Rest In Peace, Steve Jobs

One after another, the giants of online are showing their respect tonight, on the news of Steve’s untimely (but not entirely unexpected) death at only 56. He was truly an inspirational figure – for the employees of Apple, for the consumers enraptured with his company’s innovative ideas, and for all the world’s entrepreneurs. Selfishly, I will always regret never having a chance now to meet him and to shake the hand of someone whose work has so greatly affected my life and the lives of so many others, and not just by building widgets that are bought and sold but by being true to his convictions, living his life with purpose and stretching his imagination – and ours with it.

Media moguls, employees, industry leaders and even the president of the USA have stopped what they were doing tonight to pay their respects. It’s so rare for anyone in the public eye as much as Steve Jobs was to be so well-loved and respected by so many, but Steve seems to break that mold by having been the rare person that was as earnestly ambitious as he was brilliant and humble.

The media world, the tech industry, Silicon Valley, and all of us who aspire to change our little corner of the world with our finite time in this life will all greatly miss you, Steve, and I hope we all honor your memory by accomplishing even a fraction of what you have.

Apple’s homepage tonight:




Tweets from the leaders, CEO’s, politicians, and some of Steve’s fellow world-changers:
Arianna Huffington tweets remembrances of Steve Jobs
Katie Couric tweets remembrances of Steve Jobs
Arnold Schwarzenegger tweets remembrances of Steve Jobs

And the seemingly-endless outpouring of messages tagged #ThankYouSteve tweeted by millions around the world: #ThankYouSteve on Twitter.

Some of Steve Jobs’ inspirational words over the years:

  • “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”
  • “Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.”
  • “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”
  • “Only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, & only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
  • “Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. ”
  • “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. … Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”

P.S.: I read about Steve’s passing on my iPhone and composed this message on my MacBook. Steve – I owe a lot to your genius.

“iTunes Plus” is official

As I had mentioned previously, today Apple announced that EMI’s full catalog is available via iTunes with no crippling DRM, in higher quality, for a slightly higher cost. A great step forward for the online music industry towards giving consumers what they want (to truly own what they buy, instead of renting it) while still compensating and promoting artists and labels. Props to them and to EMI for taking the plunge!


Apple iTunes goes DRM-free

Big news in the digital music world today, as Steve Jobs announced Apple is taking the first steps to a more open digital music industry. The entire EMI music catalog will be available on iTunes starting May 1 with no DRM – that means no burning, backing up or any other restrictions on the downloaded tracks. They’ll also be higher quality – 256k vs 128k AAC’s – as well as higher in price – $1.29 US vs $0.99.

Several things are great about this:

  • (1) Online music purchases finally give you the same rights as a consumer you’ve been enjoying with CD’s for years: make a copy for your car, take some tracks to work, use any player you want, and yes, make a mix for a friend. As the AAC format (when not locked by iTunes) is open-source and fairly universal, the only limits to where you can take your music are technological, not ideological, and as we all know the technological limits get wider every day.
  • (2) There’s an upgrade option for people with existing iTunes collections: pay the $0.30 difference and get the track in 256k, DRM-free. A less-consumer-oriented company would have asked you to repurchase tracks in the new format at full value (I’m looking at you, Sony) but that’s not how Steve Jobs rolls.
  • (3) Full albums in the new high-quality, no-restrictions format will be the same price as the album was before. Music companies are desperately trying to save the full-album-purchase idea in the face of single-track ala carte shopping, and those of us who still buy whole albums will benefit from that desperation.
  • (4) This will first put the pressure on the rest of Apple’s music company providers to follow suit. Then, it will put the pressure on other online sellers to jump on the bandwagon in the name of consumer choice (and, arguably, higher margins on track sales).

So, hang on to that iTunes gift certificate a little longer… or buy the tracks you’ve been wanting now and upgrade (and unlock) them in a month. Either way, chalk up one victory for the consumer, and one for Steve Jobs and Apple.

Apple is still up to something

Posted at Cult of Mac last night is the rumor, credited to “an old friend, who is very highly placed in the Apple world”, that Steve J’s keynote tuesday was supposed to include some other, new, even more exciting goodies that were cut at the last minute due to Intel Core Duo chip supply. It sounds as though there will be even hotter MacBook Pro’s and something “much cooler than that. Much cooler” coming down the Apple pipe once Intel fully spins up production. A tablet Mac? Maybe… Inkwell seems underused up to this point. An Intel-based MacMini media center? That would be the next logical step for Front Row and if i were Steve (i do, incidentally, own enough black sweaters to traverse a 4-day MacWorld without recycling, if the job should become available) with the success of the Mini and the clamour for a home theater-friendly version, i wouldn’t want to announce one unless i was sure all the tires on the bus were turning.

Anyway, i don’t have any high ranking friends at Apple so i’m not in a position to hypothesize much beyond the obvious, but i’ll be watching and i expect to be wowed. I hope it’s not something disappointing like slamming iTunes into a crappy Moto phone.

Money To Burn

At home working on photos from the weekend. Sooo nice to have my computer back, it’s been a long two weeks! Big thanks to Mom for helping out with the parts! I’m also very appreciative that Apple did a decent job engineering this thing, and it’s actually survived the rigors of my use for the last 2.5 years, and hopefully will last a couple more, as it’s going to be at least that long before i can afford a new one!

Josh stopped by this afternoon to pick up a bunch of mail i’d been stockpiling for him, so we talked a bit about our respective careers and who’s hot on the E! channel (Brooke Burke). He’s off to play soccer in the sunshine… i’m back at the keyboard talkin to you’all. 😉

Have a new webcam to try out now that my computer works, too. Wasn’t a total splurge, i bought one for Mom and then needed someone for her to video chat with. 😉 And we’ll save on long distance! It’s an investment, see? You see how i rationalize the money right out of my wallet and right into Amazon’s bank account? Neat, huh?

Met Patrick for lunch yesterday for a weekend recap. We’re both so pumped from the show and the weekend that we’re motivated to hit up more events this summer. Unfortunately the next big one falls on the weekend i’m in montana to watch Tim get married, but that actually would probably be too soon for us to plan (and me to save up any spending money) anyway. So we’ll shoot for the ones in august. Now i just need to win the lotto tonite so i can buy the Nismo injectors, HKS intercoolers and JWT dual intake i need to win the next show!

If you’ve got money to burn, you should order some of this Japanese ice cream. It comes in lots of yummy flavors, like Corn, Crab, Ox Tongue, Horse Flesh, Wasabi, Chicken Wing, Garlic and Curdled Bean. And if that doesn’t just send you running for your credit card and a spoon, here’s some more. Enjoy! 🙂

One last thing. Check out this photo Walper took of a car show model posing with my Z. Pretty cool, huh? 🙂

Also, doctors can prescribe themselves drugs … right?

So 2004 is the 20th anniverary of the Macintosh – remember, the 1984 commerical? Apple spiced up that ad with a new version incorporating an iPod, just cause they’re funny and weird like that. Steve Jobs also had a few interesting things to say about the last 20 years and where he sees Apple going. He’s definitely been good for the company, bringing his artistic vision and big dreams back to an organization that was for a while there run entirely by accountants. The reading on this subject that has consumed me the most are the anecdotes by Andy Hertzfeld on about his daily adventures in the first years of Macintosh. His stories about the challenges, victories and comraderie of the original Mac team totally sucked me in. Good reading, even if you’re not a total Mac-head. 😉

Apparently there’s some sort of football-related event this sunday, so i’m headed up to Jason & Christie’s to partake in mass quantities of junk food and a hollow homage to an over-merchandised sporting event. Will probably spend saturday getting high on carb cleaner in Steph’s garage under the guise of cleaning car parts. Still have some work to do on a web contract job, too, hopefully this weekend will bring some time for that, and some internet errands and backup disc burning.

Also, i’m apparently roped into shopping for a broadband ISP for Mom and Dad, which doesn’t sound too hard until you recall that they live in amish country and most of their neighbors spend more time raising barns, shoeing horses and churning their own butter than surfing the internet. The only broadband in town, BackwaterDSL, is only open for tech support before the morning milking and after the dinner bell, so they’ve been a bit difficult to reach. I think someone’s been leaving the tin can off the hook. The customer support rep told Mom – as he was whittling wood, no doubt – that she needs a $400 Cisco router to make thier DSL compatible with her iMac. That’s bunk, says me, so now i’m in charge of choosing and configuring network hardware from 500 miles away. I really should have gone to med school instead – nobody asks doctors to perform surgery over the telephone.