Modern Technology by Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs made a very big impact on this world with his many inventions and innovations. He revolutionized modern technology and made many lives and jobs better with his work. It does not matter where a person goes in the world, everyone knows who Steve Jobs is. They know him as the late founder of Apple and a multi-billionaire, but people do not know his past and all the struggles that he went through to get to where he got in his lifetime.
Steve Jobs was born February 24, 1955. His mother, Joanne Schieble, was a twenty three year old college student from Wisconsin and had found out she had gotten pregnant. She moved to San Francisco because her father did not approve of her pregnancy. Joanne found a doctor who would take care of unwed mothers and would help set up adoptions. A couple was called and were told that they had a chance of adopting a baby. Joanne Schieble wanted for him to be adopted by college educated parents. Unfortunately Paul and Clara had not gone to college. Eventually Joanne agreed to the adoption when they promised that Steve would go to college. Paul and Clara Jobs named the newborn baby Steven Paul Jobs. The family adopted a girl a few years later named Patty.
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As Steve Jobs grew up he became more challenging. As a toddler he put a bobby pin in an electrical outlet and burned his hand which earned him a trip to the hospital. Steve and one of his friends also drank some ant poison and ended up in the hospital to get their stomachs pumped. Steve would usually wake up before anyone else in the house and would wake them up. According to Blumenthal (2012):
To keep Steve busy when he got up before the rest of the household, his parents bought him a rocking horse, a record player, and some Little Richard records. He was so difficult as a toddler, his mother once confided, that she wondered if she had made a mistake adopting him. (p.8)
When Steve was five, his family moved to Palo Alto. While Steve’s father, Paul, was setting up his workshop in the garage, he set part of the garage for Steve and told him, “Steve, this is your workbench now”(Blumenthal, 2012, p.9). Paul taught Steve how to use all the tools in the garage and even gave him a set of smaller tools. “Over the years, Jobs remembered, his dad ‘spent a lot of time with me… teaching me how to build things, how to take things apart, put things back together’” (p.9). Clara also supported young Steve Jobs. She would babysit so she could get Steve swimming lessons, and she would teach him how to read, which gave him a head start for school. Him having this head start became a problem. He found school boring, and he felt different from other kids in his class.
One day while Steve was playing with his friends he told the girl that lived across the street from him that he was adopted. She replied with a question, “So does that mean your real parents didn’t want you?”(Blumenthal, 2012, p.9). This question hit Jobs hard, and he ran home to his parents who quickly assured that he was wanted. They told him, “We specifically picked you out”(p.10). His parents thought he was very special because he was very intelligent and strong-willed. His teachers saw him as mischievous and not as a special kid. Steve and a friend always pulled pranks on other students, but they had even worse pranks for their third grade teacher. When he was in fourth grade his teacher showered him with attention and even offered him five dollars if he could finish a math workbook by himself and earn at least an 80 percent. It did not take long for him to gain admiration and respect for his teacher, and did not need the money anymore. Steve Jobs later said that he learned more that year than any other year of school. He also stated that without his fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Hill, he would have ended up in jail. He was now interested in learning again and received so many good grades that he was asked to skip a couple of grades. His parents allowed him to skip one. In a sixth grade report for Steve it reported that he was “an excellent reader” and “has great difficulty motivating himself or seeing the purpose of studying reading” according to Blumenthal (2012, p.14). In seventh grade fights were common in Steve’s school, and he decided he did not want to go there. He told his parents that if they made him made him go back to that school then he would drop out, so they moved and he went to a better school.
Steve found the new school to be an improvement and found many friends there with the same interests as him. He was now living in the Santa Clara Valley, and there were many engineers in the area to peak Steve’s interests in electronics. After realising that Steve was interested in electronics and not mechanics, Paul Jobs gave Steve electronic devices to take apart and study and put back together. In his old neighborhood he had a mentor named Larry Lang, who helped Steve with understanding electronics and introduced him to Heathkits, a kit with instructions and parts to build electronics. Building items such as TVs and radios built his self-confidence and made him believe he was ready for bigger projects. After Jobs had moved he stayed in touch with Lang, and he got Jobs into a Hewlett-Packard Explorers Club, where Steve and other kids would would meet in the Hewlett-Packard cafeteria to listen to engineers talk about their work. While Steve was building one of his projects he found that he did not have all the parts for it, so he called the the founder of the Hewlett-Packard company and asked for parts. He ended up having a 20 minute conversation and not only got the parts he needed, but he also got a summer job putting screws in frequency counters at the company. “‘I was in heaven,’ he remembered” (Blumenthal, 2012, p.19).
As Steve Jobs grew up, many innovations and inventions were made, and he made many new friends. One of his new friends was Bill Fernandez. Him and Jobs talked about many serious topic such as religion and war. They would talk for hours about these serious and meaningful topics every chance they could. According to Blumenthal (2012, p.25), when Steve and Bill were Juniors in high school, they helped Bill’s neighbor, Steve Wozniak, build a computer in his garage. Wozniak loved electronics more than Fernandez, and Jobs and was constantly trying to find ways to shrink a computer. Jobs and Wozniak immediately became friends.
While Jobs was in his senior year of high school Wozniak found out about blue boxes, which made it so a person would not have to pay to use a pay phone. They immediately started trying to make blue boxes. When they made it, they used it mostly for prank calls. According to Blumenthal (2012, p.32), they decided to sell them and get some money for their work, but one of their customers pulled a gun on Jobs so he decided to quit. While his high school days were dwindling, he started experimenting with drugs and diets making him skinny and irritable. The summer after high school he and a friend spent the time in a cabin and and to earn money they worked at a job dressing as Alice in Wonderland characters in a mall.
When Jobs was applying for colleges he only wanted to go to one college out of the hundreds of colleges in California, Reed College. The only problem was that it was too expensive, but he talked his parents into it anyways. One of his professors supplied Jobs with LSD which “changed him in ways that even those who knew him very well could not understand.” (Blumenthal, 2012, p.40) His grades started slipping, and his parents were furious so Jobs dropped out of college. He was still able to attend classes because he made a good impression on the dean of students, so he attended the ones he wanted to attend. By the end of his first year year he was done with college and moved on with his life. He now wanted to travel the word and go to India.
He worked at Atari, a game company, to get money to go on his trip. Atari sent Jobs to Germany to fix a company issue, and from there he went to New Delhi. While there he stumbled upon a religious festival and the holy man of the festival saw him, lead him up a mountain, dunked Jobs’ head in water and shaved his head saying it was for his health. Afterward he met up with a work colleague, and they rode around in buses and hiked through India. As reported by Blumenthal (2012, p.50), they saw a lot of poverty and starvation and after getting many diseases the pair decided to go back to California. He still wanted spiritual enlightenment and tried many different options on how to get it. He was then asked to create a game for Atari in four days, and Jobs asked Wozniak for help because he was better with code than Jobs was. After spending many days they finished the game and Wozniak was offered a job and Jobs was given a raise. Jobs paid Wozniak some of his bonus for helping him.
A company made the first micro computer, which was basically the exact same thing that Wozniak had built in his garage years before. Jobs and Wozniak were still intrigued. After it was created, a company named Intel created a small processor that could do multiple tasks at a fast pace. This was the first microprocessor created. Wozniak immediately started designing computers and experimenting with a microprocessor. Finally after getting the parts he needed, Wozniak built a fully functioning computer. They started selling circuit boards to people who also wanted to make computers. They raised a lot of money and decided to start a business but did not know what to call it. “On the way back from the airport after Wozniak picked up Jobs from another trip to the All One Farm, Jobs threw out a suggestion: Apple Computers.” (Blumenthal 2012, p.59) They tried other names, but Apple was the only one that they really liked. On April 1, 1976 Apple officially became a company. They started advertising for Apple, and before they knew it someone requested 50 computers at $500 each. Jobs and Wozniak quickly started building computers in Jobs’ garage day and night to complete the order. Eventually all of Jobs family was dragged into his company, and everyone was doing something for the company. More orders came in, and each time Wozniak tinkered with them more making them better. When they were trying to build the Apple II a man named Mike Markkula came into the garage and offered $250,000 to get the Apple II into production. Mike was a former marketing manager for Intel. Steve and Wozniak now worked on improving it and making it perfect.
As they created and improved upon their computers, they got more money and more business. They needed a bigger space to work and more people to build and design computers. They moved out of Jobs’ garage and into a building much better for his business. His business was now very popular and as his business grew, so did his ideas and innovations for computers.
In 1991 Jobs found out that his girlfriend, Laurene Powell, was pregnant. He cared very much about his girlfriend and proposed to her twice. The second time she said yes. She encouraged him to spend time with his other daughter Lisa, who was born to his old girlfriend.
In 2003 Steve Jobs found out that he had pancreatic cancer and that if he had caught it early enough he could possibly get rid of it. While in surgery the doctors found that the cancer had spread to his liver. He then had to undergo chemotherapy. He gave his recommendation on who should be CEO of Apple if he died. He died October 5, 2011 in his hospital bed with his family next to him.
In conclusion there is more to Steve Jobs than just his multi-billion dollar company. He had a family that he loved and a very interesting past and an inspirational journey that made him the man that revolutionised technology. He was always interested in electronics and used his interests to revolutionize modern technology.