STEVE JOBS – THE INNOVATOR

Steve Jobs is the Chairman, CEO and co-founder of Apple Inc., a leading manufacturer of electronic devices including the Macintosh Computer (MAC), iPod, iPhone, and the music and video software itunes. He was CEO of Pixar Animation Studios until it was acquired by Disney in 2006. Although he is known as a business and sales wizard, Steve Jobs is credited with many of the electronic inventions now patented by Apple. Steven Paul Jobs was born on 24th February, 1955 in San Francisco to Joanne Carole Schieble and Syrian Abdulfattah John Jandali and adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs. He attended the Cupertino Middle School followed by high school at Homestead H.S. in the same town of Cupertino. He spent his childhood in the South Bay area, a region that would later become known as Silicon Valley. During high school Jobs held a summer job at the Hewlett-Packard Company in Palo Alto prior to attending college. His original association with Steven Wozniak began as a result of attending lectures and working at HP. Although he attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon, Steve Jobs never graduated, having only spent about six months at college. He returned to California in 1974 and began attending meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club with his friend Wozniak. At the same time he took a job at Atari to save money for a spiritual retreat to India. While working there he discovered that a popular whistle recreated the tones needed to make long distance phone calls with AT&T. Jobs convinced Wozniak to go into business with him to create “blue boxes” and sell them to people wishing to make free long distance phone calls. Jobs ended up backpacking through India but returned to work with Atari. He continued to work with Wozniak on other projects and finally convinced him to market a computer Wozniak had built for himself. On April 1, 1976, Apple Inc. was born. Although the business started with printed circuit boards, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs eventually created their first personal computer, the Apple I, and sold it for $666.66. They later followed it with the Apple II, a large success for their business. Apple Inc. began selling shares in December of 1980. As the company grew, so did its merchandise and the hugely successful Macintosh was introduced to the public in 1984 and became the first personal computer with a graphical user interface (GUI) through which individuals could interact with the items on the screen. As Apple grew even more, Jobs experienced tension with the board and the struggles led to Jobs leaving Apple in May of 1985.
Steve Jobs went on to create the company called NeXT in 1986. Although it began as a company designed around aesthetic interpersonal computing, it later focused more on software development. NeXT ended up playing a major role in the development of email and the world wide web.
Apple bought NeXT in 1996 and reinstated Jobs as the Chief Executive Officer. His current annual salary is $1, but he receives executive gifts from the board that give better tax advantages than does his salary. He is well known for his work ethic as well as his rumored temper, but has consistently helped to grow Apple from a company bordering on bankruptcy in the 1990s to a very successful company today. Steve Jobs has helped establish the new electronic divisions and personally helped to create the ipod, iphone, and other personal devices.

Jobs’ died at his home on October 5,2011. His death was announced by Apple in an announcement which read:

“We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today. Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve. His greatest love for his wife, Laurene, and his family. Our Hearts go out to them and to all who touched by his extraordinary gifts.”

Jobs’ family released a statement saying that he had died peacefully.


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SWAMI VIVEKANANDA – THE SPIRITUAL REVOLUTIONIST

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Swami Vivekananda, known in his pre-monastic life as Narendra Nath Datta, was born in an affluent family in Kolkata on 12 January 1863. His father, Vishwanath Datta, was a successful attorney with interests in a wide range of subjects, and his mother, Bhuvaneshwari Devi, was endowed with deep devotion, strong character and other qualities. A precocious boy, Narendra excelled in music, gymnastics and studies. By the time he graduated from Calcutta University, he had acquired a vast knowledge of different subjects, especially Western philosophy and history. Born with a yogic temperament, he used to practise meditation even from his boyhood, and was associated with Brahmo Movement for some time.During his travels all over India, Swami Vivekananda was deeply moved to see the appalling poverty and backwardness of the masses.Swami Vivekananda heard about the World’s Parliament of Religions to be held in Chicago in 1893. His friends and admirers in India wanted him to attend the Parliament. He too felt that the Parliament would provide the right forum to present his Master’s message to the world, and so he decided to go to America. Another reason which prompted Swamiji to go to America was to seek financial help for his project of uplifting the masses. Swamiji, however, wanted to have an inner certitude and divine call regarding his mission. Both of these he got while he sat in deep meditation on the rock-island at Kanyakumari. With the funds partly collected by his Chennai disciples and partly provided by the Raja of Khetri, Swami Vivekananda left for America from Mumbai on 31 May 1893. His speeches at the World’s Parliament of Religions held in September 1893 made him famous as an ‘orator by divine right’ and as a ‘Messenger of Indian wisdom to the Western world’. In June 1899 he went to the West on a second visit. This time he spent most of his time in the West coast of USA. After delivering many lectures there, he returned to Belur Math in December 1900. The rest of his life was spent in India, inspiring and guiding people, both monastic and lay. Incessant work, especially giving lectures and inspiring people, told upon Swamiji’s health. His health deteriorated and the end came quietly on the night of 4 July 1902.


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BILL GATES – THE FOUNDER OF MICROSOFT

Bill Gates is one of the most influential people in the world. He is cofounder of one of the most recognized brands in the computer industry with nearly every desk top computer using at least one software program from Microsoft. According to the Forbes magazine, Bill Gates is the richest man in the world and has held the number one position for many years. Gates was born on 28th October, 1955 and grew up in Seattle, Washington USA. His father, William H. Gates II was a Seattle attorney and his mother, Mary Maxwell Gates was a school teacher and chairperson of the United Way charity. Gates and his two sisters had a comfortable upbringing, with Gates being able to attend the exclusive secondary “Lakeside School”. Bill Gates started studying at Harvard University in 1973 where he spent time with Paul Allen. Gates and Allen worked on a version of the programming language BASIC, that was the basis for the MITS Altair (the first microcomputer available). He did not go on to graduate from Harvard University as he left in his junior year to start what was to become the largest computer software company in the world; Microsoft Corporation.After dropping out of Harvard Bill Gates and his partner Paul Allen set about revolutionizing the computer industry. Gates believed there should be a computer on every office desk and in every home. In 1975 the company Micro-soft was formed, which was an abbreviation of microcomputer software. It soon became simply “Microsoft”® and went on to completely change the way people use computers. Microsoft helped to make the computer easier to use with its developed and purchased software, and made it a commercial success. The success of Microsoft began with the MS-DOS computer operating system that Gates licensed to IBM. Gates also set about protecting the royalties that he could acquire from computer software by aggressively fighting against all forms of software piracy, effectively creating the retail software market that now exists today. This move was quite controversial at the time as it was the freedom of sharing that produced much innovation and advances in the newly forming software industry. But it was this stand against software piracy, that was to be central in the great commercial success that Microsoft went on to achieve. The Microsoft monopoly sets about completely dominating every market it enters through either acquisition, aggressive business tactics or a combination of them. Many of the largest technology companies have fought legally against the actions of Microsoft, including Apple Computer, Netscape, Opera, WordPerfect, and sun Microsystems.With an estimated wealth of $53 billion in 2006, Bill Gates is the richest man in the world and he should be starting to get used to the number spot as he has been there from the mid-ninties up until now. The famous investor Warren Buffett is gaining on Gates though with an estimated $46 billion in 2006. Microsoft hasn’t just made Bill Gates very wealthy though. According to the Forbes business magazine in 2004 Paul Allen, Microsoft cofounder was the 5th richest man in the world with an estimated $21 billion. While Bill Gates’ long time friend and Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer was the 19th richest man in the world at $12.4 billion. Being the richest man in the world has also enabled Gates to create one of the world’s largest charitable foundations. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has an endowment of more than $28 billion, with donations totaling more than $1 billion every year. The foundation was formed in 2000 after merging the “Gates Learning Foundation” and “William H. Gates Foundation”. Their aim is to “bring innovations in health and learning to the global community”.

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NELSON MANDELA – THE PEACE MAKER

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Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa on July 18, 1918. His father was Chief Henry Mandela of the Tembu Tribe. Mandela himself was educated at University College of Fort Hare and the University of Witwatersrand and qualified in law in 1942. He joined the African National Congress in 1944 and was engaged in resistance against the ruling National Party’s apartheid policies after 1948. He went on trial for treason in 1956-1961 and was acquitted in 1961. One of the world’s most revered statesmen, Nelson Mandela led the struggle to replace South Africa’s apartheid regime with a non-racial democracy. He was inspired from a young age by his own elders’ courage during the wars of resistance and resolved at that time to support the freedom struggle of his people. As a law student Mandela was active in student politics and he joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1943. By 1952 he was leading national anti-apartheid activities, and opened the country’s first black law firm with Oliver Tambo. Throughout the 1950s he was banned, arrested and imprisoned for his activities. In the early 1960s he worked in the underground resistance movement and also travelled abroad. In 1962, shortly after his return to South Africa, he was arrested, tried and sentenced to five years in prison. While in prison he was also charged with sabotage and the Rivonia trial, as it has come to be known, was where Mandela made one of his most famous statements. “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” In 1964 he was jailed for life and spent 27 years in prison. In 1985, from prison, he began talks with the apartheid government which evolved into a dialogue and eventually, his release. On his release in 1990, Mandela again moved to the leadership of his people’s liberation struggle. In 1991 he was elected leader of the ANC. In 1994 the country’s first non-racial elections were held – the first time that Mandela himself was able to vote in his own country. He was elected President and served a five year term. Since stepping down as President in 1999, Mandela has become South Africa’s highest-profile ambassador, campaigning in the fight against HIV/AIDS. He was also active in peace negotiations in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi. Fondly known in South Africa by his clan name ‘Madiba’, Mr. Mandela remains an inspiration to all those around the world fighting injustice and oppression.

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VISWANATHAN ANAND – THE GRANDMASTER

Viswanathan Anand, born on 11th December 1969 is an Indian chess Grandmaster and the current World Chess Champion. Anand held the FIDE World Chess Championship from 2000 to 2002, at a time when the world title was split. He became the undisputed World Champion in 2007 and defended his title against Vladimir Kramnik in 2008. With this win, he became the first player in chess history to have won the World Championship in three different formats: Knockout, Tournament, and Match. He will next defend his title in the World Chess Championship 2010 against Veselin Topalov, the winner of a challenger match against Gata Kamsky in February 2009. Anand is one of five players in history to break the 2800 mark on the FIDE rating list. He was at the top of the world rankings five out of six times, from April 2007 to July 2008. In October 2008, he dropped out of the world top three ranking for the first time since July 1996. In 2007 he was awarded India’s second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan. He is also the first recipient of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1991–92, India’s highest sporting honour.

CHESS TITLES:

  • 1983 National Sub-Junior Chess Champion
  • 1984 Asian Junior Champion 1984 International Master
  • 1985 Indian National Champion 1987 World Junior Chess Champion
  • 1988 Grandmaster 1990 Asian Champion
  • 2000 FIDE World Chess Champion
  • 2000 World Blitz Chess Champion
  • 2003 FIDE World Rapid Chess Champion
  • 2007 World Chess Champion (Undisputed)
  • 2008 World Chess Champion (Undisputed)

AWARDS

  • Arjuna award for Outstanding Indian Sportsman in Chess in 1985
  • Padma Shri, National Citizens Award and Soviet Land Nehru Award in 1987
  • The inaugural Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, India’s highest sporting honor in the year 1991–1992.
  • British Chess Federation ‘Book of the Year’ Award in 1998 for his book My Best Games of Chess
  • Padma Bhushan in 2000
  • Jameo de Oro the highest honour given by the Government of Lanzarote in Spain on 25 April 2001.
  • Chess Oscar (1997, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008)
  • Sportstar Millennium Award in 1998, from India’s premier Sports magazine for being the sport person of the millennium
  • Padma Vibhushan in 2007

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N.S.KRISHNAN – THE SOUTH INDIAN COMEDY KING

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N. S. Krishnan, popularly known as Kalaivanar and also as ‘NSK’ was a leading Tamil film comedian, drama artist, playback singer and writer in the early stages of the Tamil film industry – in the 1940s and 1950s. His full name is Nagercoil Sudalaimuthu Krishnan. He was born on 29th November 1908. His parents were Sudalaimuthu pillai and Isakki Ammal. His place of Birth was Oluginasery in Nagercoil. He had 5 sisters namely Chellamamal, Panchali, Mahalakshmi, Subbammal and Minnamal. He also had a brother Engode alias Thiravium. He acted many number of Tamil and other language films and did a good job in envoking the illiterate minds from misbeliefs and other ignorant things. He totally acted 120 films as a comedian, actor and also as a director. The first fim he acted was Sathi Leelavathi and the first film released was Menaka. He won many titles for his achievement in the film industry such as Nagaichuvai Arasu (given by Ki. Aa. Pe. Viswanatham), Puratchi Vikata Vendhan (given by Poet Bharathidasan). Of all these titles the popularly known title which was given to him is the “KALAIVANAR”, this was given by Nataraja Educational Society in 1947. He started the Indian Film artists Association in 1953 and become the President of the Association in 1957. He also chosen as the Honorary President for Tamil Dramatists Association and Nagercoil Tennis Club (Kalaivanar was working as a ball picker for Rs. 3 in his childhood days). Although he made all social reforms through his acting in the films, the nature has taken him back on 30th August, 1957.


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ABRAHAM LINCOLN – EXTERMINATOR OF SLAVERY

abraham lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 15, 1865. He successfully led his country through its greatest internal crisis, the American Civil War, preserving the Union and ending slavery. Before his election in 1860 as the first Republican president, Lincoln had been a country lawyer, an Illinois state legislator, a member of the United States House of Representatives, and twice an unsuccessful candidate for election to the U.S. Senate. As an outspoken opponent of the expansion of slavery in the United States, Lincoln won the Republican Party nomination in 1860 and was elected president later that year. His tenure in office was occupied primarily with the defeat of the secessionist Confederate States of America in the American Civil War. He introduced measures that resulted in the abolition of slavery, issuing his Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and promoting the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Six days after the large-scale surrender of Confederate forces under General Robert E. Lee, Lincoln became the first American president to be assassinated. Lincoln closely supervised the victorious war effort, especially the selection of top generals, including Ulysses S. Grant. Historians have concluded that he handled the factions of the Republican Party well, bringing leaders of each faction into his cabinet and forcing them to cooperate. Lincoln successfully defused the Trent affair, a war scare with Britain late in 1861. Under his leadership, the Union took control of the border slave states at the start of the war. Additionally, he managed his own reelection in the 1864 presidential election. Copperheads and other opponents of the war criticized Lincoln for refusing to compromise on the slavery issue. Conversely, the Radical Republicans, an abolitionist faction of the Republican Party, criticized him for moving too slowly in abolishing slavery. Even with these opponents, Lincoln successfully rallied public opinion through his rhetoric and speeches; his Gettysburg Address (1863) became an iconic symbol of the nation’s duty. At the close of the war, Lincoln held a moderate view of Reconstruction, seeking to speedily reunite the nation through a policy of generous reconciliation. Lincoln has consistently been ranked by scholars as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents.

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