Steve Jobs – My Take on the Man

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

I was sad to hear on Wednesday that Steve Jobs had in fact lost his battle with cancer. For the past couple of days the media has done nothing but run with it here in the US. Knowing a little about Steve Jobs and the tech industry, I heard a lot of stretched truths in all the coverage. To be honest, when the news broke into the show I was watching, and the way they started, you would have though that either President Obama had died, or Jesus himself came back and killed in a drive-by shooting. True visionaries die every day and unfortunately the news never breaks into a show to let you know about them. Was Steve a true visionary?

I guess if taking a lot of money and throwing it at something like Pixar or NeXT makes you a visionary, then no doubt Steve was one. No doubt Steve was a great front man for a really big company, but calling him a visionary I think takes it to far. If he was a visionary, you would think that he would have seen what was about to come from Gates and Microsoft back in the day. If I remember correctly, was it not his entire team that was in fact telling him what he was getting himself and Apple into back then? Is it not also true that if it weren’t for Steve Wozniak, there would be no Apple? Then again, if there were no Steve Jobs there would have been no Apple. Steve Jobs, a technology visionary or a marketing master, you decide.

Seeing as I am not a Steve Jobs buff, I had to brush up on a little history, and of course I used the always amazing Wikipedia. OK, so there was a bit of sarcasm with that last line. According to Wikipedia, it says Steve Jobs was the primary or co-inventor of 338 US patents. I know, 338 patents, we all just threw up a little in our mouths. There are a lot of electronic device, computing device, user interface for computer display, and many more technical patents. If I remember correctly, and Wikipedia can back me up a little as well, Steve wasn’t an electrical engineer, he wasn’t a designer, and he wasn’t a developer. What Wikipedia says is that he was a business person. OK, so they also say inventor. Let’s see, did Steve invent the computer? No. Did he invent the GUI? No. Did he invent the touch screen? No. Do you think he really invented speakers, keyboards, power adapters, or staircases? Will someone please explain to me what staircases he invented, and is this like the staircases in your home or is there staircases for your iPhone? I don’t think he invented anything, I in fact believe he rode on the coat tails of the amazing inventors, engineers, designers, and developers that Apple had hired. Like I said earlier, he was an amazing front man for an amazing and talented group of people. If he invented anything, it would be the mindless brainwashing and creation of robots known as Apple users.

OK, so I called Steve out a little. Actually, I didn’t call Steve out, I really called the media out who has swung from his proverbial nuts for the past few days. I definitely do not think Steve was an evil person and actually believe that he was a really good guy with such an amazing passion for technology and computing. I believe he may have assisted in some decisions which led to the success of Apple, but unlike MSNBC, Fox, CNN, and others, I do not believe he is the visionary he’s made out to have been, and I also believe that Steve just might agree with me. Never once have I heard Steve say, “I did,” nor have I heard him say “because of me.”

Will Apple be able to continue without Steve Jobs? The media are 50/50 on this. They wholeheartedly believe Steve was Apple, but at the same time a few people with a bit of common sense that realize the company was left in good hands with the new CEO, and all of Apple’s amazing talent is still in tact. Jony Ive is still at Apple, and I do believe he was the head designer behind such products as the iMac, the PowerBook, the MacBook, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. If I remember correctly, earlier this year Apple lost Bertrand Serlet, one of the original GUI designers at Xerox (isn’t that where both Apple & Microsoft ripped off the GUI?) as well as NeXT, and he was the principal developer behind Mac OS X. So to you media moguls out there, Apple will survive, they just won’t present the next iPhone with a blue jean clad, black turtle neck wearing, CEO. They will still come on stage and disappoint with a new product. Example, you all thought you were getting the iPhone 5 this week, only being told you are getting the iPhone 4S, but I guarantee you will all be standing in line at the Apple store, or AT&T, or Verizon, or wherever it gets sold, just to get it. Who cares if you have only had the iPhone 4 for just over a year, you will go and spend your hard-earned money, and for that we are grateful. You need the dueling antennas to get the reception you should have had from day one.

So, from me to you Steve, I will miss you. Even though I am not a Mac user or fanboy, I will miss your product launches. I will miss your true UNIX spirit as well. UNIX spirit? Yes, one thing Steve did when he presented was talk about an app and how that app did one thing, and did it well. The browser, the email client, other apps, and the iPod. Kudos to you Steve for helping create one of the largest and successful companies in the world. Thank you for all the philanthropic work you have done over the years. Thank you for showing the world there is something more than Microsoft out there. Thank you for proving you can create a mainstream UNIX-based desktop. And one last thank you, with a bit of sarcasm and fun, thank you for taking 10% of the desktop market away from Microsoft leaving us Linux people with a whole 1% to 2% stake in that market. Rest in peace Steve, you have done a lot of good work over the many years and you deserve the rest. My thoughts and prayers go out to you, your family, and your friends.

Posted in Personal | 11 Responses

Burglar Googled Your Expensive Crib

OK, this is a bit of a rant. I couldn’t let this one go. As many of you know, I live in Chicago. We typically have really good local news, however tonight, they failed at the good part. My favorite local news is NBC 5, and tonight they reported on the Google Map Burglar. This guy would use Google Maps to find local houses that were near a highway as well as expensive. According to the police that interviewed the burglar, the burglar told them that he would Google “expensive homes that run along highway” and then use Google Maps to view these homes.


When I got to get an early listen to Jono Bacon’s first Severed Fifth album, I told him something like, “this music makes me want to break into people’s house and rob them.” Well, I put on some Severed Fifth, fired up some Google, and got my search on. I typed the following into Google search:

  • expensive homes that run along highway
  • “expensive homes that run along highway” – had to try it with quotes as well

expensive homes that run along highway
Here is what showed up with that search string:

Google Web search results with un-quoted string

Google Maps search results with un-quoted string

"expensive homes that run along highway"
Here is what showed up with that search string:

Google Web search results with quoted string

Google Maps search results with quoted string

Why did I call bullshit initially? Easy:

  • As you can see, those search terms don’t come up with a single thing that would make my career as a burglar a good one.
  • Said he used Google Maps in satellite view and then used the 360° view to get a better look, however you can’t do this with Google Maps. They then go on to say he used Google Earth, so I am downloading and installing now to see if I can get a better view.
  • OK, Google Earth might help locating exterior windows and doors when panning around, but still isn’t all that clear.
  • Oh, remember he Googled expensive homes, well where the crimes happened, the homes there are far from expensive.
  • If you are going to case houses from Internet maps, use Bing, it is better when panning populated areas and gives a much clearer image.

Sure, they used Google Maps to find houses near a highway, but they didn’t Google expensive homes and got the results for the houses they robbed. I don’t know what is worse, the idiots actually using those search terms, or the cops who actually believe that is how they found the houses they hit.

OK, another bullshit thing, and you don’t get to read it in that article, is they way they made Google Maps so scary on the news and made it sound as if there were no Google Maps, robberies like this wouldn’t happen.

OK, rant is over, sorry to have disturbed you.

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Windows 8 Does Not Pose A Threat To Linux

I just finished reading an interesting article on Linux Insider that asked the question, "Does Windows 8 Pose a Threat to Linux?" The TLTR version is Windows 8 does not pose a threat to Linux because Linux on the desktop would have to matter first.

Before you start going bat shit insane on me, let me first state that I love Linux, and use Linux 99.9% of the time in my daily life. That other .1% of the time that I have to use something like Windows is only to sync up a Garmin device I use on my bicycle, and even then it is a bad excuse to use Windows (I know I can’t sync but I can manually upload my .FIT files via Linux). As a developer of sorts, I prefer to use Linux and its amazing tools to get my job done and to keep my life going. Sure, it started out as a hobby for me back in the early 90’s, but has since turned into a way of life for me.

I have done development on a Windows machine, and 75% of the time I complained about the workflow and how the tools available for Windows did nothing more than get in the way. The other 25% of the time I went out to dinner while something was compiling or I was updating the machine. Sure, that last part had a bit of sarcasm, but damn it is fairly dead on. I am one of those who prefer to use Vim (back in the day it was Emacs) to do most of my development work. Sure, I could use those in Windows, but they aren’t great at doing Windows development. My workflow with Linux is so much simpler than it is in Windows, and especially Windows 8.

Why doesn’t it pose a threat you ask? Simple, Windows already has billions of people using it and Linux only has millions. There is no threat to Linux, I repeat, there is no threat to Linux. Have you used Windows 8? If so, you know there is probably no threat to Windows XP. Sure, it is cool on the surface, and it is only a developer’s preview, but still, there is enough going on that you can figure out the direction. I installed Windows 8 on my desktop to play around with it. Note the phrase, “play around with it“, as it is nothing more than a toy at this moment. My dad, a devout christian Windows user, even a power user I guess you would say, played around with Windows 8 as well. His verdict was that there was no way in hell he would use it. Sure there is a lot of buzz out there about Windows 8, but my guess it is from people who haven’t used a Wii, saw a Windows Phone, played with Google TV, or used anything like Unity, Gnome Shell, or the KDE Plasma Netbook.

The one thing Windows 8 does brilliantly that has actually posed, not a threat, but more of a challenge to Linux, is the amount of time it takes to start. I put it on an older machine (3+ years old), and in 10 seconds it was up and running. Haven’t seen Linux do that yet. I know Canonical has been busy working on boot speed with Ubuntu, but it can’t even compare with Windows 8 at this time. Even if I put my Linux machine to sleep or hibernate, it can’t even boot up as fast as Windows 8.

So, not threat for Linux, and I doubt at threat for Windows XP, Windows 7, or Mac OS X users. One thing people need to remember is that Mac OS X users and Linux users are proud people, and use either of those for a reason, and a majority of that time the reason is because Windows sucks. OK, sucks is a harsh word, but you chose to use Linux or Mac OS X for some reason.

I am interested in hearing if you think it poses a threat to Linux, so go ahead, leave a comment below.

Posted in Linux | Tagged , | 22 Responses
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