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Santa Monicans Pay Tribute to Technology's Late Visionary at Promenade Apple Store  

As of September 1, 2011, ALL 1,875 retail establishments are prohibited from providing light-weight, single-use plastic carryout bags to customers at the point of sale. MORE

By Michael Aushenker
Special to the Lookout

October 7, 2011 -- The death of Apple CEO Steve Jobs hit visitors to the Santa Monica Promenade’s Apple Store hard Thursday, as they passed by an improvised shrine of notes and flowers outside the storefront.

"Impromptu Shrine to Apple Founder Steve Jobs.
Photo by Gene Williams, taken with a new MacBookPro laptop.

The late Jobs, who died Wednesday of pancreatic cancer, was unarguably one of technology’s most influential men of the 20th and 21st century.

“Steve, thanks for all you gave!” read one note on pink notepad paper. Another slip of paper, with a bite taken out of a heart-shaped apple, read “Part of my heart is missing.”

Hard-copy, heartfelt notes. Photo by Michael Aushenker

Outside the storefront, people paid tribute to the iconic lean, bearded and bespectacled Jobs by taking photographs of the display – many with their iPhone 4s.

Passersby commemorate Jobs' passing on their iPhones. Photo by Michael Aushenker

Jobs was the man who made computers and related geek accessories chic and sexy, turning his prolific marketplace ideas into a multibillion dollar industry. There’s no doubt that Jobs was technology’s game-changer.

“He was truly an inspiring leader,” said Chris Sheppard, a Seattle transplant to Santa Monica. “He will definitely be missed.”

“He revolutionized the way that we interacted with media,” said Andrew Sacks. “He made media accessible and we definitely lost a visionary and a genius.”

“My impression is that a lot of people care,” said the British-accented Natalie Wadlert. “It’s a beautiful thing.”

“His contributions to technology, it’s hard to sum into one thing,” Sheppard said, “making technology accessible and fun and constantly pushing the limit.”

When asked which Apple product was his favorite, Gustav LaSienge pulled out his purple-cased iPhone 4 with the 4G network.

Meanwhile, inside the store, hundreds of customers tested out the latest Apple gadgets…business as usual.

Jobs first bout with the cancer was reported in 2004 after he fought and defeated what was thought to be a rare but curable form of pancreatic cancer.

Born Stephen Paul Jobs on Feb. 24, 1955 to a Jewish mother and Syrian father (Jobs was his adopted name), the Reed College graduate met future Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak while working for video game maker Atari and taking part in the Homebrew Computer Club.

The pair formed Apple in 1976 on April Fool’s Day, and the Apple I computer went on sale for $666.66 that summer. The year 1977 saw the unveiling of the Apple II, and other game-changing gadgets included the PowerMacintosh in 1994, Windows ’95 a year later, and, in the 2000s, the first iPod (2001), iTunes Music Store (2003), the first smart phone with iPhone (2007). Jobs introduced the iPad on April 3, 2010.

The iPhone currently enjoys a 27% market share in the smartphone category, falling behind copycat competitor Google's Android, which has a 44% market share.

Jobs also headed Pixar Animation as CEO from 1986 through 2006 when the Walt Disney Studios acquired the CG animation company.

In August 2011, Jobs assumed the chairman title at Apple.

He left behind Laureen, his wife of 20 years, and their three children, as well as another daughter from a previous relationship.

Apple CEO Tim Cook had already been crowned Apple’s new de facto leader in recent years.

As Wozniak told the Los Angeles Times Thursday, "People sometimes have goals in life. Steve Jobs exceeded every goal he ever set for himself."

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