Steve Jobs Never Stopped Inventing Even Up Until The Last Year Of His Life



Despite his battle with illness during the years the led to his death, Steve Jobs never stopped inventing products and systems that would do their little bit to change the world. This patent, published just over a year ago, details a concept invented by Steve that could prevent users from inadvertently performing actions on a computer.

Published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, and picked up by AppleInsider, the patent is entitled ‘Three State Icon for Operations’, and lists Steve as one of only two inventors. While Steve’s name is on over 300 Apple patents in total, this is one of the most recent.

The patent details a dynamic software icon that attempt to prevent users from performing certain actions accidentally. It notes that users can sometimes initiate activities that cannot be stopped once they have started, such as formatting a disk, and burning a CD or DVD.

The application reads:

“Initiating an improper operation on the computer can be costly in terms of both time and money. Recording medium may be recordable only once such that if a mistake is made while recording, then the medium will not be reusable.”

While systems already attempt to prevent this by using dialog boxes that require you to confirm your action, Jobs’ idea introduces an additional step using a dynamic icon that presents itself in three states: the initial selection of the icon does not perform an action, but will simply change the icon from its first to its second state.

The icon requires a user to pause and verify they want to perform the selected activity, before moving the icon into its third state.

“When the operation is proceeding on the computer, the icon will revert to a third state to show that the function is proceeding as desired.”

In this illustration, Apple uses an icon that resembles a camera aperture or iris. The initial click opens up the aperture to display an icon similar to a radioactive symbol. The second click then initiates the operation and the icon changes again.

It seems like the evolution of the double-click, and could one day be a part of the Mac OS operating system.

What do you think of this idea?

  • Rohan

    I remember this! Burning CDs in Panther! Good times, good times

  • Cameron Leask

    “and could one day be a part of the Mac OS operating system.”

    Surely it it already? iTunes and iDVD both have it.

  • MarkusRosin9768

    people all over the world are making money online and their check is more than 5000$ month after month just working on the computer for few houres , more home workers needed immediately,This system is so simple that anyone with a computer can make money FAST! If you qualify, you will be paid just for helping companies like Amazon! Read about it and follow the steps to get started here,

  • Tom_Cadwallader

    I think that this just shows how much effort Steve put in to everything he did. Spending time on an icon wouldn’t be something you would find any other CEO doing.

  • Avi

    That’s very nice and impressive but total overkill.

    I’ve put my computer in standby whilst burning a disc in Toast.

    So fix the operating system first.

  • timborama

    Actually, I designed that icon and co-inventor on the patent.  I worked with Steve closely for over 15 years. He was a great leader and mentor.  I’ll be sharing some of my fondest memories on my blog for those that care to read.

  • Guest

    Click?  What’s that?

  • Jacob Pritchett

    I remember how cool this was back when I first got a Mac and happily burned CDs and DVDs with my SuperDrive… oh how time flies. RIP, Steve.

  • Wayne_Luke

    The application is less about burning a disc and more about the user feedback and interaction with the icons as the operation does its job.

  • Max Walker

    I’m almost certain this already existed a few years ago on an older version of iTunes when the burn button still appeared in the bottom right of the window. I guess they decided it wasn’t useful.

  • Dave

    Yeah, the only thing this proves is that Jobs fucking LOVED patents. He especially loved the way that patents are a fantastic way to sue the ass out of your competitors and gain an unfair advantage over them if they were unable to pay for extortionate legal fees.

    This from the man who ran an ad campaign encouraging people to “Think different”? Yeah right. Think different just so long as you don’t infringe any one of Apple Inc.’s 9 million Intellectual Properties or Patents…