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A Moment of Silence

This week the world lost an American computer genius. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 56.

Apple logo with silhouette of Steve Jobs in the “bite.” Designed by a 19-year-old student in Hong Kong.

Jobs created the first Apple computer in his parents’ garage in California and then built up the Apple Company from nothing (twice!). In 1983, Time Magazine called Jobs “The Maestro of the Micro.” In 2011, The New York Times called him the “Thomas Edison and Henry Ford of his time.”

Jobs himself said in 1990, “The computer is the most remarkable tool we’ve ever come up with. It’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.”

In a departure from my regular focus on just one computer issue, I am paying tribute this week to Jobs by appreciating the big picture. Please join me.

Macintosh. iMac. iPod. iPhone. iPad. These devices have changed the way we live, and we have Apple — and Jobs as its visionary — to thank for these beautifully designed, brilliantly engineered, graphically pleasing, commercially affordable devices whose breadth of functionality is surpassed only by ease of use.

Genius.

Even if you don’t own an Apple device, please know that the Windows-based computer you are using right now, and the smartphone you may have in your pocket, were influenced by Apple ingenuity.

Thank you, Steve Jobs, for your invaluable inventions. Because of you our world is a more connected place. We hope that your brilliance will live on at Apple.

A friend of mine, an avid Apple user, posted this graphic on her Facebook page, along with her Apple-like caption:

iSad

A moment of silence — or perhaps a bike ride — is appropriate.