back to article This Dianamania is a slur on Jobs

Steve Jobs was a remarkable and fascinating businessman, and by some distance the most interesting and accomplished personality operating in an important corner of the economy. He had a respect for the intelligence of human beings and their ambition, and potential – showing an optimism which is rare in a cynical industry. And …


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  1. namelessphil

    Jobs may not have changed the world, but he did more to improve MS Windows than anyone in the world.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Absolutely, but most commentards here will never understand (or maybe just accept) that.

      Some are too young, some just too close minded and foolish.

      Anyway who gives a fuck about them anyway, we know that's true and it's all it matters.

      It'll be an interesting next few years for user-level IT that's for sure. The Apple crowd seems capable, but I'm afraid they may lack that proverbial spark. Microsoft could hardly be more lost, Google just wants to find more ways of sticking probes on us, while calling it all innovation. HP? Let's not even go there.

      Kind of depressing scenario to be honest.

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        "... The Apple crowd seems capable..."

        True, and damning with faint praise - the transition for Apple is from a company "owned" by one man with the ego to push his vision regardless of the consequences, to a company that will likely be run a board of directors ... rather like all the other companies out there. What matters to Apple is not the products that they have in the pipeline now, but what they need to invent now to sell in 2015.

        As for the tech worlds new "fearless leaders" - a nameless bunch for the most part aren't they? Sure, we still have Larry Ellison around but he's a dickhead - although that seems to be one of the job requirements when you come to think about it. Of course, being having a dickhead in charge isn't a guarantee of success but it does seem to be one of the common factors in the success of many fine companies.

  2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Dr Craig Venter

    The same one who took public funded genomics data for the human genome project sequenced the potentially profitable bits then patented them?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Oh yes, the Venterpillar, headed off at the pass with the human genome by the Wellcome Foundation IIRC.

    2. Marvin the Martian

      I'm a quite bit shocked by the upvotes.

      What a bunch of clowns; even wikipedia is closer to the truth.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm a quite bit shocked by the upvotes.

        It may have been an oversimplification of a composite of Venter's position and the sequence of historical events, rather than a report of historical fact, but there's no denying Venter's appetite to monopolise biological discoveries.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    You talk bollocks sometimes,

    ..but I agree with every word.

    Well said.

    1. Levente Szileszky
      Thumb Up

      RE: You talk bollocks sometimes,

      I'd say he talks utter, sweaty bollocks *most* of the times but I fully agree this time: this piece is pretty much PERFECT.

      Congrat and thanks, Mr Orlowski.

    2. AdamWill


      another +1, except for the obligatory Venter-pump (is that the same ten years it's going to take us to achieve cold fusion?)

      Though I think Jobs *did* achieve some genuinely worthwhile things; just not the ones most people are going on about, which happened in the later phases of Apple. His earlier work at Apple and NeXT, and also Pixar, is far more significant, I think.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You make it seem like SJ only made iDevices all his life. Well he did a bit more than that to the IT world.

    Let's put it this way Mr Orlowski, if there hadn't been a Steve it's likely there hadn't been a Register and you writing for it.

    Let's not forget the Tim Berners-Lee created the browser on a NeXT because it was quick to do (took him 2 months). If he had to create it using Athena Widgets or Motif on Unix he might have not been so inclined and we'd be still using AOL, Compuserve or on BBSs now.

    If you can't understand these little details, then please shut up a let those who do care.

    1. DF118

      Oh for fuck's sake, he's not bashing Jobs. Did you even read the article?

    2. Geoff Campbell Silver badge


      No, that's bollocks.

      Had Jobs and NeXT not existed, the WWW would still have been invented. Perhaps not in the same form, or at the same point in history, but it would still have developed. The same is true of pretty much all the generic developments that are credited to Jobs - he got there first, in some cases a little way ahead of the competition, in a few rare cases a long way ahead of them, but without him they would have happened anyway, one way or another.


    3. David Webb

      Your post is wrong on so many levels. The most glaring one being that we'd be using AOL or CompuServe... you may need to think about how they would work without web servers. Tim couldn't have programmed it on X Windows as he didn't know how, a browser was made in 1 month that did (a whole 1 month faster!), that browser (Line Mode Browser) is still an active project.

      Tim Berners-Lee will be remembered in 100 years, the way we remember great people like Brunell or Faraday, pioneers, founders, people who did really great stuff. In the grand scheme of things Jobs in inconsequential, the only people who will remember him are the same sort of people who believe Elvis is still alive. How many people will remember the actual designer of the iWotsits though? How many people know the name of the actual designer? Without him do you think Jobs would have been anything more than the CEO of a 3rd rate company?

      Ahh well, maybe now Apple will go back to it's proper position, begging Bill Gates for a bit of change he has behind the sofa to prevent them going bust.

      1. AdamWill


        Not that the OP is right, but you're utterly wrong too:

        "The most glaring one being that we'd be using AOL or CompuServe... you may need to think about how they would work without web servers." know AOL and CompuServe both predate WWW and were not remotely web-based in their most significant incarnations, right? Right?!

    4. jake Silver badge

      Actually, Metavisor ...

      I was using Gopher on a Sun Workstation along side the early WWW software (early '90s) ... Gopher was far easier to use, client-side and server-side. I rather suspect that if the University of Minnesota had gone with the GPL, instead of a fee-based license for the server right from the git-go, Gopher would have the place that the Web has today ... Or be operating alongside it as a peer, at least.

      How easy is Gopher? My 95 year old techno-illiterate Great Aunt is using it to publish her life's story (I maintain the server for her).

      For more, see:

      Yes, I know, that was published in '93 ... Gopher was around before the release of that document, having been released in the spring of 1991. The WWW was publicly available later in the summer of the same year.

      If you can't understand these little details, then please shut up a let the adults continue our conversation.

    5. Levente Szileszky


      Umm is this the same Steve Jobs who literally BANNED Flash from every one of his mobile web device, telling us to buy apps to see what the free internet could offer...?

      Never read such a more laughable hyperbolic BS in the past two days than this idiocy, linking Jobs to the birth of widespread, public internet... case he was a bystander but in reality rather a johnny-come-late if you remember Macs being horribly handicapped until ~Jaguar (or rather Panther.)

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I read your replies, thanks, but they seem to have something in common - The web would very likely be different from what it is today if Jobs and his company weren't, in a small part, involved.

      Btw, I was using Gopher before the web. There's no chance it would ever have been as popular as HTTP and the WWW. I'll lazily borrow this bit from Wikipedia to explain why: "Gopher has a more rigid structure compared to the free-form HTML of the Web. With Gopher, every document has a defined format and type, and the typical user navigates through a single server-defined menu system to get to a particular document. "

      The web is not rigid! That's why we get all sorts of stuff running on it, and why companies like Netscape loved it.

      As for the line mode browser etc, well they were text mode browsers, hardly something people other than geeks would ever be interested in (used lynx on VT220s for a long long time, so I know what I'm saying)

      This was just a small example anyway, there are plenty more of these little things where Steve had an influence that enabled a big part of today's IT landscape. No wonder we have all these other bg companies showing their respect for him.

      Not saying many others didn't make their own dents on the Universe and those too deserve recognition for it, but let's remember Steve for his long long career and contributions, not just the past 10 years.


      1. jake Silver badge


        Gopher's not rigid in the sense you are reading into a line of the dubious Wiki. If it had gone mainstream early on, it would have had similar functionality to today's WWW. To suggest otherwise is just plain daft.

        I always configure a serial port to provide a login prompt for a dumb terminal when I set up more modern systems. Fixing a dead GUI without rebooting an otherwise fully functional system is kinda handy sometimes. This laptop has a second largish flatscreen GUI display, and an IBM 3151 serial terminal. All three displays have IBM Model M keyboards attached.

        I still use lynx ... The fingers know it, no muss, no fuss. Four nines of what I am looking for online is ASCII anyway, so why bother with a GUI browser?

        Steve was a marketer, and a good one. He wasn't a visionary, rather he was good at pushing "current state of the art" on suckers^W TheGreatUnwashed[tm]. Steve was also a friend of mine. I'll miss him, especially on the rare occasion I get to The Peninsula these days. But trust me, dude/tte, he was no $DEITY. Which is what Andrew's article was pointing out.

        As a colophon, anyone interested in what Gopher is, see:


    7. The Fuzzy Wotnot

      OH MY GOD!!!

      There'd be no Register without Steve?! My God! How on earth did we manage on this planet with Steve Jobs?! Who invented the wheel? The fulcrum? Food? Trees? Dogs? Cats? Hamsters? Cheerios? Those little plastic things that you stick under doors to stop them moving when the wind blows and you always lose them unless...look anyway, lool what I found in a ancient text....'And low verily did Steve rest on the 7th day after creating all that was good, for twas the Sabbath, an holy day for mankind.".

      I often wonder what mystic, freakish cult you serious Apple fanbois would join if Lord Steve of Jobs had never graced us with his presence?

      I like a bit of Apple kit, have a couple of Macs and iPhones but it's just a company and they're just products that get stuff done. He was just a good businessman with a talent for spotting talent to get stuff made and sold.

  5. Gordon 10


    Best Andrew article ever?

  6. Christopher Rogers

    Fry bashing eh?

    Consumerism and materialism are just an extension of the very thing that keeps people divided and gives us opinions - free will. Jobs (like many others) proved that when you harness it you can achieve great things. The rest of us prove that it makes us like different things and think in different directions.

  7. Chris Miller

    Well said, Andrew

    Things have come to a pretty pass when the only sensible article in the mainstream media appears in the Daily Fail!

    Steve Jobs: superb salesman and brand developer - check; ruthless capitalist - check; innovator - not so much.

    May I recommend "Faking It: The Sentimentalisation of Modern Society"

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Eddie Edwards

    And another thing

    Only some of the doom-mongers are worried about lack of oil. The others are worried what will happen if we achieve an unlimited supply. It's called global warming; look it up sometime (not on this site though, for God's sake).

    <Facepalm guy is actually really really hot due to global warming>.

    1. Naughtyhorse

      cool idea

      and while orlowski's doing that might i suggest you go and Google the term carbon neutral :-)

    2. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

      No, that's not going to be a problem

      The only way to achieve a truly unlimited supply of oil will be by a closed-cycle process in the short term, taking the CO2 out of the atmosphere to gather the carbon for the generation of the oil. Hence, such processes will be carbon neutral, and hence, there is no impact on climate change. This is the same reason I heat my house using wood.


    3. David Dawson

      manufacturing diesel

      Organically made diesel, using farmed bacteria, would be made by drawing carbon and hydrogen from the air.

      This makes it carbon neutral. Even better, the same tech could be used to create fixed carbon, making the process a net reducer of carbon.

      Fossil fuels are only considered bad because they are releasing carbon that's been trapped for a long time.

      Otherwise, they are a nice, dense energy source that can be easily transported.

      1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
        Paris Hilton

        I’m confused…..

        Organic bio-diesel, Stephen Fry's religious beliefs (or lack of them)

        And I'm barely 1/5 of the way through the comments.........

        Where's the IT angle, what would Paris think....

  10. Captain Underpants

    This piece is a welcome change from the breathless adulation everyone else seems to be busy ejaculating over one another about Jobs.

    (This is where the conspiracy nuts claim that the Jobsian Woe is a distraction from the ongoing Wall Street occupation/mob...)

    1. kissingthecarpet

      Thank you

      for that hideous image.

  11. LarsG

    So very true

    Superb article, it is what everyone is thinking, except for the 2% of the population that own Apple devices.

    I mean, leaving flowers outside an apple store, celebs with fake tears, what sad lonely and unimportant lives some people lead that this event is so important to them.

    Please find something more important like the 3million unnecessary child deaths that occur throughout the world every year. The cost of that bunch of flowers could save 10 of them.


    1. veti Silver badge

      A couple of facts: over 20% of smartphones in the UK are made by Apple. Plus over 70% of fondleslabs, and most importantly, over 70% of MP3 players. Seriously, don't you know a few people who have iPods?

      If you think that leaves them at 2% of the population, you're not paying attention.

      As to those flowers: it is our capacity to feel (irrational) empathy for someone we have no real connection to that makes us capable of caring about "unnecessary child deaths" (what other kind of child death is there, by the way?). I'd be interested to see some analysis on the relative charitable giving of people who leave "tributes" like that vs those who don't.

    2. hamcheeseandonion

      Funny you should mention flowers, because...

      ...that links in to a pet theory of mine - no not the cat/buttered-toast-effect powered universe...this is far more logical.....

      Celebrities(?) die, by various means - "accidents" in tunnels, aeroplanes crashing in the wilds of wherever, overdoses of booze or pills, even natural causes (whatever they are), but I ask you one important question.....

      Who benefits when the news breaks?

      I'll tell you....



      Carpets of flowers, covering vast areas of the countryside (slight exaggeration, but when you're trying to walk on a pavement that looks like a slice of the Chelsea Flower Show has been dropped on it, you'll know what I mean).


      INTERFLORA.........very, very good assassins for hire.

      I rest my case

    3. The Fuzzy Wotnot

      I had to make do with shitty, bruised Granny Smiths from the TESCO down near Regent's Street as the fanbois had bought apples, written some sentimental, maudlin bullshit on them, taken a bite and left the things to rot outside the pigging Apple store!

      Talk about wasting food while half the world starves!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Spare me the fake outrage. Do you donate every spare penny that you don't need to prevent unecessary child deaths? Or do you sometimes drink a beer, go to a movie, have a holiday - none of which are necessary? And you're whining about the cost of flowers!

  12. MattW

    I'm glad someone said it

    Excellent article Andrew.

  13. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    RIP Steve

    He "created" a phone ... well, drove a lot of smart engineers to create a decent handheld computer that makes phone calls, often badly. But it's cute, and worked better than most of the other devices when it was originally introduced. As for the rest, iPod etc - they've all been done before.

    Do you think he'll be remembered in 10, 20, 30 years time? Probably not.

    I think I'm doing more with my life than Steve did with his - of course, I'm not as rich but that's not how I measure my life.

    1. bitten

      Forgotten like the other phone guy with a lot of engineers and an eye for existing products: Thomas E.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Thomas E...

        Bitten, exactly. Try to name any true (as in those he came up with and did not steal from someone else) edison inventions that actually went the distance...

  14. Rob Dobs

    no Tesla indeed

    I posted my condolences yesterday, and still wish refrain from ill comments to the late Jobs out of respect for his family, but as a celebrity figure we also shouldn't hide form the truth, especially when such a false rosy picture is being painted of person who just wasn't as heroic as the obits are making him out to be

    I find all this adulation and idolatry sad for all the people who really did invent the home PC, Pixar, the mouse, GUI, the Imac, Iphone, Ipod etc that Jobs is now getting credit for.

    I read in a Yahoo article yesterday that Jobs hired Wozniak to help with a project for Atari (before Apple), which Wozniak did most of the work on, and the pair got a $5000 bonus for doing such a good job, which Jobs promptly pocketed and didn't mention to Wozniak. Worse, Jobs fathered a 1st child with his High school sweetheart, and refused the paternity for years, going so far as to state IN COURT that he was Sterile and couldn't be the father... very poor behavior indeed.

    The man was a shrewd businessman, but it makes me upset to see the press and apple fans giving him credit for revolutionizing the world... really all he did was make money by managing people to deliver products that competed well in already established markets. Maybe, just maybe I'll give him a bit of respect as a computer pioneer in being one of the co-founders of Apple (even if Wozniak was doing all the tech work), and I really did enjoy playing great games on the Apple ][, but that's about as much creativity as I can give him.

    Archon, 7 cities of Gold, HHGTTG (all text) and Broadsides were some of my favorites. Even Oregon Trail, Chivalry and the rest were pretty fun

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: no Tesla indeed

      “I read in a Yahoo article yesterday that Jobs hired Wozniak to help with a project for Atari (before Apple), which Wozniak did most of the work on, and the pair got a $5000 bonus for doing such a good job, which Jobs promptly pocketed and didn't mention to Wozniak.”

      Jobs didn’t actually hire Woz, and I think most would say this makes it even worse, but asked his best friend for help and said he’d split his fee for the job without mentioning the bonus. It’s not out of the realms of possibility that this wasn’t not the first time Jobs had pulled a financial fast one on Woz. Pre-Apple, the two sold the Blue Box, a device that Woz had built that enable users to illegally make free phone calls. There are parallels with the Apple I – Woz built something as a hobby, Jobs saw the commercial possibilities. According to Malone’s excellent Infinite Loop, when the duo decided to end the Blue Box operation, Jobs delivered few units to a customer, as one last big order. Jobs told Woz that the man he met had robbed him at gunpoint. Although this may have happened as Jobs said, it could have been that he made up the story and sold the units on his own.

      Going back to the design of Breakout for Atari, arguably, the most interesting aspect to this story is what Woz with his money. He bought a MOS Technology 6502 is processor, which was used in the Apple I. This wasn’t the one that he wanted, but the one if he could afford – if Jobs had given him an equitable spilt, he would have gone something else and Apple’s architecture would have been different. An argument has been made that Woz’s choice caused problems further down the road and that Jobs’ decision to stiff his friend was a bad, long-term one.

      “Maybe, just maybe I'll give him a bit of respect as a computer pioneer in being one of the co-founders of Apple (even if Wozniak was doing all the tech work),”

      Jobs did assist Wozniak with the Apple I, so there was one input. However, I think most commentators said that Jobs skill wasn’t on the technical side, but in seeing how consumers would or could use them. As mentioned above, it was Jobs who persuaded Woz that people would want to buy the Apple I – without him, arguably, Woz would have stayed a hobbyist.

      To say, “really all he did was make money by managing people to deliver products that competed well in already established markets,” is waaaaaay off the mark and I would suggest reading something like Infinite Loop to get an idea of his contribution (and that of others) to Apple.

    2. The Fuzzy Wotnot


      Pick up a copy of iWoz, gives Wozniak's side of the early Apple days. Basically points out that without Wozniak there would be no Apple. Details how Woz really pushed to keep the Apple II going despite constantly being sidelined. It's never nasty or bitter about Jobs, just makes it clear that Jobs is his own man, does what he wants no matter what it takes to get it.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I agree

    It hasn't been tremendously dignified and even a lot of the worship seems directed at the toys not the man.

    It feels like the hagiography (in the pejorative sense) will replace the true, and truly interesting, story.

  16. LarsG


    to Steve jobs, inventor of the computer, mobile phone, social media, touch pad technology, etc etc....


    Sorry, but he did none of the above.

    HE WAS A SALESMAN, a visionary SALESMAN but a really good salesman who sold people what he wanted them to have by making them believe they needed it. Did he change peoples lives, some maybe, but what small lives they must have been.

    1. David Kelly 2

      You wish SJ was only a salesman

      "Visionary" is the correct term. SJ didn't have to sell anything, all he had to do is present the products of his imagination.

      Capitalism, the ultimate form of democracy, placed a few votes initially into SJ's care which he then successfully parlayed into more allowing him to express his visions more and more.

      SJ was not a Tesla in that he didn't create low level core technology, he was rarer in being one who could put the elements together at higher levels. The ability, the leadership to pull things together and make the whole greater than the sum of the parts is just the sort of thing that is missing today.

      1. LarsG

        You may have a point but

        He was no longer in charge when the new 4S was developed and released, it shows. No real wow innovation this time. What now for Apple?

        1. AdamWill

          there was no real wow innovation...

 the 3S either. they're exactly equivalent products: spec bumps to the previous design. Jobs was in charge for the 3S. So...

      2. Levente Szileszky

        RE: You wish SJ was only a salesman

        "Capitalism, the ultimate form of democracy"

        Are you high?

      3. The Fuzzy Wotnot

        "Capitalism, the ultimate form of democracy"

        Holy shit, what on earth?

        Ermmm, let's turn to our old friend, the US, for the utlimate example of what happens in your utopian dream, shall we? Oh yes, the 1% mega-rich rule over the 99% people coping, down to the almost-at death's-door-for-the-want-of-something-to-eat population!

        Yep, have to admit that old screw-anyone-over-for-a-buck captilism racket sure levels the playing field and ensures peace, justice and decmocracy for all....if you have enough money to afford any of those things!

        What's next, Steve Jobs put the Sun and Moon in the sky and set them spinning or was that God? Oh sorry, the same being wasn't it! Jeez, each new post in this thread from you fanbois just makes we fear for the future of humanity, it really does!

  17. Trainee grumpy old ****


    It's all the meeja knows.

  18. That Awful Puppy

    Look, I know Stephen Fry can be a bit of a whore

    But on the other hand, he has given us Melchett, and by rather poorly imitating his signature "Baaah!", I managed to pull once, which is quite a feat, considering my appearance and charming quasi-autistic personality. (Yes, she was quite drunk. And quite geeky.)

    What I'm saying is, how about not slagging Fry for his failings EVERY BLOODY WEEK? He's hardly the worst tech writer (though he is really quite bad), and by far the funniest one. Picking on the (insert adjective of choice here) guy so often just doesn't seem right.

    Other than that, love the article.

  19. Mick Stranahan
    Thumb Up

    Excellent article

    One of the best pieces of Op Ed I've read on the Reg.

  20. J 3

    I often disagree with the author's articles, but this one feels pretty spot on most of the time for me...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Big Energy

    "Dr Craig Venter, another iconoclast, who in a decade will be producing oil and diesel that’s cheap, low-carbon, and renewable" - Big Energy will ensure that never happens. venter will more likely be found dead in an "apparent suicide" within a decade.

  22. cloudgazer

    This all brings to mind the idea of the hierarchy of needs.

    Borlaug was a giant, and he attended to the most important need of all - the need for food. But once people have had that need met, we don't appreciate it.

    Those of us in the west with our 'first world probems' care more about the people helping us to meet our still unresolved needs.

  23. gautam

    Dont understand

    And the point of the article is?

    Boyz will be boyz.

  24. Dibbles

    Hear hear!

    So apt and I agree with every word. Unfortunately, this being the Reg, and you being you, you're preaching to the converted....!

  25. DF118
    Thumb Up

    [zero irony mode]

    Jesus Christ Yes! What that man said!

    [/zero irony mode]

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iHave an iLink 4U

    I wonder what Steve Jobs would have to say in private about his customers thinking of him as being uploaded via iLink to iHeaven?

  27. Jamie Davis

    Buy this man a drink

    If you were to look for "saying what everyone else is thinking" this article would appear.

    All of these Jobs tributes are giving me diabetes.

    Sorry he's dead. Don't wish it on anyone. Especially not like that.

    However - More worthy people die every day unrecognised.

  28. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Never owned an Apple product, but...

    I am not an Apple fan myself, considering how “control freak” and “closed garden” it is, but I still have to respect Steve for:

    1. Selling the first all-in-one computer you didn’t have to solder together yourself.

    2. Pixar, rescuing Renderman, a lot of special effects jobs and knowledge, and the only studio where I've thought every one of their movies rank as "pretty decent"

    3. OpenStep, which eventually became a lot of the ideas in OSX.

    4. Being a competitor to MSFT and giving them a push when nobody else did, including IBM

    5. Smacking down the RIAA mafia and bringing music I can legitimately buy and PLAY ON MY LINUX BOX w/o DRM.

    6. Bringing out the iPhone and showing what a smartphone could be, which pushed Google to build my Android phone.

    7. Rescuing the mouse & window idea from oblivion at Xerox PARC.

    8. Bringing us laser printers and keeping Postscript from being just a lab curiosity, which is better than Sun did (remember NeWS?).

    And that’s just things that have affected me personally.

    So what did Nikola Tesla really do useful besides invent the AC motor? And he mainly did that because he was pushed by Edison. Tesla was mostly a weirdo freak.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      @Gene Cash

      I agree with you!


      Except about Tesla, he essentially invented polyphase power distribution using AC, and the impact of that in terms of providing us with the power grid and cheap electricity (due to low losses) in hard to under estimate.

      1. Dagg Silver badge

        SI Unit

        Tesla was so important that they named the SI unit for magnetic flux after him. It is called the Tesla.

        His work touches every part of your life all the time. Power distribution, transformers, electric motors etc.

        1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart


          Sadly most of Tesla's work (notes) was lost in fire, so we do not know just what he was working on in later life, although he did seem to 'doing something' with lightning and was able to create and control one of natures oddest things, ball lightning.

          Oh Yes, and Tesla towers in Command and Conquer

        2. John Smith 19 Gold badge


          "Tesla was so important that they named the SI unit for magnetic flux after him. It is called the Tesla."

          Good point.

          Which begs the question what sort of thing a "Jobs" would measure?

          I guess the question is ultimately what a "Jobs" worth?

          1. hayseed


            In the US, Marconi's patents were disallowed, because of patents mostly given to


    2. Rob Dobs

      Yes but...

      Most of these he didn't really actually do.

      #4 MS did and would have had other competition (who knows maybe more good BSD linux would exist if NOT for apple.

      #5 disagree, he walled off music in own garden, not freed it, and Linux has plenty of ways to get DRM free music.

      #6 did make the Iphone (existed before he joined and engineered by someone else)

      #7 MS and several others were VERY interested, no way this was going to die with or without apple

      #8 ever hear of HP? epson?

      And don't get me Started on Tesla,

      He invented Xray, Radio, AC current, the alternator, discovered the Ionosphere, and advanced our general understanding of electricity and energy in general more than ANY other scientist. Some other scientist get credit for a few of those, but only because they took his work, and expanded on it and submitted it for the reward (which Tesla was never interested in)

      Tesla was the very opposite of Jobs, he had so much knowledge falling out his ears, that he often invented dozens of things in one sweep, and never had the capitalistic mind to profit off of them. Tesla also made the first remote control submarine (or RC anything for that matter), and there are some fantastic pictures of him walking around his lab with a lit up light bulb in his hand, that got its energy through the air.

      His last work was creating a energy death ray that would make it cheap and easy for nations to defend themselves, and he thought it would bring world peace, unfortunately he didn't foresee that nuclear reactors could make that kind of destructive power mobile, and be used to invade as well defend borders. On the plus side the CIA swept up all his work after his death and have either been unable to make it work, or have kept under wraps (so far).

      AC current and the Alternator alone drive our modern electrical world... He one of the VERY FEW people that you can say with certainty our world would be VERY different without.

  29. Simon Cresswell
    Black Helicopters

    Call me a conspiracy theorist but...

    ...was intruiged to be passing FNAC at St Lazare in Paris about 7.00pm last night and the windows were blanked out by massive posters (2x3 metres?) with a larger than life portrait of Steve along with a personal statement from the boss of FNAC.

    I'm sure these things can be done in double quick time - but it does make you wonder...

    Benefit commercially form the poor man's untimely end? Shurely shome mishtake.

  30. banjomike

    Steve Jobs made shopping online easier and more attractive

    as long as the only thing you wanted to buy was Apple hardware, Apple software, apps for Apple kit etc.

    And it is STILL a poor phone.

  31. Jeremy Allison

    There are other views :-)

    1. That Awful Puppy

      This Stallman person, he's a bit of a bellend, isn't he?

      1. The Fuzzy Wotnot


        Not exactly, he's one of the reasons we have such things like free and open Apache webserver, the GCC compiler and stopping MS from going the way of Apple and locking you into proprietary formats all the time. He may not have done these things directly but his preaching has influenced enough people to make sure software tries to stay free and open.

        So no, he's not a bellend, just very, very passionate about hit life's work!

      2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
        Paris Hilton

        @That Awful Puppy

        Stallman may be the biggest knobhead the world has ever seen, but that does not make him wrong, try activating that dormat organ you keep in your head.

        Paris, you know how it goes...

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      @Jeremy Allison

      Nice work.

    3. Oninoshiko

      Wow, just wow. I may not exactly have been Jobs biggest fan, but comments like this reflect on the author.

      RMS' ability to be a nutter and an ass never cease to amaze me.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: ability to be a nutter

        There's a saying: "Reasonable people adapt themselves to fit the world. Unreasonable people adapt the world to fit them. Therefore all progress comes from unreasonable people."

        I think both Jobs and RMS have been more than a bit unreasonable in their time.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When I posted a message about Steve Jobs in the other thread, I said that I thought he was more of a marketer and a business genius than a technological one and that I had great respect for his driving force in Apple. It got downvoted, so I withdrew it.

    I do feel somewhat like the legacy Steve has helped build for us is a double edged sword - many devoted fans who buy products is all well and good, but where does the distortion in their reality end when you see the kind of responses we've seen in the last few days?

    I find it somewhat scary.

    1. vic 4

      It got downvoted, so I withdrew it.

      Wow, wouldn't have thought anyone would post on here and face the wrath that you can expect for saying something like 1+1 = 2 (or 11, sorry folks, wonder how many people were about to click respond there) if they were concerned one Jub about how people would react

      1. Gavin King

        You should be downvoted!

        Everybody knows that 1+1 = 10.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        what crazy language is this where 1 + 1 = 2 or even 11?

        Obviously the result is b for ASCII (or UTF-8), or <SOH>S if you're using EBCDIC (as we all should).

        Downvote for you, sir.

        1. Slartybardfast


          Actually everyone knows that - 11 = 9

        2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

          Tut Tut...

          "what crazy language is this where 1 + 1 = 2 or even 11?"

          It all depends on context, it they were strings then possibly "1" + "1" would give you "11".

          Obviously the result is -0 for all two-bit computers....

          1. hayseed

            Binary Gray Code

            1 + 1 = 11, because 11 is adjacent to 01. 10 would require two bit flips.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          You forgot to allow for the fact that almost any comment on this forum can be downvoted entirely at random.

    2. Turtle

      What *I* find scary.

      What *I* find scary is that someone would withdraw a post because it got downvoted. You need to have a bit more courage than that - and it's not like anyone is going to stop by your house or your place of work and rough you up or threaten you, anyway.

  33. Eddie Edwards

    In a decade?

    All hail the great Orlowski, who has the ability to see a whole decade into the future!

  34. duich

    I'm really sad about Steve Jobs but I mourn him like I'd mourn the old guy in a toolshop who'd never sold me a dud in thirty years. Steve Jobs was responsible for the best tools I've ever used, and the way he brought them out into the front shop to show me meant I never stood a chance.

  35. Richard Wharram

    See you in court Andrew !

    I started calling him the "CEO of hearts" yesterday so plainly you are slavishly copying the look and feel of my commentary.

    Yes, and that downvote button has rounded corners too so DON'T TOUCH IT !!!!

    1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

      Sorry for the downvote

      I'm not very good with orders :-)


  36. Turtle

    Interesting thought.

    Even though I find Jobs to be a profoundly loathsome individual, one can still take an interesting idea out of Jobs' "pre-blogmania" remark that "most people who have something to say get published now": the internet is the world's, and history's, biggest vanity press.

  37. Dave 126 Silver badge

    @ Levente Szileszky

    You say that Apps were just a way of getting people to pay for what they get for free on the internet... So What? Just think of them as being clients, in the same way you can read your email in your browser or in a client. On a mobile device a client is a damn sight easier than tapping your credentials into a browser.

    I don't have an iDevice, but even on my quasi-workstation laptop, Flash is a pain in the wotsit. Causing pages to load slowly and making my machine run hot and noisy. Who would want it on a mobile device (where data bandwidth, CPU capacity and battery power are at a premium) if there was an alternative?

    Steve J may have been anti Flash for his own purposes, but who else in a position of power used said influence to fight the Flash status-quo?

    Your comment seemed to equate the Web with Flash, but I suspect that probably wasn't your intention. And your main point - that the web would have been created even without a NeXT machine- is valid too.

  38. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    I had thought Apple invented the "Look and feel" lawsuit

    But I say that MS did that.

    And they say MS *never* innovate.

    Mine will be the copy of "Alto:A personal computer" in the side pocket.

    Which should have killed most of those stupid wraggles before they even got started.

  39. Christopher Cowan

    If there was no Steve Jobs

    A friend and I just had an album for our band Lulubelle III released on iTunes last week. We recorded and produced the music in Garageband, Used desktop publishing tools from Adobe to make the CD artwork, used iWeb to make a band website. Without Steve Jobs there would still be a closed monopoly for releasing music owned by the big labels, you'd pay thousands to go into a studio, pay hundreds to print companies using Linotype machines to make your album artwork and have no easy way to make a website. We have also used iMovie to make a few band videos. The core tools we use came as standard on a Mac. If Apple had not invested in Adobe there would be no computer based graphic design. By attending classes in calligraphy at Reed University he decided fonts were important to have on a computer. Too many focus on the last few years and forget that Apple from day one has been about forging liberal arts and technology to make creating something easy.

    1. jake Silver badge

      @Christopher Cowan

      Three friends and I recorded a double-sided 45RPM "single" at Rochdale. We got 500 copies, and the masters (which I still own). And cheap "jackets" (black ink on green 40# bond paper, printed on an ABDick with paper plates, if I recall correctly). We had to fold and glue the paper, and then slide the records into them manually after the glue set.

      We sold about 400 copies in and around Harrogate for 2 quid a pop (the rest went to friends & family, and/or were sent to various radio stations[1]). Our total cash outlay? About 250 pounds, including cost of petrol/gasoline to get to Rochdale Studios, and the beer & chips on the way back from the recording session. And a lot of practice, of course.

      This was in early 1978, in the Apple // days[2]. We were kids, and had just finished sitting our A-levels. No manager, just us four.

      Linotype was[3] text only. Thus the term "line of type". It had nothing to do with album artwork. Fonts and calligraphy had absolutely no bearing on any portion of my education. Nor any portion of yours, I'll warrant, unless you are a so-called "graphic designer", in which case I feel sorry for you.

      [1] We were played on Radio Caroline occasionally, and I'm quite proud that John Peel himself played half of our A-side on BBC1, before unceremoniously ripping the needle out of the groove & breaking it on the air, with the comment "that was 'orrible". Yes, it's bad. I'm playing it now, as I type(o) :-)

      [2] Rather, Heath H11-A days, at least in my case ... see: ... Dad & I built one. Yes, a 16-bit computer, at home, in 1978.

      [3] Is, actually. I have a restored, functional Linotype machine in my print shop. Where else am I going to get lead for my Heidelberg Platen (Windmill)? ;-)

      1. byrresheim

        Monotype rulez

        & I would use a cylinder. Gives crisper impression and better ink distribution ...

        1. jake Silver badge


          I have a KORD, too ... but I like the look & feel of the platen for business cards & stationary. The fact that it easily does foil stamping/embossing & die cutting (etc.) is just gravy.

          1. byrresheim

            Now we can have belief systems clashing ...

            never, ever use water for drinking or printing, Sir!

            Actually, I am thinking about aquiring an A3 Cylinder, as one does run into limits when printing solids on the windmill. Right now I'm making do with an FAG for work that couldn't be done on a platen press.

            Gott grüß die Kunst!

            1. jake Silver badge


              Solvents are ubiquitous ... the art is in how you use them.

              I generally print (small) solids with my Chief, then run them through the Windmill to apply detail ... It helps to have a Polar cutter to snip the good bits out of the field ;-)

    2. Mike G

      What a load of cobblers. For a start, big label monopolies kept dribbling turtlenecked wannabees and their weak music back in their moms basements where they belonged. The 95% of people without macs happily produce videos, graphics and muscic and websites. The fact you have used iweb to produce a website proves you are clueless.

    3. Dagg Silver badge

      Total BS

      >If Apple had not invested in Adobe there would be no computer based graphic design.

      There were several desktop publishing tools around at the time like Corel Draw/Paint, Autocad etc. If apple had not existed one of these or any other package would have moved in to close the gap.

      I would suggest the only reason apple when with adobe was they could get the best deal money wise.

      apple focused on the liberal arts side because it worked out that these people were sheep and once under control they would follow apple right to the end and pay extra money to do it.

  40. David Simpson 1
    Thumb Up

    Count Orlowski ?!? WHA?

    The most sense anyone has made in years, and surprisingly it came from Count Orlowski !

  41. emmanuel goldstein

    thank you

    finally, a reasoned bit of journalism about a man who sold some gadgets.

    calm down and consider this: do you really give a flying fuck?

    i know i don't.

  42. Greencat


    Astonishingly I agree with a lot of what Andrew's said. But Dianamania? I don't think so, from my corner of the internets it seems to have mostly died down already. I remember only to well the Diana stuff - seemed to go on for weeks and I turned on the radio to escape it on the TV (only to find every channel on the radio was broadcasting 'live' coverage of her funeral).

  43. Richard Jukes


    But he was a visionary! And now he's nothing but a polo neck blowing in the wind...

    Look to your right, look to your left, look in front of, look behind you, infact just have a general good look around. Does the world look promising? Does it look stable? Do you still think those nutters who built Y2K fall out shelters are nutters? Well obviously they are, but a nice nuclear bunker and its own energy creation system sounds like a good idea to me right now...

  44. Sean Baggaley 1

    I agree with Andrew on this.

    Jobs was a synthesist. His job wasn't to _invent_ the iPod, OS X, or the iPhone, but to _enable their creation_. He created the conditions in which these products _could_ be made. He brought together the right brains, the right talent, and _let them get on with it_. He backed-up his people. He ensured their visions weren't subject to the thousand cuts of the accountants and CFO. He _believed_ in his people—hence his infamous tirade when the MobileMe launch went so badly: he'd _trusted_ that team to get it right!

    This is the exact _opposite_ of Dilbert's PHB.

    Jobs also had an education in the arts as well as technology—something Bill Gates lacked. Jobs was as comfortable building a database application in NeXTStep as he comfortable discussing the way the machine he was doing it on _looked_. (Even so, neither part of that NeXTStep video ever involved him writing any code.)

    The products he helped to launch were never about the bullet-point specs lists of the PC world, but about _what they let the user *DO*_. You don't see "x GB" written in big letters in the marketing blurb: you see "x thousand songs, y hundred videos". The latter are what mortal humans understand. Only techies understand what "64 GB" means.

    Above all, Jobs understood that most consumers aren't "dumb", the way TheDailyWTF and its ilk like to claim. They're just _ignorant_.

    And so are you. Yes, all of you. And me. I have no clue how to weld girders together. I am more than happy to wear denim, but have no idea how it works. Quantum mechanics—even basic algebra—is alien to me. I've never even heard a "Lady Ga Ga" song, and I can't see the point of Twitter.

    The list of stuff I don't know is endless; there simply isn't enough time to learn everything there is to learn. And the same problem applies to everyone reading this website, and all their friends.

    _Everyone_ is ignorant. They're just ignorant in different subjects.

    And that means you don't make a device easy for consumers to use by merely dumbing it down. You make it easy to use by _working out how a feature *should* work, from the end user's point of view_.

    I've been just as surprised by all the articles complaining that the new iPhone 4S has no particularly impressive features in it, despite the long presentation explaining what may prove to be the next big step in UX: voice recognition. Siri brought the first draft of the technology, but it really needed deep integration into the OS to reach its potential. If Apple can get it refined enough to work consistently as well as it did in that launch event, the days when every device came with either a virtual, or physical, keyboard may well be numbered.

    And that makes even multi-touch displays yesterday's news.

    That is what I mean about taking risks: the speech stuff could flop badly—it wouldn't be the first time Apple tripped up—but there's a hell of a lot of UX potential here, so it's worth the gamble. And, thanks to the influence and management legacy of Steve Jobs, user experiences are what Apple does best.

    Was he perfect? No. He clearly didn't suffer fools gladly.

    His track record also reveals an awful lot of good luck helped his career, particularly through the 1990s, but he had enough intelligence to recognise that luck and take advantage of it.

    So, no, he's not god. He never was. He's certainly not an Edison or a Tesla, as some others have suggested. Both of those people were hands-on inventors. They were the "Jonathan Ive" of their day, getting their hands dirty in their workshops, and leading their fellow researchers.

    And he was no Brunel, either. Brunel managed to ruin quite a few of his backers. He was a good engineer, but a mediocre businessman!

    1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

      My prediction is that speech will indeed flop badly.

      Thing is, good speech recognition has been available on PCs for many years, and smartphones for a year or two, and it is almost exclusively a niche product - the only large-ish groups of people I know who use it regularly are those who are disabled such that a keyboard is not a viable option, and lawyers, for whom keyboards are still an anti-status symbol, dinosaurs that they are.

      Still, we shall see. Perhaps the Jobsian Reality Distortion Field will continue to pervade the industry after his death, and Apple will succeed with speech recognition where all others have failed. I won't be betting the farm on that, however.


      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Speech

        Speech will come. There is a place for perfect speech recognition, because we all talk from time to time.

        It won't take over. When I'm writing I don't speak the words aloud as I scrawl, even when I'm alone.

        It's not even efficient. Dictation is only really beneficial for those who normally speak faster than can they think and in an ideal world, that would be a deservedly small market.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Speech Recognition

          One of the key reasons speech recognition hasn't been taken up on a PC is rather obvious. It tends to take almost as long to train a speech recognition system to your voice as it takes to learn to type faster than you can talk. Certainly my 60-80 words per minute is faster than I can dictate into a voice recognition program.

          On mobiles it might be different. Current data entry on mobiles suck. The touch keyboards are a very bad compromise, they work ok for some people and dreadfully for others (like me). Small mobile phone physical keyboards aren't much better - and in some cases are actually worse.

          The problems with speech on mobiles is that often you are using a mobile in an environment where you can't speak - which is why you are emailing or texting in the first place. On a tube train, in the lift, in an open plan office, etc.

  45. Nick Galloway

    What about Woz?

    It seems that the 'other' Steve (Wozniak) gets left out of the Apple picture. Without Woz, and Turing, and Whitworth and the team that invented the transistor and a few others BEFORE Jobs, there would not be this consumer giant called Apple. I agree wjholeheartedly with the article, Jobs did some good things in the computer industry but it is not and was not world making.

    Jobs on a peprsonal level also was subject to human vulnerability and did some unpleasant things to a few others. He shouldn't be pilloried for those weaknesses but he isn't the messiah. Remember him as you will but he could be likened to Howard Hughes as an off beat visionary entrepreneur.

    1. TheOtherHobbbes

      Woz wos

      just the inventor - the hands-on nuts-and-chips engineer who actually built things.

      Jobs took the credit and most of the cash for his work - as he did time and again in the future, with other engineers who remain unknown to most of the population.

      Jobs was basically a salesman - and a capitalist saint. He proved that if you were ruthless enough and shiny enough you could invent legions of followers in your own image.

      He sold his enduringly high self-esteem and sense of creative entitlement. Sometimes it looked like a computer, sometimes it looked like an MP3 player, sometimes it looked like a piece of software.

      But always, just owning it made you as special as Jobs wanted to feel.

      Is the result great? If you like homogeneity, sure. The main artistic contribution made by Jobs was to enable the creation of a style-over-substance computer-generated art/design stream - most of which is disposable and mediocre, and has turned Design into something every kebab shop can have sandblasted on its windows.

      Real creativity is more challenging and dangerous. Sometimes it's also bloody hard work. But if you're one of the many who thinks owning a Mac makes you artistic, you've already missed the most important thing you need to know.

      Jobs didn't cure cancer, he didn't give much money to charity - for all his faults, Bill G has been far more consistently generous - and he was always closing the sale.

      In the end he was more famous for being a celebrity than anything else - and for implying that owning an Apple product made you a celebrity too.

      Of course, it doesn't. But this culture values the superficial over the kick-you-in-the-face real, and Jobs was a perfect exemplar of dreaming big while selling something really quite trite and trivial.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        "Jobs didn't cure cancer, he didn't give much money to charity - for all his faults, Bill G has been far more consistently generous - and he was always closing the sale."

        Actually, before Gates' wife Melinda got him to set up the charitable foundation in their names, Gates was NOT generous. His charatible donations took the form of Microsoft software to schools, where MS was looking to tap into the market that Apple had pretty much to themselves. Also, for the purposes of PR, the cost of the sofware was worked out as if someone had bought individual copies on the high street, when that obviously isn't the cost to Gates (I mean, he isn't going to get a staff discount?). Gates was publicly criticised for keeping his hands in his pockets by the likes of Ted Turner. In the entertaining book, 'The Plot to Get Bill Gates' there's plenty of info about this. Also, in the early days of the Foundation, they didn't like to "talk about what was being given away in financial terms, but how much good it does" as a spokesman said to R4 in a documentary.

        This isn't to knock the work that the Gates' Foundation does now, but Melinda was/is the driving force and it's very misleading to to suggest that her hudband's generousity has been "consistent."

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Depends what the invention was

        If the invention was a hardware architecture that used fewer chips to do more, then sure Woz was the inventor. If the invention was actually the realisation of how re-positioning the microcomputer as an appliance could get them into the hands of millions of ordinary people, and what was needed to do that, in terms of features, look, production facilities, startup funding, management and articulating a proposition that ordinary people would understand then probably Jobs was the inventor. You can demean that by calling it 'sales' if you like but no serious analyst of business processes would take you seriously.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      @Nick Galloway

      Woz is often forgotten. A reading of the 1984 Byte interviews with the Max design team makes interesting reading.

      "Remember him as you will but he could be likened to Howard Hughes as an off beat visionary entrepreneur."

      Nice simile. Without the *alleged* liking for teen age girls of course.

      "insanely great" ideas? We'll see what people are using in 10 years.

      Greatly insane? I rather suspect he was on occasions. Trouseringa $5k in bonus fees "Because I could" is rather a curious definition of "friendship" wouldn't you say?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Don't foget Ugggh. He invented fire as I recall

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I'm sure Woz was a genious in terms of getting more out of a few hundred logic gates than the next guy back in the 70s, but have you ever listened to any interview given by Woz? He has little of consequence to say about anything. Honestly the difference in scope between the achievements and vision of the two Steves is huge. Sure they both made an input into the original Apple, but which one do you really think was less replaceable by someone else? I think events since then show this pretty clearly.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I have to agree with the general gist of the article. Job's made a company huge by making better personal computers, music players, smartphone and tablets than the rest. That's a very remarkable achievement but to suggest that he changed the world on his own is plain bullshit. As far as devices are concerned, only his latest baby, the iPad was truly leading the pack.

    1. Dagg Silver badge

      Better? No

      They were not actually better, they were just better marketed and they had a fan base that would buy anything as long as it had an apple label.

      Fo proof if the iPad was so much better why should apple being trying all sorts of dirty tricks to stop the opposition. Me thinks to stop a superior product .

  47. Dave Barnhart

    Jobs' greatest achievements

    Steve Jobs' second greatest achievement is transforming Apple from a company - in 1997 - that was on its last legs and considered irrelevant by almost everyone into the powerhouse and leader that it is today.

    The final chapter in Jobs' legacy is yet to be written however. Hopefully in five or ten years we'll be able to say that Steve's greatest achievement was building a 'system' at Apple that was able to continue to lead and innovate after his death.

    1. Mike Smith

      Jobs' greatest achievements.... will be forgotten in a few years time

      "Hopefully in five or ten years we'll be able to say that Steve's greatest achievement was building a 'system' at Apple that was able to continue to lead and innovate after his death."

      I'd like to think you're right, but it's far more likely that Apple will end its days by the Death of a Thousand Committees. The company was very close to going tits-up before he came back to lead it, and they don't seem to have anyone with his charisma and ability who could replace him.

      A firm of Apple's size - according to Wikipedia they employ 50,000 people - will have a fair number of second-rate drones, career politicians and talentless gobshites who will try to float to the top of the toilet bowl. While doing so, there's a better then even chance that they'll stifle whatever creative ability Apple still has. Genuine innovation is a very different beastie from just adding more bells and whistles to an established product line; and professional management drones tend to suffer from chronic Not Invented Here syndrome.

      Unless Apple has someone with Jobs' charisma and vision waiting in the wings, they may not be around in ten years time.

      Pint, because although I don't like Apple's products or business model, I have the utmost respect for what Steve Jobs achieved. Rest in peace, mate.

  48. Not Fred31

    YAWN - Frybashing = Orlowskiboring


  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why drag Fry into this?

    This article definitely has a point - and it's something I always considered when reading about Jobs and Apple. The adulation did get a little too much at times, but heck, ignore it. People get over excited about all sorts of stuff.

    Dragging Stephen Fry into this really is a poor show. The man will admit he's unashamedly an incurable gadget geek who has been following tech as a *user* of it for decades. He's a damn fine fellow. If Douglas Adams was around today, he would also be waxing lyrical about the genius of Jobs.

    And what's wrong with that?


    Put your prejudices aside and look at the bigger picture from every angle.

    Apple dominated first the music industry and then the mobile industry - they dragged it into the mainstream, making it fun and usable.

    It's only the tiny fraction of geeks who bemoan the "walled garden" approach. Everyone else just enjoys the tech and gets on with life.

  50. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Steve's dead. RIP

    Remember what happened last time he was out of Apple.

    Now is not a good time to buy stock.

  51. pctechxp

    Wholeheartedly agree

    He was an incredibly astute businessman (very much like Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Paul Allen, Scott McNealy, Tim Siebel, Ray Noorda, Sir Richard Branson, etc.) who got very well rewarded for the effort he put in.

    He wasn't a great humanitarian and didn't try to use his vast wealth to help others, even after he cheated immediate death in 2004 (or at least not that I've heard of)

    So is he really worthy of the hero worship he was the subject of in life and now in death? I don't think so.

    The true heros and heroines in my book are those that use the resources they have acquired to help those less fortunate than themselves.

    Gates, like Jobs has the reputation of being a ruthless businessman, but at least now he is trying to give back which is to be applauded.

    Jobs on the other hand lost his humility as Apple got stronger and stronger.

    Compare his 1998 keynote with his 2007 keynote

    Enough said I think.

    RIP Steve Jobs, a very clever and astute human being among many clever astute human beings.

  52. Brian 59

    There would be no Apple if it weren't for MS

    As the title says, they were a baw hair away from going under and Bill saved them nevermind the fact that he helped write a lot of the software for Apple.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: There would be no Apple if it weren't for MS

      MS made a small investement, which is cashed in fairly quickly and made a nice little profit. The significance was the public move to show that Apple was still a going concern and to show the world that MS didn't have a monopoly, as a defence against the anti-trust suit (so there was something in it for both companies). It helped Apple but to say that it saved Apple is a little like saying Steve Jobes was the most genius genuis EVAH!

      BTW, Gates didn't write the Mac software itself - however, the Mac Business Unit consistently made a very decent profit for MS. In the 1990s, if someone bought a Mac with MS Office, Apple made a smaller profit than MS, which I think help shows how much of a nice little earner it was for MS.

  53. jason 7

    The fact most folks getting so emotional over Mr Jobs...

    ...need to remember is that he didnt actually know you or care about you.

    It was business. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Move on.

  54. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    @Christopher Cowen & @Jake

    2 musicians literally a *generation* apart.

    And what a contrast in expressive styles.

    Sadly no John Peel around to listen to CC's effort and declare if "That's orrible" as well.

    Although I guess collecting the royalties *should* be a bit simpler these days.

    As one of the founders of HP observed change is the *only* constant.

  55. Watashi

    But is it art?

    Steve Jobs was Andy Warhol for the generation that defines itself through what gadgets it owns rather than what art it likes.

  56. albsure

    This is such a "British" post.. the cynicism in this country, the lack of respect of achievement, the belittleing of everything done... its astounding!

    The mark of someones achievement in this world is what happens when you erase their life from history. How much of that person is connected to how we live now. Regardless of what effort it took or didnt take to do this stuff, its incredible to deny the contribution.

    No, Jobs did not invent penicillin, or cure small pox, or make water clean.

    But the way you do what you do now in your everday life is down to him and people like Bill Gates etc...

    You didnt have personal computers, you didnt use a mouse, you didnt drag windows around a screen, you didnt swipe your phone, you didnt have a laptop etc..

    its not to say that he invented things, no he "curated". He is an editor. A leader. Thats why people are celebrating him. His achievement is of "leader" not inventor.

    To say that means nothing is to disregard people like Churchill because he didnt hold a gun!

    John Lennon got more praise and that guy just sung songs!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      You have misread the article, I think.

    2. alan buxey


      I got my 'personal computer' which was far more advanced than any PC or Mac in its day - and

      it had draggable windows...all at different resolutions.... Amiga

      of course, what happened to Amiga just as the iMac was being outed is probably the worlds biggest loss in terms of computing freedom and ability. Still...20 years later its still going - OS4 updates

      keep coming out. the OS is exactly what others have been trying to make theirs operate like now for the past 20 years..

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        @alan buxey

        An interesting lesson.

        Hardware dies, software lives.

        Quite a tribute to the work of Cambridge University.

  57. CatFunt

    Steve was a very good CEO.

    He was able to get the general public to pay over the for his mediocre tech.

    From the very earliest times, Apple Fanbois REALLY believed that Apple kit was better than the rest, and were therfore willing to pay extra for it.

    Once they'd paid too much, they HAD to convince themselves it was worth every penny. And so it went on - to this day.

    The proof of this pudding, is in the HUGE pot of cash that Apple has, purely by overcharging for it's tech. If it didn't overcharge by such a great margin, it wouldn't have built up such an obscene Cash pot on it's customers stupidity.

  58. Nick Gisburne

    I've got a Mac but...

    I use a Mac Mini, but only because the one piece of software I wanted above all others (Scrivener) only runs on a Mac. Nice box - small and quiet, but it's just a means to an end, and I permanently run Windows XP in a VMWare Fusion window because all the other good software I use is Windows-only. Never had any desire to own an iPhone (my mobile's top feature is an LED torch - it doesn't even have a camera and cost me a tenner, new). My desire to accumulate gadgets ended at the introduction of the DVD player and I prefer single-function devices.

    In all this I suspect that I am not a typical Reg reader.

    Steve Jobs' visions are wasted on me. I can't say I'll miss him, but I'll eat a Braeburn or two as a mark of respect... as I watch the world pass me by from my Luddite sanctuary.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      You have everything there necessary to be a typical Reg reader.

      All you need to do to complete the picture is press the button on your phone that lights the LED torch and then wave it around while making lightsabre noises.....

  59. The Brave Sir Robin
    Paris Hilton

    Not a big fan of the guy

    But the Apple II was awesome. I so wanted one. Went off Mr. Jobs big time during the whole Digital Research GEM lawsuit.

    Paris ? For she too has her knockers.

  60. cloudgazer

    It's no slur

    The Dianamania is a natural reaction to the passing of the man, because he shared a number of things with Diana.

    He was mega-famous, up there with movie stars and rock stars.

    He was also accessible to regular people. Answering emails, answering questions at the AGM, interacting with grunt level workers at Apple. Jobs clearly never forgot the day he got his break from Bill Hewlett.

    He was charismatic, and we got a dose of that charisma every time he gave a keynote or an interview.

    The combination is powerful, and results in people mourning a connection to a guy they never new, because they're mourning the connection that they might have made.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Thumb Up


      "The combination is powerful, and results in people mourning a connection to a guy they never new, because they're mourning the connection that they might have made"

      A *very* neat analysis of the reporting.

  61. localzuk

    Another bunch of people ignoring the past

    Like many other commenters around the world regarding Steve Jobs, the author here appears to show a shocking lack of understanding of the achievements that he made over his lifetime. Instead, they seem to focus on the showy bits. The bits that had 'i' in front of them.

    What about the early Apple stuff? Where his eye for the future changed the computing industry? The one which gave this journalist his job 30 years down the line?

    Sure, you can try and claim that online shopping is still just shopping, and that information on the internet is often inaccurate, but that's kinda like viewing the Great Wall of China and saying 'meh, its a wall'. Or Roman roads, and saying 'meh, they're roads'.

    The knock on effect of the technologies that Jobs popularised, built from smaller bits of tech that existed before but languished in labs, or in technological niches, is huge.

    To ignore those consequences is to ignore the whole point that Jobs was on about - think big, think of the future and think different.

  62. DF118


    Starting to wonder if there's anything you haven't done, or any technology with which you're not an accomplished expert?

    1. jake Silver badge


      I'm a jake[1] of all trades, master of none.

      I consider myself human, a tool user, nothing more, nothing less.

      I have tools available to me. I use them. Yourself?

      [1] Note lower case "j" ... details are important when using tools.

      1. DF118

        Thank you. I now know all I need to know about Jake, sorry, jake.

  63. Eddy Ito

    Not that unusual

    At least we knew it was coming and there were no special circumstances* of his death. Many popular figures get similar accolades when they die especially when they were recently in the spotlight and haven't had time to fade away. It doesn't matter who you are as long as you are famous, consider Walt Disney, Michael Jackson, etc.

    *special circumstances in that there is no mystery for the media to solve and drag the story on for months.

    1. Chris Miller

      Quite right, Eddy

      But Andrew isn't criticising the reporting of Job's death, or denying that he was a significant figure in the computing industry. It's the 'most significant human being of the 20th century' (©Stephen Fry and repeated in almost all mainstream media) that he's justly lambasting - nobody claimed that for Walt Disney or Michael Jackson.

      I think part of the problem is that these commentators move in a self-contained bubble. All their friends and acquaintances have iPhones and iPads and therefore everyone in the world must use them - or, at least, everyone that counts, in their view. Whereas, in reality Apple have a 10% share of the PC market and 20% of the *smartphone* market (in the US - you can halve those figures on a worldwide basis) - an amazing achievement for a company that was once moribund, but not the ubiquity that they perceive.

      1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Quite right, Eddy

        Spot on. It's groupthink.

        And politics is tech groupthink times 100.

  64. All names Taken

    Simple mistakes really

    As title.

    If a person is relatively unknown maybe there is a high probability for that person's "passing away" to be relatively under reported?

    If a person is relatively well known maybe there is a high probability for that person's "passing away" to be relatively well reported?

    If a person is relatively over known maybe there is a high probability for that person's "passing away" to be relatively over reported?

    I do lament the passing away of Mr Jobs - the world is a sadder place without him.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Thank you. It needed to be said. And it was classy not to mention that he was also an asshole. I'm not classy, btw.

  66. Slumberingjournalist

    Did the Reg's graphic designer have a fit over those pictures?

    Did the author do his own illustrations, perhaps?

    A dedicated graphics professional would at least have made sure all the pictures were flipped the right way round. And don't get me started on the speech-bubble typography.

    Ironically, that Job's legacy. Empowering millions of semi-competent people to dabble in creative activities that are best left to those who actually know what they're doing.

    To paraphrase Dennis Potter's Signing Detective: they think they can draw and write, "every busy little schmuck who can hold a pen the right way up."

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BBC paranoia

    "parts of the media who spend the most time devoted to agonising about the evils of consumer capitalism, such as the BBC."

    I appreciate the compulsory "public sector bad" line Andrew. But really ?

    This is the channel that feeds us, endless fucking property shows and god knows how many programmes about making cash from antiques/stuff in the attic/car boot sales ad nauseum. And Top Gear.

    There may be some analysis in serious programmes, but in case you hadn't noticed there's an economic crisis in full flow. Even fox news covers that shortly.

    The funny thing is there is more than enough to slate the bbc for (how much on mediacity?) without making shit up. Which is amusing in an article taking others writers to task.

  68. Semaj
    Thumb Down

    I agree with the article for the most part, especially the parts about the unsung heroes. (A friend of mine made a similar comment on another paper but cited Turing as a man who was was more worthy of such praise).

    Still though, the implication that world wide communication is not a big step for humanity is pretty small minded - anyone can see that such a system is very influential and far reaching. Not that it was Jobs' invention of course but this article seems to imply that just because people accredit the whole Internet to him, the Internet is unimportant.

  69. wag
    Thumb Up


    Well said that man. One of the most annoying things I've heard said about Steve Jobs over the last few days was that he was a "pioneer". That's cobblers. The Macintosh was not the first PC, the iPod was not the first MP3 player, the iPhone wasn't the first smart phone, the iPad wasn't the first tablet PC, the Newton wasn't the first electronic organiser... have I missed any? Oh yes, Pixar wasn't the first animation studio.

    That's to take nothing away from his achievements - he took existing concepts, tarted them up a bit and sold them for a fortune. Bully for him.

  70. Purlieu


    Jobs didn't invent a cure for smallpox or TB

    Jobs didn't invent anything that didn't already exist

    Jobs didn't physically design iStuff

    Jobs was a businessman, a multi-billionaire

    End of

    (downvoters please take the time to explain your reason)

  71. Purlieu

    most significant human being of the 20th century

    yeah, it was Jobs, because Einstein didn't exist

    neither did Mandela, Mother Theresa, Turing, or Hitler (for all the wrong reasons, but he was significant)

    yeah, Jobs LOL 1111aa1aa1a1a1

  72. Wombling_Free

    If you're going to throw stones....

    ...make sure you have better Photoshopping skills.

    The Apple logo in the last photo is backwards, and I doubt that Apple have ever released a laptop with their own logo backwards (also: I don't think Apple ever released a white laptop when they had the multi-colour logo. An Apple fan may correct me on this); so either someone in your office has crap PS skillz, or the place where you lifted the photo from (B3ta?) has crap PS skillz.

    Either way: an amateur hack that discredits your story, even if it did have a valid point.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If you're going to throw stones....

      We could always do with better photoshopping skills. But I disagree that this mildly satirical image discredits our story.

  73. 42


    When Andrew stays away from his biases, he is actually a reasonable writer. OOoda thunkit?

  74. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    So summing up.

    His 2 big things.

    a) The 70's.

    People want a computer without *hassle* 1 box, no soldering, manuals that can be read flat. IE the stuff *around* the computer.

    b) The 80's

    People do not want computers. They want things that *do* stuff without trouble.

    b) Goes back to Doug Engelbart and Alan Kay.

    Fairly autocratic management style. How much of Apples unwillingness to license the OS is down to this?

    Willing to take chances with hardware (Lisa, then Mac) and software (Mac *totally* incompatible with Apple II)

    Willing to lie to courts to hang onto his cash.

    Very media conscious. Well scrubbed public image. Not too many actual *interviews*.

    Not worried about "editing" inconvenient truths. Like the "originality" of the Mac UI for example.

    Or dump the Lisa (anyone remember that?)

    Inspired great affection amongst people who did not know him. Had Douglas Adams still been alive it would have been a dead heat with Stephen Fry in the miseryfest stakes.

    Aspirational computing. Make people want to be Steve Jobs and by buying Apple, feel in a small way they can be a *little* bit more like him, which I guess is what a cult of personality is all about. Not really an approach that would work for Bill Gates.

    Multi billionaire but not generous.

    What would be an "appropriate" way to remember Jobby (as I liked to think of him).


    Short the stock, talk down the latest iPhone as rubbish, start rumors the management can't hack it, companies going to the dogs etc and trouser a bag of cash at no risk on settlement day. If the company goes under that would just show they were too stupid and weak, IOW lacking Steve Jobs in charge.

    Cruel, ruthless, disrespectful of the work or feelings of others but *highly* profitable.

    It's what he'd do.

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