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October 5th, 2011

Steve Jobs: 1955 – 2011

Today, Apple announced that Steve Jobs has died at age 56.

For our readership, there’s no need to explain Jobs’ life and career. Most visitors to this site will be well acquainted with his legacy.

Steve Jobs

Jobs on stage at Macworld Conference & Expo, San Francisco, January 11, 2005 (Wikipedia)

The FOSS community has always had mixed feelings about Mr. Jobs. On the one hand, there’s never been any denying that his place in tech history will be standing beside the likes of Edison, Westinghouse and Telsa. Not only did he completely change the public perception of computers and computing, his involvement with Disney and Pixar changed the movies, iPod and iTunes changed the way we obtain music and the iPhone changed our expectations of the telephone.

On the other hand, though, to us FOSSers he’s also always been one of “them,” one of the proprietary crowd, who was always willing to use any weapons at his disposal to protect his company’s intellectual property.

Despite the fact that he’d be more than willing to take Linux and Android down forever if that would help his bottom line with Apple products, he was also a hard man not to like. In many ways, he’s the only true “rock star” to come out of the personal computer revolution of the last 30 years or so. He was a decent guy, and there’s not much that’s more important than that when all is said and done.

That’s about all that we can say at this time. The newspapers, television and other web sites can all do a better job of recapping his life than we can, so we’ll leave that to them. We just want to express the sadness we feel and express our condolences to Mr. Jobs’ family, friends and coworkers.

The world of computing will be an emptier without him.

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

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