10 products that defined Steve Jobs’ career

Steve Jobs

Now that Steve Jobs has retired as CEO of Apple, let’s use Apples Time Capsule and take a look at the 10 of most significant products created under his direction.

1. Apple I (1976) — Apple’s first product was a computer for hobbyists and engineers. Steve Wozniak designed the computer, while Jobs acquired the funding and handled the marketing.

2. Apple II (1977) — One of the first successful personal computers, the Apple II was designed as a mass-market product rather than something for engineers or enthusiasts. It was still largely Wozniak’s design. Several upgrades for the model followed, and the product line continued until 1993.

3. Lisa (1983) — Jobs’ visit to Xerox Corp.’s research center in Palo Alto inspired him to start work on the first commercial computer with a graphical user interface, with icons, windows and a cursor controlled by a mouse. It was the foundation for today’s computer interfaces, but the Lisa was too expensive to be a commercial success.

4. Macintosh (1984) — Like the Lisa, the Macintosh had a graphical user interface. It was also cheaper and faster and had the backing of a large advertising campaign behind it. People soon realized how useful the graphical interface was for design. That led “desktop publishing,” accomplished with a Mac coupled to a laser printer, to soon become a sales driver.

5. NeXT computer (1989) — After being forced out of Apple, Jobs started a company that built a powerful workstation computer. The company was never able to sell large numbers, but the computer was influential: The world’s first Web browser was created on one. Its software also lives on as the basis for today’s Macintosh and iPhone operating system.

6. iMac (1998) — When Jobs returned to Apple in 1996, the company was foundering, with an ever shrinking share of the PC market. The radical iMac was the first step in reversing the slide. It was strikingly designed as a bubble of blue plastic that enclosed both the monitor and the computer. Easy to set up, it captured the imagination just as people across the world were having their eyes opened to the benefits of the Internet and considering getting their first home computer.

7. iPod (2001) — It wasn’t the first digital music player with a hard drive, but it was the first successful one. Apple’s expansion into portable electronics has had vast ramifications. The iPod’s success prepared the way for the iTunes music store and the iPhone.

8. iTunes store (2003) — Before the iTunes store, buying digital music was a hassle, making piracy the more popular option. The store simplified the process and brought together tracks from all the major labels. The store became the largest music retailer in the U.S. in 2008.

9. iPhone (2007) — The iPhone did for the phone experience what the Macintosh did for personal computing — it made the power of a smartphone easy to harness. Apple is now the world’s most profitable maker of phones, and the influence of the iPhone is evident in all smartphones.

10. iPad (2010) — Dozens of companies, including Apple, had created tablet computers before the iPad, but none caught on. The iPad finally cracked the code, creating a whole new category of computer practically by itself.

Thank you to Peter Svensson, AP Technology Writer for compiling the list.

Related Story

Steve Jobs resigns as CEO of Apple, The Post and Courier, published 8/24/11

Parents take a bite out of Apple

I grew up using the Commodore 64, Apple 2e and 286 computer running DOS. I’ve used every version of Windows, owned dozens of PCs, rebuilt them and taught others how to use them. I have even owned my own business building web sites and today my primary job is updating my works web and social media sites. Yet even though I am over 40 and a dad I too fell into the stereotypical thinking, my parents cannot figure out computers.

Recently I was surprise when my mom and dad, within two weeks of one another, started talking about iPads.

First of all my parents are divorced, live in different states and do not talk to one another. So the timing alone was strange.

My Dad, when he was in the military used computers but only as a clerical tool. Now retired he uses his home PC only a couple of days a week. Checking email and occasionally surfing the web.

Mom has never had or used a computer, unless you count the Wii Fit collecting dust in the corner of the living room. Once or twice a year though she will asked about computers but never go as far as actually to look into getting one.

Dad was first to let me know he had an iPad when I received a blank email from him with the signature line, “Sent from my iPad 2.” At first I thought it was a joke so when I contacted him, dad said he was playing with the email app. He continued to tell me that his decision to get an iPad was so he could read, check email and Skype with his kids and grandkids.

Skype?  Wow I was impressed.

Mom is still in the asking phase. She tells me that the Air Base Exchange has iPad 2’s for $389. Also when you buy Items on a military base it’s tax free. So that would be an additional savings.

My mom is old school. She reads books, watches little TV, has trouble with her flip phone and knows very little about computers. I’ve tried to teach her but she gets easily frustrated and uninterested after a while.

In the end I do not think she will get an iPad, even with the tax free price it’s still a lot of money for her. I do give my mom kudos on interest and asking about the iPad but I think she is just getting caught up in the hype and the fact that she can get a good price on one.

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