Those of you who know me are probably surprised that it took me so long to write about this. You know that I have a love/hate, mostly hate, relationship with Apple. I think OSX (well up to 10.6 anyway) is still better than Windows, although I am impressed with Windows 7 but am still most impressed with Ubuntu Linux. 10.7 looks ok, but I’m not nuts about it yet and need more time to evaluate it. Overall, it seems like it wants to make my computer an iPad and I like having a computer so that’s lame. I still think that OSX was best around the 10.3 age when Apple seemed to get, or pretended to get, that a company can produce proprietary software, and embrace open source, while still making buckets of money. They then started to lock the OS down shortly after. Those of us who remember the pre-OSX days, when they were very proprietary, remember that they almost went out of business. I think that this had to do a lot with their inflexibility. Anyway, back to the main point. One of the stories I watched on Steve Jobs resigning was from ABC News, basically claiming that Jobs was responsible (the tone seemed to hint at directly responsible) for the creation and success of the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and basically walked on water. Maybe the story was just trying to be kind to a man that has helped influence technology and is on his way out. The overall picture is much worse, of course. As depicted in “Pirates of Silicon Valley” Jobs is not a man to be personally respected as far as being a human being goes and as far as technological innovation goes, give me a break, it’s not like he personally developed all of the innovations that have made Apple successful. People that think that any one individual can make great change, be it a CEO or president, are living in the past. It takes teams of strong, intelligent individuals to do that. Jobs may have put some money into technologies that other teams had been working on before he even came back to Apple, like the iPod, but just because he had enough sense to put some more resources into those technologies doesn’t mean that he deserves the credit for their success. The teams working on those products do. It’s time that we give credit where credit is due to the underpaid, hard working people in the background that actually make innovations happen, that work like dogs for companies like Apple, under the direction of overpaid jerks like Jobs. It’s time that we stop putting so much stock in any one individual, and realize that Apple, as a company, always diverts back to some creepy, ultra-proprietary model. No matter how cool their stuff is, they will always be trying to lock you into some creepy model where they get you to buy everything from them (which is expected) and lock you out of working on your hardware, which is awful for the environment (from not being able to replace your own battery easily in an iPod or iPhone, which shows the hipocracy in their “Greener Apple” document to the inservicable iPad that people can’t buy enough of.) I’ve commented in the past on their DRM policies and the pinnacle of creepiness surrounding the iTunes store, media-control and their click-through agreements. They’re a creepy, irresponsible large corporation, and although they may not be worse than the next corporation, in many respects, the award of total irresponsibility belongs to the company as a whole, not just to Steve Jobs. As I’ve said before and I’ll say again, these companies often take from open source, then try to lock it down, then over charge us for it. Why don’t we just use open source instead? Applications have and will come to GNU/Linux if we support it like we support Apple for screwing us. Just watch the stupid battle over the Galaxy tablet in Europe that’s going on right now. Even though the Galaxy tablet runs on a totally different OS, and multi-touch was originally developed by a University, not by Apple, they can’t help but pretend that Samsung is stealing from them because of the size of the tablet. That’s like saying that because a Toyota Corolla and a Honda Civic are about the same size that they’re the same, and that Honda is stealing from Toyota, but we all know that isn’t true. We know that cars in general have similar characteristics, just like tablets will too. It’s just another way for Apple to withhold technology from the consumer. Anyway, overall Jobs wasn’t that important, and the sooner we realize that, the sooner we can move towards more fair, just forms of capitalism, like employee-owned companies where some narcissistic, dead-beat dad (well only up to a certain point I guess), d-bag like like Steve Jobs, can’t be king of his domain and fire an employee that isn’t “Apple enough” just because he’s having a bad day, etc. You know, where the employees that actually make companies work have representation without having to form a corrupt union, which will just lead to a monarchy or mafia style hierarchy, or fight though an intentionally inefficient legal system that favors large companies. I would say good riddance, but again I never thought that he was that important, except to idiots that think that he was directly making the products that we see today. I really think that some old people, and a few young people, really think that he was directly coding iOS, for example. In closing I think it’s tough to say for sure, but the company probably would have been successful with or without Jobs stepping back into the picture. Let’s not forget about all of the money that Microsoft gave Apple while they were undergoing anti-trust lawsuits, and all of the awesome free code that they got to use in OSX thanks to NetBSD, etc. Perhaps it was just the right time, and not the right CEO, that made Apple successful again.