back to article Steve Jobs' last words: 'OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW.'

A eulogy for Steve Jobs written and delivered by his sister was published over the weekend. It reveals many personal details of the techbiz titan's life, among them his last words as he lay dying with his family around him. According to Mona Simpson, Jobs' sister and a professor of English at the University of California, his …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OH WOW

    Worst news story ever.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      How he hell is this tech news? What a pile of shit!

  2. DS 1


    So its probably a pain induced Owwww Owwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww Owwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww rather than this. But I digress. SJ - RIP, will miss your showmanship on the yearly 'one last thing'.

    1. HP Cynic

      My thoughts too, either pure pain or his body flooding him with chemicals to counter the same.

      Not any kind of visions of the afterlife or ghosts or any of that mythical nonsense.

      Whatever we neither need this story nor comments.

      Including this one.

      1. sisk

        "Not any kind of visions of the afterlife or ghosts or any of that mythical nonsense."

        People seeing visions as they near death is pretty well documented and can't realistically be called nonsense. If you want to call them hallucinations I'll go with that, but to say people don't see things that look like God or angels or (more likely in Jobs' case) Nirvana is to ignore tons of documented research on the subject.

      2. Ammaross Danan

        He saw the Light

        He saw the glow as he ascended to a Windows icon surrounded by light....

        1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

          Saul... ehhh... Steve on the road to Damascus...

          Oh Wow, Oh Woh Oh Wow

          I've just realised why Android is so good

      3. jonathanb Silver badge

        Actually, when your brain is on the way out, you do get those sorts of visions.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      better one here...

      I preferred the interview with the nun who had been beside Mother Teresa as she passed away.

      The TV reporter, off-camera, asked her what the Holy Mother's last words had been..

      The reply, quite meekly but as a simple matter-of-fact, was: "I can't breathe"

      1. Paul Renault

        Cue Maxwell Smart.

        "Hang on, Chief, I think he's trying to say something."

        Max, kneeling, leans in close and places his ear next to the dying man's mouth and listens, then he stands.

        "So, Max, what did he say?

        -Get you knee off my chest."

    3. Ian Michael Gumby


      He probably said that.

      Not pain induced. By the time he said that he would have been doped to the gills by hospice.

  3. b166er

    I'm sure I won't be the first, but had he just seen iGod?

    1. sisk

      That's so direspectful to him. Of course it had to be iBudda. Let's respect the man's iFaith if we're going to make iJokes.

  4. Smallbrainfield

    God strewth

    The cult of Jobs now has the kernel of an afterlife myth. If only people buy Apple products and services, they too may follow Steve into a smooth, minimalist version of heaven. You aren't allowed out though and there's a strict dress code.

    1. majorursa

      This s getting complcated. I think Jobs' version of 'heaven' would mean 'hell' to me. And vv maybe. Not sure where I hope he went, don't wanna meet him.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I swear on my iPhone 4S...

        I saw Steve Jobs showing a Hillsbus route 610X bus driver a more efficient way to change gears.

        Steve has NOT left the building.

  5. jai


    heaven is running OS X 10.9 and the angels have ditched harps for iPads

    1. Ron Christian

      I'm thinking heaven to Jobs would look like THX1138 with earbuds.

  6. EddieD

    Could be worse...

    She was probably carrying a Samsung.

    As famous last words go, not too memorable, and up against:-

    God damn you --- George V - not a particularly good final few words - maybe he realised the brompton cocktail was to get him into the first editions...

    but infinitely better than...

    They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist.... which were the highly inaccurate last words of General John Sedgwick a commander in the US civil war.

    1. Allan George Dyer

      I beg to differ...

      As words to get you remembered, General John Sedgwick was spot-on.

      Yep, the one with the musket and telescopic sight...

      1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart


        Probably wasn't a telescopic sight, just a Kentucky long rifle...

        Other (applicable) last quotes..

        Leonardo da Vinci: "I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have"

        Pancho Villa: "Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something…"

        Ludwig von Beethoven: "Friends applaud, the comedy is over."

        Personally I'm going to copy Rick Wakemans epitaph: …”There’s been a mistake . I haven’t finished yet”.

  7. damocles

    And lo, a shiny orb of of glowing glass and aluminium did envelop him, raising him up to his rightful place in the heavens.....

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps he was being burnt by the overheating iPhone battery?

    That's all I have

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's what happens when you're on palliative care drugs.

    But not sure if it's something that deserves the El Reg treatment.

    1. FredScummer

      Pallitive Drugs

      So right. My very ill mother was pumped full of morphine for the last few months of her life to control pain, and whilst it could be entertaining listening to her having babysat the neighbours kids the night before, the induced hallucination was not very pleasant to behold in someone who was so dearly loved.

      A joke is okay, but there are some areas which should be treated as completely out of bounds.

      1. jbk

        Sorry about your mum, but you REALLY need to grow a thicker skin! Pretty much everything people say that isn't small talk is going to be capable of offending someone, somewhere. How often have you or someone you know said "oh, you nearly gave me a heart attack", when surprised... well curse you for treating heart attacks in such a light-hearted way! Chill some. Oh, and my Dad had Alzhemiers and I often hear the jokes about that and don't really mind; it's human nature and it's not meant personally, I know - so I do speak from some experience.

        1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

          Ah, yes

          Some years ago, my Dad was suffering an aggressive form of prostate cancer and quite advanced Alzheimers (he always was an unlucky bugger). In his more lucid moments, he would often comment that he was glad he had Alzheimers, it made him forget he had cancer.

          I can only hope I can face my end with such humour and equinamity as and when it comes.


  10. Ian 62

    Its not a bad last message

    Lets face it.. Infront of your family, children especially. Seeing dad screaming in pain wouldnt be a nice lasting memory.

    So, if you do have the abilty/presence of mind to be able to give them a warming last memory, its not a bad one to go with.

    He was often quoted as looking forward to his next journey, so it would fit the Man.

    If it's true, and was planned, good for him.

    1. Andy Jones

      "He was often quoted as looking forward to his next journey, so it would fit the Man."

      As long as he didn't need registration plates for his transportation vehicle and there were lots of disabled places for him to park in I expect he would be happy!

  11. Johntron


    Reading this brought me chills...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If I was dying of Cancer

    I'd want to be so full of drugs that I'd be as far out of it as a van full of hippies on owsleys old original too...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's usually the way it goes.

      I know two people who died as a result of their cancers, and witnessed their deaths... both were heavily sedated and quite unconscious for the last 24 hours or so. Neither were in a particularly coherent state for some time prior to that as a result of large doses of painkillers and sedatives.

      I Am Not A Medic, but I doubt it was any different here. You too might go "Oh Wow" when dosed up with enough opiates to make the world go away.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    No matter how much you dislike the man, someone dying with his family present is most distressing. I hope his family have the strength to cope with this loss and don't get too upset about the various strong views being expressed.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. dssf

      Huh? It should depend on the CIRCUMSTANCES of how one is passing on.

      What I may have missed and what doesn't seem to be here is his sister's account of whether or not he was *smiling* or lamenting or was he bowling over in pain. Nevermind the drugs.

      The problem with humans is we "cling" too much. If we're more rationally earlier in life trained to EXPECT death, how EVER it comes, part of the excessive preoccupation with transformation of some sort is nixed. Now, if one is violently removed from our realm, and it was an most unfair, vicious means, then of course, getting emotional, defiant, and and full of denial is much more to be expected. Revenge and all sorts of other things can result.

      But, for those who live long, reasonably good, materialistic, violence-free lives, and who have very little to want for, those kinds of people ought to be more rooted, and many probably are. Many of them *likely* (if thoughtful) prepared their familes and loved ones to be strong and not deny the inevitable fact of death. It is truly one's right to die with dignity and without uncouth activity, but one cannot demand AND get the right to be corporeally persistent.

      Given Jobs' past, I'm pretty sure he very well prepared his family. I suspect there are some uncouth, profiteering journalists and rags out there seeking to monetize every last bit of the man's life. If it was not the drugs, then it probably IS the case that he was energetic enough to vocalize what he felt he was experiencing as a transition. So long as we're not truly evil or murderous, it's possible we'll get to feel or think we're feeling a new level of existence, probably for a better path, not a regressive or "back to square one" or, "onward, straight to a hell box".

      We're too caught up in "death" because we're not permitted in general to die then come back to talk about it. Those who do claim the event are commercialized to the hilt and yet the world is not globablly transformed.

      1. Anon the mouse


        "If we're more rationally earlier in life trained to EXPECT death, how EVER it comes, part of the excessive preoccupation with transformation of some sort is nixed."

        Sorry to break it to you but that's utter bollocks.

        I lost a child a few years ago (at a few months old), and my older children KNOW what death is because of that. Everything was explained to them at an appropriate level for their ages, and any questions over the years have been answered truthfully. At the time they weren't too bother, now they do worry more over death and dying than other children of comparable age (6-9). They worry more when people are ill that they will die.

        I would never have withheld the information from them, but it does change their outlook on life......

        1. dssf

          I used to worry, too...

          I've lost dearest friends, casual friends, and relatives, and shipmates. Some from my age of about 10, some older. Biology class, war movies, news, and living in rough neighborhoods with very little isolation from danger has a way of altering perception, outlook, expectations... Nowadays, even if I have a spell of pain, I still *hope* that they went to a place better than here. It needn't be some human-named place called "Heaven" or "heaven", it just hopefully is not some dead-end, meaningless, pointless, void of a place.

          So, in my case even before my teen years, I knew what death was likely to be like. I too worried at times. Had some anxiety over it. It came and went off an on over the years. Sometimes, now, I actually WELCOME it. Nothing will last forever, and the longer we are cushioned by denial or those who withold it form us

          As for the adults, having knowing that he delayed treatment, and went to the hospital at least 3 times, they had to have known for years that he was on the losing end. He probably made his inner peace. Do you think Jobs withheld it from his family and banned them from watching the news? The adults surely must be capable of coping with this, shouldn't they? Obviously (and, did I need to say it?) the kids are a special case. I am preeeety sure that any close relatives of any family standing to get the kind of money Jobs is leaving behinds will have a few frames of mind:

          1. I feel sorry for you that you have to go so soon, at this youngish age, in this manner

          2. I hope like hell your affairs are all in order and that I get some of that pie

          3. I hope I can live long enough to enjoy it -- whether or not a make a + difference in the world

          4. I hope like hell you don't perceive of me from afar as undeserving of your gifts -- GODS, thank you, man.

          ANd who knows what else.

          As for kids, I know that not all kids will process the loss of a parent, but many kids can be reslient, especially if they have several years of preparation. I am not certain, but I doubt Jobs and his wife and relatives would deprive the kids (I don't know their ages) of the evolutionary stages of passing on if they are at least past 6 years old. It'd be kind of cruel to just spring it on them by way of a sudden disappearance from the daily hugs and wrestling or TV watching and so on.

          Now, if someone left *me* that kind of money, even $500,000 after taxes, I could create jobs and income streams and maybe open an incubator or two.

          PS, I wasn't trying to demean or degrade individuals stages of grief. It's just that we as a species vest a lot in clingyness as if there is no chance to "meet up" later.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Could've been bowowow.

    Perhaps he was about to be reincarnated as a dog.

  15. JDX Gold badge

    Deep stuff.

    Unless it was "oh no" rather than "oh wow"

  16. MD Rackham

    Or it's upside-down


  17. TheRealRoland

    The Castle of Aaargh

    "The Castle of Aaargh."

    What is that?

    He must have died while carving it.

    -Come on!

    -That's what it says.

    Look, if he was dying,

    he wouldn't bother to carve "Aaargh."

    -He'd just say it.

    -That's what's carved in the rock.

    -Perhaps he was dictating it.

    -Shut up!

    -Does it say anything else?


    But, for the complainers, i'm sure this was a Bootnotes story. No? Oh...

    1. TRT Silver badge

      He's iShuffled off this mortal coil.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      I'd rather see the castle of Anthrax, really.

    3. TRT Silver badge

      Your mother was a Napster and your father smelled of Blackberry?

      "Sorry. We're right out of Bondi Blues. (pause) I've got an iPhone4s."

      "Does it talk?"


      "I'll have it."

      And other assorted Monty Python references not intended to cause offence.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OH NO

    Did you really need to publish this 'story'? Especially with the clientele the register attracts these days, it's only going to be unpleasant.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      reg customers LIKE unpleasant

      The post is required, and must contain letters.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes these articles are getting a bit rediculous.

      Long past the point of beating a dead CEO!

  19. Andy Farley

    Dougal: Aww...he was fantastic, wasn't he?

    Ted: Ah he was brilliant.

  20. Tegne

    He must have just been shown the new Nokia.

    That is all.

  21. b0llchit Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Newsworthy at 3.7 death/second?

    I'm sorry, but /why/ is this news at all?

    I'd suggest you bring the (global) other 3.7 death/second's last words too and make some statistics on that. Then it would maybe be interesting.

  22. Bracknellexile

    Presumably he was just lamenting the fact that the only sheeple cash-cow Apple didn't come up with or take over was World of Warcraft.

  23. Andy Jones


    Behind his 'partner', kids and sister, he probably saw the angelic figure of the real Jesus Crust talking to God using a Samsung Galaxy S2.

  24. Harry the Bastard
    Paris Hilton

    he was clearly stunned by the sight of the android fondleslab now used for self check-in at the pearly gates

  25. craigj

    Don't really think this needed to be reported on.

    The man was dying, did we really need to know the poor guys last monosyllables?

    1. Arctic fox
      Thumb Down

      Indeed I am relieved in fact to see that someone else was struck by the same thought.

      Whatever my opinions might be of Apple's products and/or their marketing strategy I have never experienced the impulse to wish Mr Jobs any personal harm. In the same light I regard his passing as an intensely private moment that I do not feel that I have the right to share. What was it that that Dylan Thomas wrote?

      "Do not go gentle into that good night,

      Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

      Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

      That moment should have remained something that he only shared with those closest to him - shame on those who have chosen to "Face-Book" it.

    2. regadpellagru
      Thumb Down


      Yes, I'm with craigi (and also AC above). I don't feel particularly good at reading this and I'm positive this was entirely unneeded.

      Would you like whatever sound comes out of you to be reported when you die ?

      I wouldn't, and I do believe Jobs wouldn't either.

  26. Ageless Stranger

    He saw a google fondeslab

    Maybe someone playing with the latest Android OS caught his eye......

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    he said whilst ....

    playing with a phone running a preview release of ICS.

    > May the down votes commence.

  28. Jonathan White

    @Bob Hoskins

    Yes, but them I'm also pretty sickened by some of the posts on here. Taking the mickey out of a bloke dying of cancer's last moments. Very classy.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He actually said,...

    Oh my God, it's me!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Distressing and distasteful.

    Why is this story reported here?

    Register bookmark deleted.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What comes after life?

    Alas, not even the great Steve could answer that question! However, the ability to create a reality distortion field seems to run in the family.....

    RIP, Steve Jobs - you will be missed.

  32. iucounu

    Stay classy, guys.

    It's impressive stuff, taking the piss out of someone's last words, and laughing at the grief of his relatives. Nice work, everyone.

    1. It wasnt me


      I hear what you're saying, and I agree wholeheartedly.

      However, I can't quite understand why his family felt the need to publish the eulogy in the NYT.

      Its not just the news outlets that are to blame.

  33. dcd

    it'sfull of stars!

    Reality, that is.

    1. BatCat
      Thumb Up


      ... you beat me to it!

  34. Dave Ashton
    Thumb Down


    I'd be the last person on earth to enjoy apple products, but for fucks sake, you people are cunts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Finally found a use for the Register though...

    2. Philolai

      This really is a new low for The Register. They ought to delete this article, pretend this never happened and never do it again.

  35. KirstarK
    IT Angle

    What a pile of steaming...

    Seriously what a pile of steaming crap. I would hope you guys could shit better articles than this.

    This is tech news why? The sadly misinformed will think this confirms their delusion in the sky fairy everyone else will realise that its the drugs.

    And if I had the will to as I died it would not be wow or some other shit, it would be to say good bye to my family.

  36. Geoff Thompson


    This was reported elsewhere of course, so someone thought it was fair game to put a comical perspective on it. Sorry, no matter your views on the reported last minutes of Job's life, as reported by distraught family members, this is not a subject for sarcastic humour so soon after the event. It is an epic fail in taste and decency by a web publication I respect enormously, despite its juvanile tendancies at times. I have little respect for Apple and a very negative opinion of their business ethos, but a man is no more than flesh and blood in the end, and despite any opinion of Jobs as a CEO, he was far from a really cruel, let alone evil figure. I'm not usually so serious on here, but this very poor taste has annoyed me.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    oh wow oh wow...

    ... the design on this afterlife tunnel of light is *terrible* !

  38. Naughtyhorse

    it was an oh wow of wonder!

    turns out the afterlife is all white and full of rounded corners, he was thinking of the fun all his lawyers were going to have

  39. Far Canal


    Has anybody tried the oh wow thing with siri to see what happens? Just morbidly curious as it were.

  40. Chris 3

    The original eulogy is nicely written

    ... and paints an interesting portrait of the bloke, his life and his last days.

    Ripping the 'last words' paragraph out, out of context of that piece is pretty puerile.

  41. Anonymous Coward

    Not exactly poetic last words


    1) He was seeing that AT&T's network actually works in Heaven.

    2) Or that the heavenly Apple Store always has your item in stock and there are always enough registers and counter help that there are never more than two people in line!

    3) Or he was reacting to St. Peter telling him "We can let you in, but first you need to pay the backdated property tax rebates you received from Cupertino--here's the bill."

    4) Or maybe fate had it that at that very moment he had an LSD flashback....

    Ok, tacky, I know, but I am getting seriously tired of the number of stories eulogizing Steve....

  42. Captain Thyratron

    Death's consolation prize, according to recent research, quite possibly an amazing DMT trip shortly beforehand. I won't thank nature for any aspect of death, but I will be thankful that it's a peaceful trip about rising into heaven and meeting angels instead of a deliriant horror trip about giant tarantulas eating our eyeballs.

    (And if you thought it would have been more amusing if Jobs' last words had been "OH GOD THE SPIDERS ARE EATING ME", you are a bad person and should feel bad. Although there would undoubtedly be more comments in this thread.)

  43. Absent

    "Death is but a door. Time is but a window. I'll be back." would have been more fitting.

  44. Bill Fresher


    You lot are sour...

  45. Ilgaz

    don't waste it

    It is exactly the last part of a very first personal account of Steve Jobs from a family member. In fact, perhaps the last one you will read after the family notices how it was abused. Instead of reading that PR maniac's authorised bio, read the eulogy instead and head to

    1. Jeff Lewis

      "In fact, perhaps the last one you will read after the family notices how it was abused."

      Oh.. I honestly wish that were true - but in all honesty - I think the circus will continue for some time as is fitting for P. T. Barnum's spiritual hier.

  46. someone up north

    I think he meant to say " OH WOA. OH WOA. OH WOA".


    WOA => War On Android

    and not WOW !


  47. Kaemaril

    Wait ... what?

    "Before embarking, he’d looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life’s partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them."

    "Embarking"? Really? Is that a new one, or is it a common thing I've just never heard before?

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Follow the herd

    I think there are some things that most of us understand are OK for a bit of black humour between friends, but are inappropriate for public humour. Perhaps I'm old fashioned, but I think most peoples last moments are more deserving of a little respect than the "6 year old commentard" treatment.

  49. json

    probably saw the ultimate tablet: the ones with the ten commandments. RIP steve.

  50. Jeff Lewis

    Someone call the Vatican

    Wow - I would have expected:

    "One more thing..."

    Seriously though... we've gone through the Beatification of Saint Steve... now it's starting to sound like we've moved into Canonisation.

    Fortunately, He didn't return on the third day. I'm not ready for Zombie Steve.

  51. Matthew Evans
    IT Angle

    iWow ?

  52. silver fox

    Sounds like...

    ....someone's already got the movie script writer involved in describing the moment...

    Completely sh*te story though.

  53. Dave Cheetham

    @Mathew Evans

    What he really said was oWow, 'i' things are so last year as he found out when he saw the light!

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OH WOW, Jesus uses Android

  55. nichomach

    I'm with Dave Ashton, above

    I have no use for i-anything, but really, some of the commentards on here should stop, step back, take a good hard look at themselves and ask themselves if they really, truly, want to be, and look like, that much of a cunt. That includes the inevitable deluge of people who think using the term "sky fairy" is still funny.

    As to whether The Reg should have published it, it was released to the public so the family were obviously happy with it being published, it was a story covering the last moments of a hugely influential man in the techie field (albeit one that I dislike), and really? If you care THAT MUCH about the few brief moments you spent reading the piece before you went off on your spittle flecked little rants, apply for a refund. On your free online journal. Which no-one made you read.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I feel like I'm looking down on it all from above....

    "World of warcraft" gets last minute plug.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Typical Steve

    Quite enigmatic really.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe ...

    ... he'd just found out that Samsung own the patents to his life support machine.

  59. epocalypse

    Double Rainbow?

    That is all.

  60. sysconfig

    I wonder why his sister published this in the first place. Probably the same anti-social genes which Steve was known to possess. (ok, maybe not genes, because Steve was adopted, but you get the point)

    You can love or hate Steve Jobs (and there doesn't seem to be much gray between these two extremes in his case) but for heaven's sake the man is dead. Leave him alone. Let him rest in peace, at least for a while.

  61. Tatsky


    Maybe he just suddenly understood the Vista marketing message?

    Mine's the one with "Bing It" written on the back.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iCasket ... there's a grave for that

    Must of saw that Heaven runs on Android

  63. Wize

    Maybe the next thing he was going to say was...

    ...Oh my god, its full of stars.

  64. axa2wa


    Well you know how they say that your life flashes past your eyes just before you die. Well, Apple have categorically denied that this happened with Steve Jobs. Apple don't do Flash.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I feel a real sense of shame reading these comments.

    Love or hate where's respect? If you can't respect him for what he achieved (more than anyone on this forum will I bet) then what about simple respect for the dead/dying?

    These are the last words of a man with a family who survive him, they will hold deep emotional significance and probably leave the family searching for answers the rest of their lives.

    -not an apple fan by any strech, dont own a single apple product. But the man changed all our lives in some way and achieved a greatness we can only envy.

    Rest in peace.

    1. Yaro

      Doesn't deserve the same respect as Dennis Ritchie.

      He only did three things worth respecting. And there's a certain man who died a few days later who deserved far more recognition than Steve Jobs.

      1. Jobs helped propogate the idea of the PC to the everyman (Alongside IBM and Bill Gates.)

      2. Jobs got Pixar going.

      3. Jobs pulled a few open source projects out of development limbo and is pretty much the only reason BSD hasn't completely lost its user base.

      One big thing against Jobs: He was not a revolutionary, no matter how much people liked to paint him up as one. Apple is just as bad as Microsoft with the "not-invented-here" syndrome. They're just worse because of the cult worship Jobs gets.

      Also, I should note, especially in the early days of Apple: Steve Jobs wasn't even creating or designing the stuff Apple was selling. It took him getting fired in 1986 and struggling to get NeXT a success to get him any sort of technical competence. It was Steve Wozniak we have to credit for Apple's prooducts up to the Macintosh. And frankly I never saw any sign that Jobs had even that much technical knowledge when he came back to Apple in 1997. He clearly wouldn't have had the know-how to even recognize the potential of Unix back in 1986. More than likely he rode on the back of competent engineers in NeXT. And it was actually, believe it or not, thanks to Microsoft he ever got back to Apple, likely bringing those same engineers with him.

      Not that I am saying Apple riding on the power of Unix is bad. It's actually very good. My point is that I have my doubts Steve Jobs himself ever had the know-how to actually say what Unix was or what it represents. This can be evidenced by the fact that while Unix may have definitely improved Mac OS X, it still seems wasted on it since Apple is big on hiding any technical features from its users anyway, almost completely crippling the full potential a Unix system could have. This is partly why I dislike Ubuntu is well, so don't think I'm just picking on Apple here.

      Good accomplishments, but compared to Dennis Ritchie he was a nobody in the tech sector:

      1. Ritchie invented C, a language that shaped every language devised after its creation, and is one of the most powerful compiled languages in computing history. Even Apple's own Objective-C owes its existence to C.

      2. Ritchie co-created Unix, an advancement without which computers would never be where they are today. Every operating system in the world owes its design and theory to this operating system. Even Windows. I might add also that OS X is Unix, and it was Unix that saved Apple, not Jobs.

      3. Ritchie and company are responsible for a lot of research and development projects that gave Steve Jobs any sort of career. Without the work at Bell Labs, we wouldn't have microprocessors, the transistor, Unix, C, C++, or any other number of genuine innovations without which modern computing just wouldn't be possible. Not all of it can be credited to Ritchie, but a heck of a lot of software advancements can. Basically, to sum up, Ritchie is one of the people responsible for pulling the operating system and programming languages out of inefficient time share systems and into real-time multi-user systems as well as low-level compiled languages ideal for any task, but those especially fit for a need of power or close-to-the-metal programming that doesn't need architecture-dependent code (In the form of assembly.).

      4. Ritchie really was a revolutionary. Whereas Steve Jobs was basically selling products people already had seen before but in shiny packages with less features, Ritchie and company were basically INVENTING the stuff Jobs would sell over a decade later. What makes him go from inventor to revolutionary is that he created stuff that actually did revolutionize the entire tech industry through the creation of Unix and C, as well as his other research projects. Steve Jobs can't lay claim to a single innovation on that scale, not even the PC, which was invented years before Apple was even founded.

      1. GrandpaChris
        Thumb Up

        Wow Oh wow, etc

        Ritchie and Jobs were inventors. Software is the new language but presentation of the box it come in makes the sale. Steve made decisions based on his gut feeling for what the average consumer would buy. Operating systems, car engines, new ideas need people who sell a vision for daily use by the raw unwashed public (mankind) of the box.

        As for his last day with his family; it's going too far you or I to speculate what the meaning by his Wow Oh! Each of us will take a last breath, last heart beat, last brain wave before turning white in death. We can believe in nothing or believe in a loving Jesus or a trip into hell on our last day and those before our last.

        Jobs and Ritchie can be remember for good ideas or not.

        What good ideas has your day produced for mankind?

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This item is wholly inappropriate. What's next, pictures of his corpse?

    1. TRT Silver badge

      No, he'll be buried at C.

  67. Yaro

    Does this mean I have to hear the Cult of Steve Jobs talk about this non-news?

  68. KieranB

    Maybe his last words should have been


    (too much?)

  69. BinaryFu

    I'd say it was probably just the heroin kicking in.

  70. Pantagoon

    Mrs Beeton's last words:

    I think I'm nearly done now....

  71. Bear Features

    So what's the deal with all the media then? These pathetic dribs and drabs of stories... sorry, biography adverts, get distributed and you just have to run it? What has this got to do with anything IT related Register?

    Journalism... priceless.

  72. cordwainer 1

    How is this any different....

    than what has happened in the past with famous people? Eulogies are often published. In fact, one doesn't have to be famous; sometimes you'll read eulogies in the obituaries of your local newspaper, in church bulletins, in newsletters, hear them broadcast on the news, find them on YouTube.

    It's also fairly common to report people's last words....if it weren't, how would commenters here have been able to quote the last words of OTHER famous people?

    Sometimes, that's what families wish to do. The eulogy was heard by a lot of people at the funeral. Jobs sister seems to have wanted others to know a little of what her brother was like to her, what he meant to the family personally, not as a leader in an industry.

    There has been a great deal written about Jobs as head of Apple. Maybe his sister simply wanted something on the record about another side, to add one voice saying: I loved my brother. I miss him. This is who he was to me, no matter what all the news stories have to say.

    Grief is difficult, complicated. We have our memories, and we have our words. Jobs sister wanted to share hers...maybe because it helps her? Maybe because the more people who hear what she had to say, the easier it is for her to deal with the emptiness and loss? To feel her brother is not completely gone, or hope people will remember more of him than the businessman, the obsessive?

    And what, in the end, is so wrong about wanting those we love, somehow, to live forever?

    The dead can no longer be hurt by anything written here or anywhere. The living can. Funerals are for the living, a ritual most humans need and want. They serve a purpose.

    There is no excuse for being accusatory and judgmental, when the only "sin" committed was one that happens every single day, in every country in the world: relatives and friends standing up at a funeral, a wake, a memorial service, and sharing their memories of the deceased.

    There is comfort for many people in that sharing. There is comfort in knowing someone's last moments were free of fear or pain. That the person you love had the blessing of calm, happy release from incurable, unrelenting agony.

    Mocking what a person says as they die is inhumane and childish, considering the dying person is no longer in control, neurons and synapses losing connection, the system failing. But for the family, it may have been a moment of relief, and one that will give them a small smile from time to time when they most need one.

  73. Unicornpiss
    Thumb Down

    Who really knows...

    Who knows what he saw and whether it was a hallucination or the afterlife. None of us really know what happens. I like to believe in reincarnation myself. Certainly what's beyond is a tighter kept secret than Apple's source code.

    Kind of a tacky story though, more along the lines of a tabloid reporting on the ghost of Michael Landon or something.

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