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Farewell to Steve Jobs

Posted: 11 Oct 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Steve Jobs? iPhone? Apple CEO?

Yesterday evening I was working on a project when my wifewho had been watching the newsbounced into the room to inform me of Steve Job's passing.

I really wasn't expecting this, but at the same time I wasn't too surprised because I saw a picture of Steve a short time after he' stepped down as CEO of Apple and he really looked very thin and very frail. Many of the people I've talked to today say that they felt much the same way.

These are going to be so many articles and television programs about Steve in the coming weeks that I hesitate to become part of "the noise." In fact, I've been sitting here all day wondering whether to say something or not, but I've decided that I don't want to let him go without saying my own goodbye.

It's not that I ever met Steve or anythingit's just that in one way or another he (along with Steve Wozniak) has affected my life, and the lives of countless others, in many ways.

There's no point in my talking about the influence of the early Apple computers, or the revolutionary effects of iTunes, iPods, iPhones, and iPads here; others will do so far better than I.

I was chatting (by email) with my friend Moshe in Israel. I had pointed out that Steve Jobs was born only two years earlier than myself. My friend responded as follows:

So we are all from the same generation. In Israel we are called the Yom Kippur War generation.

I read all sorts of superlatives in the press today about Jobs, but very little is known of him as a person, other than his recorded appearances and his interviews.

What people in my company are saying that his pioneering spirit which was part of our generation of college dropouts that made it big (John Lennon, Jobs and Gates, etc.) does not exist in the younger guys C they are just in for the quick buck, not in order to "change the world", like Steve and his colleagues thought.

Many young people here in Israel and all the way to my teenage daughter who goes to a gifted kids high school can change their attitude, from a complacent money hungry and selfish one to a radical "lets' make a different world" one if they only had good leadership, some good examples to follow.

I think the young generation is hungry for that. One case is the Facebook revolutions in the Arab countries, all sparked by the young and led by them.

This is my two cents on the subject.

I agree that I certainly didn't know much about Steve. It was only last night that I discovered he had been adopted as a child. And if I ever knew of his relationship with Pixar and their films starting with Toy Story (the first feature-length computer animation), then I had forgotten this again long ago.

I guess that the bottom line for me is that everyone is important in one way or another, but with different spheres of influence. Think about the difference between dropping a pebble into a pool of water versus dropping a massive piece of river rock. Both will cause ripples, but the river rock's effect will be more pronounced and will spread further and affect more things.

Similarly, most of us affect relatively few people (hopefully for the better) in the scheme of things. But a few people have more influence, and Steve Jobs was one of the very few who made ripples that have spread around the world and will continue to spread forward through time.

Just a few days ago I was sitting on the sofa using my wife's netpad computer for something. I was getting very frustrated because it wasn't workingI kept on pressing different fields on the webpage I was looking at and nothing happened. And then I suddenly remembered that, unlike my iPad, the netpad doesn't have a touchscreen interface.

I feel very sad at the moment. Steve was far too young to die. I wish him well on the next stage of his journey whatever that might be...

- Clive Maxfield
??EE Times





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