It’s been 2 weeks since Steve Jobs died – an eternity in internet time. Most people have long moved on because life requires that we do. Surely some moved on as soon as they realized their iPod still worked. The deluge of outpouring in social media has stopped (and there was a lot of it in many different languages), but official tributes are still being rolled out. Apple updated their official tribute ( with emails from well-wishers and I saw a tease for an hour special called “iGenius” on the Discovery channel the other day.

The early reaction to Jobs’ death was filled with warmth and a lot of love. There we’re clever tributes like Boing Boing re-skinning their website like a 90s Mac. Wired had an official and fawning obituary out so fast it was likely written ahead of time. Personal remembrances were shared such as this journalist’s perspective by Walt Mossberg.

As the calendar travels farther from October 5th, reaction becomes reflection and guttural feelings become cerebral thoughts. This leads to a more balanced examination of Jobs’ contributions. Ryan Tate offers a good overview of the bad in his piece “What Everyone was too Polite to say About Steve Jobs.” Jobs was authoritarian in pursuit of perfection. Censorship could be justified. He put excessive pressure on every every employee from his second-in-command to factory workers in China.

The most moving piece came after Jobs stepped down from Apple in August. Written by his neighbor, Lisen Stromberg, it humanizes Jobs in a way that few other columns have. It also makes me smile to know Jobs probably got to read it before his death. It reminds me of the living funeral in Tuesdays with Morrie. Jobs certainly did enough in life to deserve feeling loved before he died.

It’s hard to say how much those things will figure into how he will be remembered over time. It’s human to try and compare what we already know. Do a search for “Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison” and you’ll get 1.7 million results, many with titles like “Steve Jobs is like Thomas Edison.” There are faults in that comparison (Jobs and Apple more often polished existing technology than invented it), but there are parallels, too (both have had a significant impact on recorded music). Personally, I’d reserve the “Modern Edison” title for Tim Berners-Lee.

I’ll remember the good and the bad of Jobs because my uncle, a software programmer, always questioned my fascination for all things Apple. He liked to be able to tinker, to see how something worked. He always pointed this limitation in my iPods and Macbooks (particularly the lack of a removable battery in my iPod. This seemed to bug him more than anything).

I’ll also remember Jobs and Apple for changing the trajectory of my career long before I knew what it would be. Jobs’ focus on music as a gateway into new technology (and his success at it) was a catalyst for rapid growth of music consumption technology. When you have an 80 gigabyte iPod, there is a compulsion to fill it up to the brim. I think websites like Pandora and Spotify would not have been possible without iPods and iTunes priming an insatiable appetite for digital music in more of the population and, of course, without these providing substantial competition to radio, I wouldn’t have anything to study (or at least nothing as fun to study).