Thursday, October 6, 2011

Obituary for Steve


I was moved to write an obituary for Dr Carl Sagan in the late 1990s when he passed away in The Star paper when I did not read of any obituary relating to him; I thought that it was most inappropriate that the popularize of COSMOS was not mentioned in a periodical named after a celestial object; I objected to the idea that it did not have at least one article in eulogizing such an individual. When I heard of Sagan's death; it was almost like I lost someone I knew personally - especially from his ground breaking documentary series, his books and from his live appearance on The Tonight Show hosted by Johnny Carson during the mania of the Halley's Comet in the 1980s. Although my feelings for Steve Jobs was not sad in comparison, yet I felt a sudden desire to eulogize him in my blog as a form of tribute. Steve Jobs was not just a geek but also an articulate thinker; he was an inspiration to millions of people such as encapsulated in one of his famous address to an audience of Standford University graduates.

I saw the news of Steve Jobs passing on TV this morning (6-10-2011 in Malaysia; 10-5-2011 in US). It was a big news as Steve certainly attained an iconic status in today's tech heavy society. I remember the time in the early 1980s when TIME magazine famously named Computers as Machine of the Year- the first time the honor went to a non-human. Steve Jobs who had co-founded Apple Computers was an inspiring story even then... and his dismissal from the company he co-founded saw the true character in which he later bought Pixar which made movie and computer history by making the first full length animation using exclusive computer technology. It is said that we should judge someone not by how successful he or she become but by how they deal with setbacks and failures and then to come back even stronger than before, having become wiser as the diamond in the rough was cut which allow the fire within the gem to sparkle. Steve Jobs was such a dazzling individual. He was great in the marrying of tech and style and he had the creativity and vision to make computers into very user friendly tools that empowered people from all line of work to unleash their creativity and productivity.

I remember the Mac when it first came out and drool at the concept of the graphical user interface which was perfect for a non-geek like me but it was then extremely pricey. Recently, I saw the IPad2 and heard raves from my brother-in-law about the genius of Steve for bringing out this gadget which even his 22 months old toddler can use. Steve's genius was apparent even in the coining of the name for his company which is surely one of the best brand in history- the use of the simple fruit-Apple was truly a stroke of genius and Mac is just a continuum of this idea as Mac stood for MacKintoch which is a kind of apple. Today, we live in a high-tech age of which the central tool is the computer and Steve Jobs was certainly among one of the most remarkable geniuses, innovators, visionaries in this field. The Nobel organization should come out with a special prize for life time achievement award for geniuses like Steve Jobs who help to change and make this a better world for all mankind. His life was in the best American tradition of helping to make a difference in the lives of others and he certainly helped to change the world for the better.

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