Find all your DIY electronics in the MakerShed. 3D Printing, Kits, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Books & more!

RIP Steve Jobs. You, and your Homebrew Computer cohort and Apple Computer, fundamentally changed our lives, through technology. Multiple times. You and Apple made magic with gadgets. I literally gasped the first time I picked up the current MacBook Air. Not a lot of consumer technology makes me gasp.

When I got my pre-ordered iPad 1, the FedEx driver who brought it to my door was itching with curiosity as I signed for it. We had never exchanged more than a “hello” and “thanks.” I finished and she turned to leave. But then she blurted out: “What is that!?” (like she was breaking some sort of company policy about asking people what was in their boxes). When I told her, she totally let down her guard and gushed: “OMG! How cool! I SO want one of those!” She was completely lit up like a kid at Christmas. “Please tell what you think about it. So exciting.” She was still smiling as she walked away. As I, equally excited, went back into the house to open it, I wondered: “Do you think Microsoft or Dell or even Sony products generate this kind of excitement where delivery people can’t help but ask what’s in the box?” Rarely, if ever, I bet.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. -Arthur C. Clarke

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do… -Steve Jobs 1955-2011

Thanks for the magic and for showing us how far a group of makers can take their inspired ideas.

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


Related

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Yes, makers can change the world if they sacrifice all their roots as makers to get there…great message. Apple products are good products, but they are so horribly not friendly to hackers (the nice ones who build Xbox 360 laptops and made XBMC and that kind of thing) and makers that I just can’t praise Steve Jobs for his roots anymore. He went from awesome maker to evil corporate overlord completely. Woz still has some of that maker spirit in him, based on his interviews.

    1. Anonymous says:

      I appreciate what your saying.  Maybe there’s more readings of the word ‘maker’?

      Whilst Apple’s products may not be overly hackable they have created tools that just work, simply, and that enable people like me to make.

      Does ‘making’ always have to mean open or hackable?

      1. I think making should be taken at just that, making great products. That’s what Steve embodied. 

        1. I think the issue many have is that Apple’s more recent products go out of their way to restrict other makers. It’s kind of hard to believe that the App Store policies came from the same source as this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rwsuXHA7RA

      2. I think making should be taken at just that, making great products. That’s what Steve embodied. 

    2. Marshall Maggipinto says:

      The man sat down in the garage and got busy making, and he built the teams that developed into most valuable technology company on this planet.

      He wasn’t afraid to say that design was an integral part of good technology, that art was important to engineering. 

      BTW, last time I checked, Apple devices are electronics, and any electronics can be hacked. For those of us with the skill to do so they are great devices. Just because you don’t know how to do something does not mean it cannot be done. Perhaps your skills and knowledge need some work, perhaps you shouldn’t blame devices for your shortcomings. Lastly, “evil overlord”, is that really necessary? How about father, and husband, and respected innovator. RIP Mr. Jobs, your devices touched my life and I am grateful for your contributions. 

    3. Marshall Maggipinto says:

      The man sat down in the garage and got busy making, and he built the teams that developed into most valuable technology company on this planet.

      He wasn’t afraid to say that design was an integral part of good technology, that art was important to engineering. 

      BTW, last time I checked, Apple devices are electronics, and any electronics can be hacked. For those of us with the skill to do so they are great devices. Just because you don’t know how to do something does not mean it cannot be done. Perhaps your skills and knowledge need some work, perhaps you shouldn’t blame devices for your shortcomings. Lastly, “evil overlord”, is that really necessary? How about father, and husband, and respected innovator. RIP Mr. Jobs, your devices touched my life and I am grateful for your contributions. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    Such a good story, Gar! Thanks for sharing it!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Such a good story, Gar! Thanks for sharing it!

  4. David Harvey says:

    From Wired’s obituary:

    Meanwhile, his dad, Paul — a machinist who had never completed high school — had set aside a section of his workbench for Steve, and taught him how to build things, disassemble them, and put them together. From neighbors who worked in the electronics firm in the Valley, he learned about that field — and also understood that things like television sets were not magical things that just showed up in one’s house, but designed objects that human beings had painstakingly created. “It gave a tremendous sense of self-confidence, that through exploration and learning one could understand seemingly very complex things in one’s environment,” he told the Smithsonian interviewer.

  5. Anonymous says:

    One of these men is a maker. He wears a nixie tube watch and rides
    around on a segway. The other guy wears turtleneck sweaters and hawks
    overpriced, dumbed-down electronics to self-absorbed rich kids. I don’t care if he’s dead, that don’t make him a saint. His sweatshops had to install nets so the workers wouldn’t jump to their deaths. He shipped a million jobs to Asia while Americans suffer the worst unemployment since the depression. That’s not a visionary, that’s a charlatan. 

  6. For me it was all downhill after NeXT, which I loved.

    The big breakthrough for Apple was when Jobs had the vision to revamp electronic devices as designer accessories suitable for inclusion in MoMA. Before that point, Apple was always struggling. A comment on him, or on our culture? Genius, yes; but perhaps more as a marketer than as a Maker. 

  7. For me it was all downhill after NeXT, which I loved.

    The big breakthrough for Apple was when Jobs had the vision to revamp electronic devices as designer accessories suitable for inclusion in MoMA. Before that point, Apple was always struggling. A comment on him, or on our culture? Genius, yes; but perhaps more as a marketer than as a Maker. 

  8. bwendo says:

    Is a moment in time for us all.  RIP.

  9. am i the only one annoyed by the title of this article?

    1. Anonymous says:

      Yep – Apple never fit the MAKE ‘definition’ as most in this circle despise anything that is not “open-source”.  

      I still have trouble understanding how an open-source business can provide jobs for a lot of people without someone in China copying it and undercutting your products.  It seems to work in a few niche areas, but demonizing any non-open company (as some here have done) seems awfully judgmental.  Not every corporation is evil.  Greed is evil.  People in businesses/corporations choose how they will run theirs.  My guess is that Apple has many employees (that are not inclined to be entrepreneurs) that are grateful to have a way to provide for their families.

      Love to hear other opinions, thanks for hearing mine ;c)

      1. I can’t speak for Morgan, but when most people complain about Apple not being “open” enough they’re not talking about open source.

        In recent years, Apple has shifted from a policy of empowering their users to one of controlling them. There are a number of ways this manifests, but the most obvious is the combination of their App Store policies and the fact that the App Store is the *only* legitimate way to install apps on an iOS device. (There is jail breaking, but it isn’t “legitimate”, and Apple has actually tried put an end to this via both technical and legal means.)

        On the hardware side there’s craziness like require an “authentication chip” to be able to communicate with an iOS device through the dock conector. See http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2011/07/59-cable-lets-you-connect-iphone-to-arduino-no-jailbreaking.html and note the absurd price.

        Would adding an alternative mechanism for installing software and removing the need for this authentication chip have made iOS devices any less “great”? No.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I did my first computer programming on that Apple IIc above (the white plastic one, not the wood one!!) with its tiny matching monochrome monitor.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Me too.  Programming in BASIC was so intriguing and eye opening- but I am glad I didn’t stay using an Apple II for the rest of my programming!

  11. Phil Glen says:

    LOL Corporate Overlord! Hey we all have to make some money, and he just happened to be a genius, so made much more than most of us will, give the man credit, hackers are just idiots to be fair, I am a programmer myself and detest hackers. If something is good enough just pay the money and buy it your self instead of trying to use a hacked device to get cheaper stuff! The memory of Steve Jobs will be with for for a loooong time, I hope someone else pops up with his vision and drive real soon

    1. David Alberto Viramontes says:

      Hackers are not idiots, by a long shot.
      Hackers are the reason you have a computer in the first place. 

    2. David Alberto Viramontes says:

      You can’t be a true programmer ( whatever that means ) and dis hackers. 

    3. I find it hard to believe that you’re a programmer and yet you’re apparently unaware of the meaning of the term hacker as it’s used here. See http://catb.org/jargon/html/H/hacker.html

      Ironically, Steve Jobs himself was the kind of “hacker” you say you detest, and has even said that if he wasn’t “there would have been no Apple”. See http://youtu.be/HFURM8O-oYI?t=12s

  12. Piers Fambely says:

    Jobs really can’t be counted as a “maker”,  did he ever actually make anything?

    Woz on the other hand is the real deal…and at least as importantly seems to be a lovely person.