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Jobs’ death bites Chicago Apple

Chicago mourned the death of Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder and former chief executive officer who changed the way people experience the digital world.

He died seven weeks after his resignation from the company on Aug. 24.  Apple’s website was dedicated to Jobs with a solemn black-and-white theme listing his name and memorializing the entrepreneur worldwide. Google, one of Apple’s rivals, also dedicated its page to him.

Locally, patrons swarmed Chicago’s Apple store at 679 N. Michigan Ave to pay their respects. Flowers and memorials surrounded the local shop. Colorful sticky notes were plastered over the glass-framed store, containing scribbles between sorrow and graciousness.

A lone pink note stuck to the Columbia College Apple ComputerStore at 33 E. Congress Parkway read, “Thanks Steve, proud to say I was born and raised on a Mac.”

Chad Taylor gets Chicagoan’s feelings about Jobs.

For many patrons, the news was received through an Apple device, as it was for 71-year-old retiree Barbara Putnam.

“I got an alert on my iPad. It saddened me because he was a great innovator,” Putnam said.

Jobs’ past inventions affected technology consumers for 35 years. Whether or not a consumer bought into Apple or Mac products, the company’s innovations were revolutionary for the future of technology. Today, computer labs in colleges across the country are filled with Macs and ears are occupied by iPods.

“[Jobs] had an impact not only in college students, he had an impact in every other part of society,” said Marcelo Caplan, associate professor for Columbia’s Science and Mathematics Department. “They make technology accessible for people [who] hate technology.

However, Caplan said he didn’t like the instant accessibility that the company offered in its products, as consumers don’t learn from the technology.

“In the past, when you had a vinyl record, and you [place] the needle, you understand what happened,” he said.  “Today, how many people understand what the mp3 means?”

Stan Howell, 59-year-old librarian of the Chicago Public Library’s Harold-Washington branch, said he doubted the quality of instant information the new technology offers.

The presence of Apple by Jess Green

Although Apple has revolutionized the way that people access and receive information, he said, “Libraries are the best information source. We try to stay ahead of the curve.”

However, Concordia University student Jerry Brown, 32, who was finishing some last minute homework at the library, said Steve Jobs’ expertise is a “once in a lifetime thing. He’s been the man—the Michael Jordan of computers.”

A Map of Local Apple Stores by Jennifer Zipser

Apple has consumers of all ages. Putnam began using recent Apple products after realizing that technology is an undeniable part of the future.

“As a senior, I better get with it, otherwise I can’t text my kids or grandkids,” she said.

Throughout the decades, the company grew from its personal Macintosh computers to the handheld iPad.  Apple also posed a change in music accessibility with its iPod invention, as well as a change in communication with the mobile iPhone

Apple was co-founded by Steve Wozniak in 1976, marking the beginning of a new technological era for the company: the Apple I computer. In comparison, the iPhone4S was just unveiled on Oct. 4.

“I just keep thinking, ‘those are some hard, maybe impossible shoes to fill,’” said Blythe Dresser, 29-year-old Columbia College ComputerStore employee.

Apple’s Tim Cook filled Jobs’ shoes after he was “strongly recommended” as CEO by Jobs in his resignation letter. Cook held a previous position as the chief operating officer.

Even though operating a popular, rapidly developing company may seem challenging, Patrick VanWagoner, 22-year-old music business major and employee of the Columbia College ComputerStore, 33 E. Congress Pkwy., thought Cook has what it takes to carry the title.

“I was shocked, even though we knew it was coming,” said VanWagoner on Jobs’ death. “Thankfully, I feel the C.E.O is very prepped.”

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