Computer History: Contributions Of Steve Jobs

Apple Computers, Inc. Headquarters

One Infinite Loop, Cupertino CA.
One Infinite Loop, Cupertino CA. | Source

Legacy of Steve Jobs and Apple Computers

Since the death of Steve Jobs from pancreatic cancer in his mid-50s during October 2011, the fact that he was and is a controversial figure has crystallized into a much more distinct picture.

Not everyone liked Steve Jobs, but he and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak did much to narrow the digital divide in America.

Greater numbers of people in the 2010s have access to the Internet since Apple and IBM computers became household items and heavily infiltrated schools, recreation centers, and libraries. In fact, some libraries are totally digital and have Macs as well as PCs, with books on download. The first such library was built in San Antonio, Texas.

Without Steve Jobs, millions of middle-schoolers would not have iPhones and maybe their parents would be glad for smaller phone costs.

At the same time, those parents would be working without the free GPS app that saves the cost of purchasing GPS units or individual machines that offer the dozens of features of an iPhone and its thousands of apps.

Daily life is much easier to navigate with iPhone and other SmartPhone technologies.

Technology From 1970 - 2020

What did we do without our current technologies back in the early 1970s? Traveling back to that lower-tech era is a shock similar to that assailed the characters in Back To the Future when they left the 1980s to visit 1950s America.

We stood in line at banks on Fridays in 1970 to deposit paper checks and if we did not keep enough money out of our accounts for the weekend, we'd have to wait until Monday (not all stores or service businesses accepted checks). With Chase Bank and others today, we can just snap a shot of our paychecks with an iPhone and they're added to an account - or we have Direct Deposit or Paypal or similar.

High long distance phone charges kept us from calling friends and relatives ithe 1970s. Today, many cell phone plans offer free calls around the US, Canada, and Mexico, with reduced rates elsewhere.

When we became lost while driving, we had to pull over and look at a map, unless we didn't have one. Then, we had to go to a gas/service station and look at the worn copy pinned to a wall in the office lobby. An alternative was to stop at a restaurant and ask directions, because good managers and crew knew their way around the area and could help. Oftentimes today, no one in a diner knows directions anywhere, but Siri on the iPhone does.

"The Harvesters" by Pieter Brueghel the Elder.
"The Harvesters" by Pieter Brueghel the Elder. | Source

Technology Booms With the Moon Landing

The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. - Luke 10:1-3 English Standard Version

The 1970s saw a technology boom after the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing that resulted in overall technology development that became its own industry. NASA planners as well as Apple, Inc. and early Microsoft talent were some of the few people that jumped ahead of the rest to harness and harvest assorted ideas and innovations.Additional tech-savvy people could have been used to help.

Today, NASA could not operate without computer systems and the Internet. IT and Aerospace Industry discoveries have upgraded medical practices, products, and equipment worldwide and made daily life easier, as shown by the NASA Spinoff Program.

In the 2010s, independent aerospace and IT companies and the NASA Commercial Crew of nearly 70 privately held businsses expect to be mining asteroids by mid-decade. Planetary Resources, Inc. acquired enough funding through crowd sourcing in just two days to produce 100 new space telescopes that will be freely used by the public, students, and teachers.

In the early 1970s, Steve Wozniak developed the Apple I computer and Steve Jobs suggested that they produce it for retail sales.

From Apple I (July 1, 1976) to iPhones

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Apple I circuit board, price in October 1976 = $666.66. Thsi unit is in the Computer History Museum in Mountain View CA.An Apple I that was created in a garage is in display at the Smithsonian Museum. The Apple I was sold in October 1976 for $666.66 as a circuit board, without a keyboard, monitor, or case. The owner of this Apple I added a keyboard & wood case.The Apple Lisa. Macintosh Powerbook 100, the first Apple laptop (100 Series)iPhone
Apple I circuit board, price in October 1976 = $666.66. Thsi unit is in the Computer History Museum in Mountain View CA.
Apple I circuit board, price in October 1976 = $666.66. This unit is in the Computer History Museum in Mountain View CA. | Source
Source
An Apple I that was created in a garage is in display at the Smithsonian Museum. The Apple I was sold in October 1976 for $666.66 as a circuit board, without a keyboard, monitor, or case. The owner of this Apple I added a keyboard & wood case.
An Apple I that was created in a garage is in display at the Smithsonian Museum. The Apple I was sold in October 1976 for $666.66 as a circuit board, without a keyboard, monitor, or case. The owner of this Apple I added a keyboard & wood case. | Source
The Apple Lisa.
The Apple Lisa. | Source
Macintosh
Macintosh | Source
Powerbook 100, the first Apple laptop (100 Series)
Powerbook 100, the first Apple laptop (100 Series) | Source
iPhone
iPhone | Source

Cell Phone Technology

From a vantage point in the 2010s, the 1970s look impossible to navigate. People had to use pay phone when not at home and they had to have coins in order to use them.

Telephone companies becan to accept credit cards for calls and finally, the cell phone resulted in pay phones becoming almost copletely obsolete.

Today, our iPhones are convenient and full of applications that can help us. They can also converse with each other:


Two iPhones Converse

Computers: The Early Years: Reflections of an Aging Programmer
Computers: The Early Years: Reflections of an Aging Programmer

The early years of Apple and Mac Computers come alive in this interesting book about computing units from approximately 1960 to the present..

 

Tribute To Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs (1955 - 2011) is also remembered as a devoted family man. He consistently followed his convictions, the tenets of Buddhism, and healthy diet, although pancreatic cancer took his life.

In just another year or so, he could have possibly benefited from transplantation of the Islets of Langerhans via IV injection into the pancreas; or, he might have been cured with extracullar (pig-bladder powder) matrix that can regrow an entire organ. Technologies sometimes take longer times to develop than we as individuals have left.

Jobs told college graduates to think for themselves, an admonition often made by Malcolm X as well. Jobs told college students to reject dogma and to follow their hearts and intuition. In that way, they might harvest more of the ideas that they might imagine and make them real for all of us.

Not everyone liked Steve Jobs, and some found him harsh in the workplace. At the same time, his contributions to technology and to the development of people to develop them is undeniable.


Apple logo before 1976, created by co-founder Ronald Wayne.
Apple logo before 1976, created by co-founder Ronald Wayne. | Source

I wasn't always there for them, and I wanted them to understand what I did. -- Steve Jobs on his decision to share his life publicly so that his children at home would know him better.

The Film: Jobs (2013)

Rating: PG-13 (for language)
Cast: Ashton Kutcher, Josh Gad, Dermot Mulroney and Matthew Modine
Director: Joshua Michael Stern
Running time: 2 hours, 7 minutes

Release Date: August 16, 2013

Jobs (2013) is an interesting film to see and see again, if only for Aston Kutcher's method acting contribution.

The actor did not immerse himself in the Steve Jobs persona quite as far as Daniel Day Lewis immersed himself in Abraham Lincoln - not so far as to answer to "Mr. Jobs" for months - but Kutcher captured the character that he pursued.

In interviews, Kutcher has talked about following the same diet as did Steve Jobs, wearing the same clothing styles, altering his posture to walk like Steve Jobs, etc.

Early reviews from major critics on the East and West Coasts say that the actor was successful in putting Steve Jobs up on the screen.

It will be interesting to see the 1970s, 80s, and 90s again.

© 2013 Patty Inglish

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Comments 14 comments

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Patty - I'll be the first in line for this movie. Thanks for the video clip. Being the history buff that I am this Contribution of Jobs and the History of the Computer made my day. We are fortunate to have lived in this era. Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and pinning + sharing. ~ Audrey


jainismus profile image

jainismus 3 years ago from Pune, India

I like such type non-political history. Thank you for sharing this information.


marwan asmar profile image

marwan asmar 3 years ago from Amman, Jordan

Very nice article, a good back look of how the world was without computers and how it has become. Computers have indeed made the world go around if we can use such a phrase. Our lives have become much easier due to our techno existence.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

What a difference Steve Jobs made! Hope I can see the movie. Thank you, Patty, for this summary of the great influence this man had on all our lives.


kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 3 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Patty great in-depth article on Steve Jobs and his great insight for technology and the next new gadget. Great tribute to a great visionary guy!

Vote up and more !!!


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California

Being a computer family we will have to see this movie. Heard Steve Jobs speak in 1995 at a computer convention. He was brilliant at marketing.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America Author

I bet that was an interesting experience!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America Author

Does anyone remember when computers were gigantic and kept in refrigerated rooms? I remember one tour as a child in a fieldtrip - it was cold in there!


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 3 years ago from California

My first computer class we toured the Fireman's Fund Insurance Company. There were reels of tapes with the diameter of 18inches. The room was a city block.

In those days you punched cards when you programed anything. Heaven help you if one got out of order, or you dropped the stack before the computer ran the batch.

As for refrigerated room, it could be said computer companies still have them in their labs.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America Author

I remember a huge computer room at Nationwide Insurance in Ohio that was very cold. I've heard people speak of those punch cards and even seen Christmas wreaths made from them. A retired keypunch operator I knew could not stop her fingers from punching even after work t punching those cards all day After retirement, her finger were still moving and trembling all the time.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

I remember those extremely large computer rooms, Patty, with 7-foot tall steel cabinets lining the walls with large computers that required ice-cold air conditioning to function. And the keypunch cards that were used.

This was an excellent re-enactment of those early days and Jobs contributions. Thank you for the deja vu. Voted Up of course!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 3 years ago from North America Author

Thank you, thank you, drbj! I felt the chill as I read your reminder of what those rooms were like. At the time, I wondered what would happen if the AC went out. I imagined smoke clouds and steam!


susi10 profile image

susi10 2 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

Very interesting hub, Patty! If it wasn't for Steve Jobs, who knows what kind of technologies we would have today, we would probably be still stuck with those massive computers. Jobs refined technology at a marvellous level and added style to his inventions so that today, technology is not only very functional in its software but also in its design too. I will definitely watch the film soon, it sounds like a great one. This hub is very well-written, well done.

Voted up +++ and shared.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 2 years ago from North America Author

@susi10 - Looking at Jobs's younger photos, I saw that Ashton Kutcher really had the resemblance as well. The film has a lot of information that I did not know before seeing it. Thanks for your great comments!

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