I heard an NPR bit on him yesterday. I didn’t know his father was Syrian.
The story, though, was irritating for its fanboi-ism (even though a woman reported it).
As far as I can tell Steve Jobs was no more a “computer genius” than Bill Gates. He certainly didn’t invent the smart phone, nor was he the first person to release a cellphone with a camera. The story attributed both of these things to him, incorrectly.
He was a marketing genius. But he was also a micro-manager who would look at, say, versions of the Mac or iPhone that his engineers brought him and make design changes on the spot. He expected long hours from his workers.
He also was good at controlling the Apple brand. When Jobs left Apple, his replacements wanted to imitate IBM’s success with the PC, so they licensed out the specifications for the Mac so that people could start developing clones of the Mac. The Mac really suffered during this period. When Jobs returned to Apple, one of the first things he did was kill off the clones.
I respect a lot of what he has done as a business man — he knew what Apple needed as far as business and marketing. I respect his taste for design. He was able to market the iPhone and iPod as the devices to have.
But over the years, I’ve become more attracted to the sort of people Fake Steve Jobs called “freetards”. And, truly, the parody does seem to really have insight into how Steve Jobs actually thought.
I’m not happy Steve Jobs is dead. And he is a significant person beyond just the tech world. He did a lot to popularize computers during my life. He’ll be missed by many.
I’m just more interested, now, in making computing resources (and knowledge) available to everyone. I respect his focus on usability — we freetards use a lot of the ideas that Apple engineers developed and popularized — but while I do want to sustain my current standard of living, I’m interested in making resources available for everyone, not selling more shiny widgets.