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Steve Jobs Apple Web site home screenYes, yes, I know – everyone is hopping on this bandwagon but now that the hype of the news has died down a little this is a must-post. It would be remiss of me to mot put something up about the passing of Steve Jobs and how his work contributed to the World as we know it.

Steve Jobs, 1955 – 2011

Official Steve Jobs death apple announcementThough not terribly surprising the news of Steve Jobs’ death shocked the World last night. It was a long time coming and those of us with even just a little knowledge of how Cancer works can now see just how ill Mr. Jobs was as time went on.

Steve stepped down as CEO of Apple in August of 2011, but stayed on as chairman of the Apple board until his his death last night, October 5th 2011. The announcement of Steve’s death came just hours after the unveiling of the latest incarnation of his iPhone device, the iPhone 4S.

I’m not going to go into Steve’s history, everything that he did, and his life’s work – there’s enough of that everywhere you look on the Internet. Instead I just want to touch on a few finer points and add something of a personal note.

You don’t have to be an “Apple Fanboy” to appreciate Jobs’ invention and innovation. Say what you will about him, his lifestyle, his company, he has changed the world in more ways than changing communication as we know it and far beyond the computer desktop, keyboard and mouse.

From the first Macintosh computer on January 24th, 1984, to the buying of what was to become Pixar in 1986, to the launching of the first iTunes integrated cell phone (the Motorola ROKR) in September of 2005, to the launch of the first iPhone in 2007, to the iPad and the iPhone as we know it today and countless patents and innovations between. There isn’t a day that passes when you or I don’t encounter something that Jobs or Apple as a whole have influenced. Go on, try me – you name it, I’ll bet I can tie Apple to it.

Just from watching Twitter last night when the news broke, there was such a huge emotional outpouring of… well… everything. Apple Store, Shadyside, Pittsburgh, Steve Jobs Tribute
It has always been known that Apple is famous for creating more than just a user connection between its users and its devices. Somehow the company has made an emotional connection to its customers and it showed.
Eyes welled as the official announcements circulated and users clicked to the Apple web site to be greeted with a simple, plain, announcement screen (top) that only contained a picture of Jobs, as we all remember him in his trademark black turtleneck, with the words “Steve Jobs 1955-2011”.
Clicking further into the site found an announcement:

“Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being.
Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve has lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.”

I stopped by the Apple store later last night just to take a picture for this tribute post, not knowing whether to find a mass of people outside the door, stacks of flowers… or anything. I had seen online that there had already been various kinds of vigils set up the World over.
What I found was a few staff members hanging out in the store and a bouquet of flowers, a note, a photo, a candle and an actual apple left on the sidewalk (picture right).

Though I was never lucky enough to meet Steve I have the greatest respect for him and his work. He has always been something of a hero to me and I know that my life certainly wouldn’t be the same without the work that he did.

imageThere are so many tributes to Steve and his work and I love seeing everyone voicing their thoughts. Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Dell, McDonalds, Starbucks, HP, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Wosniak and more all readily shared their thoughts. Even Google placed a tasteful memorium on their home page (picture left).

On a personal note. My thoughts really do go out to Steve’s family and friends. It was some years ago that my mother, who was about the same age as Steve died from Cancer. I know it’s not east no matter how prolonged, expected or otherwise it is. Hopefully a death like this will highlight the disease and help with the work to stop it.

Apple – please keep your promise. Remain a foundation for today’s society and keep Steve Jobs’ spirit alive in all that you do.

Readers – when you make a phone call on your smart phone, when you watch a computer generated cartoon, when you reach for a mouse, when you see a newspaper… I could go on. Think about the people who make it their life work to make it happen and make it easier. Maybe give Steve a thought too.