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Steve Jobs Dead
Posted: 06 October 2011 07:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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jump_in_the_pit - 06 October 2011 07:02 AM

Sad news, and Jobs was creative, he did some good work.  But genius?  He can be counted among the innovators, but most of the innovations in the Mac products are due to the work of thousands of people who make the microprocessors, the peripherals, the screens, the firmware/BIOS/software, accelerometers, etc.  Chemistry and physics are behind all of it.  I don’t really understand why he gets special attention.  He does have fans it seems.  :shrug:  Oh well.

I think one only needs to learn about the difference between Apple with him as CEO and Apple without him as CEO to see the effect that his—yes—genius had on the company. His genius was at leadership, industrial design, ergonomics, computer/human interaction and marketing. Any great business genius in today’s age has to be first and foremost a leader of people, since nothing large scale can be done by single people anymore. Just as Henry Ford and Thomas Edison worked in larger groups, so too did Jobs. And if you listen to interviews with people who worked beside him, like Steve Wozniak, they make clear that it was Jobs who was the real genius in the room. Jobs knew where the product had to go, long before anyone else.

It’s that odd thing about ‘taste’ that Jobs said Microsoft’s products always lacked. And sure, Jony Ive did the designs at Apple, but it was Jobs who picked Ive from basement obscurity under the previous Apple administration and gave him the leadership position to head the design team. I believe he did similar things at Pixar.

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Posted: 06 October 2011 07:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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jump_in_the_pit - 06 October 2011 07:02 AM

I don’t really understand why he gets special attention.  He does have fans it seems.  :shrug:  Oh well.

Hmmm,
seems to me the graphics interface, the appreciation of fonts, taking quick lessons at Xerox PARC then exploding them into a product that truly revolutionized the world.
Then there’s Pixar, that wasn’t a crafty engineer at work, that was a visionary genius.
etc, etc, heck folks could, have and will write books on his genius.
~ ~ ~

But, I just dropped in to share a link to a nice write up over at Wired:
Steve Jobs, 1955 – 2011
By Steven Levy
October 5, 2011

[ Edited: 06 October 2011 07:44 AM by citizenschallenge.pm ]
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Posted: 06 October 2011 07:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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dougsmith - 06 October 2011 07:21 AM

I believe he did similar things at Pixar.

Right, see HERE.

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Posted: 06 October 2011 07:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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The look-and-feel is the easy part.  Try learning the USB protocol, the C++ libraries, or write a driver, that’s the hard part.  And it takes real innovation and creativity to make the foundational technologies. 

Anyone can plainly see that a smiley face logo or a trash can icon are cute, that’s ordinary vision, that takes no special skill.  But where Mac makes cute, the IBM compatibles have been working hard to bring the price down, where Macs are still priced like its 1983.  Innovative, yes I agree Jobs was, but genius?  I would call someone a genius, but I’d have to base that on technology.  When Jobs patents an enclusure with eased corners, I give credit to the people of Wyse, Compaq, Taiwan Video & Monitor, International Business Machines Corporation, Delta, ADI, Daewoo Telecom, LG, for their technological innovations.

[ Edited: 06 October 2011 08:05 AM by jump_in_the_pit ]
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Posted: 06 October 2011 07:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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jump_in_the_pit - 06 October 2011 07:54 AM

The look-and-feel is the easy part.

If it were that easy you would have picked an avatar and a screen name that make sense.

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Posted: 06 October 2011 08:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Why do you like to pick on my avatar, George?  grin question  And what happened to your monkey?

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Posted: 06 October 2011 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Regarding the higher price of Macintosh: yes, Mac has always been higher priced. However, it is also a higher-quality product, in several dimensions. First, there’s hardware quality. I have owned Macs since the very first Mac back in 1984. In all that time, I have never had a single hardware failure of Apple equipment. Not one. Every piece of equipment I bought from Apple can still be turned on and will run just as well as it did when I bought it. I have had problems with peripherals, in particular hard drives that died. But never Apple equipment. How much does a hardware failure cost in terms of lost data?

Second, Apple software is broadly superior to software for the PC. I realize that this is a complicated issue and that there are others with solid judgement who disagree with my assessment, and while I respect their judgements, I stand by my own.

Third, I read an interesting statistic last night: the iPhone has a 4% market share when we count by units, a 50% market share when we count by profits. I think that says something.

Getting back to Mr. Jobs, I’d like to suggest a simple fantasy: what would the world of computing be like had Mr. Jobs not existed? Microsoft would have completely dominated the personal computer marketplace, without any significant competition. In such an alternate universe, I am sure that many modern elements of the computing experience would have come later if at all. Graphical User Interfaces? Microsoft introduced Windows only after Macintosh had shown the superiority of the GUI, and Microsoft’s implementation was half-hearted and, frankly, atrocious. Windows 3 was one of the greatest software disasters in history. Every step in the progress of computing was led by Apple, with Microsoft playing catchup all the way (with two exceptions: multi-button mice and drop-down menus). Mice, laser printers, RISC CPUs, and the steady integration of more and more fundamentals into the package (as opposed to the Microsoft potpourri approach of permitting any possible combination of elements) are all features for which Apple led the way.

Had Mr. Jobs not come along, it is entirely plausible that right now we’d still be using command-line interfaces.

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Posted: 06 October 2011 08:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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jump_in_the_pit - 06 October 2011 07:54 AM

The look-and-feel is the easy part.  Try learning the USB protocol, the C++ libraries, or write a driver, that’s the hard part.

Um, no. Every other company in the business had the protocols, libraries and drivers you mention. Nobody came out with the iMac, the iPhone or the iPad. Look and feel (or more precisely industrial design of hardware and software) is everything. That’s what Jobs understood that his competitors did not.

Put it more starkly: when Jobs came out with the iPhone he started from zero. All the other cellphone companies in the world had as good or better access to backend parts, labor and the easy aspects of look-and-feel: Motorola, Nokia, RIM, Sony-Ericssen, Samsung. Yet Apple smoked them. With one button on the phone.

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Posted: 06 October 2011 08:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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jump_in_the_pit - 06 October 2011 08:17 AM

Why do you like to pick on my avatar, George?  grin question  And what happened to your monkey?

It was an ape, not a monkey. And he has evolved.  grin And I usually pick on your avatar because I really don’t like it. Today, however, I did it to teach you a lesson, to defend Jobs and to let you know that the right-brained people think of themselves as highly as the autistic left-brained ones.

[ Edited: 06 October 2011 08:41 AM by George ]
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Posted: 06 October 2011 08:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Chris Crawford - 06 October 2011 08:24 AM

Getting back to Mr. Jobs, I’d like to suggest a simple fantasy: what would the world of computing be like had Mr. Jobs not existed? Microsoft would have completely dominated the personal computer marketplace, without any significant competition. In such an alternate universe, I am sure that many modern elements of the computing experience would have come later if at all. Graphical User Interfaces? Microsoft introduced Windows only after Macintosh had shown the superiority of the GUI, and Microsoft’s implementation was half-hearted and, frankly, atrocious. Windows 3 was one of the greatest software disasters in history. Every step in the progress of computing was led by Apple, with Microsoft playing catchup all the way (with two exceptions: multi-button mice and drop-down menus). Mice, laser printers, RISC CPUs, and the steady integration of more and more fundamentals into the package (as opposed to the Microsoft potpourri approach of permitting any possible combination of elements) are all features for which Apple led the way.

Had Mr. Jobs not come along, it is entirely plausible that right now we’d still be using command-line interfaces.

I was thinking the same thing. And now that he’s gone, what great innovations will get put off or never occur? Had Frank Lloyd Wright died at 56 we never would have had Fallingwater or the Guggenheim Museum, to cite two of many great buildings he designed later in life. Difference is that Wright designed for the thousands, Jobs for the hundreds of millions.

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Posted: 06 October 2011 09:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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dougsmith - 06 October 2011 08:33 AM
jump_in_the_pit - 06 October 2011 07:54 AM

The look-and-feel is the easy part.  Try learning the USB protocol, the C++ libraries, or write a driver, that’s the hard part.

Um, no. Every other company in the business had the protocols, libraries and drivers you mention.

I agree with both of you. Designing and engineering software and hardware can take genius. But it is a not the kind of work someone tends to get famous for since it is so incomprehensible to laymen, unfortunately. Handling the overall business and direction aspect of Apple also takes genius - it is just a lot more publicly visible.

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Posted: 06 October 2011 09:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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jump_in_the_pit from your comments I’m thinking you may have grown up with all this stuff, perhaps even taking it for granted, whereas us fiftyish and older folks appreciate what an incredible leap it was from all that came before.

although I could be wrong I did once long, long ago accuse Occam of being a youngster   red face

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Posted: 06 October 2011 10:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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domokato - 06 October 2011 09:37 AM

I agree with both of you. Designing and engineering software and hardware can take genius. But it is a not the kind of work someone tends to get famous for since it is so incomprehensible to laymen, unfortunately. Handling the overall business and direction aspect of Apple also takes genius - it is just a lot more publicly visible.

I don’t want it to sound like I’m saying that designing software can’t take genius. Of course, it can. There are genius software designers like there are genius marketers, genius industrial designers and genius CEOs. My only point is that getting look-and-feel right is not easy. Most large companies make do with mediocre look-and-feel. It takes brilliance and dedication to get it right.

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Posted: 06 October 2011 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Chris Crawford - 06 October 2011 08:24 AM

Third, I read an interesting statistic last night: the iPhone has a 4% market share when we count by units, a 50% market share when we count by profits. I think that says something.

That they are overpriced?  smile

Getting back to Mr. Jobs, I’d like to suggest a simple fantasy: what would the world of computing be like had Mr. Jobs not existed? Microsoft would have completely dominated the personal computer marketplace, without any significant competition. In such an alternate universe, I am sure that many modern elements of the computing experience would have come later if at all. Graphical User Interfaces? Microsoft introduced Windows only after Macintosh had shown the superiority of the GUI, and Microsoft’s implementation was half-hearted and, frankly, atrocious.

Well, let’s not forget that Apple ‘borrowed’ the WIMP interface from Xerox PARC.

Windows 3 was one of the greatest software disasters in history. Every step in the progress of computing was led by Apple, with Microsoft playing catchup all the way (with two exceptions: multi-button mice and drop-down menus). Mice, laser printers, RISC CPUs, and the steady integration of more and more fundamentals into the package (as opposed to the Microsoft potpourri approach of permitting any possible combination of elements) are all features for which Apple led the way.

Well, again let’s not forget that RISC architectures began as an IBM research effort (with UC Berkeley and Stanford). Whence came the IBM 801, MIPS, and RISC 1&2. That effort also culminated in the alliance of Apple, IBM, and Motorola which produced the PowerPC. And the laser printer was a product of Xeox as well.

Had Mr. Jobs not come along, it is entirely plausible that right now we’d still be using command-line interfaces.

I would give that a very low probability. Someone else would likely have brought WIMP from Xerox PARC to the marketplace (but not Xerox). LOL
But I doubt that someone else would have provided nearly as high quality a product as Jobs demanded. He was remarkable.

Edited to add credit for the laser printer…

[ Edited: 06 October 2011 10:32 AM by traveler ]
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Posted: 06 October 2011 11:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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dougsmith - 06 October 2011 08:33 AM
jump_in_the_pit - 06 October 2011 07:54 AM

The look-and-feel is the easy part.  Try learning the USB protocol, the C++ libraries, or write a driver, that’s the hard part.

Um, no. Every other company in the business had the protocols, libraries and drivers you mention. Nobody came out with the iMac, the iPhone or the iPad. Look and feel (or more precisely industrial design of hardware and software) is everything.

Well by that logic, if everyone does the standard (they all follow it because it is standard), and so their work is not special.  Then it would also be true that since lots of electronic enclosures have eased corners, or more curvy shapes now-a-days, the Mac products are not special either.  But instead by my logic, the innovative work behind the standards was real and valuable and so many people did the valuable work of learning the complexities (the USB standards are over 800 pages long for each version), and when Mac adds curves, icon menus, and inertia widgets, that is innovative yes but is only a small amount of work by comparison.  Many electronic companies make their enclosures/software cute, 3-d and animated widgets today.

When will people stop focusing on the look-and-feel and start learning to program a computer, that’s the true way of controlling a computer creatively, all the rest are just limited controls and distractions from what computers are really meant for.  The click icons are really just there to ease the learning curve, not to replace a programmable interface.

dougsmith - 06 October 2011 08:33 AM

Put it more starkly: when Jobs came out with the iPhone he started from zero.

In a cursory search, “Bartley K. Andre” is named as the patent holder of the iPhone (the link is below), that means that he did the development work.  Only the “ornamental” design, not the technology, is credited as Bartley’s.

The iPod?  Innovative circular touch pad, yes that’s pleasant.  The iPhone sideways icon menus with inertia, taken from the Mac.  Yes that’s got a nice look-and-feel, and is innovative.  The iPad? As the artists say, “derivative”. 

Jobs iconic works, and others’ works.  Wow a staircase made of glass, that’s cute grin.  But now will he get credited with inventing the glass staircase?  big surprise  I hope not.

dougsmith - 06 October 2011 08:33 AM

With one button on the phone.

You like one button?  That’s much easier to make than ten.  We can give you one button, everyone asks for one button, but then the device will just do one thing.  More buttons allow more flexibility.  Even the iPod had a virtual menu of choices, a button, and a round touch pad as the pointing device, that’s not really just one button.  But the buttons are a distraction from the real and creative programmable interface.

Edison didn’t even know ohms law until his employees taught it to him (V = I * R}, he highered educated talented people.  He was innovative about the telegraph that he sold to Western Union, but beyond that I think that most the works from his companies are credited to the employees.

I am sure that Edison promoted himself as the “Wizard of Menlo Park” in order to sensationalize himself.  I think he’s famous in that way, but for technology I don’t think so.  Edison and Ford are examples of industrialists, not technologists.  Eiffel might be a better example from that era, since he built his tower out of steel, in merely merely months of work (not in decades, nor centuries), and with hundreds of people (not with thousands).

Chris Crawford - 06 October 2011 08:24 AM

Regarding the higher price of Macintosh: yes, Mac has always been higher priced.

Well I was hoping this would this thread would stay on memories of Jobs, but I’ll take a chance here.  Generally yes more pricey, but Mac OS X was $29.99 last time I checked, and they’ve been selling the Mini for $599 for a long time now.  So not always. 

Chris Crawford - 06 October 2011 08:24 AM

First, there’s hardware quality. I have owned Macs since the very first Mac back in 1984.

That’s a good long time, but the truth about consumer electronics is all the components come from the same set of component manufacturers, despite what brand is written on the device.  That longevity isn’t really a Mac feature.

Chris Crawford - 06 October 2011 08:24 AM

Second, Apple software is broadly superior to software for the PC.

I thought Macwrite was good, I liked it, I was sad to hear the MS Word replaced it.  Since Mac OS X, by Apple’s own judgement, they pulled the rug out from under their old OS, and slipped in a sleek BSD varient underneath.  Jobs was certainly familiar with the Unixes out there do to his work on NeXT and the objective-C abilities in GNU’s gcc.  I’m certainly not saying that Mac software is inferior, just that the superior claim is questionable.  There’s no question that Mac OS has been superior to MS Windows, I won’t argue that.  But keep in mind that OS/2, FreeBSD, Solaris, Linux, and other OSes have been available for the PC compatibles, that is a difference between PCs and Macs that must be recognized.  How is the physics software on a Mac, BTW? 

Chris Crawford - 06 October 2011 08:24 AM

... what would the world of computing be like had Mr. Jobs not existed? Microsoft would have completely dominated the personal computer marketplace, without any significant competition. ... only after Macintosh had shown the superiority of the GUI, and Microsoft’s implementation was half-hearted and, frankly, atrocious. Windows 3 was one of the greatest software disasters in history.

Well your characterization of MS Windows is well put.  MS Windows has been, and still very much is, an easy target.  It was a rush job to begin with and I’m not impressed today.  I won’t try to defend MS Windows.

But, of course, Mac didn’t invent the GUI, that existed earlier, and yes they led the market with it.  But again, the innovator gets the credit, not the people who copy the idea.

Chris Crawford - 06 October 2011 08:24 AM

Every step in the progress of computing was led by Apple, with Microsoft playing catchup all the way (with two exceptions: multi-button mice and drop-down menus). Mice, laser printers, RISC CPUs, and the steady integration of more and more fundamentals into the package (as opposed to the Microsoft potpourri approach of permitting any possible combination of elements) are all features for which Apple led the way.

Not due to Mac’s credit.  The didn’t invent lasar printers, Adobe Postscript, Adobe Type I fonts, Apple has never made a microprocessor and have moved to Intel instruction set now-a-days.  I see MS Windows playing catch-up with Unix, but not Mac.

Chris Crawford - 06 October 2011 08:24 AM

Had Mr. Jobs not come along, it is entirely plausible that right now we’d still be using command-line interfaces.

Linux/Unix still fully and proudly relies on the flexible and creative programmable command line, using the the GUI as just add-on and a convenience, properly so.  That’s how one can automate their daily tasks, which is what a computer is meant for.

With Jobs’ passing, I just think its appropriate to remember him as he was. 

Summary of the BSD Unix family tree  Detailed BSD family tree (point at the white box under “Unix History” to see the tree)  Mac OS X is a Unix, see the history.

[ Edited: 06 October 2011 07:13 PM by jump_in_the_pit ]
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