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Definition #134 Already Naked

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

Today is the birthday of Steve Jobs, born in San Francisco (1955) to two University of Wisconsin graduate students who placed him for adoption. Clara and Paul Jobs, an accountant and a machinist, adopted him when he was still a baby. Growing up, Jobs and his father would tinker with electronics in the garage.

He dropped out of college after a semester, went to India in search of spiritual enlightenment, returned a devout Buddhist, experimented with LSD, and then got a job with a video game maker, where he was in charge of designing circuit board for one of the company’s games. In 1976, at the age of 21, he co-founded Apple Computers, and less than a decade later, Apple unveiled the Macintosh computer. It was the first small computer to catch on with the public that used a graphical user interface, or GUI (sometimes pronounced “gooey”), where people could simply click on icons instead of typing in precise text commands.

The graphic user interface revolutionized computers, and it’s on almost all computers today. It’s on a whole lot of other devices as well, like fancy vending machines and digital household appliances and photocopying machines and airport check-in kiosks. And graphical user interface is what’s used with iPods, another of Apple’s wildly successful products.

Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003. He opted for a variety of alternative treatments, but eventually — in 2004 — he underwent surgery to remove the tumor. His health began to decline in 2009. He was 56.

Jobs once said, “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

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