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Friday, October 7, 2011

Steve Jobs, Visionary

Astonishing, absolutely astonishing. 

One knows that one man changed the world as we know it when the local paper in Wellington, New Zealand, devotes the whole front page to his passing

He changed your world, whether you bought an Apple gadget or not, runs the banner.

"In his trademark black turtleneck, jeans and sneakers, Steve Jobs could have been any man off the street," the front page story begins.  Obviously, he was not.  Instead, "he was arguably the most influential figure in the history of consumer technology."

Justifably so, as the column proves:  Jobs, with Steve Wozniak, launched the first computer designed for the mass market -- the Apple II -- as far back at 1977.  With the launch of the Macintosh in 1984, he introduced a computer that could be controlled with a mouse.

The editorial is also devoted to the passing of this epic figure.   Headed, Computer geek who changed the world, it goes on to claim, "When it comes time to write the history of the latter stages of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st, Steve Jobs' name will rank right up there alongside those of Osama bin Laden, Deng Xiaoping and Vint Cerf, the father of the internet.  Jobs, who died yesterday of pancreatic cancer at the age of 56, is the guy who made computers cool."

And, of course, there is the obituary.  It takes up the entire oped page, complete with a photo of Steve Jobs with the iPad during its launch in San Francisco in January last year.  The other illustration, which somehow I find even more evocative, is of Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs in the early days of Apple, their abundant Beatles-style mops of hair as outdated as the circuitry they're playing with.  

Altogether, an astonishing encomium for an astonishing man.

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