iFans Reflect on Vision of Apple Co-Founder Steve Jobs

Technology Pioneer Dies at 56, a Day After Announcement of iPhone 4S

The newest generation of Apple users view the late Steve Jobs as someone always at the forefront of technology, and some say that he even changed their lives.

“The first computer I ever touched was an Apple,” said David Walker, a computer programmer and resident of Arlington, Va., who made a stop at the Apple Retail Store in Georgetown.

“Had it not been for Steve Jobs, I might have never gone into the technical field,” Walker said. “His vision and ingenuity is something that has inspired me ever since I was 15 years old.”

Jobs died Wednesday, Apple Inc. reported. Just a day after Apple’s announcement of the iPhone 4S.

The former CEO resigned from his position at Apple in August, because of declining health. He had been diagnosed with a rare form of pancreatic cancer and had undergone a liver transplant. Jobs, 56, is survived by his wife, Laurene, and four children.

Steve Jobs, recognizable by his black turtlenecks, co-founded Apple in 1976 when he was just 21 years old. Jobs, the mastermind behind the iPhone, iPad, and Pixar, was thought of as an innovator and icon in the technology world.

“I always felt like Jobs knew what we wanted next,” said Jason Marks, 22, a student at Georgetown University and another customer at the Apple store in Georgetown. “When the iPod first came out, I was 12. I remember being so amazed by the fact that I could have all of my music with me with this small device.”

During an interview with John Markoff for the New York Times, Jobs discussed his early career decisions. Jobs dropped out of Reed’s College in Oregon after one semester. He spent some time working at Atari, but quit soon after. Instead, he opted to backpack around India, while experimenting with psychedelic drugs, which he later attributed to his creative visionary.

Jobs and his friend, Steve Woznick, started Apple in his parent’s garage in 1976. Their first product, the Apple I, was an early form of a computer that had no keyboard or monitor, and required buyers to assemble it at home. The second product, the Apple II computer, started a personal computer revolution. After the release of the Macintosh line, Apple fired Jobs in 1984.

Jobs then started NeXT Computer, which he saw as the next step in computing, but it didn’t do as well as he had hoped.

His next success came when Jobs purchased The Graphics Group, later to be known as Pixar Animation Studios, from Lucas. Pixar’s fame came with the release of “Toy Story” in 1995, and still continues to grow to this day.

In 1996, Apple bought NeXT, which brought Jobs back to the company, where he introduced the iMac, reigniting the popularity of Apple products. Over the years, Jobs developed products like the iPod, iPhone and iPad, which have changed the way people use and consume media and technology.

In 2004, things took a turn for the worst for Jobs, when he announced his cancer diagnosis. Jobs took a leave from Apple to address his health. After seemingly successful treatments, Jobs returned to his position as CEO at Apple, but his health would continue to decline.

In 2009, Jobs took a leave of absence from Apple for the liver transplant. With the success of the transplant, Jobs’ prognosis was good.

However, Apple granted Jobs a medical leave of absence earlier this year in January. Tim Cook, who had stepped in for Jobs a few times over the years, acted in his absence.

The uncertainty about Jobs’ future with Apple came to an end when he resigned as CEO on August 24.

In his resignation letter Jobs wrote: “I have always said if there ever 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.”

With the death of Jobs, many hope that Apple won’t fall short of the dreams of its founder.

“Even though he’s gone, I hope that those that are in charge now can continue his legacy,” Jason Marks, the Apple customer, said.