Where were you when you found out about Steve Jobs?

Where were you when you found out about Steve Jobs?

Summary: The passing of Steve Jobs represents that he was more than just an executive, but an icon in both technology and American history.

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TOPICS: Apple
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Where were you when you found out that Steve Jobs passed away? That could soon be a question bounced around for decades, much like asking someone where they were on September 11th, during massive natural disasters or other pivotal points in history.

[Image Gallery: Memorial for Steve Jobs at Apple Store in SF]

That could go to show that Jobs was someone much more than just Apple's co-founder and former chief executive officer.  It even reveals that he was more than just a pop culture icon, which could be attributed to the raving fans at product announcement keynotes and his signature black turtleneck.

See also: Steve Jobs dies at 56 (roundup)

More: Violet Blue: The spontaneous San Francisco Apple Store Memorial for Steve Jobs | Perlow: Jobs made me think different | Farber: He thought different | “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” | CBS News: Wozniak on Jobs | CNET: A Jobs timeline | ZDNet Steve Jobs memories | CNET roundup | Buzz Out Loud Live | Techmeme | Apple statement

But pop culture is fleeting. No, Jobs was more than all of that. He will always be remembered as an icon in the history of technology as well as the United States, and even beyond those borders.

So where was I? If I had stayed online for five minutes longer following the end of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's public cloud keynote (or actually, rant about Salesforce), then I would have been at Oracle OpenWorld, surrounded by 45,000 attendees in the technology industry finding out just around the same time. That would have made for a much different experience.

Instead, I left as soon as that was over, making for a more personal moment to news that touched the world. About an hour after leaving, I heard that inescapable, and now signature, sound of a new text message on an iPhone. The message from a friend simply read, "OMG." Thinking that if she couldn't explain what the problem was in the same message, I figured it could wait. As I was in transit, only about 20 to 30 minutes later did I end up responding asking what was the matter.

She replied within a few minutes with a simple answer: "Steve Jobs."

And then I knew. It's unfortunate that was all she had to say. But as Jobs' tragic battle with cancer was so public and given his recent resignation as Apple's CEO, no explanation was necessary.

More so, take a look at this AP interview with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak:

It's a strange feeling to suddenly mourn the loss of someone you've never met. But as I looked around my belongings -- a MacBook Pro, an iPhone, and an iPad (along with another first-gen iPhone somewhere else and a broken iPod mini in the closet) -- I realized that this man has more than just touched my life, but rather shaped it to a certain extent. Through that, in a sense you could say that I did know him. But with those products and their eventual success, maybe he knew all of us better.

So in that moment when I heard the second iPhone text chime and looked down, the world instantly felt a bit emptier.

Where were you when you found out about Steve Jobs?

Topic: Apple

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17 comments
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  • Where were you when John F. Kennedy was shot?

    Were you standing on the 'gravelly knoll'? Not born yet? A twinkle in your parents' eyes? I think so...<br>I understand how this makes people sad but, let's remember that we are all mortal and making a person more than he is borders on cultism.<br><br>This Man was clearly a contributor to Society and will be remembered for that.<br><br>But he wasn't the President of the United States of America.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz *Your
    • RE: Where were you when you found out about Steve Jobs?

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate

      Wow. I just agreed with Dietrich T. Schmitz.
      WebSiteManager
    • RE: Where were you when you found out about Steve Jobs?

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate
      Well said.
      timiteh
    • RE: Where were you when you found out about Steve Jobs?

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate

      Exactly.

      When SJ resigned, David Gewirtz said: "There is no living American with a more fascinating story or who has directly touched our lives and our futures as much as Jobs"

      The [i]first[/i] thing that popped into my head was, "we just elected the first Black POTUS. He is the most powerful man in the world, and the leader of the free world. His decisions and actions will affect our lives and the lives of future generations to come... particularly w/ respect to healthcare reform and economic measures being taken place. Of which the financial implications reach far past the US borders, and affect the rest of the world... which we have seen in Europe these last few weeks."

      I'd say Barack's story is a bit more fascinating, and has a bit more influence the world.

      No offense or disrepect to Steve Jobs. Yes, he contributed greatly to technology and our world over several decades. And it is sad that the man lost his battle so early in life. Yes, he should be remembered as a pioneer, but not as a Messiah.

      "where were you when you found out about Steve Jobs?"

      Seriously, this has become ridiculous.
      UrNotPayingAttention
      • I cried when Barack Obama became President

        @chmod 777
        It was so long overdue and he is a symbol to so many of 'hope'.
        Hope (not despair).
        Let's all keep our hope that things will get better for everyone.
        Dietrich T. Schmitz *Your
    • RE: Where were you when you found out about Steve Jobs?

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate

      I'll endorse your sentiments as well. At 39, the (national) events that are etched in my memory include both shuttle disasters, Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II getting shot, the fall of the Berlin Wall, 9/11 and 2008 election night coverage when it was announced Barack Obama had won. I can't imagine adding the passing of Steve Jobs to the very short list of events in which I felt I was watching history in the making.
      jgm@...
  • RE: Where were you when you found out about Steve Jobs?

    Having dinner at Captain D's while listening to political talk radio on my iPhone 4, when the host interrupted the broadcast with an AP breaking news announcement first it was about Sarah Palin not running for president then minits
    later another AP announcement about Steve Jobs passing away ???
    Jagged59
  • RE: Where were you when you found out about Steve Jobs?

    I was sleeping and dreaming of little sheeps [/sarcasm]
    Seriously is there nothing more useful to post then those pointless and endless questions regarding Steve Jobs ?
    I know that most of you bloggers are Apple and especially Steve Jobs fans but come on.
    Let the guy R.I.P.
    timiteh
  • Who is Steve Jobs?

    I don't care then and I don't care now.
    ZenithY
    • I don't care then and I didn't care now.

      That was now, this is then.
      ldo17
  • RE: Where were you when you found out about Steve Jobs?

    Exited the subway and waiting for the bus in Queens,New York. Next bus was 20 minutes so out of bordom I though I would peer into the bar to see the score of baseball playoff game. TV had CNN with the "Breaking News" crawl.

    Jobs had a more direct effect on more people. Presidents have a much more indirect effect. Other parties share important roles with Presidents in creating effects for masses of people
    edkollin
  • RE: Where were you when you found out about Steve Jobs?

    Home, just finished exercising when my friend on the other side of the country sent me a txt message about it.
    LoverockDavidson_-24231404894599612871915491754222
  • RE: Where were you when you found out about Steve Jobs?

    I was coming off the soccer field from my 12 yr. old daughter's practice. I was in front of my Apple IIe computer playing a game or watching it compile a UCSD Pascal program I'd written for a class at Ga. Tech. I was in front of my Macintosh SE messing around with MacinTalk or doing some school work. I was enjoying my iPhone 3GS, the music, the apps, the 'Net. I was in all of those places and I started to try to explain to my daughter who Jobs was and what he did, but can a 12 yr. old understand that? Maybe later in life, but I gave up and just kept it to myself. I think a lot of people were in some of those places and more. RIP Steve.
    GTGeek88
  • RE: Where were you when you found out about Steve Jobs?

    I'm amazed at the comments above. Steve Jobs' impact on the world is immeasurable. His never-ending quest for excellence and amazing technical intuition served as a critical catalyst to an industry that reshaped the world and increased the US and world economies.

    The world-wide-web was developed on a Next machine. The Internet was something people mostly did at work until they could carry it in their pocket and do things like orchestrate freedom movements in oppressive countries.

    Steve Jobs helped shape the digital revolution and set the standard for achievement. He didn't do it alone, but he inspired his team and his competitors, and the world benefitted greatly.

    I heard the news while working on my MacBook Pro, sitting next to my iPad, and iPhone. And the for the first time, I wished for an error on my Apple products.
    mdudar
    • RE: Where were you when you found out about Steve Jobs?

      @mdudar <br><br>{sigh}<br>Your choice of hardware clearly illustrates why you're 'amazed at the comments above'.<br><br>First, Steve Jobs' impact on the world is <i>NOT</i> immeasurable. He was not Jesus Christ, Muhammad, Moses, Constantine, Socrates, Aristotle, Gutenburg, Pastuer, Da Vinci, the US Founding Fathers, or whoever else the media seems to be so drunk on crowning him as.<br><br>The technology that Steve Jobs <i>helped</i> create, already existed, in every case. o/s gui, networking, mp3 players, smartphones, tablet computers? All he did was help improve them.<br><br>And yes, he helped improve them greatly. But they still existed, and the improvement that he has been so widely acknowledged with this past week was also at the genius and hard work of alot of other individuals, Jonathan Ive and Steve Wozniak to name two.<br><br>Second, the WWW being 'developed on a Next machine' wasn't because of Steve Jobs. It was because that was what the architects were using at the time. Steve Jobs had nothing to do with it.<br><br>Third, the internet was certainly <i>NOT</i> just "something people mostly did at work until they could carry it in their pocket and do things like orchestrate freedom movements in oppressive countries." Unless you're saying the internet did not become mainstream until 2007 when the iPhone was released? is that what you're suggesting?<br><br>You are correct, SJ did help shape the digital revolution, but the digital revolution is still in it's infancy stage. Look how far we've come from the industrial revolution, when Henry Ford brought about the assembly line. Would you call his impact on the world 'immeasurable'? No, because it was the next step of progression for the technology at hand at that time. Such is the case with Steve Jobs. He helped facilitate process improvement. And, I'm sorry to tell you this, but that is about it.<br><br>What... Do you think all innovation is going to stop because he's no longer with us?<br><br>'Immeasurable' impact on the world is something that stays with a culture, society, population for 200 to 2000 years. Not something that will be outdated in 2 years. And, as modern computing (and Steve Jobs) has shown us time and time again, that is about the life cycle of anything Steve Jobs had a hand in.
      UrNotPayingAttention
  • In-Between My Second And Third Slice Of Toast

    I had just put the sugar into the coffee. I normally give it three stirs with the spoon, but I had only got partway through the second stir when I got the txt. I still can see in my mind's eye the way that melting dollop of butter looked as it slowly sagged on the toast slice, and the sudden, unexpected <I>chik</I> as the toaster popped, making me drop the teaspoon into the second slot on the toast-rack. It's a memory that will be with me forever.
    ldo17
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