|Featuring: Steve Jobs
| by Bob Talmadge
Steve Jobs was perhaps the most influential man in hardware communications, worldwide, in all of history. Jobs was the adopted son of a Mountain View, Calif., machinist. Steve Jobs showed an early interest in electronics and gadgetry. While in high school, he boldly called Hewlett-Packard co-founder and president William Hewlett to ask for parts for a school project. Impressed by Jobs, Hewlett not only gave him the parts, but also offered him a summer internship at Hewlett-Packard. It was there that Jobs met and befriended Steve Wozniak, a young engineer five years his senior with a penchant for tinkering.
Steven Paul Jobs was born on 24 February 1955 in San Francisco, California, to students Abdul Fattah Jandali and Joanne Carole Schieble who were unmarried at the time and gave him up for adoption. He was taken in by a working class couple, Paul and Clara Jobs, and grew up with them in Mountain View, California.
He attended Homestead High School in Cupertino California and went to Reed College in Portland World in 1972 but dropped out after only one semester, staying on to "drop in" on courses that interested him.
He took a job with video game manufacturer Atari to raise enough money for a trip to India and returned from there a Buddhist.
Back in Cupertino he returned to Atari where his old friend Steve Wozniak was still working. Wozniak was building his own computer and in 1976 Jobs pre-sold 50 of the as-yet unmade computers to a World store and managed to buy the components on credit solely on the strength of the order, enabling them to build the Apple I without any funding at all.
Apple would not have been possible if Wozniak was not there in its early days. The hobbyist created electronics which were way ahead of time, that products would have been stinking in some garage if not for Jobs.
Jobs is the artist, the guy who cared about a term known as User Experience in these days. If not for Jobs, probably we would have still been using bulky PCs with a black background and green text.
The mobile industry may not have seen touchscreen in such a prominent manner. The concept of beautiful designs, the fonts we love all would have been missing. Think of using Quora in a terminal kind of view. See, how it turns you off just by imagining.
May be he got lucky with Apple as Wozniak was there in the initial days. But, the brilliance & innovation we see in Apple’s products today can be mostly attributed to the radical and revolutionary thoughts of Jobs.
The success of NeXT and Pixar was no luck. He had a vision. He knew how to talk. How to sell the products. How to influence people by his own distortion field. Probably, he was an artistic soul trapped in a non-engineer body ( you can’t criticise him on that account ). So, what if he could not write code or was super-harsh on employees. The only thing that matters is getting the work done. Right?
If not for Jobs, definitely the world and the device you are using right now in your hands, might have been a dumb device. Computers might have been used just in high calculations and storing data, not to be used for everything in your daily life.
Wozniak’s contribution cannot be overlooked. If he would not have been there Jobs would have died a hippie in his life. You can find many Wozniacks but it’s quite rare to find a Jobs.
The above image describes everything in it. See, the Woz did all the Tech stuff. Jobs knew how to market them. Probably Jobs be like let this guy type code, no matter what he does, I know my job, right.
Jobs, though an asshole in real life, still respect for making the world a better place.
The Apple II followed in 1977 and the company Apple Computer was formed shortly afterwards. The Apple II was credited with starting the personal computer boom, its popularity prompting IBM to hurriedly develop their own PC. By the time production of the Apple II ended in 1993 it had sold over 6 million units.
Inspired by a trip to Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), engineers from Apple began working on a commercial application for the graphical interface ideas they had seen there. The resulting machine, Lisa, was expensive and never achieved any level of commercial success, but in 1984 another Apple computer, using the same WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointer) interface concept, was launched. An advert during the 1984 Super Bowl, directed by Ridley Scott introduced the Macintosh computer to the world (in fact, the advert had been shown on a World TV channel in Idaho on 31 December 1983 and in movie theaters during January 1984 before its famous "premiere" on 22 January during the Super Bowl).
In 1985 Jobs was fired from Apple and immediately founded another computer company, NeXT. Its machines were not a commercial success but some of the technology was later used by Apple when Jobs eventually returned there.
In the meantime, in 1986, Jobs bought The Computer Graphics Group from Lucasfilm. The group was responsible for making high-end computer graphics hardware but under its new name, Pixar, it began to produce innovative computer animations. Their first title under the Pixar name, Luxo Jr. (1986) won critical and popular acclaim and in 1991 Pixar signed an agreement with Disney, with whom it already had a relationship, to produce a series of feature films, beginning with Toy Story (1995).
Steven Paul Jobs was born in San Francisco, California, on February 24, 1955, to Joanne Carole Schieble and Abdulfattah Jandali His cousin, Bassma Al Jandaly, maintains that his birth name was Abdul Lateef Jandali. He was adopted by Clara and Paul Reinhold Jobs.
Abdulfattah "John" Jandali was born and raised in an Arab Muslim household in Homs, Syria. As an undergraduate at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, he was a student activist and was imprisoned for his political activities. He pursued a PhD at the University of Wisconsin, where he met Joanne Schieble, an American Catholic of German and Swiss descent. Both of the same age, Jandali was a doctoral candidate and a teaching assistant for a course Schieble was taking. Novelist Mona Simpson, Jobs's biological sister, noted that Schieble's Catholic parents were unhappy that their daughter was with a Muslim. Jobs's biographer Walter Isaacson states that Schieble's dying father "threatened to disown her if she wed Abdulfattah", so they remained an unmarried couple.
Schieble became pregnant with Jobs in 1954, when she and Jandali spent the summer with his family in Homs. According to Jandali, Schieble deliberately did not involve him in the process: "Without telling me, Joanne upped and left to move to San Francisco to have the baby without anyone knowing, including me."
Schieble gave birth to Jobs in San Francisco on February 24, 1955, and chose an adoptive couple for him that was "Catholic, well-educated, and wealthy", but the couple later changed their minds. He was then placed with Paul and Clara Jobs, who lacked wealth and college education, and Schieble refused to sign the adoption papers. She asked the court to find a different family, but consented when Paul and Clara pledged to fund his college education.
In his youth, his parents took him to a Lutheran church. When he was in high school, Clara admitted to his girlfriend, Chrisann Brennan, that she "was too frightened to love [Steve] for the first six months of his life … I was scared they were going to take him away from me. Even after we won the case, Steve was so difficult a child that by the time he was two I felt we had made a mistake. I wanted to return him." When Chrisann shared this comment with Steve, he stated that he was already aware, and later said he had been deeply loved and indulged by Paul and Clara. Many years later, Jobs's wife Laurene also noted that "he felt he had been really blessed by having the two of them as parents."Jobs would "bristle" when Paul and Clara were referred to as his “adoptive parents”, and he regarded them as his parents “1,000%”. Jobs referred to his biological parents as "my sperm and egg bank. That's not harsh, it's just the way it was, a sperm bank thing, nothing more."
In September 1972, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He insisted on applying only to Reed, although it was an expensive school that Paul and Clara could ill afford. Jobs soon befriended Robert Friedland, who was Reed's student body president at that time. Brennan remained involved with Jobs while he was at Reed. He later asked her to come and live with him in a house he rented near the Reed campus, but she refused.
In February 1974, Jobs returned to his parents' home in Los Altos and began looking for a job. He was soon hired by Atari, Inc. in Los Gatos, California, as a technician. Back in 1973, Steve Wozniak designed his own version of the classic video game Pong and gave its electronics board to Jobs. According to Wozniak, Atari only hired Jobs because he took the board down to the company, and they thought that he had built it himself. Atari's cofounder Nolan Bushnell later described him as "difficult but valuable", pointing out that "he was very often the smartest guy in the room, and he would let people know that."
During this period, Jobs and Brennan remained involved with each other while continuing to see other people. By early 1974, Jobs was living what Brennan describes as a “simple life” in a Los Gatos cabin, working at Atari, and saving money for his impending trip to India.
By March 1976, Wozniak completed the basic design of the Apple I computer and showed it to Jobs, who suggested that they sell it; Wozniak was at first skeptical of the idea but later agreed. In April of that same year, Jobs, Wozniak, and administrative overseer Ronald Wayne founded Apple Computer Company (now called Apple Inc.) as a business partnership in Jobs's parents' Crist Drive home on April 1, 1976. The operation originally started in Jobs's bedroom and later moved to the garage. Wayne stayed briefly, leaving Jobs and Wozniak as the active primary cofounders of the company. The two decided on the name "Apple" after Jobs returned from the All One Farm commune in Oregon and told Wozniak about his time in the farm's apple orchard. Jobs originally planned to produce bare printed circuit boards of the Apple I and sell them to computer hobbyists for $50 (equivalent to about $240 in 2021) each. To fund the first batch, Wozniak sold his HP scientific calculator and Jobs sold his Volkswagen van. Later that year, computer retailer Paul Terrell purchased 50 fully assembled Apple I units for $500 each. Eventually about 200 Apple I computers were produced in total.
A neighbor on Crist Drive recalled Jobs as an odd individual who would greet his clients “with his underwear hanging out, barefoot and hippie-like”. Another neighbor, Larry Waterland, who had just earned his PhD in chemical engineering at Stanford, recalled dismissing Jobs's budding business compared to the established industry of giant mainframe computers with big decks of punchcards: “Steve took me over to the garage. He had a circuit board with a chip on it, a DuMont TV set, a Panasonic cassette tape deck and a keyboard. He said, 'This is an Apple computer.' I said, 'You've got to be joking.' I dismissed the whole idea.” Jobs's friend from Reed College and India, Daniel Kottke, recalled that as an early Apple employee, he “was the only person who worked in the garage … Woz would show up once a week with his latest code. Steve Jobs didn't get his hands dirty in that sense.” Kottke also stated that much of the early work took place in Jobs's kitchen, where he spent hours on the phone trying to find investors for the company.
They received funding from a then-semi-retired Intel product marketing manager and engineer Mike Markkula. Scott McNealy, one of the cofounders of Sun Microsystems, said that Jobs broke a "glass age ceiling" in Silicon Valley because he'd created a very successful company at a young age. Markkula brought Apple to the attention of Arthur Rock, which after looking at the crowded Apple booth at the Home Brew Computer Show, started with a $60,000 investment and went on the Apple board. Jobs was not pleased when Markkula recruited Mike Scott from National Semiconductor in February 1977 to serve as the first president and CEO of Apple.
The Macintosh's struggle continued after Jobs left Apple. Though marketed and received in fanfare, the expensive Macintosh was hard to sell. In 1985, Bill Gates's then-developing company, Microsoft, threatened to stop developing Mac applications unless it was granted "a license for the Mac operating system software. Microsoft was developing its graphical user interface ... for DOS, which it was calling Windows and didn't want Apple to sue over the similarities between the Windows GUI and the Mac interface." Sculley granted Microsoft the license which later led to problems for Apple.In addition, cheap IBM PC clones that ran Microsoft software and had a graphical user interface began to appear. Although the Macintosh preceded the clones, it was far more expensive, so "through the late 1980s, the Windows user interface was getting better and better and was thus taking increasingly more share from Apple". Windows-based IBM-PC clones also led to the development of additional GUIs such as IBM's TopView or Digital Research's GEM,and thus "the graphical user interface was beginning to be taken for granted, undermining the most apparent advantage of the Mac...it seemed clear as the 1980s wound down that Apple couldn't go it alone indefinitely against the whole IBM-clone market."
n 1986, Jobs funded the spinout of The Graphics Group (later renamed Pixar) from Lucasfilm's computer graphics division for the price of $10 million, $5 million of which was given to the company as capital and $5 million of which was paid to Lucasfilm for technology rights.
The first film produced by Pixar with its Disney partnership, Toy Story (1995), with Jobs credited as executive producer, brought financial success and critical acclaim to the studio when it was released. Over the course of Jobs's life, under Pixar's creative chief John Lasseter, the company produced box-office hits A Bug's Life (1998); Toy Story 2 (1999); Monsters, Inc. (2001); Finding Nemo (2003); The Incredibles (2004); Cars (2006); Ratatouille (2007); WALL-E (2008); Up (2009); Toy Story 3 (2010); and Cars 2 (2011). Brave (2012), Pixar's first film to be produced since Jobs's death, honored him with a tribute for his contributions to the studio. Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up, Toy Story 3 and Brave each received the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, an award introduced in 2001
In 1996, Apple announced that it would buy NeXT for $400 million. The deal was finalized in February 1997, bringing Jobs back to the company he had cofounded. Jobs became de facto chief after then-CEO Gil Amelio was ousted in July 1997. He was formally named interim chief executive on September 16. In March 1998, to concentrate Apple's efforts on returning to profitability, Jobs terminated several projects, such as Newton, Cyberdog, and OpenDoc. In the coming months, many employees developed a fear of encountering Jobs while riding in the elevator, “afraid that they might not have a job when the doors opened. The reality was that Jobs's summary executions were rare, but a handful of victims was enough to terrorize a whole company."Jobs changed the licensing program for Macintosh clones, making it too costly for the manufacturers to continue making machines.
With the purchase of NeXT, much of the company's technology found its way into Apple products, most notably NeXTSTEP, which evolved into Mac OS X. Under Jobs's guidance, the company increased sales significantly with the introduction of the iMac and other new products; since then, appealing designs and powerful branding have worked well for Apple. At the 2000 Macworld Expo, Jobs officially dropped the "interim" modifier from his title at Apple and became permanent CEO. Jobs quipped at the time that he would be using the title "iCEO".
Jobs died at his Palo Alto, California, home around 3 p.m. (PDT) on October 5, 2011, due to complications from a relapse of his previously treated islet-cell pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor, which resulted in respiratory arrest. He had lost consciousness the day before and died with his wife, children, and sisters at his side.His sister, Mona Simpson, described his death thus: "Steve's final words, hours earlier, were monosyllables, repeated three times. Before embarking, he'd looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life's partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them. Steve's final words were: 'Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.'" He then lost consciousness and died several hours later. A small private funeral was held on October 7, 2011, the details of which, out of respect for Jobs's family, were not made public.
Apple and Pixar each issued announcements of his death. Apple announced on the same day that they had no plans for a public service, but were encouraging "well-wishers" to send their remembrance messages to an email address created to receive such messages. Apple and Microsoft both flew their flags at half-staff throughout their respective headquarters and campuses.