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Insights about Apple and Steve Jobs

People around the world have been paying tribute and gathering at Apple stores after the announcement of the death of Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs. Others turned to social media to commemorate the contributions Jobs made. Here at Marketplace, we asked our Public Insight Network what Apple and Steve Jobs meant to them.

The answers we received were personal and poignant. Everything from life-changing moments to memories of buying a Macintosh computer in the 80s. Here are some excerpts from the responses Marketplace received. You can also share your insights here.

"He was and will always be a big part of Apple, but I think Steve Jobs best invention was not any product, but Apple itself."

Tushar Thrivikraman

Pasadena, Calif.

"An Apple IIc, bought in the early 80s by my parents for my Christmas present when I was 6 or 7. An Apple IIc, purchased in the mid 80s as that year's Christmas present. My dad later informed me that he had been deciding between a new computer or a trip to Mexico as the big present that year. The trip to Mexico might have been cheaper. I remember "Dazzle Draw," "AppleWorks," "Lode Runner," and "Oregon Trail" as my favorite programs. When I was nine, I saved my allowance to purchase "California Games," which I thought was the height of technological advancement."

Genevieve Perreault

"I am an artist with a background in animation but work is not steady in the entertainment business so I worked as a secretary and low level clerk at the University of Oregon and that's where things started for me. An Apple was on my desk. I learned to use it and 1 thing led to another and 20 years later I found myself working as a designer and engineer at Apple."

Lisa Rose

Los Angeles, Calif.

"Steve Jobs, the Leonardo DaVinci of our time."

Sue Lily

Cave Junction, Ore.

"I was nine years old and my parents bought me an Apple II for my birthday. It got me interested in computers and sparked my interest in technology, specifically software, as a way to make the world a better place."

Byron Go

"Steve Jobs made technology human--and cast Apple into the role of super-hero. He transformed a clunky machine into a creative tool for everyone. Although Apple has lost its Communicator in Chief, it remains an amazing company. Steve Jobs' DNA remains in the company, in its creative and intellectual heart. The ideas and the inspiration flowed from the top and have created a culture of innovation--built on solid engineering, playful exploration and crazy-cool customer service--that remains."

Christian Clarke Casarez

Austin, Texas

"Steve Jobs created the products that turned us on to being geeks. I never really saw him as a geek, but I did see him as a kind of geek leader."

John Crider

Reynoldsburg, Ohio

"January 1983, on first day of the Spring Semester at WMU, I saw a Macintosh in a B&O store window, went in, sat down, got acquainted with the first personal computer I had ever touched, and minutes later, walked away with hardcopy that I had composed, corrected, and printed without assistance, I have been hooked ever since then!"

Stephen Sprague

Bloomington Springs, Tenn.

"I worked for Apple for two years, first as a contractor, then in the ranks of technical support and finally as a writer. I had the great fortune of working with some truly excellent people. The energy and integrity that Steve always showed trickled down, even to me. Despite my job success, one of my bosses there actually sat me down one day and asked me if I thought I wanted to be working for the company in ten years. He said if the answer to that question was not absolutely yes, then perhaps I should follow a dream that I had always had. Not six months later, I applied to graduate school and found my true passion in School Psychology. And I owe it, at least in part, to Apple."

Andrea Dennison

Austin, Texas

"I didn't know Steve, yet every keystroke, swipe, mouse click makes me think about where I'd be without his vision. Those days in the computer lab, the late nights with my own computer learning about how the world worked. So many of the skills I possess today, I think, can be credited to using a computer. What if Steve never subscribed to the belief that computers should be used by everyday people? Where would I be now?"

Erin Brown

Weston, Fla.

"I was incorporated as a human being the same year that Apple was incorporated, in 1977. Since that epic year, I have been fortunate to be the first generation of children now adults to use their products throughout my lifetime. I remember in the second grade computer lab learning how to tell time on an original Macintosh. I remember getting our family's first computer, an LC, as a freshman in high school and going on to design an award-winning news magazine, the Westlake Featherduster on our high school's IIes, Quadras and Performas. Like many, I was devastated by the news today. But I will long admire Steve Jobs' passion and his ethic. Just like a mac, he just kept working, with the power and creativity beyond that of which anyone else's imagination could have conceived. He will be missed."

Daniel Schaben

Arapahoe, Neb.

"To say Steve Jobs was a genius is to underrate him. To say that his ingenuity touched the lives of nearly every soul on the planet would be an understatement. To say that he will be profoundly, deeply missed is the biggest truth of all."

Ray Fox

Rancho Cordova, Calif.

"I have been working with computers since the early 1970s. I remember that my wife came home one day and said that she had purchased a new computer for her work at the University of Washington. My first reaction was to ask her why she would do that without consulting me? Later when I saw her Mac SE computer, I instantly knew that she had done the right thing, and I went out and bought one for myself!"

Norman Turrill

Portland, Ore.

"I hate the word "fanboy." But at 74, I guess some would call me an Apple fanboy."

Robert Ball

Reading, Mich.

"My first real memory of an Apple product was receiving an old SE30 from my Aunt when I was a Sophomore in high school. It was a "hot rod" and had 12 MB of memory. My Step Father had an LC with less memory and though his computer was almost brand new he had memory envy and immediately upgraded."

Resha Shenandoah

Tuscon, Ariz.

"I have never thought about a business leader being a hero in my life. But, now I know it is possible. His sticking to his vision and working to accomplish it has benefited me personally and many others."

Caril Jennings

Ogden, Utah

"I think of 2001, when a stockbroker friend of mine, whose clients were many Microsoft millionaires, predicted the death of Apple and suggested I sell my Apple shares before it was too late."

John Platt

Seattle, Wash.

"I never realized how much I owed to Apple before his death got me thinking about how these products changed my life."

Abbi Telander

Saint Ann, Mo.

"In the 80s and 90s, Mac vs. PC was a serious culture war. I am and always have been an unabashed Mac geek and evangelist. The recent main-stream success of Apple has been gratifying to watch, as I can't help but feel a little "I told you so" coming on here and there. But, mostly, I have loved watching technology improve lives. "

Jaemi Loeb

Houston, Texas

"I was born in 1981 into a household that owned an Apple II+. My grandfather spent the last of his remaining money on the computer, and gave it to my dad with the succinct message "This is going to change the way business is done." He died before I ever got to know him, but I wrote my first BASIC program on that green on black monitor a few years later. Today I am a web application developer, and I still use an Apple."

Ben Harold

Indianapolis, Ind.

"There will be many more business school case studies on Steve Jobs and Apple. It may even have become a subject all its own: Discover the needs and wants >just< before people realize they have them - but not >way< before they have them."

Mark Scollar

Minnesota



If you want to share what Apple and Steve Jobs means to you, you can comment below or answer our questions here.

These insights are excerpts from our Public Insight Network sources who filled out our recent query about Apple. If you'd like to be a source and contribute to our reporting, please click here.

About the author

Angela Kim is the Marketplace Public Insight analyst. She is responsible for outreach efforts that engage the public and encourage them to share their insights on topics Marketplace covers via social media, multimedia projects, and the Public Insight Network. Follow Kim on Twitter @angelaishere
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