Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

> The bottom line is that this 'experience' isn't about you, its about who you can be sold to

To be honest, I didn't jump from Windows to Linux because of this. I jumped because Windows ME was just that bad. However, this makes me increasingly happy I jumped with each new version of both Windows and MacOS.

> Time to start a 'developers' company that works very much on the same model that Sun Microsystems started on, hardware designed from the ground up to be developed on, open systems so that folks can easily work with it, and a team dedicated to making sure integration and support is there so that folks like you and I can say "Hey this audio doesn't work when you set the sampling rate to 40Khz" and they can fix it and release that fix.

Bits and pieces of this are already here. We need a Wozniak to find the best way to put them together and create the new pieces we need. Too bad that of The Two Steves, Jobs gets the accolades and Wozniak gets ignored.

>Too bad that of The Two Steves, Jobs gets the accolades and Wozniak gets ignored.

Oh please, not this again. But OK, I'll bite:

Wozniak was given plenty of recognition for his work at Apple.

But he quit in 87, which was 25 years ago. What has he done since? Not that much, really.

Steve Jobs, on the other hand, has brought tremendous contributions to a number of industries.

In the light of this, it makes complete sense that Steve Jobs is a household name, whereas Wozniak isn't (but Wozniak is definitely a "hacker household name", which is what he deserves to be).

It's even worse than that, as Woz effectively left Apple after his plane crash in 1981. He continued to officially be an employee, but didn't contribute a whole lot after that point. Quitting in 1987 was more of a formality than anything.

The last Apple computer Woz had a direct hand in designing was either the Apple II or the II+ (I can't quite figure out which), over three decades ago. Woz was a genius when it came to minimal and effective designs and it's certain that he played a key role in getting Apple off the ground, but he has had no real impact on the company or anything the company does for nearly as long as I've been alive.

Woz helped build Apple into a successful company, but the scale isn't even remotely the same. The Apple that Jobs subsequently built decades later now sells more hardware in a month (or so) than Woz's Apple sold during his entire tenure.

Thanks to both you and the parent for thoughtfully laying out the history. Saying the "two Steves" as if they are parallel doesn't make sense.

I wonder if this trope would ever come up if one of them were named Bob instead.

I'm sure Woz continued to be an influence on Jobs for quite some time though.

I guess if you have seen somebody build one of the worlds first affordable computers out of some bits in garage it probably seems like anything is possible when you have a few billion $.

Woz designed Apple Desktop Bus, first used in the Apple IIGS and then in Macintoshes until the switch to USB.

But your point remains; Woz hasn't done anything at Apple since 1987.

Yet his biography is called "iWoz", why have people let him ride the fame train on other peoples work for so long.

Exactly what contributions did Steve Jobs do beyond opening up markets by design and marketing powers?

It had a large impact on a number of industries, but your statement implied a multiple of contributions.

Bringing tablet computing, multi-touch, voice control, quality screens (IPS etc), video-calling on phones, small utility software, ubiquitous (real) web access, to mainstream (before someone attacks: yes, all these existed for a long time, but only became common place after Apple pushed them)? Pushing hardware design way past what anyone else was doing in the past half dozen years? Cornering the music industry with a digital distribution model that works?

I can't even begin to enumerate the things you see everyday that are influenced by Apple, besides their own products.

The singular man acting as CEO did all this, and more! He is smarter than everyone else ever.

Or he just used smart and predatory business practices, and somehow was the only major player to realize eyecandy will win over configuration for everyone that wants just a "tv" into the internet.

Well, just 20 minutes ago I was using my "TV" and it's nice unix shell to develop a cross-platform multiplayer game. And you could say it's usability and experience over configuration, not eye-candy (remember Aero Glass? KDE Plasma?), althought nice-looking interfaces can help with both.

No, he didn't do all this himself, but he was captaining the ship. Has Sergey Brin changed the way people use the internet?

"Has Sergey Brin changed the way people use the internet?"

Let me Google that for you.

You could just as easily alta-vista, or yahoo that because people used those search engines originally, and they existed way before Google did.

Google however turned a better product and has therefore captured the lion's share of the market. But they Google search engine is pretty much a copy in functionality of previous ones that came before.

Of course Google have brought other things to the internet (maps comes to mind), but the search engine didn't change how people used the internet - we were searching long before Google.

The same exact accusations could be (and have been) leveled at Apple. The fact of the matter is that Apple is a very, very good marketing company; as for revolutionary technology and being innovators, not so much.

Apple's innovations are myriad and subtle, particularly on the software side. Almost all of these things have been copied by the various Linux environments:

- Sub-second reconnection to wifi when resuming from sleep, using past remembered networks and IPs

- Bonjour zero-configuration service discovery for printers, network speakers, etc.

- Exposé window management and the GPU-accelerated desktop in general, not to mention just-in-time-compiled GPU accelerated image and video manipulation with CoreImage / CoreVideo.

- Spotlight indexed desktop search that's actually usable for real world filetypes

- Quicklook instant previews, not to mention native PDF support not involving Adobe Reader

- A mail program that autoconfigures based on just the email address, just by trying the obvious options


Add in the fact that Apple is still the only company to have multi-touch work properly on a desktop, that their hardware has been dominating geek conferences for years because of its travel-friendlyness, and there is plenty of innovation to go around.

While I started this comment thread, I do think Apple has done a lot of good putting quality back into hardware in many regards. It really pains me that I'm going to have them to thank for getting us out of the low PPI dark ages, but it is almost exclusively due to their market pressure for high pixel displays that will finally end the last decade of pixelated nonsense.

still does more in a year than Woz has in his entire career

Opening up a market is a contribution (singular) to the community, but this is a thin line to call "tremendous contributor". Wallmart was one of the major players in pushing USB drives and 3g modems to the public. Does this mean that Wallmart is a tremendous contributor to USB?

In what way has multi-touch been pushed way past what anyone has done in the past? (say, compared to Sears et al work from 1990?) Actually, any of the technologies on that list, in what way were they pushed way past what anyone else was doing in the past? Cornering the music industry (legally) was an achievement indeed, but a tremendous contribution? My thought goes back to Wallmart and any product that they was first to successfully sell.

He brought design sense to the company, making -- in my opinion -- the first computers ever made that did not look like shit.

When disagreeing, it would benefit if the person who downvote would say what the contributions are instead of silently downvote.

Hacker news arent a poll of "do you like Steve Jobs" with simple yes/no, and i am honestly interested to hear what those contributions are.

I didn't downvote because I disagreed (or agreed), but because your question seemed very accusatory and asked in bad faith, so it does not contribute to the discussion. A reworded question that made it clear you were honestly inquiring still might not get answered, but I wouldn't downvote.

That's because the question was rhetoric and its purpose was to state an opinion. Specifically, the opinion that Steve Jobs did not have significant contributions to computer industry.

So I think you downvoted an opinion.

Really? Seems like a legitimate question to me.

yeah well his contributions have been discussed numerous times, followed by people saying he didn't really have much to do with those things. This part of HN is so repetitive.

Its useful to reiterate the discussion in case new facts or concept can be brought forth. mostly, I ask the question to confirm (or disprove) my own opinion. If a person states disproven facts, one should always allow the person the back his statements up.

Well known inventors aren't well known because of their great inventions. They're well known because there's a corporate PR department promoting the legend. Ever heard of Thomas Edison? He founded a company named General Electric. Heard of Alexander Graham Bell? AT&T.

The reason fewer people have heard of Wozniak is because he left the company 25 years ago. He doesn't get the same PR treatment from the Apple marketing fund.

Now, here are some bonus questions: You all know who invented the transistor at Bell Labs, but who invented the LASER? How about the microwave oven? FM radio?

Actually, I don't know why few people know who invented the microwave oven, since the inventor was a big-wig at Raytheon. I guess Raytheon doesn't have much of a PR department.

So bored of people still giving Woz the spotlight.

He hasn't done anything worthwhile but trundle around on a segway since leaving Apple

The pieces are all there already, but you can't pull it off with dis-associated independent groups. Canonical comes close, as does Redhat, either could do this is they started making their own hardware, or contracting out a HW 'spec.'

But you need a 'real' company to say to someone like an Atheros that you'll design in their wireless chip only if they will commit to driver support for it on your OS. That sort of thing doesn't happen between a company and an 'interested third party' sadly.

The other thing folks will have to come to realize that you won't be able to combine your "TV" and your "computer" much longer. The demands of content producers are reaching a point that 'general purpose computing' on devices that can show their content are made increasingly more difficult and eventually they won't legally exist. Secure boot, HDCP, all of these things are manifestations of externally exerted control over the platform.

The good news is that computers will go back to being computers. It is going to feel a bit weird for a while though.

> To be honest, I didn't jump from Windows to Linux because of this. I jumped because Windows ME was just that bad. However, this makes me increasingly happy I jumped with each new version of both Windows and MacOS.

Yup, every time I use someone else's computer I'm astounded by the sorts of things they put up with. A simple example - after years of using AdBlock and FlashBlock, I simply don't have any tolerance for ads on the web. I don't have the ability to ignore them.

"Now that Norton was gone, I personally happen to like Comodo firewall. So I go to download it, but the installer nicely tells me that this doesn't work on Windows 8, and I need to download another file instead. However, this is their pro product, which basically means it's filled with crap. It's a good thing I noticed the tiny Customize Installer button because otherwise it would have: Changed my home page, subscribed me to something called GeekBuddy, enrolled me to their cloud program, change my DNS servers, and sent information about each scan it does to the company. The same was true with many of the applications I installed, like Adobe Reader trying to install McAfee, or QuickTime trying to sign me up for offers."

I hope Mark Shuttleworth might read and understand this paragraph before he continues to reduce the trust of Ubuntu users. The crucial difference between users of Windows/Apple on the one hand and GNU/Linux on the other is that Linux users have choices at the distribution level. A secondary advantage for GNU/Linux users is that once a distribution has been chosen, application software is packaged centrally with some degree of oversight so this kind of bait and switch by software vendors becomes harder.

The Ubuntunaughts at Canonical seem to be heading in the direction of selecting hardware which they can ensure will 'just work'.

Its hard for Shuttleworth because he has burned millions and millions on Canonical and it is now clear that the company is going to fail. People simply will not pay for linux desktop support and there really is no other model. So all this crap they are doing, it is their death throes and they should be pitied and not mocked.

It is not clear that Canonical is going to fail, just that their support model for making desktop linux profitable failed. We are seeing them change their profit model with the Amazon links in unity, and their attempt to get into the android/desktop linux hybrid market. It remains to be seen how these play out.

"People simply will not pay for linux desktop support and there really is no other model"

RHEL need no competitors at all then?

RHEL is a server product, I guess I don't follow your comment. Do they even sell desktop support?

If you are suggesting Ubuntu should focus on the server market - well they have put a lot into that too but they cannot get the market share required to sustain their business from that. RHEL is far too entrenched.

RedHat quit the desktop market years ago exactly because they found it to be unprofitable.


Red Hat seem to be selling a Desktop support package still, but minus the support! I assume this is a cost for the installer and updates.

I've donated the sterling equivalent of $49 to Ubuntu, and would do that on a yearly basis if it meant a cruft free system.

Canocial doesn't select hardware to work, they certify that hardware does work.

> Bits and pieces of this are already here. We need a Wozniak to find the best way to put them together and create the new pieces we need.

No Wozniak required. Aren't there already companies that sell Linux laptops that "just work?" Really, the big challenges are in organization, distribution, and marketing.

How about this? http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/11/zareason-ultralap-430...

And also these guys https://www.system76.com/.

I have bought two laptops from ZaReason, with mixed results. They mostly "just work".

IMHO you also need a Jobs who wanders around (a) selling the thing to normal humans and (b) being a relentless advocate for the user experience, with the power to delay releases if something is broken.

> being a relentless advocate for the user experience

The dark side of this is why I hate MacOS: There are things in MacOS I consider broken that I cannot fix, because Apple is dedicated to One Apple Way. Great for the Mac Fan, lousy for someone who has their own workflow.

Apple only has room for one Jobs, one person to dictate how the experience is. Anyone else has to bow to Jobs or GTFO.

The solution is good defaults with configurability maintained as a first-class citizen. Ubuntu has this, mostly to the extent it keeps non-Unity window managers and desktop environments in the Ubuntu package repos. I can still use all of the Ubuntu stuff except the tiny amount that really does depend on Unity, which wouldn't make sense with my workflow anyway.

> ... lousy for someone who has their own workflow.

"You're holding it wrong," indeed.

Your comment makes me want to try Ubuntu again on my MacBook. What I liked about it last time was that everything worked--just like on OS X. I guess the hardware premium and hardware monoculture are helpful even in the open source community.

> the hardware premium and hardware monoculture

... the culture of hardware developers that isn't focused on 'It works on Windows', the culture of driver developers that aren't (apparently) seen as loss-centers by the hardware makers, and a number of other things that slip my mind, I'm sure.

The only thing better is something like Stallman's current laptop, which was built ground-up to be Free and Open. Given Stallman's track record with 'crazy' predictions like 'The Right To Read', I fully expect to eventually end up on something like that as my primary machine.

Applications are open for YC Summer 2018

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact