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In memoriam

Here are a couple of bits about Steve Jobs that you may not have seen.

On Tuesday, Kottke linked to a site called The Wirecutter. (Hang on; this is relevant.) It’s pretty much the perfect gadget site for me: For any given category of product, it picks one, maybe two (Great DSLR If You’re Not a Pro, Budget DSLR I’d Get); it discusses why, including mention of other products; and links to sources so you can figure it out for yourself if you want.

What I didn’t realize at the time is that it’s by Brian Lam. This is the guy who was the public face of Gizmodo when they were being assholes about the prototype iPhone 4. That incident is why I don’t visit Gizmodo anymore.

If I had known this at the time, I wouldn’t have even checked it out. But I learned today, after I read this piece by Lam, about his relationship with Jobs, his regrets, and his apology.

I told him I love Apple, but I have to do what’s right for the public and readers. I was trying to hide the fact that I was sad.

He replied, “You’re just doing your job.” And he said it in the kindest way possible. Which made me feel better and worse.

This was the last time Steve would be kind to me.

The second piece on Jobs is by author Charles Stross. It’s short, and there’s not much there we haven’t read before, but the following passage struck me.

People like that don’t go gently into the dark night. They don’t leave the office unless they’re dragged away on a stretcher. When he resigned as CEO of Apple in August, I expected him to be dead within a week; I’m surprised he lasted this long.

When someone dies early, I inevitably think of To an Athlete Dying Young by A.E. Housman. But I’m never able to read the whole thing; it still hurts too much, even after all these years.