Steve Jobs – another bite out of a poisoned apple?

In 1954 Alan Turing left this earth at the bite of an apple. The following year Steve Jobs was born in liberal San Francisco and he went on to become one of the most highly respected geeks on the planet. He and  Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak designed, developed, and marketed one of the first commercially successful computer systems. In doing so they revolutionised the world we live in and did me a huge amount of favours as an audio practitioner.

You may think I am here to celebrate the leaps and bounds in technological advancement that Jobs spearheaded or having a bash at stealing the mass amount of web traffic that Job’s untimely demise is sure to be generating. But I am not here for either of those purposes. You see we all understand the impact and the great work of this man and i’m sure if we were looking for a read on this topic we could ourselves provide the traffic to the cold hearted advertisement and e-commerce driven websites that owe so much to men like Jobs, Wozniak and Gates.

What I am here to discuss is a man of great power. But great modesty, objectivity and ethos. A true geek, a true hacker. Jobs and Wozniak started off at homebrew computing clubs and illegally selling off boxes that could connect to the early versions of the internet connecting between U.S universities. These monstrosities and experiments began to form into the Apple I and Apple II the latter of which became the first truly mass produced home computing solution. You see while the guys at IBM where gearing there experiments towards military and bureaucratic means Apple were determined to bring computers into the homes and into the hands of the public. The company grew and grew. Until in May 1985, in what is know as the “palace coup”, when Jobs was forced by the board to leave Apple indefinitely. This is what I call the dark ages. Where apple slowly re-churned out it’s OS on vaguely evolving systems and faded from its pedestal into the computing undergrowth. Not ten years ago was using Apple products regarded as witchcraft! It was similar to using Linux or another obscure operating system. You would certainly have to have a very specific purpose for using such a product – or be very very rich.

Then, after helping to create some of the greatest animated movies of our time for a while @ Pixar, Jobs was back on the scene. Only then did the innovation and true spirit of Apple shine again. A testament to the great Alan Turing was first on the list and a blazing rainbow of colours swept the computer market. Now everyone had a powerful, compact computer in their house. Now everyone had a tribute to gay rights sat in their office – you see Jobs and Apple have always made an aware and ethical partnership. I mean, where do you think that logo comes from?

Since 1997 when Jobs was re-instated as interim CEO of the company we have seen a huge amount of innovative products come onto the market. The iPod, The Imac, The iPad and the iPhone, in all of their different guises have changed the world we live in and also given the competition a high standard to compete with. They have also, consistently, updated their world famous media software packages (Aperture, Final Cut, Logic studio). So one might ask – whats the future for Apple now?

Since the release of such products as the Iphone and the Ipad I have personally noticed a push towards these more commercially profitable products. Since the last update of Logic Studio, which I use for all my audio needs, there have been several Iphones released – the 3G – 3Gs – Iphone4 etc etc. Yet the last release of Logic 9 only included a few small updates over Logic 8 which was released over four years ago.

Yes the idea behind Apple is a good one – equality, technology for all, Vorsprung Durch Technik (no that is not an Audi slogan it’s a german phrase). yet there is something inside me that fears for the worst. Shareholders, board members and generally greedy fat cat type characters scare me. You see the Iphone may well be the best phone in the world – but I have never had an apple product that broke, or needed re-releasing with better software or hardware before. At the end of the day it is but a phone, yes a very hi-tech and useful one but I get the feeling that money is being pumped into these more commercially valuable projects as opposed to the development of Pro-apps and the like. This of course could go full circle. The current popularity and success of Apple products may well mean that the funding for the core computer systems and programmes used by creatives is eventually increased to match the levels being spent on portable devices.

Only time will tell what will become of Apple Inc. and it is my hope that they will sway from the capitalist route they have shown to be so fond of in the last few years. Perhaps without Jobs there is no chance, but I know as an Apple user that the fire of Alan Turing and Steve Jobs still burns in my heart, perhaps I should consider becoming a shareholder one day. I’d preach Hardware/Software integration, great customer service, ultimate reliability and a great, peaceful and liberal ethos to boot! Shame share prices are on the up and up.

To the memory of a great man. All the business acumen – Less of the greed.

Written on my spare 2007, bottom of the range, Macbook – which still runs faster than most new Windows Laptops! 🙂

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