"Death is ... the single most important invention of life," then Apple CEO Steve Jobs told students at their Stanford University graduation ceremony.
Existential words for a once self-described Buddhist, but Jobs is a complex guy. "Death is very likely the single best of invention of life ... it is life's change agent," he told the grads. "Your time is limited. So don't waste it by living someone else's life."
Watch these classic Jobs videos -- performance and candid scenes. He jokes, chides and waxes eloquent. He discusses his thoughts on his childhood, his love of design, early work with Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak, views on Microsoft, Xerox PARC, innovation and, most poignantly, how to live life with an acute awareness of inevitable death. Carpe Diem.
"When I was 17," he said, "I read a quote that went something like, 'If you live your life each day as if it were your last, some day almost certainly you'll be right. And I never forgot it."
The crowd shifted uncomfortably. Some nervous laughter among journalists and analysts. Jobs was just a year into his treatment for a rare form of pancreatic cancer at the time -- but he ignored the discomfort and went on.
"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart." The crowd fell silent.
If this sounds more like Sartre or Kahlil Gibran than the hard-driving, fist-pounding image you have of Jobs, who resigned as Apple CEO Wednesday, get ready.
Start here in 1997. Below, Steve Jobs first announces his return to Apple. It had been 13 years since his embarrassing, public ouster from the company he founded with Steve Wozniak in 1975.
It doesn't get more frank than this. Here Jobs waxes eloquent on a variety of topics, entreating students to be aware of their inevitable deaths and make the most of every day.
Remember Jobs' announcement of the first iPod? This from 2001.
In this video, Jobs unveils the iTunes store and opportunities to make apps for it to developers. It's a true music medium and platform. For many, it's hard to remember life without iTunes. I bet Jobs intended that. Ubiquitous iTunes..
Jobs is in rare form here at the iPhone announcement.
And here he is introducing the Apple iPad. January 2010.
In this edgy technews panel, Jobs rails on why "Apple does not ship junk" and deeply describes design and manufacturing aesthetic.
Jobs takes on Microsoft designwise. Pretty rough stuff!
Here he tells Bill Gates a joke.
Editor: Inside joke. Jobs is quoting ex Apple CEO Gil Amelio, repeating a serious answer Amelio gave me in a 1994 industry party. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, Jobs' best friend, was in earshot. He thought it was hilarious. He told Steve, and I guess now it's part of the repertoire.
The satire makes even made Bill Gates guffaw.
Jobs talks about Xerox PARC, which gave Wozniak and Jobs the earliest look at its graphical user interface.sh. "Xerox could've owned the computer industry," he said. Apple took some of the best ideas and ran with them, he said in this compelling, candid interview.
Steve Jobs was emotive at this recent conference, where he looked more frail than he had in months. This video was produced soon after a liver transplant.
On a lighter note, fans the world over are posting tribute videos about Jobs. YouTube is rocking this. Jobs has a bigger fanbase than Elvis -- or maybe it just looks that way to BYTE. Check this out and smile. Best of luck to you, Steve.
Jobs left at the top of his game -- ironically the same day Apple shot down Google Android with a major blow in Europe. Always the showman, Jobs couldn't have possibly timed it that way. Or would he?
Jacob Lopez is senior editor of news on the Apple and gaming beats. Follow him @8bitjay or email him at [email protected] BYTE editor-in-chief Gina Smith contributed to this story.