Since his death just over a month ago, the name of Steve Jobs has been much in the news – over the past weeks we have heard a good deal about his life. Of course Jobs was the founder, and until fairly recently, also the CEO of the very successful computer firm Apple. This morning, as we begin, I’d actually like to rehearse just a part of his story. Steve Jobs was born in 1955, and when he was still a young child, moved with his adoptive parents Paul and Clara Jobs to the community of Los Altos, California. In terms of the life story of Steve Jobs, that move to Los Altos was a significant one because the community of Los Altos is located in Silicon Valley – a region of California that for decades has been home to a significant number of very successful electronics companies.
Indeed, on account of that concentration of electronics companies and employees in the area, it’s probably not surprising that Jobs took a very early interest in electronics – and it’s not surprising that as a boy in fact he found himself hanging out with a neighbour who was an electronics hobbyist. That early interest in electronics continued into his teen years when Steve Jobs took an introductory High School class in electronics by day and sat in on after-school lectures at the Hewlett Packard Company by night.
His first job as a young adult was, not surprisingly, also in the area of electronics – he began as a technician with the video game manufacturer, Atari. At the same time Steve Jobs also joined a computer club for hobbyists who would take apart and build computers. This was just the time when personal computing was starting to spread – and much of that early work on personal computers was being done in Silicon Valley. Continue reading