120. Lyra says

    That picture with “Twitter for iPhone” made my day. Those twits are bashing on Steve Jobs (RIP), but they live lives that have been profoundly altered by by his works, while he undoubtedly lived his life without thinking about them unless they popped on the news. It’s just so poetic.

  121. echidna says

    I”m an old hand at a variety of computer systems, Apple, PC, IBM, HP, Sinclair, Commodore,and others.

    I came to love *nixes, (now, see there is an appropriate use of an asterix, unlike censoring words).
    and will always have a soft spot for Vaxes. I was happy that MacOSX is now unix based, and I can get under the hood to do stuff if I need to, but I seldom need to.

    The beauty of Steve Jobs’ vision was that the machines were not as temperamental as PC’s, which were always a nightmare to be an admin for, because there was just so much scrappy legacy code that had to be catered for inside the OS. They were more visual than the unixes and vaxes, much as I enjoyed coding on those.

    Steve Jobs changed computing for the better. He managed to synthesise good ideas into good systems, rather than cobble together stuff which would barely function, or nobbling workhorse packages like spreadsheets by including a flight simulator as an easter egg (Excel).

    I’m not idolising Apple as a corporation, but you have to admire Steve Jobs as someone who pushed the boundaries and changed the game, streamlining computers from being kludgy work horses to something more streamlined and elegant.

  122. Nea says

    Steve Jobs created my entire world. This isn’t just about tech toys and platforms, that man *created my entire world.*

    I work on PCs… which run Windows, created to emulate the user-friendly Mac experience.

    I am a technical writer… I started my career describing DOS. Now I work in a world where GUIs are standard, so I spent most of my working hours describing interfaces created to emulate the Mac experience. (Even on a platform that isn’t Mac for an audience of Mac haters.)

    I do not own an iphone (yet; that annual fee is a bit above my budget for at least one more year.) But I own an ipod Touch which is always in my purse and thus has become my go-to e-reader plus my replacement car radio, being more capacious and less capricious than a car tape or CD.

    I own an ipad which has 10x the battery power, 2x the memory, 1/2 the weight, and almost equal capacity to my netbook, so the ipad has become my travel computer, not to mention my “easy to move around the house doing stuff while I surf” computer.

    And that’s just the ONLINE stuff. Even offline Steve Jobs literally changed my world. My favorite relaxation is knitting while listening to audiobooks. Neil Gaiman said at the National Book Fair a few years ago that the audiobook format was dying, that everyone was flooding out of the business… and then the ipod was invented and the market roared back and grew by quantum leaps. (Furthermore, I can now order my Pratchett unabridged audiobooks directly from iTunes rather than special-ordering CDs from England.)

    And not just audiobooks. I’ve made friends because I started listening to podcasts. I’ve learned new skills because I started listening to podcasts. I can keep up with my fandoms and interests because of podcasts (and even podfic).

    Steve Jobs quite literally created my world. Not just my online experience, but he influenced my job and my non-tech hobbies.

    I think that people are focusing on the platforms and who invented what first to the point that they’re forgetting the other effects of his work.

  123. terryg says

    PZ @ 143, 144:

    indeed. Apple really made an impact by producing a computer that just worked, and could be used by anyone – CS degree not required. c.f. Linux at the opposite end of the spectrum, as illustrated here http://xkcd.com/456/

    in terms of industrial design, Apple lead and others have followed for many years now. I love the look and feel of the iPhone – its a real piece of kit, not some cheap shitty plastic toy.

    Apple know how the fuck magnets work.

    When we buy hardware to disembowel, Apple is at the top of the list, but PC clones aren’t ever considered. And whenever we go looking in China for the highest quality manufacturers of stuff, we invariably run across Apple. We found a place last year that has 3,000 NC machines milling plastics for Apple, from which we pinched a new design methodology – just ‘cos it cant be molded dont mean it cant be made.

    Apple engineers are bloody smart, but more importantly Apple are masters of synergetic synthesis, and therein lies the secret of their success. When I grow up I want to be like them.

    Cowrock @ 132:
    OMFSM! I read that article and was horrified. Cancer sucks, and Pancreatic cancer sucks more than most. But Stainless steel is, so far, our most effective treatment, and unlike fine wine, letting it age wont help. But who’s to say what might have happened? We had private surgery (uninsured) the week of our diagnosis, rather than wait 5 weeks and get it free, based on the above rationale, and still it metastasized – but we’ve had 3 years we didnt plan on, and the major organs havent succumbed yet. Gotta go study Italian – we’re bucket-listing for the next month…..

  124. Brownian says

    No, “capitol” could be correctly used in that sentence. This thread is neither a building nor a city which officially heads all the assholes of the worlds, so Frances Macomber was obviously being figurative. So who cares which word is used as either could work in the figurative sense?

    What are you, thick? “[Blank] is the [blank] capital of the world” is an oft-used phrase, and capital is the correct word, as it refers to the city, region, or place that’s the seat of government.

    A capitol is the actual building, and is generally only used to refer to the legislative buildings in the US and Rome.

    Making an inane hypercorrection is just more of the trollbait that was being pointed out in the first place

    Well, check out the big brain on Brad! Excellent detective work, Sherlock. You busted this case wide open!

    Any more patently fucking obvious observations you’d like to make?

  125. Brownian says

    It’s fine to joke about the ‘religion’ of people’s computing preferences, but it’s rather tasteless to do it over an obituary.

    Bullshit, PZ. Fuck taste and decorum for the dead.

    We didn’t have any when Falwell died. “Man, what a beautiful burn,” you wrote of Hitchens matchbox comment, the day after Falwell’s death.

  126. says

    “Maybe you use a Windows machine, but face it: Microsoft has been chasing Apple’s interface design since the 1980s.”

    Why do people assume there is only a choice between Microsoft and Apple? This annoys the hell out of me. I use neither, and haven’t for a significant part of the 20-25 years I’ve been using computers. I used Windows for a while due to gaming and work. After WinXP Windows again became the nightmare it was before Win2000. The proprietary hell of Apple I won’t even think about.

    “We owe a lot to him. He’s the guy who shaped our virtual world.”

    I owe him nothing. He has not shaped my virtual world in any form other than convincing me that his way of doing business is not the future. Open-source is the way forward.

  127. says

    “If you’re calling Apple’s gadgets “shitty”, I’m afraid you’re an ignorant asshole.”

    Oh, come on PZ. It is one thing that he died of cancer so young, which is truly sad regardless of who it is, but today is a day where all the Apple-fans is regurgitation endless threads of Apple-praise. Praise of the products, not the man. What people consider “quality” or “shitty” solely depends on what you expect your technology to do. According to my expectations Apple-products are truly “shitty” which is why I never buy them any more. Calling people “ignorant assholes” for not liking these products is below you and also contradicts the rest of the post where you say this. It is a matter of preference.

  128. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    Calling people “ignorant assholes” for not liking these products

    That’s not what he did. And to think, you even quoted him. Well, quotemined kinda (the “in this thread” part of the previous sentence is relevant).

  129. Eric says

    Lots of comments here from people weighing in on Apple as much as Jobs.

    Let me give you the the take of one Apple employee:

    Love him, hate him, or indifferent, Steve Jobs changed the lives of many people. I come from a broken home in inner city Detroit, having been molested by one of my parents, and feeling like there was little in this world worth living for.

    Then I joined Apple. And I have had the absolutely pleasure of being around some of the most wonderful, creative, hard-working, caring people ever assembled into a group. I have the family I always wished for. I have found the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. I have found reasons to be happy for the first time in my life.

    And I owe it to Steve.

    If he doesn’t will this company into existence, and back from the brink on another occasion, I don’t have my life. A life made fuller because of the principles and ideals he embodied and passed down to anyone who cared to pay attention; to understand.

    Because in the end it doesn’t matter wether or not you agree with the WAY Apple does things, it’s the reason WHY they do things that makes all the difference. They care. Deeply. Because Steve cared. I have felt it and been touched by it. I just wish I could have told Steve myself.

    That said… please stop breaking your fucking iPhones.

  130. Praetor says

    Regarding Steve Jobs, I have nothing but regret that an innovator such as he was should be taken from us so soon. Unfortunately there are countless examples of this throughout history. He has already done so much and I’m sure he could’ve achieved even more.

    Regarding Apple’s computers, the day Apple makes one on par with the most powerful windows based gaming pcs, is the day I take their computers seriously. Before that, well, for me less really isn’t more.

  131. NoAstronomer says

    I cut my programming teeth (figuratively) on an Apple II. The systems company I worked for at the time got a sneak peak at the very first Apple Lisa computers and the first Macs.

    Steve,

    Thanks for making us see that we could be better than we were.

    Mike.

  132. says

    Because in the end it doesn’t matter wether or not you agree with the WAY Apple does things, it’s the reason WHY they do things that makes all the difference.

    I disagree. The way Apple does things makes all the difference to me and a hell of a lot of other consumers.

  133. Mus says

    Ah…
    Seems like a great number of people worship Steve Jobs!

    I don`t know much about him or Apple, but you don´t think is bit exagerated people get so upset because the death of a genial businessman and the sucess of a company that the main goal is profit (Apple)?

    Anyway, my condolences for the family and friends of Steve Jobs.

  134. says

    Regarding Apple’s computers, the day Apple makes one on par with the most powerful windows based gaming pcs, is the day I take their computers seriously. Before that, well, for me less really isn’t more.

    Actually that is as much—if not more—the gaming-industry’s fault. As a Linux user I have the same problem and need to have one of those god-awful Windows7 installations running on dual-boot on my main PC.

  135. says

    I never had a lot of time for Apple products, myself, or especially lately. Programmed ‘em a bit, on and off, back in the Motorola era, bought my daughter a Mac ‘cos let’s face it, they’re nicely wrapped. And credit where credit is due, OS X is a solid piece of work (as was, of course, FreeBSD, and on this basis alone, I cannot hate)…

    But especially of late, I just get this feeling they don’t just want to sell you a solid product…

    They seem to figure you also must want a relationship, and have said as much by so buying. Or shall be obliged to have one with the Corp. regardless of what you actually want. Kinda makes me uncomfortable. I’ve got enough commitments in my life. I don’t want to go steady with Apple… Me and my Debian boxen, we’ve got each other. But other ‘n that, we’re islands. We’re rocks, I tells ya.

    (Hums Paul Simon tune…)

    All that said: absolutely, saying what everyone already knows, Jobs could sure as hell run a business, and he and his people do insanely great UIs. Raised the game for everyone anyone anywhere near technology, fair ‘nough.

    … also, purely on the basis that Phelps and his clan of increasingly hilariously/pathetically transparent* publicity hounds are trying to milk his death for some borrowed limelight, I have to say a few things in addition that I like about the guy, so, umm…

    Man could wear a turtleneck, too. Nuff said.

    (*/Seriously, I really think PhelpsCo have utterly jumped the shark trying to pull this off, if they hadn’t already. Let’s face it, an extremely successful businessman in US culture approaches the status of revered royalty, ‘mongst many quarters, and Jobs especially always had that sorta ‘benevolent king’ cachet. It’s a bit like picketing Jim Henson–too obviously self-serving, too laughably transparent even to get folks real mad. I figure they’ve pretty much turned their protests into a mark of respect with this move. As in: honey, if you were really someone in this world, Phelps may deign to protest your funeral.)

  136. Finger says

    It really does amaze me how effective Apple’s marketing has been. They’ve managed to convince so many people that popularizing other people’s ideas as your own, running a tech company a dictatorship, and charging absurd prices for sub-par products makes you, not just a genius, but a rebel as well. As far as dirty businessmen go, Steve Jobs was not the worst, but he was no saint either.

    Someone has died from a terrible illness. That’s nothing to be joyful about, but I resent the notion that I somehow owe this monopolistic, anti-competitive, billionaire, CEO a debt for designing trendy products.

  137. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    The iPhone 4s realease (5 fail) and Jobs dying in one week and Apple stock is up today but down for the week, we’ll see how it goes for the year.

    Crude, but I’m pretty sure when it comes down to it that’s what really matters to Apple, Inc..

  138. grolby says

    Nothing you can really say about the fact that Apple is biggest danger to freedom on the Internet, huh? Or are you going to tell me how Net Neutrality will stifle content producers?

    Just two things that I can say about it. First, that it’s hyperbolic bullshit to say that Apple is the “biggest danger to freedom on the Internet,” seeing as the company has always supported and encouraged open Web standards, and is in very little of a position to pose a danger to the privacy of users in the way that companies like Google and Facebook are; and that open-source assholes like you who are self-important enough and blind enough to their economic privilege to think that buying a shiny tech gadget from Company X rather than Company Y is a big fucking political statement are in serious need of reassessing their relationship to reality.

    Second, saying that Apple is “viciously opposed to Net Neutrality” doesn’t make it true; Apple has never taken a public stance on it that I know of. They are interested in selling their product. While the executives there, including Steve, very likely have an opinion on it (and given Apple’s preference for open web standards, probably a positive one), they aren’t given, as a corporation, to expressing political views on issues that anything less than critical to their business. Assholes and idiots will read this as tacit opposition, but, well, they’re assholes and idiots, so who cares what they think?

    As for Steve himself – yes he was rich, yes he was a businessman. People need to wrap their stupid head around the idea that one can both be critical of the distribution of wealth in this country while also applauding those who brought their ideas and influence to people through those means. The man had an astounding vision for the future of technology in people’s lives; I for one am grateful for that.

  139. says

    and that open-source assholes like you who are self-important enough and blind enough to their economic privilege to think that buying a shiny tech gadget from Company X rather than Company Y is a big fucking political statement are in serious need of reassessing their relationship to reality.

    Well, one thing is certain. It is angry-fanboi-day today all over the media …

  140. says

    That plus what Bill said about insight and regular people – including wimmin, for fuck’s sake.

    Yes, we could operate our Macs at home without difficulty while at work we were at the mercy of regular crashes, constantly delayed and patronising tech “support”… –maureen.brian #137

    That’s an important point. In fact, I remember that all of the first Apple IIs and Macintoshes I got to try out were owned by women or used by women in classrooms (so make that wimmin and children). Apples were computers that worked with almost no fiddling around necessary. I’d give Broderbund, Adobe, and even Microsoft some credit there, too, for helping make applications on Apple machines that were useful at home or in the classroom outside of the male-dominated business world. It appears that Steve Jobs had a significant role in making it that way.

  141. uncle frogy says

    well I think all computers are the same only different kinds of problems separate them so they are all great and they all suck.

    we all die some sooner some later but no one gets out alive. Jobs was a great salesman and marketer he was. He was what he was from the start a hustler, was not his start selling boxes that “ripped off” the phone company for free call that was made by Waz?
    Some mentioned maybe meeting him selling them out of a van.
    The stuff he sold with apple were slick and always had a different look they used quality industrial design always not just boxes to hold stuff. He realized that what you need as a hustler is some flash to get the second look so no one will notice the flaws in your pitch other wise you don’t get their money. Cause it is about the money, and part of that includes his appeal to some superiority some exclusivity some ain’t this so cool so that’s why I have to charge you more and why you can’t fix it cause were far better then that other inferior junk .

    He was good no question about it. Design is more important to people than most techno-geeks understand. He learned much from his partnership with Disney at Pixar. The only regret I have is not having bought some apple stock when Jobs came back in I would have been in a much better place now, but I was not really thinking much about what was in retrospect quite clearly a good deal.

    wonder what will happen next who will be the trend setter in industrial design now and what direction will it go?
    I can’t wait to see what will come out of china in the years to come when they really start making things for their market with their vision and esthetics.

    The king is dead long live the king (who ever it may be)

    uncle frogy

  142. Hazuki says

    I heard his last wish was to be buried in a seamless shiny white coffin with no hinges. He calls it the iDied. *runs like hell*

  143. Maximilian_Vogeland says

    So, you die and suddenly you become a genius, even if all you did in life was a) gain a shitload of money and b) stuff the market with crap invented by engineers working for less-than-ideal wages because you keep the profits to yourself.

    And “his” crap can’t even be integrated with other crap in the marketNo, you must use his fabulous iTunes, iStore and iDontgiveashit. We can’t even accuse Steve of providing a decent plataform for people to develop things because his magna opera is shut in Microsoft’s way of thinking. Great work.

    Yeah, genius maxima tempora. Whatever, Steve, just go and disappear. You will be missed by the fanboys and fangirls, but as they say, “fanboys ruin everything”.

  144. jamesemery says

    Dear Steve:

    Thank you for revolutionizing the microcomputer industry back in the 90’s. You and Wozniak did incredible things, and my first experience with a computer was on the Apple IIGS. I’ve since developed a lucrative and interesting career in IT.

    That being said,
    Fuck you Steve Jobs, for coming back to Apple, and for running a corporation greedy enough to not only support, but directly USE sweatshop labor. Fuck your innovations of the last decade, which were largely based on software innovations from the Linux community, which your company then threw into Apple’s products, and presented them to the unknowing and uneducated public with not a word of thanks for the people who CREATED those innovations years before Apple used them. Fuck you for Apple’s unethical business practices, which because of your position, you’re directly responsible for, in large part.

    Anyone who’s bought an iPhone or an iPad is directly supporting the sweatshop industry and needs to be educated on just what that means. Principles. Steve Jobs talked a pretty game, but he didn’t have any.

  145. andyo says

    I heard his last wish was to be buried in a seamless shiny white coffin with no hinges. He calls it the iDied. *runs like hell*

    Too zune.

  146. Ichthyic says

    Every company has “talented, driven engineers”.

    do you actually believe that?

    do you think Jobs actually invented the Iphone?

    or really had a hand in much of anything post AppleII?

    nope.

    he was a visionary entrepeneur.

    that’s as far as it goes. Even the wired article, in a very positive view of his career, can only list 6 things he was responsible for bringing to market. And he only had a direct hand in designing ONE of them.

  147. Ichthyic says

    I heard his last wish was to be buried in a seamless shiny white coffin with no hinges. He calls it the iDied. *runs like hell*

    *imagines coffin that processes human remains into pure computing power*

  148. crissakentavr says

    What celphone or MP3 player doesn’t use cheap labor?

    It seems to me some people are holding Jobs to a higher standard.

    Would we even have Windows now if Jobs hadn’t pushed for a graphical UI years before? Would we have the mouse (which I rather hate now) if Jobs had not fought Xerox when they tried to stuff the genie back in the bottle? Would we have smartphones with OSes standard outside of the network providers if there wasn’t the success of the iPhone?

    Lots of people put important things into the world. Jobs gets the credit for not just being one of them, but then going from there and making sure it happened again and again. He could’ve retired in 1986 and lived the last twenty-five years doing nothing else – and he’d still be lauded today on his death.

    But he never stood still. He always demanded perfection, another step forward, and to make everything into tools usable by everyone.

    Isn’t that worth praise?

    At no point in my days of being a PC user, builder, and tech would I ever have thought to remove him from the pantheon of people who created the computers we use today.

  149. crissakentavr says

    If you bother to ask anyone who worked on those products at Apple – and dozens more – you’d hear that he would specifically step in and know and demand perfection and focus.

    That you believe he had no hand in them? That’s your ignorance.

    He was never the best businessman you’re trying to paint him – he had many failures over the years, and had more than one company falter financially under his leadership. But none of those companies failed to produce innovative products.

  150. Ichthyic says

    It seems to me some people are holding Jobs to a higher standard.

    just so.

    isn’t that what we should conclude from someone ranked by some here as equivalent to Henry Ford?

  151. Ichthyic says

    hear that he would specifically step in and know and demand perfection and focus.

    nowhere in your words do i see:

    added design knowledge and programming skills.

    you’re kidding yourself.

    stop it.

  152. Ichthyic says

    But none of those companies failed to produce innovative products.

    that’s your standard of excellence?

    innovative products?

    huh.

  153. Ichthyic says

    Lots of people put important things into the world. Jobs gets the credit for not just being one of them, but then going from there and making sure it happened again and again

    just how many times do you think that actually happened?

    do you think the last 3 apple products credited to his leadership qualify as new products or indeed distinctly innovative tech?

    why is there this love affair with Steve Jobs?

    it just isn’t justifiable.

    really.

  154. Ichthyic says

    I suggest self examination to look at how apple product fans have been psychologically manipulated into brand loyalty, but that’s like asking the religious to examine their cultural upbringings to explain why they have “faith”.

    *shrug*

  155. theophontes, feu d'artifice du cosmopolitisme says

    Beyond the pale – how this is being played out on the news. There are features like “Jobs and the Arab Spring” (on CNN for example.). WTF? In so many askeptical minds Jobs is responsible for eberryting on teh interwebs. This is just cult thinking on the part of fanboiz.

    All this for marketing cybertrinkets to the technologically illiterate. These overpriced toys are baubles, no more. Any modern cell phone and computer can connect to the content and social media where the real power for change lies. Any brand could be swapped out for any other as a means to make this connection. And pretty much any other brand presents better value for money and lower prices. Blackberry provides better security. The lower prices of other systems mean that they are more affordable to the very people who most need their voices heard. If anything, Apple is the last company in need of praise.

    The kind of shit that is pushed by news channels does Jobs’s legacy no good. Uncritical, unwarranted praise draws attention from what little good he actually did do. (see #174)

  156. ChasCPeterson says

    Caught some more of CNN’s continuing coverage of Jobs’s death (this just in: Steve Jobs still dead!), and I am amazed that like 75% of it is showing clips of him on stage in the turtleneck extolling the virtues and features of the fabulous new iWhatever.

    It amounts to a gigantic unpaid ad campaign.

  157. Mus says

    Tablet: the first tablet with handwriting text recognisition, on a digital computer appeared in the fifties, invented by Tom Dimond.

    The first programmable, and controled by keyboard computer, capable of be used by one person is the IBM 610 of John Lentz, completed at 1958.
    The first computer capable of being buyed by the general public ($600 in 1959) was the Simon, created by Edmund Berkely, Wiliam Porter, Robert Jensen and Andrew Vall.

    The first mouse, a secret canadian military project, designed in 1952, by Fred Longstaff, Kenyon Taylor and Tom Cranston.

    The origins of the mp3 can be founded in the work of Krasner and Schroeder.

    GUI: invented by Douglas Engelbart in the sixties.

    Steve Jobs was a marketing genius, with a remarkable vision that helped to make the world of today and a charisma that helped in the divulgation of much technology.
    But, please, we should gave the real valor to the people that really created some of the technological masterpieces of our time.

    Enough of the blind worship centred areound Steve Jobs: its a freaking cult… and i think most rationalists don`t like the idea of cult!

  158. maureen.brian says

    Persons still wittering about “but this idea came from here and that idea came from my Uncle Fred” should wrap a cold towel around their heads and devote a couple of years to the study of the scientific revolution in Northern Europe’s C17, broadly comparable to our own for the speed of change in technology.

    They would rapidly learn that when the times – technology, knowledge, politics, whatever – are right the same idea will arise more than once. There will be utterly pointless rows, of course. I understand that Newton vs. Leibniz is still running.

    None of that matters. What matters is the synthesis.

    What matters is the ability to spot the very good ideas, the opportunities or indeed to realise what is actually happening – as Meitner did before Hahn, at a different point in history!

    Besides, there is some sense in the old de mortuis nil nisi bonum idea. It should not cloud our judgement nor last for ever but most human societies seem to have respected it, at least until the guy is in the ground.

  159. John Morales says

    maureen:

    Besides, there is some sense in the old de mortuis nil nisi bonum idea.

    Hm.

    Contrast #191.

    (Also, you tempt me to Godwin the thread)

  160. maureen.brian says

    Now, why would you want to do that, John?

    Among the many roles my late dad played to put food on the table in a post-WWII plus post-industrial depression where we lived – very local problems but lasted well into the ’50s – he was an undertaker.

    Thus I learned at a very early age, while watching him engrave a brass coffin plate, that the role of the funerary ritual has little to do with whether you liked the corpse while it was still moving. It is a means of focusing the attention of the bereaved into following a societally approved and, before refrigeration, fairly rapid process of disposing of the body in order that those most affected had a signpost or signal that they could now move on. So corpse comes first then the assessment. Yes, it probably does date back to pacifying spirits but it is still good psychology.

    As far as I’m concerned after that anyone’s reputation is fair game, including mine, as long as you take the odd punch on the nose from their nearest and dearest in your stride.

    So, not emotional mumbo-jumbo and not an excuse to flash the little Latin I can remember – no, just a thought.

  161. John Morales says

    No worries, Maureen.

    As I’ve written, Jobs was a pretty impressive dude, certainly had a huge impact.

    (But hagiographies, well…)

  162. khms says

    Let me start with saying that nobody should die the way Jobs did, and as young – though he got six years more than my father, and five more than I currently have, so it’s hard for me to actually think of that as “young”.

    Someone asked if we’d had windows and mice without Jobs.

    Apple created the Mac (windows and mice) in 1984.

    The Athena project created the X window system (windows and mice) in 1984.

    So my answer has to be: yes, we would have had windows and mice even without Saint Jobs. It was in the air around that time.

    My personal Apple-related memories follow, very little is about Jobs:

    My first computer, around 1980, was an Apple ][+ (see, I even remember the silly brackets). Fantastic machine for its time. Open as hell - you even got the circuit diagram. (And the reference manual with the glossary that said "Feature: a bug, as described by the marketing department".)

    Then IBM made yet another attempt to get into that market, only this time they got the right idea: only use off-the-shelf components, make it cheap. Turns out the chief designer had an Apple ][ at home, so it's not quite an accident the first PC looked and behaved so much like an Apple ][. And so did its reception in the market - people who had made expansion cards for the Apple ][ started making expansion cards for the PC, people who had built clones of the Apple ][ built PC clones.

    Oh, and there came PC versions of VisiCalc (the one piece of software that made non-computer people go out and buy "a VisiCalc machine") and other successful Apple ][ software.

    And Apple?

    Apple went on to create the Macintosh.

    I still remember my reaction when I saw my first Macintosh (the Apple vendor who sold me my first computer, and made me join the Apple User Group Europe, presented it to the regular meeting).

    "Is that a joke?"

    Screen: tiny. 512*342 pixel, my current 80-column card had 720*384.
    Memory: with 128 kB, far too small for a new computer model (a ][ with language card already had 64, the Basis 108 clone came with 128).
    Storage: one floppy. Ever heard of hard disks? I had one on my ][ (plus at least three floppy drives, IIRC).
    OS: big enough it needed to swap. On that floppy.
    Price: Out of my league.

    I was disappointed. With the technology in the Mac, it would have been possible to make a so much more awesome computer!

    Other people did. The Atari, or the Amiga, or even the Archimedes. Too bad none of these had someone like Jobs, or even whoever was the boss of IBM at the time, to run their business - well, if it was Jobs, the result might have been more like the real Apple than I'd wish.

    Apple clearly had told their old customers to fuck off. I wasn't the only one who felt betrayed.

    In any case, when the time came for me to leave my ][+ and get something new, I saw the writing on the wall and got an AT clone.

    I came from Apple DOS, via MS-DOS and OS/2, to Linux, and I've never really looked back.

    For a while I worked on custom Mac software for an acquaintance (that was in the Mac OS 6 to 9 time, after there was a Mac II that was actually useful), and while PC software was often bad, the old Mac OS was a nightmare. The amount of crashes that hung the whole machine was pretty much incomprehensible. Even Apple's developer docs moaned about it! Clearly not a machine designed for software developers.

    The other Steve, now ... I analyzed the Apple ][ version of the Woz machine, and was rather impressed. (For the 99% that have no clue what I’m talking about: that was the non-integrated floppy controller. A small 256 byte PROM, a shift register, a few (8?) flip-flops, and some analog parts.)

  163. says

    Well, I was always skeptical towards Apple as I dislike hypes and uncritical fandom. But the iPod is what got me, it was a product which just worked, and in case it didn’t (the iPod Classic had some trouble with its hard disk), the customer service was superb. So then I got an iPod Touch, and finally tired of all these issues with Windows PCs, I try a Macbook Pro, and was satisfied. Finally got an iPad. (I still stand by my opinion that the iPhone up to 4 is crap, I’ll reconsider if iPhone 5 comes out)

    I mean there are problems, the MBP does slow down too, but I still feel it works better than a Windows PC, and is more secure. Of course not 100% secure, but it is enough for me.

    Even though in many cases Apple wasn’t the original innovator, it was surely a populariser. Especially in the case of the iPad. It has revolutionised the way tablet computers are used today.

    Most laughable commentary on Apple I came across: A Spiegel Online commentator chastising Jobs (and Apple) for embracing materialism as philosophy. You don’t say, I’m shocked!

  164. Rob in Memphis says

    MadScientist @25

    I’ll miss Steve Jobs – I wonder if anyone will step up to replace him soon. He had crazy ideas which worked and wasn’t afraid to put up the money to create his products. The Newton and the Next were far too early and expensive and consequently failed, but years later PDAs and the Mac with OSX are everywhere.

    FWIW, the Newton wasn’t Steve’s idea. He hated it, in fact, and it holds the dubious honor of being the first product he killed not long after he returned to Apple, along with dismantling Newton, Inc. It was an impressive but expensive piece of technology that wasn’t profitable for Apple, and the fact that it was John Sculley’s brainchild probably helped seal its fate, too.

  165. says

    I think the irreplaceable thing about Steve Jobs is that he combined business acumen, technical expertise, a sense for the market and a huge ego. Tim Cook understands logistics, but is he going to be able to negotiate with RIAA and MPAA like Jobs did?

  166. MikeM says

    Now is definitely time for a Phelps-a-thon.

    I won’t be able to organize it; sorry about that. I sure hope someone can, though.

    http://phelps-a-thon.com/

    This one just really strikes a chord with me. A nasty chord, for sure.

    I hope they violated their TOS, and their cell carrier cuts them off.

  167. says

    Ichthyic:

    It seems to me some people are holding Jobs to a higher standard.

    just so.

    isn’t that what we should conclude from someone ranked by some here as equivalent to Henry Ford?

    But it depends on what standard one based the claim of equivalency. I was one of the ones comparing Jobs to Ford (and Edison, too, among others), but I wasn’t comparing Jobs to Ford as an engineer or a businessman or a humanitarian; instead, the equivalency is this simple: Each had the visionary insight that a particular product/product category could be produced for, and made usable by, the mass population instead of niche markets and specialists, and in each case the spread of that product subsequently changed the fucking world.

    This assertion doesn’t depend on whether either was a competent engineer or an ethical business person or a decent human being. IMHO, Jobs was at least two of those three, BTW, but that’s beside the point. You can find plenty of things not to admire about Ford (and Edison), too; doesn’t mean he didn’t change the world.

    In a funny way, all the geeky arguments about who really invented which feature or what’s technically superior in engineering or programming terms simultaneously both miss and prove my point: It’s only geeks[1] who care about that stuff (at least directly). “Regular people” — moms and grandmas, high school kids, artists, small business owners, farmers, etc., etc. — just want things that work… that do what they’re supposed to do without needing to be researched or learned or customized, and that create a comfortable, even pleasant experience in the process. Jobs understood — before anyone else (even before the ultimate user base) — that computers could be that kind of thing.

    I was a bit of a youngster during the early days of the personal computer revolution (I’m ~5 years younger than Jobs), but my father had a friend who was both a microcomputer hobbyist and a fairly senior IBM executive. He was very proud of the (IIRC) IMSAI 8080 computer he built from a kit, but he was mostly proud of having built it; it couldn’t really do anything (though he was hacking together, from scratch, a keyboard-based interface so he wouldn’t have to program it with the front-panel paddle switches). At the same time, he was quite clear that IBM had no interest in, and was in fact contemptuous of, the idea of so-called “personal” computers. IBM was strictly a “big iron” company.

    Until, that is, the success of the Apple ][ forced them, kicking and screaming, into the market with the IBM PC... without which, the whole world of what we used to call "IBM-compatible" PCs (including the Windows OSs) would never have existed.

    It wasn't anything from Commodore or Atari or Sinclair or Tandy that did it; it was the Apple ][. And even though the Apple ][ wasn’t especially user-friendly by today’s standards, the computer-for-everyone was always Jobs’ vision.

    Every time a new Apple computer model was released in the early days, it was universally dismissed as a “toy” by the entrenched computer-using interests in business, science, and engineering, but what they were really saying was that Apple’s products were too easy to use, and didn’t require enough of their special expertise. I don’t claim this is anything other than an extreme (and rare) version of the attitude I’m talking about, but I’ve had more than one person argue to me, with a straight face, that graphical interfaces are evil, because they allow people to use computers who do have enough knowledge about what’s going on inside the box, and who are therefore unworthy.

    The key thing about Jobs — the only important thing, IMHO — is that he didn’t think anyone was “unworthy” of access to the computer-driven information age.

    And that’s true whether he was a good guy to work for or not.

    —-
    [1] Do not imagine for even 1 second that I mean this word as any sort of insult.

  168. Just_A_Lurker says

    I’m tired of people talking about his vision for the average people’s use of technology because you know what? Apparently to Apple’s dream of technology for everyone, I’m not a fucking person. If Microsoft took the same fucking attitude as Apple I wouldn’t have a fucking computer. I have to save for months and use tax returns to buy a computer and fuck Apple’s outrageous prices. In today’s world you do need a comp with internet for job searching and such. Using library’s for this basic stuff is hard and extremely limited for many reasons.

    I have to use anything other than Apple so if it breaks I can buy the part itself (after saving for it) and fix it my damn self. Thats not possible with Apple products.

    I’m tired of these fucking flame wars. I’m tired of people acting like Apple is the end all be all and if you don’t have it then your a loser.

    Fuck that elitist fucking bullshit. Have your own preferences, fine by me but don’t shove it down my fucking throat that I’m too fucking poor to run with you. Fuck you. Because all this harping about Apple just sounds like bragging to a poor person.

    I’m sorry he died. I’m sorry for his family and friends.

    But don’t think of me as an asshole just cause I don’t feel a damn connection with his death since the man was just an elitist asshole who didn’t have a damn thing to do with my life.

  169. says

    Lurker:

    I have to use anything other than Apple so if it breaks I can buy the part itself (after saving for it) and fix it my damn self. Thats not possible with Apple products.

    Hmmm… my daughter texted me yesterday to say how happy she was to have her MacBook Pro back from the Apple store with a new logic board (free, because they determined that it was defective, even though the machine is long out of warranty) and a new hard-drive (cheap; not much more than part cost), and how easy it was to restore her computer to its prior state via Time Machine backup. No, she didn’t “fix it [her] damn self,” but the pernicious meme that Apple products generally cannot be economically repaired has always been, throughout my 31+ years as an Apple customer, false.

    I could talk about the hidden costs of PCs, about how fixing it your “damn” self only seems cheap because you undervalue your own time, about how the phenomenon you’re describing is yet another example of the high cost of being poor (i.e., you end up spending more over time because you can’t afford to buy quality to begin with), which is hardly unique to Apple or to electronic products… but all of those arguments miss the point:

    The fact that you have any expectation of owning and using a computer in the first place is due to Jobs’ vision. If we hadn’t had him, or someone like him, the cost or repairability of your computer would be a non-issue.

  170. says

    yep, Bill, they replaced my iPod Classic three or four times. They’ve also been known to replace iPads of people who dropped them, probably to study how those products break… So their customer service is good.

    And I know some Mac fanatics who do replace parts on their Macs themselves, there are kits etc available with howtodo videos and so forth. It can be done…

  171. Just_A_Lurker says

    Hmmm… my daughter texted me yesterday to say how happy she was to have her MacBook Pro back from the Apple store with a new logic board (free, because they determined that it was defective, even though the machine is long out of warranty) and a new hard-drive (cheap; not much more than part cost), and how easy it was to restore her computer to its prior state via Time Machine backup. No, she didn’t “fix it [her] damn self,” but the pernicious meme that Apple products generally cannot be economically repaired has always been, throughout my 31+ years as an Apple customer, false.

    You miss my point, could she buy the part and do it herself? Could she buy new parts to upgrade it herself so she doesn’t have to buy a new comp? No? That’s my point. Can’t afford Apple’s crap and no way am I depending on Apple to fix it. Great that your daughter’s got her fixed but there are plenty of other stories where Apple’s repair and customer service suck ass and I do not have the time to deal with that shit if I’m unlucky enough to not have a good experience with it. It’s cheaper and quicker for me to do it myself, and I don’t have to repair it often. Apple assholes act like you have to fix a PC every year, which just isn’t true.

    The fact that you have any expectation of owning and using a computer in the first place is due to Jobs’ vision. If we hadn’t had him, or someone like him, the cost or repairability of your computer would be a non-issue.

    So he started it, then promptly went on to make tons of money off the rich and middle class, while people like me get shit for not buying it. Lovely. Fine, he started it but Apple has never bothered with people like me, because in their eyes I’m just not worth it.

  172. Just_A_Lurker says

    Ugh. Fine. Apple is fucking awesome. There are no fucking issues with it. Its so affordable and easy everyone who’s someone has it. Fucking beautiful. I was hoping when I read this thread it wouldn’t be like every other fucking thread about Apple and a flame war. I was hoping someone would see how it looks and feels to us lowly dregs of society. But whatever. That’ll teach me. I’m done with this.

  173. says

    Lurker,

    this type of elitism was exactly what kept me jumping on the Apple bandwagon for many years. But there was a point I got so fed-up with Windows computers so I just tried a MBP, and am satisfied so far. If I can afford it, I will probably keep buying it. You have to understand that Apple was a small company in crisis and had to focus on a particular segment, and be excellent at it. So they got their niche. Maybe, one day, the iPad will replace computers as used by most non-computer-savvy folks, I could imagine that that was the vision of Steve Jobs. Not at this point, but maybe in 5-10 years.

  174. andyo says

    Bill, I think Lurker has a good point. Apple products are elitist. It might not be noticeable in developed countries as much, but many people just can’t afford them, while constantly being bombarded on how they need the shiny shiny things.

    Like I said above, I don’t think Apple products are necessarily overpriced, but in the same sense that an Audi car is not overpriced either. The “free” service is not really free, is it?

  175. andyo says

    BTW, as has been said, to each their own. I very much prefer to build a Windows machine myself. I didn’t even buy a laptop until the second-generation Core 2 processors came out, because before that laptops were just awful compared to what you could get with a desktop. Some of us don’t mind repairing our own stuff when it gets broken, especially if it saves a few bucks. I even do it for other people.

    And I’ve been using Windows 7 computers since it came out, and before that, Vista, and I haven’t had major problems, especially with the former. The same “advantage” of “just works” of Apple is its disadvantage of limited freedom of choice. So, pick your poison.

  176. Just_A_Lurker says

    Thank you for understanding at least. The difference here is

    If I can afford it,

    For me spending 300 bucks on a comp is a huge expense and takes a long time for me. I can never see myself buying a comp for $1000. That just seems excessive and insane to me. But what do I know? I’m in my first real apartment finally out of shelters and food boxes.

    That’s fine that they have their niche. That’s fine they charge so much. My problem is the Apple fans that are fucking assholes about it all and say “its the thing for regular people!” No, not its not. Not a single person I know or lived near are included in that definition of a “regular person.” He may have started personal comps but that doesn’t mean Macs are THE comp or that there for everyone or that you’re an idiot etc, etc. for not having one.

  177. amphiox says

    Whoa, we got a tantrum and a flounce over a electronic consumer product company???

    (Am I being hopelessly naive to be surprised by this?)

    I don’t get this “Apple is WAY too expensive” thing, though. When I went shopping for my most recent laptop, and ended up getting a 13″ MacBook Air, I did price comparisons with other computers of similar specs and weight classification, and though the Apple product was the most expensive, it wasn’t more expensive by a huge amount.

    And when I compared the price I ended up paying with what I paid for my last laptop, a 13″ Dell XPS, with similar specs (relative to the tech spectrum of the time, the Dell was relatively beefier, but also substantially relatively heavier), the amount I paid each time was almost the same.

    And paper-specs aside, what I’ve found is that the Apple products are simply better – they’re manufactured better, easier and more convenient to use, they look better, and just seem demonstrate overall a higher degree of forethought and intelligence in the design process – ie instead of just trying to cram as much high-end specs as possible into the box, you can tell that thought has been put into how all the components will work together, how it will be used, and what tradeoffs are most important from the user’s point of view.

    Yes they cost more. You get what you pay for. If you think they cost too much, then just don’t buy them. If you don’t like how Apple does business, then just don’t buy them. If you don’t like how Apple treats its customers, then just don’t buy them. It’s not like the market is starved of decent PC alternatives, which are even starting catch up on the form-factor.

  178. Just_A_Lurker says

    Thank you Andyo and Pelamun. I believe in to each their own as well. I’m not mad that people like or buy them, I’m just angry at the elitist attitude most have about it all.

  179. monad says

    Jobs has had a lot of influence, and that’s both good and ill. Lurker, when people say that even your expectation of having a computer come from what he did, there’s a lot of truth in it. At the same time, you’re right that it isn’t very evident in today’s company; I would recommend Daisey’s editorial for a fair look.

    Myself, for now I plan to thank him for the Apple II, GUIs, and what they did for home computing, then go back to complaining about sweatshops and DRM practices later.

  180. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’s cheaper and quicker for me to do it myself, and I don’t have to repair it often.

    Not everybody knows which end of the screwdriver to hold.

    Could she buy new parts to upgrade it herself so she doesn’t have to buy a new comp? No?

    There is third party equipment available for almost every upgrade. My Cube (still working after 10 years) has had every part except the motherboard replaced. You just can’t go to Tiger Direct and order a part.

    So he started it, then promptly went on to make tons of money off the rich and middle class, while people like me get shit for not buying it. Lovely. Fine, he started it but Apple has never bothered with people like me, because in their eyes I’m just not worth it.

    Why aren’t you worth it? You prefer to build from scratch? Or you prefer to control and fuss with everything? As an old fart who’s been there (wrote a 1000+ line assembly code just to make an early word processing program work with a daisy wheel printer, and leave spaces and pages for technical papers), I prefer to take something out of the box, plug it in, and just start using it for my tasks at home without fussing. And I can do all this without a bad attitude of hate toward Dell and/or Windows too.

  181. Just_A_Lurker says

    Why aren’t you worth it?

    Because. I. Cannot. Afford. Apple. What part of spending 300 is a huge expense I save months for did you not understand? They have their niche and it works. My problem is jackass Apple users shoving it in my face and acting like theres something wrong with me for not buying Apple.

    And I can do all this without a bad attitude of hate toward Dell and/or Windows too.

    Are you acting like an elitist jackass about your Apple products? No? Then I have no issue with you. I defend PCs because its more affordable for us poor people. Christ, thats all. I’m no PC fangirl, I’m just a poor person tired of elitism. And yes, I’m extremely aggravated and snarky because I expected different from the horde. I don’t care what you preferences is, argue all you want about it, fine, but don’t pull some elitist crap just because I’m working fucking poor.

    Ugh. Monad had a good point, I said condolences to his friends and family, I’ve thanked him for at least starting the personal pc for everyone (even though Apple failed on the everyone part so far) and if you cannot understand my frustration of dealing with the elitist jerks then there’s nothing more to say.

  182. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What part of spending 300 is a huge expense I save months for did you not understand? They have their niche and it works. My problem is jackass Apple users shoving it in my face and acting like theres something wrong with me for not buying Apple.

    And I have a problem with asshats who complain about thing they have no control over. If you can’t afford Apple, no problem. Don’t buy Apple. But then, you do need to lose the attitude that those who do buy equipment recommended by independent folks like Consumers Report for being good buys due to reliability and service (Apple keeps ranking #1 in their surveys). Your attitude is out of proportion. That is my point.

  183. Fabien says

    So much for freethinking, PZ…
    Seems like I’m not the only one disappointed. I’m afraid you have to be a bit blind to think that Jobs made a positive contribution to the world. Steve Wozniak certainly did, yes. Jobs, no.

    Apple’s impact on computing has been terrible with its closed walls policy. They made decent but overpriced hardware, that’s it. A few years ago they were innovative (as Sony used to be too), now other companies make devices that work as well or better, and have better terms of contract.
    They are amongst the least green computing companies.
    They are exploiting Chinese workers.
    They put DRM and lock devices everywhere.
    They kill smaller companies all the time by hostile takeovers.

    There are better phones than the iPhone, better players than the iPod. The iPad is competitive, though, thanks to its nice GPU. Macbooks or desktops are jokes, really underpowered and overpriced.

    PZ, you’re spot on on religion and women treatment, no reason why you couldn’t do this extra step. You should start thinking about open source philosophy, open standards, what this really means to pick Apple products all the time.

    Linux does everything OS X does. Windows does things that neither can do well (blu-ray, AAA games). There were phones/tablets using Linux (Maemo) before the iPhone, cheaper than the iPhone, and able to do video calls. Android is not great, but better than iOS. Don’t be a computing accomodationist…

  184. Just_A_Lurker says

    And I have a problem with asshats who complain about thing they have no control over. If you can’t afford Apple, no problem. Don’t buy Apple. But then, you do need to lose the attitude that those who do buy equipment recommended by independent folks like Consumers Report for being good buys due to reliability and service (Apple keeps ranking #1 in their surveys). Your attitude is out of proportion. That is my point.

    I don’t care that they get good ratings, thats great. Be an Apple fan, that I have no issue with. My problem is that I’m dealing with people online and in real life who have said and think “You’re a loser for not having Apple.” etc. Its that attitude I’m tired of dealing with. Just because I’m poor doesn’t make me lesser and that is indeed the attitude I have dealt with from Apple assholes. Considering how this country shits on poor people like me, I’m fucking pissed and this is just one more damn thing to deal with. I snapped since I found the attitude here when I was expecting better.

    Again. To each their own. Love it, buy it, doesn’t make a difference to me. Just don’t act like YOU are a better person for having Apple or that because I don’t have Apple I am a lesser person. That’s all.

    In all honesty, I don’t really know if Apple is worth a shit and won’t care about that until I can afford one to compare and contrast the two.

    What I am saying is, and this doesn’t apply to Apple users like I’ve been saying, those that act fucking elitist over a fucking products needs to get over them fucking selves.

    There are plenty of things I have no control over. Really want to start down that lane? That was a terrible thing to say. I’m not complaining that I want it and can’t afford it. I’m complaining about those that are jerks about being able to buy it.

  185. jamesemery says

    @Nerd:
    While I think Lurker is also a bit TOO angry here (there aren’t really too many examples of the elitism she’s talking about in this comment thread), I know what she’s talking about… There’s quite a bit of that sort of thing in public these days, and especially in the corporate world (I work in Desktop Support, and have for 11 years). You will hit some of those hardcore Apple fanboiz *snark*, and they can be very, very, annoying :P

    That being said,

    APPLE: The brand you want if you’re into:
    -Human Rights Abuses
    -Stolen/Improperly Attributed Software
    -Hugely Overpriced Hardware
    -Shiny Baubles
    -Cults of Personality (TM)

  186. says

    Ugh. Monad had a good point, I said condolences to his friends and family, I’ve thanked him for at least starting the personal pc for everyone (even though Apple failed on the everyone part so far) and if you cannot understand my frustration of dealing with the elitist jerks then there’s nothing more to say.

    I don’t know how big his contribution was, or if it just some kind of equivalent of Moore’s Law, but I’ve seen it first-hand in developing countries too. Of course there, the average person couldn’t even afford $300 computers, they get computers mostly through government or NGO positions, but the falling prices of PCs has truly been empowering.

    Of course richer people do have Apple products there. From my experiences in developing countries, there usually are stark income contrasts, and classist attitudes are rampant. As a foreigner doing research in very poor areas, I have also come into contact with very rich people (comparatively speaking). The gulf is palpable, and in some ways a similar gulf is opening up in the US too, at least that’s my feeling…

    jamesemery, about Human Right Abuses: I think most companies operating in China suffer from those. Couldn’t say if Apple was better or worse than others…

  187. says

    Lurker:

    You miss my point, could she buy the part and do it herself? Could she buy new parts to upgrade it herself so she doesn’t have to buy a new comp? No? That’s my point.

    I actually didn’t miss your point; in fact, if you go back and re-read what I wrote (and what you actually included in your blockquote), you’ll see I acknowledged your point. I just don’t think your point is the point; certainly, it’s not my point. FWIW, my father owned one of the very first (128 kb) Macs, and kept it, and kept upgrading it, ’til the Mac II was introduced. By the time he finally let go of it, his machine was the equivalent of a Mac Plus (1 Mb and a built-n SCSI port)… but all that’s beside the point, too: If you care about doing things yourself because you like to tinker, then fine, Apple products are probably not for you (and they probably weren’t intended for you)… but if you want to do it yourself because you can only afford cheap computers and cheap parts and (your own, undervalued) cheap labor, well, then…

    …you still have Steve Jobs to thank for the fact that there’s a marketplace providing cheap personal computers and cheap parts for same.

    Look, I think the claims that Apple is elitist are exaggerated, at best, and more likely just wrong… but there’s an arguable case, so I’ll stipulate the point. So what? If the history of the auto industry had been just a little different, Ford might be a high-end “elitist” brand today, like many other car manufacturers are. If that were the case, would it retroactively change Henry Ford’s role in getting cars to the masses? No, it would not. Likewise, even if every Apple product today were made of diamond and platinum, it still wouldn’t erase Jobs’ role in getting digital tools to the masses.

    Including those cheap boxes you can afford to fix yourself.

  188. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Being an old fart, I see a few things Apple did that was innovative, but not being the inventor of any of the technology. First was floppy disk drive with computers, which made the Apple II a success when the competitors were using tape drive or paper drives. The second, was the GUI interface with the mouse to drive it in the early macs. The third was a small device (iPod, iPhone, iTouch, iPad) for music (later videos and web browsing), and a program to sync with it, and a store to supply the files and programs for the small device. Any of those three items alone should give anyone a place in history.

  189. Therrin says

    From my experience doing local tech support, if someone is going to have trouble with one platform, they’re going to have trouble with any. Never underestimate the savant-like abilities of the technologically declined in finding new ways to screw up their machines.

  190. Ichthyic says

    … I would add, that MOST of that joke actually IS taken from a transcript of an actual tech-help call; up to the point where the tech guy is informed that the user is trying to access the machine during a power outage.

  191. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    up to the point where the tech guy is informed that the user is trying to access the machine during a power outage.

    *Facepalm right, facepalm left, headdesk*

  192. Ichthyic says

    *Facepalm right, facepalm left, headdesk*

    ayup.

    I never got a call quite that bad when working in tech support or IT management, but I did get some that were pretty close…

  193. andyo says

    but if you want to do it yourself because you can only afford cheap computers and cheap parts and (your own, undervalued) cheap labor, well, then…

    Why “undervalued”?

  194. crissakentavr says

    jamesemery says:
    7 October 2011 at 8:12 pm
    @Nerd:
    While I think Lurker is also a bit TOO angry here (there aren’t really too many examples of the elitism she’s talking about in this comment thread), I know what she’s talking about… There’s quite a bit of that sort of thing in public these days, and especially in the corporate world (I work in Desktop Support, and have for 11 years). You will hit some of those hardcore Apple fanboiz *snark*, and they can be very, very, annoying :P

    That being said,

    APPLE: The brand you want if you’re into:
    -Human Rights Abuses
    -Stolen/Improperly Attributed Software
    -Hugely Overpriced Hardware
    -Shiny Baubles
    -Cults of Personality (TM)

    No one ever did prove any of these points. Except the shiny part. The new screens are very shiny.

    Is Apple worse than other computer manufacturers? I can’t even begin imagining how to prove this.
    Did they steal more software than others? I don’t know. Never heard this one before.
    Hugely overprice hardware compared to what? When comparing identical newly-released hardware, Apple is not more expensive at all; so what’s hugely about anything else?
    Cult of Personality compared to… what, exactly? Have you even read the Intel or Microsoft version of PC history?

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