WWS Technology Wiki

by Sam G.

Steve Jobs at a keynote address.

Steve Jobs was born on February 24, 1955. He was given up for adoption, and Paul and Clara Jobs adopted him. Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Oregon, but soon dropped out. In 1975, he became a member of the Homebrew Computer Club, where he met Steve Wozniak. The next year, Jobs and Wozniak created the Apple Computer Company. Their goal was to create a computer that could be used by individuals (as opposed to big corporations). In 1977, they launched the Apple II, which is generally considered to have been the first personal computer. In 1984, Apple introduced the Macintosh--this computer utilized icons and a cursor controlled by a mouse. It was not very successful, and Jobs resigned soon after. Jobs went on to create another computer company, NeXT, which was also a failure, and ironically was bought by Apple later on. It should also be noted that Jobs was involved with the animation company Pixar .

The ever-present Apple earbuds.

In 1996, Jobs returned to Apple and became CEO the following year. Apple released the iMac in 1998, an all-in-one computer that contained the monitor and the CPU in the same enclosure. The iMac’s success marked a turning point for the company. From there, Jobs led the company to release numerous hits: the iPod in 2001, the iTunes Store in 2003, the iPhone in 2007, and the iPad in 2010, all of which have been updated on various occasions. During this time, however, Jobs went on medical leave several times due to pancreatic cancer and a hormonal imbalance. In August 2011, Jobs resigned as Apple’s CEO. He said, “I have always said if there came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.”

An iPhone showing a maps application.

The technological innovations of Steve Jobs and Apple have fundamentally changed our expectations for technology. A key innovation of Apple was the marriage of aesthetics and utility—not only do all of Apple’s products look great, but they also function in a powerful and seamless way. Some might call Apple’s product integration too proprietary, but the company has managed to design everything so seamlessly that it does not matter. The iPod, the iPhone , and the iPad have spawned numerous competitors and imitators. These devices have created what is referred to as the “Post-PC Era,” an age defined especially by the prominence of touch-screen input and scaled-down software on increasingly portable devices. Apple has made some controversial moves, such as eliminating an optical drive on certain products and being overly secretive about their internal operations. But this sort of bold thinking allowed Steve Jobs to make Apple a success—who knows what innovations are yet to come.

Works Cited

Rosenwald, Michael S. "Steve Jobs Resigns as Apple CEO." The Washington Post. 24 Aug. 2011. Web. 18 Sept. 2011. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/steve-jobs-resigning-from-apple/2011/08/24/gIQAmwwPcJ_story.html>.

Schneider, Laura. "Steve Jobs - Bio for Apple Founder Steve Jobs - Information about Steve Jobs." About.com Tech Careers. Web. 18 Sept. 2011. <http://jobsearchtech.about.com/od/historyoftechindustry/a/SteveJobs.htm>.

Shah, Agam. "Steve Jobs at Apple: A Timeline." InfoWorld. 25 Aug. 2011. Web. 18 Sept. 2011. <http://www.infoworld.com/t/information-technology-careers/steve-jobs-apple-timeline-170790>.