Thursday, October 6, 2011

Legend of Apple Founder Steve Jobs passes away



10 products that defined Steve Jobs' career

AP

NEW YORK, October 6, 2011

AP In this January 5, 2000, file photo, Steve Jobs waves goodbye to nearly 6,000 Apple faithful after completing his MACWorld Expo keynote address, in San Francisco.

Steve Jobs had no formal schooling in engineering, yet he's listed as the inventor or co-inventor on more than 300 U.S. patents. These are some of the significant products that were created under his direction.

1. Apple I (1976) Apple's first product was a computer for hobbyists and engineers, made in small numbers. Steve Wozniak designed it, while Jobs orchestrated the funding and handled the marketing.

2. Apple II (1977) One of the first successful personal computers, the Apple II was designed as a mass-market product rather than something for engineers or enthusiasts. It was still largely Wozniak's design. Several upgrades for the model followed, and the product line continued until 1993.

3. Lisa (1983) Jobs' visit to Xerox Corp.'s research centre in Palo Alto inspired him to start work on the first commercial computer with a graphical user interface, with icons, windows and a cursor controlled by a mouse. It was the foundation for today's computer interfaces, but the Lisa was too expensive to be a commercial success.

4. Macintosh (1984) Like the Lisa, the Macintosh had a graphical user interface. It was also cheaper and faster and had the backing of a large advertising campaign behind it. People soon realized how useful the graphical interface was for design. That led "desktop publishing," accomplished with a Mac coupled to a laser printer, to soon become a sales driver.

5. NeXT computer (1989) After being forced out of Apple, Jobs started a company that built a powerful workstation computer. The company was never able to sell large numbers, but the computer was influential- The world's first Web browser was created on one. Its software also lives on as the basis for today's Macintosh and iPhone operating system.

6. iMac (1998) When Jobs returned to Apple in 1996, the company was foundering, with an ever shrinking share of the PC market. The radical iMac was the first step in reversing the slide. It was strikingly designed as a bubble of blue plastic that enclosed both the monitor and the computer. Easy to set up, it captured the imagination just as people across the world were having their eyes opened to the benefits of the Internet and considering getting their first home computer.

7. iPod (2001) It wasn't the first digital music player with a hard drive, but it was the first successful one. Apple's expansion into portable electronics has had vast ramifications. The iPod's success prepared the way for the iTunes music store and the iPhone.

8. iTunes store (2003) Before the iTunes store, buying digital music was a hassle, making piracy the more popular option. The store simplified the process and brought together tracks from all the major labels. The store became the largest music retailer in the U.S. in 2008.

9. iPhone (2007) The iPhone did for the phone experience what the Macintosh did for personal computing it made the power of a smartphone easy to harness. Apple is now the world's most profitable maker of phones, and the influence of the iPhone is evident in all smartphones.

10. iPad (2010) Dozens of companies, including Apple, had created tablet computers before the iPad, but none caught on. The iPad finally cracked the code, creating a whole new category of computer practically by itself.

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Steve Jobs, legend of digital age, passes away

AP

CUPERTINO (US), October 6, 2011

In this Jan. 24, 1984 file photo, Steve Jobs, Chairman of the board of Apple Computers, leans on the new "Macintosh" personal computer following a shareholder's meeting in Cupertino, California. Jobs died on Wednesday. He was 56.

Steve Jobs, the Apple founder and former CEO who invented and masterfully marketed ever—sleeker gadgets that transformed everyday technology, from the personal computer to the iPod and iPhone, died on Wednesday. He was 56.

The world lost a showman, whose flair for the dramatic there was always "one more thing" was as keen as his knack for divining what people wanted before they even seemed to realize it themselves.

Apple announced his death without giving a specific cause. He died peacefully, according to a statement from family members who said they were present.

"Steve's brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives," Apple's board said in a statement. "The world is immeasurably better because of Steve".

Mr. Jobs had battled cancer in 2004 and underwent a liver transplant in 2009 after taking a leave of absence for unspecified health problems. He took another leave of absence in January his third since his health problems began before resigning as CEO six weeks ago. Mr. Jobs became Apple's chairman and handed the CEO job over to his hand—picked successor, Tim Cook.

It didn't take long for the people who loved their iPhones, iPods, iPads and Macs to begin gathering to pay their respects to the man who made it all happen.

Scott Robbins, a barber and Apple fan for nearly 20 years, came to Apple's San Francisco store as soon as he heard about Jobs' death Wednesday afternoon.

"To some people, this is like Elvis Presley or John Lennon t's a change in our times," Robbins, 34, said. "It's the end of an era, of what we've known Apple to be. It's like the end of the innovators."

Outside Apple's Cupertino headquarters, three flags an American flag, a California state flag and an Apple flag were flying at half—staff late Wednesday.

"Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor." Mr. Cook wrote in an email to Apple's employees. "Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple."

The news Apple fans and shareholders had been dreading came the day after Apple unveiled its latest version of the iPhone, just one in a procession of devices that shaped technology and society while Jobs was running the company.

Mr. Jobs started Apple with a high school friend in a Silicon Valley garage in 1976, was forced out a decade later and returned in 1997 to rescue the company. During his second stint, it grew into the most valuable technology company in the world with a market value of $351 billion. Almost all that wealth has been created since Mr. Jobs' return.

Cultivating Apple's countercultural sensibility and a minimalist design ethic, Mr. Jobs rolled out one sensational product after another, even in the face of the late-2000s recession and his own failing health.

He helped change computers from a geeky hobbyist's obsession to a necessity of modern life at work and home, and in the process he upended not just personal technology but the cellphone and music industries.

For transformation of the American industry, he has few rivals. He has long been linked to his personal computer-age contemporary, Bill Gates, and has drawn comparisons to other creative geniuses such as Walt Disney. Mr. Jobs died as Walt Disney Co.'s largest shareholder, a by-product of his decision to sell computer animation studio Pixar in 2006.

Perhaps most influentially, Mr. Jobs in 2001 launched the iPod, which offered "1,000 songs in your pocket." Over the next 10 years, its white earphones and thumb-dial control seemed to become more ubiquitous than the wristwatch.

In 2007 came the touch-screen iPhone, joined a year later by Apple's App Store, where developers could sell iPhone "apps" which made the phone a device not just for making calls but also for managing money, editing photos, playing games and social networking. And in 2010, Jobs introduced the iPad, a tablet-sized, all-touch computer that took off even though market analysts said no one really needed one.

By 2011, Apple had become the second-largest company of any kind in the United States by market value. In August, it briefly surpassed Exxon Mobil as the most valuable company.

Under Mr. Jobs, the company cloaked itself in secrecy to build frenzied anticipation for each of its new products. Mr. Jobs himself had a wizardly sense of what his customers wanted, and where demand didn't exist, he leveraged a cult-like following to create it.

When he spoke at Apple presentations, almost always in faded blue jeans, sneakers and a black mock turtleneck, legions of Apple acolytes listened to every word. He often boasted about Apple successes, then coyly added a coda "One more thing" before introducing its latest ambitious idea.

In later years, Apple investors also watched these appearances for clues about his health. Mr. Jobs revealed in 2004 that he had been diagnosed with a very rare form of pancreatic cancer an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor. He underwent surgery and said he had been cured. In 2009, following weight loss he initially attributed to a hormonal imbalance, he abruptly took a six-month leave. During that time, he received a liver transplant that became public two months after it was performed.

He went on another medical leave in January 2011, this time for an unspecified duration. He never went back and resigned as CEO in August, though he stayed on as chairman. Consistent with his penchant for secrecy, he didn't reference his illness in his resignation letter.

Steven Paul Jobs was born Feb. 24, 1955, in San Francisco to Joanne Simpson, then an unmarried graduate student, and Abdulfattah Jandali, a student from Syria. Ms. Simpson gave Mr. Jobs up for adoption, though she married Jandali and a few years later had a second child with him, Mona Simpson, who became a novelist.

Steven was adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs of Los Altos, California, a working-class couple who nurtured his early interest in electronics. He saw his first computer terminal at NASA's Ames Research Center when he was around 11 and landed a summer job at Hewlett-Packard before he had finished high school.

Mr. Jobs enrolled in Reed College in Portland, Oregon, in 1972 but dropped out after six months.

"All of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it," he said at a Stanford University commencement address in 2005. "I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out."

When he returned to California in 1974, Mr. Jobs worked for video game maker Atari and attended meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club a group of computer hobbyists with Steve Wozniak, a high school friend who was a few years older.

Wozniak's homemade computer drew attention from other enthusiasts, but Jobs saw its potential far beyond the geeky hobbyists of the time. The pair started Apple Computer Inc. in Mr. Jobs' parents' garage in 1976. According to Wozniak, Mr. Jobs suggested the name after visiting an "apple orchard" that Wozniak said was actually a commune.

Their first creation was the Apple I essentially, the guts of a computer without a case, keyboard or monitor.

The Apple II, which hit the market in 1977, was their first machine for the masses. It became so popular that Jobs was worth $100 million by age 25.

During a 1979 visit to the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, Mr. Jobs again spotted mass potential in a niche invention — a computer that allowed people to control computers with the click of a mouse, not typed commands. He returned to Apple and ordered the team to copy what he had seen.

It foreshadowed a propensity to take other people's concepts, improve on them and spin them into wildly successful products. Under Mr. Jobs, Apple didn't invent computers, digital music players or smartphones it reinvented them for people who didn't want to learn computer programming or negotiate the technical hassles of keeping their gadgets working.

"We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas," Mr. Jobs said in an interview for the 1996 PBS series "Triumph of the Nerds."

The engineers responded with two computers. The pricier Lisa the same name as his daughter launched to a cool reception in 1983. The less-expensive Macintosh, named for an employee's favorite apple, exploded onto the scene in 1984.

The Mac was heralded by an epic Super Bowl commercial that referenced George Orwell's "1984" and captured Apple's iconoclastic style. In the ad, expressionless drones marched through dark halls to an auditorium where a Big Brother-like figure lectures on a big screen. A woman in a bright track uniform burst into the hall and launched a hammer into the screen, which exploded, stunning the drones, as a narrator announced the arrival of the Mac.

There were early stumbles at Apple. Mr. Jobs clashed with colleagues and even the CEO he had hired away from Pepsi, John Sculley. And after an initial spike, Mac sales slowed, in part because few programs had been written for it.

With Apple's stock price sinking, conflicts between Mr. Jobs and Sculley mounted. Mr. Sculley won over the board in 1985 and pushed Mr. Jobs out of his day-to-day role leading the Macintosh team. Mr. Jobs resigned his post as chairman of the board and left Apple within months.

"What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating," Mr. Jobs said in his Stanford speech. "I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life."

He got into two other companies — Next, a computer maker, and Pixar, a computer-animation studio that he bought from George Lucas for $10 million.

Pixar, ultimately the more successful venture, seemed at first a bottomless money pit. Then in 1995 came "Toy Story," the first computer-animated full-length feature. Mr. Jobs used its success to negotiate a sweeter deal with Disney for Pixar's next two films, "A Bug's Life" and "Toy Story 2." Jobs sold Pixar to The Walt Disney Co. for $7.4 billion in stock in a deal that got him a seat on Disney's board and 138 million shares of stock that accounted for most of his fortune. Forbes magazine estimated Mr. Jobs was worth $7 billion in a survey last month.

With Next, Mr. Jobs came up with a cube-shaped computer. He was said to be obsessive about the tiniest details, insisting on design perfection even for the machine's guts. The machine cost a pricey $6,500 to $10,000, and he never managed to spark much demand for it.

Ultimately, he shifted the focus to software a move that paid off later when Apple bought Next for its operating system technology, the basis for the software still used in Mac computers.

By 1996, when Apple bought Next, Apple was in dire financial straits. It had lost more than $800 million in a year, dragged its heels in licensing Mac software for other computers and surrendered most of its market share to PCs that ran Windows.

Larry Ellison, Mr. Jobs' close friend and fellow Silicon Valley billionaire and the CEO of Oracle Corp., publicly contemplated buying Apple in early 1997 and ousting its leadership. The idea fizzled, but Jobs stepped in as interim chief later that year.

He slashed unprofitable projects, narrowed the company's focus and presided over a new marketing push to set the Mac apart from Windows, starting with a campaign encouraging computer users to "Think different."

Apple's first new product under his direction, the brightly colored, plastic iMac, launched in 1998 and sold about 2 million in its first year. Apple returned to profitability that year. Jobs dropped the "interim" from his title in 2000.

He changed his style, too, said Tim Bajarin, who met Mr. Jobs several times while covering the company for Creative Strategies.

"In the early days, he was in charge of every detail. The only way you could say it is, he was kind of a control freak," he said. In his second stint, "he clearly was much more mellow and more mature."

In the decade that followed, Mr. Jobs kept Apple profitable while pushing out an impressive roster of new products.

Apple's popularity exploded in the 2000s. The iPod, smaller and sleeker with each generation, introduced many lifelong Windows users to their first Apple gadget.

The arrival of the iTunes music store in 2003 gave people a convenient way to buy music legally online, song by song. For the music industry, it was a mixed blessing. The industry got a way to reach Internet-savvy people who, in the age of Napster, were growing accustomed to downloading music free. But online sales also hastened the demise of CDs and established Apple as a gatekeeper, resulting in battles between Jobs and music executives over pricing and other issues.

Mr. Jobs' command over gadget lovers and pop culture swelled to the point that, on the eve of the iPhone's launch in 2007, faithful followers slept on sidewalks outside posh Apple stores for the chance to buy one. Three years later, at the iPad's debut, the lines snaked around blocks and out through parking lots, even though people had the option to order one in advance.

The decade was not without its glitches. In the mid-2000s, Apple was swept up in a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry into stock options backdating, a practice that artificially raised the value of options grants. But Mr. Jobs and Apple emerged unscathed after two former executives took the fall and eventually settled with the SEC.

Mr. Jobs' personal ethos a natural food lover who embraced Buddhism and New Age philosophy was closely linked to the public persona he shaped for Apple. Apple itself became a statement against the commoditization of technology a cynical view, to be sure, from a company whose computers can cost three or more times as much as those of its rivals.

For technology lovers, buying Apple products has meant gaining entrance to an exclusive club. At the top was a complicated and contradictory figure who was endlessly fascinating even to his detractors, of which Mr. Jobs had many. Jobs was a hero to techno-geeks and a villain to partners he bullied and to workers whose projects he unceremoniously killed or claimed as his own.

Unauthorised biographer Alan Deutschman described him as "deeply moody and maddeningly erratic." In his personal life, Jobs denied for two years that he was the father of Lisa, the baby born to his longtime girlfriend Chrisann Brennan in 1978.

Few seemed immune to Mr. Jobs' charisma and will. He could adeptly convince those in his presence of just about anything even if they disagreed again when he left the room and his magic wore off.

"He always has an aura around his persona," said Bajarin, who met Mr. Jobs several times while covering the company for more than 20 years as a Creative Strategies analyst. "When you talk to him, you know you're really talking to a brilliant mind."

But Bajarin also remembers Jobs lashing out with profanity at an employee who interrupted their meeting. Mr. Jobs, the perfectionist, demanded greatness from everyone at Apple.

Mr. Jobs valued his privacy, but some details of his romantic and family life have been uncovered. In the early 1980s, Mr. Jobs dated the folk singer Joan Baez, according to Deutschman.

In 1989, Mr. Jobs spoke at Stanford's graduate business school and met his wife, Laurene Powell, who was then a student. When she became pregnant, Mr. Jobs at first refused to marry her. It was a near-repeat of what had happened more than a decade earlier with then-girlfriend Brennan, Deutschman said, but eventually Mr. Jobs relented.

Mr. Jobs started looking for his biological family in his teens, according to an interview he gave to The New York Times in 1997. He found his biological sister when he was 27. They became friends, and through her Mr. Jobs met his biological mother. Few details of those relationships have been made public.

But the extent of Apple secrecy didn't become clear until Jobs revealed in 2004 that he had been diagonosed with and "cured" of a rare form of operable pancreatic cancer called an islet cell neuroendocrine tumor. The company had sat on the news of his diagnosis for nine months while Mr. Jobs tried trumping the disease with a special diet, Fortune magazine reported in 2008.

In the years after his cancer was revealed, rumors about Mr. Jobs' health would spark runs on Apple stock as investors worried the company, with no clear succession plan, would fall apart without him. Apple did little to ease those concerns. It kept the state of Mr. Jobs' health a secret for as long as it could, then disclosed vague details when, in early 2009, it became clear he was again ill.

Mr. Jobs took a half-year medical leave of absence starting in January 2009, during which he had a liver transplant. Apple did not disclose the procedure at the time; two months later, The Wall Street Journal reported the fact and a doctor at the transplant hospital confirmed it.

In January 2011, Mr. Jobs announced another medical leave, his third, with no set duration. He returned to the spotlight briefly in March to personally unveil a second-generation iPad and again in June, when he showed off Apple's iCloud music synching service. At both events, he looked frail in his signature jeans and mock turtleneck.

Less than three months later, Mr. Jobs resigned as CEO. In a letter addressed to Apple's board and the "Apple community" Mr. Jobs said he "always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come."

In 2005, following the bout with cancer, Mr. Jobs delivered Stanford University's commencement speech.

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life," he said. "Because almost everything, all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important."

Mr. Jobs is survived by his biological mother, sister Mona Simpson; Lisa Brennan-Jobs, his daughter with Brennan; wife Laurene, and their three children, Erin, Reed and Eve.

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Statement from Steve Jobs' family after his death

AP

October 6, 2011

The family of Apple Inc. co-founder and chairman Steve Jobs issued this statement on Wednesday in response to his death:

"Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family. "In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve's illness; a website will be provided for those who wish to offer tributes and memories.

"We are grateful for the support and kindness of those who share our feelings for Steve. We know many of you will mourn with us, and we ask that you respect our privacy during our time of grief."

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Jobs had better instincts: Apple co-founder Wozniak

AP

SAN FRANCISCO, October 6, 2011

Steve Wozniak, who started Apple in a Silicon Valley garage with Steve Jobs in 1976, said he'll miss his fellow co-founder "as much as everyone."

"We've lost something we won't get back," he said in an interview with The Associated Press following Jobs' death on Wednesday.

"The way I see it, though, the way people love products he put so much into creating means he brought a lot of life to the world."

Wozniak, a high school friend of Jobs', last saw him about three months ago, shortly after Jobs emerged from a medical leave to unveil Apple Inc.'s iCloud content syncing service and the latest version of its iOS mobile software. At the time, Wozniak said, Jobs looked ill and sounded weak.

Jobs had battled cancer in 2004 and underwent a liver transplant in 2009 after taking a leave of absence for unspecified health problems. He took another leave of absence in January his third since his health problems began and officially resigned as CEO in August. Jobs became Apple's chairman and handed the helm to his hand-picked successor, Tim Cook.

Apple announced Jobs' death Wednesday afternoon. The company did not specify a cause. Jobs was 56.

Wozniak, 61, said Jobs was a good husband and father and a great businessman who had an eye for details. He said Jobs was a good marketer and understood the benefits of technology. His string of hits includes the Apple II and Macintosh computers, iPod music players, the iPhone and the iPad tablet computer.

When it came to Apple's products, "while everyone else was fumbling around trying to find the formula, he had the better instincts," he said.

Wozniak wiped away tears in an AP video interview.

Jobs "gets a reputation for being a strong leader and for being brash. But to me he was always so kind, such a good friend," he said.

After dropping out of Reed College in Portland, Oregon, Jobs returned to California in 1974, where he attended meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club, a group of computer hobbyists with Wozniak.

Wozniak's homemade computer drew attention from other enthusiasts, but Jobs saw its potential far beyond the geeky hobbyists of the time. The pair started Apple Computer Inc. in Jobs' parents' garage in 1976. According to Wozniak, Jobs suggested the name after visiting an "apple orchard" that Wozniak said was actually a commune.

Wozniak and Jobs both left Apple in 1985. In Jobs' case, it followed a clash with then-CEO John Sculley. Jobs resigned his post as chairman of the board and left Apple after being pushed out of his role leading the Macintosh team.

Jobs returned in 1997 as interim CEO after Apple, then in dire financial dire straits, bought Next, a computer company he started.

According to Wozniak, Jobs told him around the time he left Apple in 1985 that he had a feeling he would die before the age of 40. Because of that, "a lot of his life was focused on trying to get things done quickly," Wozniak said.

"I think what made Apple products special was very much one person, but he left a legacy," he said. Because of this, Wozniak hopes the company can continue to be successful despite Jobs' death.

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THE HINDU Editorial: iConic Jobs

August 27, 2011

Steve Jobs could connect the dots and how. Apple Computer, which he co-founded with Steve Wozniak in 1976, has been a world-beating success under his visionary leadership. It soared from its start as a garage venture into a technology giant with a market valuation of $350 billion, and an unmatched reputation for inventing disruptively brilliant gadgets. 

Apple's orchard has been sprouting wonderful things starting with the Macintosh computers and going on to the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad, each testifying to the value of fine minimalist design and excellence in performance. What makes the legacy of Mr. Jobs remarkable in the fast-changing world of consumer electronics is his ability to come back to the core of innovation after fighting tough battles, and set the bar higher. 

Neither a 12-year absence after his 1985 exit due to an internal power struggle nor serious health setbacks seemed to curb his spirit. Now that he is stepping down as CEO, the question naturally arises — can Apple maintain its pre-eminence without the boss at the helm? The answer would seem to lie in the leader's own philosophy of life and work.

Mr. Jobs, who was raised by working class parents, did not graduate from college. But he continued to learn. He listened to intuition. He is listed as either primary inventor or co-inventor in more than 230 awarded patents or patent applications. Talent must be allowed to speak and experiment with ideas, even if every move is not bound for immediate commercial success. Mr. Jobs has a timeless message for everyone — the only way to do great work is to love what one does. 

A second powerful message from the 56-year old tech wizard is to learn from failure. Mr. Jobs is on record that his departure from Apple in the mid-1980s was one of the best things that happened to him — the heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of becoming a beginner once more. He proved himself all over again before returning to the company. Perhaps even more extraordinary is his triumph over life-threatening health challenges. Yet, as events show, indomitable spirit must also defer to the constraints of physical ability. Today, legions of fans look differently at music, video, and the web with each wave of innovation at Apple. 

The iPad tablet computer is the latest. They will look for the same game-changing impact in future products, an expectation that incoming CEO Tim Cook will have to meet. In a competitive future, Apple will have put its trust in itself. As Mr. Jobs told Stanford University graduates in a 2005 commencement address: "You have to trust in something. Your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever." A fine thought from someone who has lived it.

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The inimitable iMan

RAJIB GHOSH

October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs, the mind behind the iPhone, iPad and other devices that turned Apple Inc. into one of the world's most powerful companies.

While Steve Jobs may not have created the Apple church, Apple followers are now born in the crib

He did, undeniably (Steve Jobs 1955 – 2011). To many, Steve Jobs maybe known as the face of Apple Computers and maker of devices such as iMacs, iPods, iPhones and iPads. To technology insiders, he was the guy who demanded that users of his computer programmes and electronics should be moved to emotion.

The one to make bold statements such as "...people don't know what they want until you show it to them", Jobs had an uncanny knack for looking into the future and daring to be different in the present. In 1996, he realised that making beige boxes for computing would no longer be a great thing. A profitable thing perhaps, but not great. Hence his plan to bring computing to the palm, using devices so powerful, affordable and fun to use that users will ask "How did we live without that?"

Jobs impacted our lives not with cute gadgets, but strong philosophical changes to the business philosophies around us; the impact of many of these will be felt for decades to come.

The logical way

Jobs insisted on creating computing devices that accompany the brain as it focusses on accomplishing a task. The most "logical way of working" is the hallmark of Apple products.

Jobs contended that it was futile to attempt to protect digital content, focussing instead on creating an easy-access distribution chain for digital content.

While competitors were busy inventing digital locks, he opened the gates to iTunes Online Store to all. Products that are priced right, affordable and accessible have made the store great and the business model for digital stores of the future.

Breaking down restrictive walls, Jobs wanted to open doors to rich content from cultures around the world to people around the world. It is amazing how much he accomplished in less than a decade. Perhaps his biggest asset was the trust he placed in users to follow the honour code. To date, Apple software does not come with complicated serial numbers, require repeated authentication or is subject to occasional law and enforcement checks. 'Punish the legitimate customer to make up for the pirate' has not been Apple's philosophy under Jobs, and it has paid off — Apple is the most valuable technological company in the world today, massively enriching its investors.

Steve Jobs was socially reserved, but he set the benchmark for customer care. He published his email ID for the world to get in touch with him and quite often replied to end users in person.

Customers were not penalised for losing the software CD, they were simply issued a replacement with a gentle reminder that the next one would cost. The world of business maybe populated as densely as earth, but such customer care is rare.

Jobs also combined philanthropy and acute business sense by donating computers to educational institutes at all levels. While he may not have created the Apple Church, Apple followers are now born in the crib. The 'i' products are ubiquitously available and the de-facto standard for some categories of electronic devices. The genius of these products lies in the attention to detail — from working with confectionery makers to get the lozenge colours of the unibody iMacs to making graphic buttons that are "so good you'll want to lick them".

Few have contributed to improving our lives with innovations that take us towards the glitzy future we saw in movies. One wonders how much we would have been impacted if this person had another decade to live. Or perhaps, quite a few decades. Without prejudice, may I be forgiven to say that along with Jesus and Einstein, Jobs' second advent is something I look forward to?

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