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We recently celebrated Thanksgiving in Canada, which came shortly after a very sad event in the technology world — the passing of visionary technology personality Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Computer and many other successful ventures. During this holiday season, even people like myself who have gravitated towards Microsoft’s sphere of influence, should be thankful that we had Steve Jobs as a leading force in technology.

In the flurry of recent technical advances in mobile phone and tablet technology spurred by his guidance and sense of style, we often forget how influential his early work at Apple was. Were it not for Steve’s marketing genius and keen eye for talent, we wouldn’t have had the ideal early personal computer known as the Apple II which went on to influence the explosion of low cost home systems and even the fledgling videogame industry of the day.  Were it not for that explosion, he would have never developed his technological and design masterworks, the Lisa and Macintosh computers. Expensive as they were, they arguably served as inspiration for just about every graphical user interface ever devised on home computers.

So let’s take a moment to reflect on this man’s great contributions to this essential industry, and feel humbled by the fact that were it not for his input, we may still all be fiddling with obscure command line tools inside drab, lifeless interfaces.

For an entertaining and informative look into the parallel and often converging stories of Steve and his industry rival Bill Gates, I recommend you check out the video Pirates of Silicon Valley.