Skip to main content

Farewell Steve Jobs

I have never owned an Apple product and yet Steve Jobs has changed the world I live in at least four times.

Jobs and Wozniak's Apple II made the computer personal and in doing so it made the information technology revolution something that everyone of us could share in. Prior to the Apple II only geeks and hobbyists with their own soldering irons need apply.

Later the original Macintosh transformed our expectations of how humans should interact with these strange new thinking machines. It matters little that the the Mac never competed with the more generic PC in terms of sales. It also matters little that few of the ideas in the mac were entirely new. It was Jobs and the Macintosh that showed all of us what was possible.


In more recent times the Ipod and Itunes revolutionised the business of not just music but creative content generally. Again it matter little that the ideas were not particularly new. This time Apple's vision of a product with superior design that was simply better for humans to use than any of its competitors worked and
the I- brand became a tsunami that carried the new paradigm of digital media along with it.

To my mind the Iphone is probably Jobs most important contribution of all. This disruptive product has made portable computing and constant inter-connectivity a reality for millions. In so far as human intelligence can be measured not just by what is in a man's head but more by what information can he access at a moments notice then you could say that the Iphone and similar portable computing devices represent the next step in human evolution. I don't include the Ipad yet in my list of products that changed the world because it is too early yet to gauge its full impact and because I remain to be convinced that the IPad is more than just a big Iphone.

Of course there is a reason why I have never owned any Apple products. Their closed architecture, high price business model never appealed to me. In recent times Apple's vision has become even more controlling and to my mind stifling. Apple's insistence that the only software you put on their product must come from Apple's own retail channel is not just stifling, I believe it is downright dangerous. Mobile computing is too important and too transformative a technology for for one company to be allowed so much control over it.

Regardless of my misgivings about Apple's business model  I salute the extraordinary man who has made such an impact on our world and who sadly passed away yesterday at only 56 years of age.

Steve Jobs RIP

EDIT: I didn't even mention Jobs inspirational support of Pixar. I guess I am not a film buff but judging from other comments around the web Jobs Pixar work was as important as his computer stuff. 



Comments

DM Osbon said…
It's a sad day indeed.

I believe unless you've owned an Apple product then it's very difficult to fathom the attraction. I'd rather have the 'closed' environment that Apple products offer than the overwhelming variety of choice. I get what I need from Apple products. But I do agree the price is off-putting.
mbp said…
I am not oblivious to the attraction of Apple products DM - my wife and my kids have several of them. Indeed when my wife wanted a smartphone I recommended she get an Iphone even though I have an Android phone myself.

Unfortunately even though I admire the superb design of these Apple products I still think that the close "Itunes" / "App store" model is a very very bad thing for the consumer in the long run. The closed hardware I can live with its the software restrictions that are dangerous.
DM Osbon said…
Interesting point mbp but I don't see the danger or why it's such a bad thing for the consumer. Maybe it's down to personal choice or that I'm blind to it?!

Popular posts from this blog

Portal 2 two screen coop on one PC.

I mentioned before that I intended to try Portal 2 in "unofficial split screen co-op mode. Well split screen on a small computer monitor is a recipe for a headache especially when the game defies gravity as much as portal. However a minor bit of extra fiddling allowed us to drive two seperate screens from one PC. The Steam forums describes a complicated method of doing this that I couldn't get working so this simpler method which worked for me might be of use to someone. 1. First I followed the instructions in this post to get split screen multi-player working: http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1847904 A minor issue not mentioned is that you need to enable the console from the keyboard/mouse options menu I am using keyboard and one wired Xbox360 controller as suggested. Getting the controller to switch to channel 2 was tricky at first but as Chameleon8 mentions plugging it out and in again during loading works. The trick for me was to do the plug / p

Android Tip 3: Sharing a Folder between multiple users of an Android device

Android has allowed multiple user logins for quite a while now. This is can be very useful for tablets which are shared by family members. Normally Android erects strict Chinese walls between users preventing them from using each others apps and viewing each others files. This is a useful security feature and ensures your kids don't mess up your work spreadsheets when screwing around on the tablet and should also prevent them from buying €1,000 worth of Clash of Candy coins on your account. Sometimes however you really do want to share stuff with other users and this can prove surprisingly difficult. For example on a recent holiday I realised that I wanted to share a folder full of travel documents with my wife. Here are some ways to achieve this. 1. If you have guaranteed internet access  then you can create a shared folder on either Dropbox or Google drive. Either of these has the great advantage of being able to access the files on any device and the great disadvantage of bein

Lotro: The Forgotten Treasury

Throg joined a Kinship group for the Forgotten Treasury instance last night. It was an enjoyable change from the solo questing that the now level 55 dwarf champion has been mostly doing so far in Moria. Some members of the group had tried and failed to clear the Treasury before so we knew it would be challenging but we were lucky enough to have a well balanced group with Guardian, Minstrel, Lore Master, Hunter, Burglar and Champion (Throg). Throg (level 55) and the minstrel (53) were both below the 56ish level of the instance but the others were all higher so it more or less balanced out. [SPOILERs ahead] It is a well designed enjoyable instance set in a circular chamber with balcony around. As you enter, a boss absconds to a locked side chamber with his treasure leaving the fellowship to clear trash ringed around the balcony. Once the trash are cleared you have access to a puzzle which must be solved in order to open the locked door. Clearing the (including six mini bosses) also