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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Steve Jobs, This Is Your Life (Part 1)

We may have different opinions about the late Steve Jobs. Some see him as someone who created expensive products made cheaply in factories where workers’ rights were abused; while others look up to him as the man who revolutionized computer technology. Whichever your opinions about Jobs may be, we cannot argue the fact that he led a life of perseverance and the success that came from it, not to mention the legacy he left.

Jobs was born in San Francisco out of wedlock and was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs of Mountain View, California. He learned later in life about his biological parents after hiring a private detective to track them down: Abdulfattah John Jandali is a Syrian Muslim immigrant to the United States and currently a vice president of a hotel-casino in Reno Nevada, while Joanne Schieble (later Simpson), is a speech language pathologist. Although Simpson’s parents did not approve of her marrying a Syrian, which Jandali claimed was the cause of putting Steve up for adoption, the two eventually married and produced Job’s biological sister, novelist Mona Simpson whom he enjoyed a close relationship since they met as adults in 1986. Jobs never contacted Jandali and never discussed openly about him.

While Jobs was in high school, he frequently attended after-school lectures at the Hewlett-Packard Company in Palo Alto, California. He, along with friend Steve Wozniak, was later hired in HP as a summer employee. In 1972, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Although he dropped out after just one semester, Jobs continued auditing classes at Reed, which means he never received grades or credit. Jobs returned to California in the fall of 1974 and began attending meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club with Wozniak. He worked as a technician at Atari, which at the time produced popular video games, with an intent to save enough money for a spritual retreat to India. He was able to make the trip and came back as a Buddhist.

On April Fool’s Day 1976, Jobs and Wozniak founded Apple Computer after they created a new computer circuit board. A third co-founder, Ronald Wayne, left the company after less than two weeks. Their first product, the Apple I computer, went on sale that summer for $666.66. A year later, Apple was incorporate by its founders and a group of venture capitalists. The company then unveiled Apple II, the first personal computer with color graphics. It became so successful, Apple’s revenue reached $1 million.

Job’s relationship with painter Chrisann Brennan bore a daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, in 1978. Jobs denied paternity, claiming he was sterile. Lisa was raised on welfare for two years, but was later acknowledge by Jobs as his daughter. She grew up to become a graduate of Harvard University and work as a writer.

Jobs visited the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in 1979 and saw the commercial potetial of its mouse-drive graphical user interface, which led to the creation of the Macintosh. A year later, Apple went public and was able to raise $110 million, making it one of the biggest initial public offerings yet. Apple then reached its first billion in revenue in 1982.

Apple unveiled the Lisa computer in 1983 with much fanfare, only to be pulled off the shelves two years later. It was also this year when Jobs lured John Sculley away from Pepsico Inc. to serve as Apple’s CEO, where Jobs famously asked: “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” The first Macintosh computer went on sale in 1984 with an iconic commercial inspired from the novel “1984″ shown during the Super Bowl.

Life was not all roses in Apple during the mid-1980s. An industry-wide sales slump during 1984 caused a deterioration in Job’s working relationship with Sculley, which caused an internal power struggle and significant layoffs because of disappointing sales. At the end of May 1985, Sculley fired Jobs from his duties as head of the Macintosh division. Wozniak also resigns from Apple that year.

Source: Telegraph and Wikipedia

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