Residents reflect on life, work of Steve Jobs

Ponder his technological legacy

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NORTH FULTON, Ga. – North Fulton residents, including one who knew him personally, mourned the passing of Steve Jobs, who died on Oct. 5 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Brian Cork, who lives in Milton, moved in many of the same circles with Jobs. Years ago, Cork was involved in raising money for technology investments, and he and Jobs moved in the same circles.

“We developed a sort of running-gunfight friendship,” he said.

He said Jobs was strange, but also determined, committed, thoughtful and passionate. Although there are many stories of him yelling at subordinates at Apple, he was also equally quick to hug them and laugh with them.

Cork then recounted the history of Apple and how Jobs brought on John Sculley, because he couldn’t run Apple by himself and knew it. Their visions diverged and both dug in, but Jobs decided the company should take its own path.

“That was huge,” Cork said. “That was really mature. That was insightful.”

Jobs went on to found NeXT. When Apple was at its lowest moment, Jobs returned to head Apple and folded NeXT into it. The incorporation of NeXT into Apple made the company what it is today.

“He brought products to the marketplace we didn’t know we couldn’t live without until they were part of our lives,” he said.

Cork said Jobs created a perfect capitalist ecosystem — his company produced products that people could not live without and were willing to pay for. This generated wealth and productivity for everyone.

“I think it’s pretty unfortunate,” said Tyler Ayers, a member of the Geek Squad at the Alpharetta Best Buy. “The guy was not only kind of a titan of business [but] revolutionary in making technology accessible.”

He said Jobs made it so people could use technology intuitively. Jobs took complex technology and made it accessible to ordinary people by automating a couple of systems.

A couple of years ago, Ayers said, phones could not do half the things they can do now. There are applications for tuning a guitar or remotely controlling household appliances.

“It kind of revolutionized the way we live our lives,” he said.

Julie de la Rosa of Johns Creek sat at the Starbucks near Newtown Park. She uses her iPad to check her email, surf the Internet and download music.

“And of course, Angry Birds,” she said, referring to popular game.

Everyone in her household is a Macintosh enthusiast. She wondered what Jobs would have invented in the future if he had not died.

“What are we missing now that we won’t be able to get from him anymore?” she asked.

She hoped his death was peaceful and that he knew how much impact he had.

“My 5-year-old knows how to use my iPod,” she said. “My iPod, my iPad, they know how to use everything.”

She said Jobs got to live his legacy — he saw the results of his inventions right away.

“Honestly, it’s sad, but kind of expected,” said Daniel Schwitzer of Lakemont, Ga.

He said pancreatic cancer is hard to defeat, especially after it metastasized.

Steve, Jobs, Friends, NOrth, fulton