Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Thanks, Steve. For everything.

170 Responses

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  • Robert Fox,

    I love gadgets and Apple have made some great stuff over the years. I just get pretty creeped out by the global corporate techno cult the brand has become. Jobs was undoubtedly a briliant inovator and industrialist but when even the most rational amongst us refer to him with reverence bordering on the spiritual its time to take a few steps back and get a grip.

    Since Nov 2006 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    iSad does seem very apt.

    My wife and I have side by side iMacs at home, we heard the news and went to the apple site. The simple heartfelt message there brought tears to our eyes. 56 seems far too young.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3419 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Robert Fox,

    Jobs was undoubtedly a briliant inovator and industrialist but when even the most rational amongst us refer to him with reverence bordering on the spiritual its time to take a few steps back and get a grip.

    Russell did set the tone pretty accurately with the arsehole qualifier.

    @Bart:

    56 seems far too young.

    Ten years younger than Walt Disney. Both brilliant at bringing dreams to reality by merging creative innovation with technology, while being ruthless users.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3557 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Only heard this sad news as we walked into the museum tonight.

    The first computer I switched on was an Apple ][. I admired the way the first Mac had a massive full colour graphics environment even though the tiny built-in b&w display wasn't anywhere near there yet. Word for Mac was a revelation. My personal highlight some years later was laying out a magazine over a long weekend in a hired design studio with 5 high-spec Macs all to myself (and a dye-sublimation printer for good measure). Who needs sleep anyway?

    Career choices subsequently forced me to the world of Windoze but I've always remembered how much more compelling and intuitively obvious Macs were to use.

    To me, the impact of Steve Jobs is more broadly in what Russell noted when the man stepped down recently - putting people's human experience (including joy and beauty) at the centre of the product development process. In a world of beige PCs and inscrutable appliance interfaces, that mattered. It still does. We all owe him. I certainly do.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    56 seems far too young

    But look at the sheer *quality* of achievement.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Kirsten Brethouwer,

    My first computer was a Mac, and that's 20 years ago. My older brother brought it home for me and mum. Macs probably inspired me to become a designer, and revolutionized graphic design. They opened up a new and wonderous world of digital typography and have been the tool of the trade ever since. My husband crossed platforms when he met me . Macs allowed me to be geeky without having to compromise on style. Macs gave me jobs. So yes, I feel it's my right to wax lyrical about what Steve Jobs did for my life mainly because he put a whole lot of creative power in my hands and that of my generation.
    I grin and think of the time when I was asked by parents friends "why would you still be buying macs" like it was a dying breed in the 90s. If I was a sheep I certainly wasn't displaying sheepish behaviour then because all the other sheep were running the other way. I consider it personal vindication that they now all use iPhones. Probably shouldn't, just do anyway. Thanks for that too, Steve.

    Waiheke Island • Since Nov 2006 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    it crass and inappropriate at this time and in this thread.

    No offence intended there Bart. Steve Jobs seemed to be one whose virtues and flaws enjoyed an uncanny overlap. I'd read the article a few days back and noticed that today it had slipped off the top stories. Perhaps misguidedly I felt that without the iffy headline the article wasn't unreasonable and presented a relative counterbalance to some of the platitudes being bandied about.

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I simply could not do my job as well as I do were it not for my Macbook Pro. We write the childrens' assessments (or learning stories) using a programme called ComicLife. Faffing around with Word would just be painful, and it was those years ago. I don't have an iphone - too rich for my blood still - but my love of iPod knows no bounds. I have been a relatively recent convert to Macs, and Apple products. I first used an eMac about 11 years ago. And I haven't looked back since. So much easier to use. What I like best about Macs? Everything is on the surface - nothing is imbedded so deeply that it takes up humumgous amounts of space on your hard drive. Well, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it. I won't go into a rave here about Renaissance, and how direly out on a limb we NZers are in terms of Apple services.....

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to chris,

    I take it you missed Russell's earlier comment about not doing that, then.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to chris,

    platitudes

    dick

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16771 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to chris,

    As I said I understand the issues and I believe they are important.

    But on the day he died and in a thread intended to remember his contributions, it was out of place. Consider it the way you might consider the funeral of a member of your own family and then act appropriately. No-one imagines him to be perfect but we set aside those issues for a while and remember, and focus on, the good.

    And as Sasha says even in a mere 56 years the quality of his contribution is amazing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3419 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    As I said I understand the issues and I believe they are important.

    And we have discussed them at considerable length at other times here. I'd be happy to discuss what Daisey says too, but I don't want to in this thread.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Attachment

    On a happier note, this image was created by Hong Kong student Jonathan Mak. According to Ch4 news in the UK, Mak was offered a job on the strength of this.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    Started on SE80 in 1991. Cost including 22" B&W screen, software and printer = $18,000. Oh yeah. I think I'm still paying that off . . . Still on Apple 20 years later and wouldn't change I don't think. Steve's only equal would be Bill Gates and he is so less cool. It's a hell of a lot of life to shove into 56 years and my hat is off to him. I give his memory a big man hug and await the fate of Apple without him.

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 266 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    It's interesting I'm seeing this same argument about how to talk about Steve in other forums, what's appropriate at this point - my (very few) personal experiences of him are, um, somewhat negative - but I wont deny his brilliance. I'm kind of in two minds, he was what he was warts and all and the tech world is a better place.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2174 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    I came to Apple through Linux. In the 90-ies I spent a lot of my time at work with Unix, so Linux was a bit of a geek hobby at home. Windows was always my desktop environment at work and (unfortunately) it still is. I had absolutely no interest in the Macs of the day using the old MacOS. It wasn’t till OS X came along that I began to pay attention.

    I switched to Macs at home about six years ago and have never looked back. The underlying Unix satisfies my inner geek probably as much as the terminal.app horrifies most Mac non-geeks. I like to think of OS X as the most polished Linux-distro you could imagine with beautiful hardware to match (yeah, I know - it’s totally not FOSS, quite the opposite, but still).

    I’m still a bit apprehensive of the direction Apple may be on with regards to its walled garden App Store, but for now I’m more than happy to keep using Macs. Should it go too far in the closed eco-system direction, I’d be happy to go back to running Slackware on my Macbook Pro.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    I've been to a few funerals now. And talking about someones flaws is not forbidden but it has to be done with delicacy and care for those present who cared for and even loved him. I talked about my father's weaknesses but in context and with love. Had someone taken the opportunity to soapbox at my father's funeral I might not have dealt well with it.

    Steve Jobs shaped much of my working life with products that I don't believe would have existed without his personal drive. Sure something would have existed, but somehow in Apple, Steve Jobs gathered and guided so many really talented people that the products from Apple have been special. So for me this week I'll honour Steve Jobs and his contribution and I'm sad to see him die.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3419 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    I came to Apple through Linux. In the 90-ies I spent a lot of my time at work with Unix, so Linux was a bit of a geek hobby at home. Windows was always my desktop environment at work and (unfortunately) it still is. I had absolutely no interest in the Macs of the day using the old MacOS. It wasn’t till OS X came along that I began to pay attention.

    One change I do really appreciate over the last decade in computing is that you can migrate basically the same suite of software around the three major OS systems (Windows, Linux, Mac) and retain a large portion of the user experience even if the OS isn't your fave. I moved from Windows to Linux and back in different labs at work, and my day-to-day user experience was nearly seamless once I had my software of choice installed.

    Apple really grasped, before others did, that it was controlling the apps - even more than the OS - that would keep users. Their walled garden is problematic, but they basically offer too good an experience and are too far ahead of anyone else for it to be a turn-off, yet.

    What I also really remember, now, is how disparaging people were about so many of Apple's hits when they came out. The iPod touch wasn't different enough, the iPhone was too glitchy, the iPad was just a big iPod touch. But they worked, and they sold, even to people who'd moaned about them. That's genius.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    So for me this week I'll honour Steve Jobs and his contribution and I'm sad to see him die.

    Thanks Bart. It would be nice if we could be given the opportunity to express our unfettered response to his passing without being accused of 'platitudes' and 'irrational reverence'.

    The assumption that none of us can read, or are aware of his failings, or those of most human beings for that matter, is borderline insulting. Actually, scrap the borderline bit.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2144 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    Um, ComicLife has a Windows version.
    That said, it is a very natural extension of the Mac workflow of "If in doubt, drag something onto something else" which makes it easy to get the kind of documents you want in the same way you can do everything else on the computer. I occasionally run a so you are new to the Macintosh course for staff here, and that general principle is one that can get them a long way in doing what they want once they realize how widely it can be applied.
    While not an iDevice owner, like a lot of people in this thread, my feelings are regardless of his personal qualities Jobs made some computers that made it easy for me to create with, and it is that impact that those tools have had on my life that make this event more personal than it would otherwise be.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 902 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to David Hood,

    Oh yes, David. I have used it on Windows but it was not a comfortable fit, IMVHO. Because our stories are graphic rich (shitloads of photos IOW), Mac is it, for me.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    In 1996, I got a proper job at IDG and became the sole Mac holdout in the office, at the terrible price of having to use Lotus Notes 4.x for Mac

    I remember that. The year before, we'd all been told we would be getting new computers, and we could choose PC or Mac, but the upper budget limit was (from memory) $3000 a machine.

    Which meant that given the price differential at the time, everyone went to the latest PC Direct machine, loaded with a beta version Windows '95 which hadn't been released at that point.

    We'd been using Macs until then and I bought mine off the company, the first computer I owned, an Apple IIci, for $400.

    I got to take both with me when I wangled a transfer to IDG's Wellington office.

    I seem to recall when you arrived in the Auckland office and wangled an Apple machine, there was some office speculation about how far you'd managed to push the budget limit above $3000 line.

    I suppose annual inflation was running at around 5% at the time, so that may have helped....

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 805 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Steve Jobs shaped much of my working life with products that I don't believe would have existed without his personal drive.

    I've never, in my entire life, used an Apple product. Ever. But I still find myself mildy affected. The man clearly had a singlular drive, passion and vision of what he wanted. In that respect, what he was doing was in some ways seems closer to the artisitic process than it was manufacture or commerce. It was a singular vision, not that of a committee or focus group.

    So I doff my cap in respect to that vision, and that drive, and the fact he suceeded when so many fail.

    And, like many artists, being something of a prick just seems to come inextricably intertwined with the territory.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich Lock,

    In that respect, what he was doing was in some ways seems closer to the artisitic process than it was manufacture or commerce. It was a singular vision, not that of a committee or focus group.

    I think you're right. And that nature meant we were always going to have to endure the occasional weird design choice. The longtime aversion to putting fscking buttons on the fscking mice, for example.

    Actually, Apple mice in general. I can't recall a good one, and some of them were/are basically unusable. I use a Microsoft one!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

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