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Fascinating facts about Steve Jobs inventor
 of the Apple Personal Computer in 1976.
Steve Jobs
Inventor: Steve Paul Jobs
Steve Jobs photo courtesy Apple Computer Inc
Criteria: First practical. Entrepreneur.
Birth: February 24, 1955 in San Francisco, California
  .
Nationality: American
Steve Jobs innovative idea of a personal computer led him into revolutionizing the computer hardware and software industry. When Jobs was twenty one, he and a friend, Steve Wozniak, built a personal computer called the Apple. The Apple changed people's idea of a computer from a gigantic and inscrutable mass of vacuum tubes only used by big business and the government to a small box used by ordinary people. No company has done more to democratize the computer and make it user-friendly than Apple Computer Inc. Jobs software development for the Macintosh re-introduced windows interface and mouse technology which set a standard for all applications interface in software.

Steve Jobs,  was an unlikely candidate to have become the prototype of America's computer industry entrepreneur. While still in high school, Jobs attended lectures at the Hewlett-Packard electronics firm in Palo Alto, California. There he was hired as a summer employee. Another employee at Hewlett-Packard was Stephen Wozniak a recent dropout from the University of California at Berkeley. An engineering whiz with a passion for inventing electronic gadgets.  In 1972 Jobs graduated from high school and register at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. After dropping out of Reed after one semester, he hung around campus for a year, taking classes in philosophy and immersing himself in the counterculture. Early in 1974 Jobs took a job as a video game designer at Atari, Inc., a pioneer in electronic arcade recreation. Jobs was not interested in creating electronics and was nowhere near as good an engineer as Wozniak. He had his eye on marketability of electronic products and persuaded Wozniak to work with him toward building a personal computer.

Jobs sold his Volkswagen micro-bus and Wozniak sold his Hewlett-Packard scientific calculator, which raised $1,300 to start their new company. With that capital base and credit begged from local electronics suppliers, they set up their first production line. Jobs encouraged Wozniak to quit his job at Hewlett-Packard and become the vice president in charge of research and development of the new enterprise. Jobs came up with the name of their new company Apple in memory of a happy summer he had spent as an orchard worker in Oregon.

The accomplishments Steve Jobs had on the computer industry while at Apple was introducing the personal computer. Jobs was bona fide visionary, who created the personal computer, Apple, in his garage. The Apple changed people's view on operations a computer could perform. From computers performing bean counter operations and federal taxes to executing individual's personal business operations. Jobs lead a hardware revolution by reducing the size of computers to small boxes.

His development of the Macintosh re-introduced Xerox's innovative idea of user-friendly interface using a mouse. The Macintosh used a windows type interface which contained picture-like icons representing a function or a program to be executed. The user would use a mouse to move a cursor onto the icon and press a mouse button to execute the function or program. Companies witness the success of the Macintosh's user-friendly interface and copied its style to develop their software.

On September 12, 1985 Steve rose in the board meeting and said in a flay, unemotional voice, "I've been thinking a lot and it's time for me to get on with my life. It's obvious that I've got to do something. I'm thirty years old."  Resigning as chairman, Steve said he intended to leave the company to start a new venture to address the higher education market.

After leaving Apple, Jobs' new revolutionary ideas were not in hardware but in software of the computer industry. In 1989 Jobs tried to do it all over again with a new company called NextStep. He planned to build the next generation of personal computers that would put Apple to shame. It did not happen. After eight long years of struggle and after running through some $250 million, NextStep closed down its hardware division in 1993. Jobs realized that he was not going to revolutionize the hardware. He turned his attention to the software side of the computer industry.

Jobs envisioned that NextStep software will revolutionize the computer industry by its operating system software which incorporates a hot technology. It's called object-oriented programming (OOP), and OOP lets programmers write complex software programs in a fraction of the usual time. NeXT Software was sold to Apple Computer in February 1997.

Steve Jobs was Chairman and CEO of Pixar, the Academy-Award-winning computer animation studios which he co-founded in 1986. Pixar's first feature film, Toy Story, was released by Walt Disney Pictures in November 1995 and became the highest domestic grossing film released that year and the third highest grossing animated film of all time.

Mr. Jobs is currently the interim chairman and CEO of Apple Computers for a salary of $1 per year.  Steve still lives with his wife and three children near where he grew up in the apricot orchards which later became known as Silicon Valley.

TO LEARN MORE

RELATED INFORMATION:
The Entrepreneur    from The Great Idea Finder
Invention of the Personal Computer  from The Great Idea Finder
Steve Wozniak Biography  from The Great Idea Finder
History of Computing   from The Great Idea Finder

ON THE BOOKSHELF:

Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World's Most Colorful Company
by Owen Linzmayer / Paperback: 323 pages / No Starch Press; 2 edition (January, 2004)
Apple Confidential examines the tumultuous history of America’s best-known Silicon Valley start-up – from its legendary founding almost 30 years ago, through a series of disastrous executive decisions, to its return to profitability, and including Apple’s recent move into the music business
Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer That Changed Everything
by Steven Levy / Paperback: 328 pages / Penguin Books; Reissue edition (June 1, 2000)
The creation of the Mac in 1984 catapulted America into the digital millennium, captured a fanatic cult audience, and transformed the computer industry into an unprecedented mix of technology, economics, and show business.
The Second Coming of Steve Jobs
by Alan Deutschman / Paperback: 304 pages / Broadway Books; 1st Trade edition (2001)

His ultimate absolution with a very successful reclamation of the Apple crown. It's a revealing account of a singular individual during a remarkable time.
American Computer Pioneers
by Mary Northrup / Library Binding - 112 pages (July 1998) / Enslow Publishers, Inc.
This entry in the Collective Biographies series covers major players in the development of the computer, from Herman Hollerith, the inventor of punch cards, through the inventors of ENIAC and UNIVAC, as well as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Marc Andreessen of Netscape. Each section, approximately ten pages long, briefly profiles the subject's early life, then moves on to cover their contribution to the industry.


ON THE WEB:
Steve Paul Jobs
The man and his vision from the early days up to 1994. Great insight on his years at Apple Computer.
(URL: hi.cs.vt.edu/~history/Jobs.html)
Steve Jobs
A timeline that covers the years from 1955 to 1996.
(URL: www.sfgate.com/net/projects/stevejobstimeline.html)
Apple Bio of Steve Jobs
Steve grew up in the apricot orchards which later became known as Silicon Valley, and still lives there with his wife and three children.
(URL: www.apple.com/pr/bios/jobs.html)
PIXAR Animation Studios
Pixar is an Academy Award-winning computer animation studio with the technical, creative and production capabilities to create a new generation of animated feature films, merchandise and other related products. The first such film, Toy Story, was created and produced by Pixar and is distributed by Walt Disney Pictures.
(URL: www.pixar.com/)
Apple II WebRing
The Apple II Web Ring, index page.
(URL: www.syndicomm.com/a2web/a2webring.html)


VIDEO:
Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999)
Color, Closed-captioned, Dolby, (VHS) NTSC / Rated: NR
Starring: Anthony Michael Hall, Noah Wyle (as Steve Jobs) / Director: Martyn Burke
Toy Story (1995)
VHS / Disney, Pixar / Animated, Color, Closed-captioned, (VHS) NTSC / Rated G
Filmmaker John Lasseter's story is universal and magical: what do toys do when they're not played with? From Pixar and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures.


DID YOU KNOW?:

  • Mr. Jobs purchased the computer division of Lucasfilm, Ltd. in 1986 and incorporated it as an independent company under the name Pixar.
  • He was co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of NeXT Software, Inc. NeXT Software was sold to Apple Computer in February 1997.
  • Before founding NeXT, Mr. Jobs co-founded and was chairman of Apple Computer, Inc. He guided Apple as it grew to a $2 billion company, during which time he co-designed the Apple II and led the development, manufacturing and marketing of the Macintosh and LaserWriter printer.
  • In recognition of his pioneering work in technology, he was awarded the National Technology Medal by President Reagan in 1985 and the Jefferson Award for Public Service in 1987.
  • In 1989, he was named Entrepreneur of the Decade by Inc. magazine.
  • Mr. Jobs is currently the interim chairman and CEO of Apple Computers.
  • On April 12, 1983, patent D268,584 issued to Steve Jobs for a Personal Compiter
Reference Sources in BOLD Type This page revised October 11, 2006.
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