With the passing of Steve Jobs, the editors of BYTE have started collecting their reflections and personal perceptions of one of the most influential technologists the world has ever seen. Here we comment on his reign at Apple, his legacy of products, his business acumen, and his inimitable (sometimes irascible) personality.
Please join us by putting your memories and impressions of Jobs in your own comment.
I've never been a big fan of Apple's products. I'm lukewarm about the MacBook I'm writing this on. But that's not important. As a longtime industry observer I am in awe of what Jobs accomplished with his great talents and force of personality. He is the personification of my generation's ideal of the tech entrepreneur. -- Larry J. Seltzer, Editorial Director, BYTE
Steve helped define not only the personal computer but my career in IT. He changed the face of computing with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. I tutored word processing and technical writing using MacWrite and MacPaint under Finder 1.0. It was a horrible experience for me, unfortunately, and I went back to the PC--until the release of OS X Leopard and the 15" MacBook Pro. Steve had once again changed the face of computing.
He also changed the face of music and multimedia with the iPod and iTunes, and the RIAA and MPAA lost their minds. He changed personal communications with the iPhone, and AT&T lost its mind. He ushered in the computing trend for the next decade or so with the iPad, and no one else can keep up.
I lost my father the same day Steve resigned from Apple, and the impact of both men on my life has been profound, to say the least. Steve will be seen as one of the key people whose contribution changed the face of technology and the world for generations to come. -- Chris Spera, Founding Reviews Editor, BYTE
When Steve Jobs was recruiting John Scully for Apple he said the famous words, "Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or come with me and change the world?" Steve Jobs was about changing the world. What he has done for technology and consumers is felt in some way by everyone on the planet. The Macintosh, iPod, iPhone, iPad--these items changed the world. While others saw beige boxes he saw in color. Others saw laptops as a small desktop computer; he saw the Macbook Air. Others saw cassettes and players; he saw iTunes and iPods. Others saw flip phones, and he saw the iPhone. While others saw tablets as a laptop with the screen turned over, he saw the iPad. Steve Jobs was a visionary who changed the world for the better. -- Heilan Yvette Grimes, Contributor, BYTE
My first thought when Steve Jobs passed was that he was competing only with himself. Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Sony all saw Apple as a competitor, but Jobs only saw Apple as the competitor. Jobs didn't look at others for ideas. He looked within. -- Dino Londis, Contributor, BYTE
I couldn't help but get tears in my eyes when I went to Apple's home page. Steve Jobs has had an impact on our society--notably, in the 21st century--that few other individuals have had. I wonder if we will see someone else in our lifetime who will leave their mark the way he has. While he will be missed by so many, I'm glad his suffering has ended. -- Esther Shein, Contributor, BYTE
I kept checking Apple's website last night, mostly because it took a while to sink in. We knew he was going, but I think we all wanted to see him run a bit longer. While it's sad that he's gone, we should take a moment to stop and think about his friends and family. They're hurting right now, and I wish them the best. As for Steve, I said this before, and I'll say it again: Thanks for giving me so many great products to write about, and a means of doing it. Rest in peace; you worked hard for it. -- Jacob Lopez, Founding Senior Editor, BYTE
I don't own a single Apple product, save for iTunes--and I don't even use it all that much. But I look at my life and I'm forced to admit Steve's reach is impossibly wide. I doubt Windows would have existed in any form if the Macintosh hadn't been created; I doubt Android would have ever come to be if the iPhone hadn't come into being; I doubt I'd be downloading music from eMusic and Amazon.com or watching stuff on NetFlix if iTunes hadn't appeared and become an industry-shaping entertainment juggernaut. And I know I would never have seen Toy Story or Finding Nemo if he hadn't acquired Pixar and invested in it. In too many ways to count, I'm living in his shadow. And, under it all, I'm grateful for that--even if I'm still turning up my nose at the idea of ever buying an iPhone. -- Serdar Yegulalp, Founding Reviews Editor, BYTE
Further coverage at InformationWeek:
Steve Jobs Dies. A Revolution Ends. (Fritz Nelson)
Steve Jobs Was A Lawyer's Dream CEO (Dan Liutikas)
10 Key Steve Jobs Moments and Innovations (Paul Travis)