News of Steve’s death shared via iPads, Macbooks, iPhones like a virtual technology 21-gun salute
Philippine Daily Inquirer
SAN FRANCISCO—“There may be no greater tribute to (Steve) Jobs’ success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented,” US President Barack Obama said of the visionary who died of pancreatic cancer on Wednesday. He was 56.
The death was announced by Apple, the company Jobs and his high school friend Stephen Wozniak started in 1976 in a suburban California garage.
Many passed along the news with their iPads and Macintoshes and iPhones, simply because these devices of Jobs’ creation had become so integral to their daily lives.
Twitter briefly buckled under the mass of Jobs-related messages, a veritable technology 21-gun salute. “iSad” was a trending topic on Twitter.
In a statement, Obama described Jobs as one of “the greatest of American innovators” who exemplified the country’s ingenuity.
He helped usher in the era of personal computers and then led a cultural transformation in the way music, movies and mobile communications were experienced in the digital age.
Other words that popped up repeatedly in the outpouring of emotional responses to his death were artist, role model and life-changer.
‘Insanely great honor’
Many people described the impact they felt Jobs had made on their own lives and businesses. He was, they said, a singular force.
Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, took to his own page on the site to write: “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.”
Eric Schmidt, the chair of Google, whose company has become a competitor to Apple in the phone business, said: “Steve defined a generation of style and technology that’s unlikely to be matched again.”
Other competitors who watched as Apple’s sales—and its stock price—took off over the past decade posted messages of admiration:
“Steve Jobs was a great visionary and a respected competitor,” said Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, co-CEOs of Blackberry-maker Research in Motion.
“For those of us lucky enough to get to work with Steve, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely,” said Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates.
Fans of Jobs paid tribute too in a more traditional way—with flowers and silence.
People placed flowers and scrawled chalk messages in front of the gates of Jobs’ Palo Alto home, where family and friends gathered. Someone wrote “Thank you Steve” in lipstick on the window of an Apple Store in Santa Monica.
There were also flowers outside of Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.
At the San Francisco Apple Store in Union Square, a crowd started forming. A few dabbed their eyes. Others huddled in small groups around their iPhones reading the details of Jobs’ passing.
Scott Robbins, 34, a barber from San Francisco and an Apple fan for nearly 20 years, said he came as soon as he heard the news.
“To some people, this is like Elvis Presley or John Lennon—it’s a change in our times,” Robbins said. “It’s the end of an era, of what we’ve known Apple to be. It’s like the end of the innovators.”
Robbins said Jobs’ influence extended beyond the iPhone he now carries and the Mac products he has faithfully bought for years. He was a symbol of the technology revolution who opened the eyes of a generation to the possibilities of the digital computing.
Outside the flagship Apple store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, people had left two bouquets of roses and some candles late Wednesday, and some sat around quietly using their Apple laptops.
Someone left an apple, with one bite taken out of it, mimicking the Apple logo. A note read: “iThankYou.”
In downtown Chicago, Peter O’Reilly knew something was wrong as shoppers perused iPhones, iPads and laptop computers on Wednesday evening and an employee with a somber look started to cry. She told him the news.
“I can’t imagine a world without Apple products,” said O’Reilly, a 33-year-old electrician visiting from Ireland.
Mac Users Group Mexico released a statement that concluded, “Let’s breathe deeply and say VIVA STEVE JOBS!”
In China, one of the company’s fastest growing markets, Henry Men Youngfan said he was shocked by the news that his hero had died.
The 27-year-old doctoral student in Beijing bought his first Apple product in 2006 and traveled by train to Hong Kong in September just to attend the opening of the company’s first store there.
When he entered graduate school at Peking University’s college of engineering, Men said, “My teachers asked me what kind of person I wanted to be and I told them I wanted to be like Steve.”
Technology as memories
Jacqueline Thuener-Rego said Jobs had helped change how people think about their relationship with technology.
“You don’t think of it as technology. You think of it as memories, experiences,” the 28-year-old actress from Brooklyn said. “It’s as integrated into your life as a cup of coffee. The technology has become the human experience.”
Apple on Wednesday paid homage to its visionary leader by changing its website to a big black-and-white photograph of him with the caption “Steve Jobs: 1955-2011.”
Jobs was surrounded by his wife and immediate family when he died in Palo Alto, California, Apple said late on Wednesday.
To celebrate Jobs’ life
The flags outside the company’s headquarters at 1 Infinite Loop flew at half mast. Employees left flowers on a bench and a mourner played music on bagpipes in an impromptu tribute.
New Apple chief Tim Cook said in a statement that Apple planned to hold a celebration of Jobs’ life for employees “soon.”
Steve Jobs Day
By nightfall in California, thousands of people at global social network Facebook had signed up to take part in an unofficial Steve Jobs Day planned for October 14.
A stevejobsday2011.com website devoted to the event invited people to dress up as the Apple cofounder or talk about him, whether at real-world gatherings or at online venues such as Facebook and Twitter.
“We love what he’s brought to the world,” said a message at the website, which is dominated by a color portrait of Jobs. “Let’s take a day to honor the man… Everyone around the world is invited to participate,” it continued.
A Facebook page devoted to the event explained that it was planned when Jobs stepped down as Apple chief executive in August for health reasons and was not intended to be a memorial.
Intended or not, the Jobs Day Facebook comment forum was flooded with remembrances and adoration for the visionary behind iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Macintosh computers.
“People often asked me what is it about Apple that makes you so crazy,” Facebook member Pallav Desai wrote on the page.
iWAS, iAM, iWILL
“I say it was more than a product—it was a fight of a person who battled cancer; who was thrown out of his company, and STILL came back and showed the world iWAS iAM & iWILL change the world!”
On Twitter, Brian Magallones respectfully equated Jobs to “a modern day cross between Albert Einstein and Willy Wonka.”
Tweets streamed thanking Jobs for his innovations, and many people quoted from a moving speech he gave to a graduating class at Stanford University in 2005.
The video had logged more than four million views at YouTube.
Dare being foolish
People echoed his advice to stay hungry, dare being foolish, and not waste time living someone else’s life.
“Death is the destination we all share,” he told the graduating class.
“And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life,” he continued. “It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.” AP, AFP New York Times News Service and Reuters
Recent Stories:PAL, Cebu Pacific eye direct flights between Iloilo, Korea 38 mins elapsed BI to launch 6-month tourist visa next week 59 mins elapsed Filipinos celebrate Philippine Independence Day at SF’s Union Square 3 hours elapsed Fil-Am group marks 40 years of service and activism 3 hours elapsed Second miracle attributed to John Paul II—report 3 hours elapsed US man charged with tossing wife off cruise ship 3 hours elapsed Jericho Rosales, Nora Aunor, Brillante Mendoza lead 36th Gawad Urian Awards 3 hours elapsed ‘Syria, dollar rate caused fuel price hike’ 3 hours elapsed