World says iGrieve as Steve Jobs passes away

October 6th, 2011 - 6:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, Oct 6 (IANS) Steve Jobs, the man who began tinkering with gadgets in his garage and then went on to power the iPod, iPad and iPhone that became a part of so many lives across the globe, has died leaving behind legions of fans. The tech legend was 56.

The end came in Palo Alto, California, Wednesday just a day after Tim Cook, the new CEO of world’s leading tech company unveiled the iPhone 4S, a faster version of its best-selling smartphone that includes a virtual “personal assistant” you can talk to.

Tributes poured in from all over the world with President Barack Obama putting him among “the greatest of American innovators”, while rival Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates acknowledged his “profound impact”.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India, a country where thousands of young techies held him up as an icon of their generation, said he was “saddened” by the death of Jobs and described him as an “innovative man who had taught the world new ways to communicate and connect”.

Jobs is survived by Lisa Brennan-Jobs, his daughter with Chrisann Brennan, wife Laurene Powell, and their three children, Erin, Reed and Eve.

The hard-driving Jobs, who resigned in August as CEO amid health concerns, pioneered the concept of the personal computer and of navigating them by clicking onscreen images with a mouse to lead a cultural transformation in the digital age.

In more recent years, he introduced the iPod portable music player, the iPhone and the iPad tablet - all of which changed how we consume content in the digital age.

“Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives,” Apple said in a statement. “The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.”

Jobs who had battled cancer for years, had a secret liver transplant in 2009 in Tennessee during a six-month medical leave of absence from Apple.

Born Feb 24, 1955, to Syrian Muslim immigrant Abdulfattah “John” Jandali and Joanne Carole Schieble and then adopted, Jobs grew up in Cupertino, California, which would become home to Apple’s headquarters.

When he was 21, Jobs teamed with Steve Wozniak and two other men to launch Apple Computer Inc., building their first commercial product, the Apple 1, in Jobs’ parents’ garage in 1976.

Jobs sold his Volkswagen van to help finance the venture. The primitive computer, priced at $666.66, had no keyboard or display, and customers had to assemble it themselves.

The following year, Apple unveiled the Apple II computer at the inaugural West Coast Computer Faire. The machine was a hit, and the personal computing revolution was under way.

Apple’s pioneering Macintosh computer launched in early 1984. The boxy beige Macintosh sold well, but the demanding Jobs clashed frequently with colleagues, and in 1986, he was ousted from Apple after a power struggle.

Then came a 10-year hiatus during which he founded NeXT Computer, whose pricey, cube-shaped computer workstations never caught on with consumers.

In 1996, Apple bought NeXT, returning Jobs to the then-struggling company he had co-founded. Within a year, he was running Apple again.

And in 2001, he took the stage to introduce the original iPod, the little white device that transformed portable music and kick-started Apple’s furious comeback. Thus began what the CNN called one of the most remarkable second acts in the history of business.

Over the next decade, Jobs wowed launch-event audiences, and consumers, with one game-changing hit after another: iTunes (2003), the iPhone (2007), the App Store (2008), and the iPad (2010).

Apple fans across the globe were grief-stricken Thursday on learning about the tech wizard’s death.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote, “Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you.”

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said “the world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come”.

Not many know that Jobs had an India connect. A quest for spiritualism took him to the mountains in what is now Uttarakhand in the 1970s with his friend Dan Kottke. Many decades later, as Jobs lost the battle against cancer, thousands of Indians mourned his death.

In a curious coincidence, he died the very day that the Indian government unveiled its $50 tablet. The tech revolution he had helped start would now help thousands of underprivileged students in India.

R.I.P. tech guru Steve.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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