SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 6, 2011 (AFP) - The passing of Steve Jobs left people around the world "iSad" on Thursday, with countless mourners typing out their grief on the handheld Apple gadgets that have transformed modern life.
Tributes poured in from notables from US President Barack Obama to Bill Gates, but it was the scale of the outpouring from ordinary people around the world, hammering out characters on Jobs's own inventions, that was staggering.
|AFP - Apples and candles adorn a makeshift memorial for Steve Jobs at the Apple headquarters on October 5, 2011 in Cupertino, California.|
As word spread that Jobs had died of cancer at the age of 56, messages tagged "iSad" and "RIP Steve Jobs" joined other references to the Apple co-founder among the hottest topics at Twitter.
Others made their way to state-of-the-art Apple retail stores, another user-friendly innovation pioneered by Jobs. In Tokyo, employees observed a silent prayer before opening the doors to customers on Thursday.
And in front of an Apple store in Manhattan, Gregory Littley placed two roses and a candle on the sidewalk next to his iPhone, with "We will miss you Steve Jobs" typed on its touchscreen.
By nightfall in California, thousands of people at global social network Facebook had signed up to take part in an unofficial Steve Jobs Day planned for October 14.
A stevejobsday2011.com website devoted to the event invited people to dress up as the Apple co-founder or talk about him, whether at real-world gatherings or at online venues such as Facebook and Twitter.
"We love what he's brought to the world," said a message at the website, which is dominated by a color portrait of Jobs.
"Let's take a day to honor the man...Everyone around the world is invited to participate," it continued.
A Facebook page devoted to the event explained that it was planned when Jobs stepped down as Apple chief executive in August for health reasons and was not intended to be a memorial.
Intended or not, the Jobs Day Facebook comment forum was flooded with remembrances and adoration for the visionary behind iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Macintosh computers.
"People often asked me what is it about Apple that makes you so crazy," Facebook member Pallav Desai wrote on the page.
"I say it was more than a product - it was a fight of a person who battled cancer; who was thrown out of his company, and STILL came back and showed the world iWAS iAM & iWILL change the world!"
From children who adore "Toy Story" and other Pixar films to teens obsessed with watching YouTube videos on iPhones or adults addicted to iPad applications and music from iTunes, people were moved to share their feelings about Jobs.
"In a sense, Steve Jobs was part Thomas Edison, Walt Disney and P.T. Barnum," said Creative Strategies analyst Tim Bajarin, who covered Jobs for 30 years.
"A modern technology visionary, focused in delivering products that are useful and provide entertainment and a masterful showman who really knew how to keep people on the edge of their seats wanting more."
Jobs gave the world the Apple II, The Mac, the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad and Pixar, altering industries and lifestyles in the process, Bajarin noted.
On Twitter, Brian Magallones respectfully equated Jobs to "a modern day cross between Albert Einstein and Willy Wonka."
Tweets streamed thanking Jobs for his innovations, and many people quoted from a moving commencement address he gave at Stanford University in 2005.
The video had logged more than six million views at YouTube, at least two million of them over a period of a few hours early on Thursday.
People echoed his advice to stay hungry, dare being foolish, and not waste time living someone else's life.
"Death is the destination we all share," he told the graduating class.
"And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life," he continued. "It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new."