CUPERTINO, Calif. – It rained off and on Thursday in Cupertino, Calif., and the weather fits the somber mood outside Apple's Infinite Loop headquarters.
Fans of Steve Jobs have been arriving all day to pay their respects and add to the growing memorial on the front lawn.
Flowers, cards, balloons and candles are among the items left by well-wishers, many of whom arrived in black turtleneck and jeans in honor of the maverick Silicon Valley entrepreneur. One note thanked Jobs for “keeping your eye on where the puck was going.”
Dozens of media outlets are here as well to get reaction from employees now working at a company that will be different going forward without its founder leading the way.
"I really feel that all of the products that I use, that I depend on throughout the day, be it the iPhone, the iPad or the Macbook, it's a manifestation of his vision," says former Apple employee Sujantha Alluri.
An even bigger memorial lines the sidewalk at Jobs' home in Palo Alto, Calif. One neighbor, Jane Gee, said when she heard that Jobs had died, she was overcome with grief.
"And I immediately called my husband who worked at Apple for twelve years, and I yelled up at my kids who were upstairs doing their homework and I said Steve Jobs died and he was a big part of your life and being in the community with his family."
In a statement to "the Team," as Apple employees are called, CEO Tim Cook wrote, "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."
Apple's own tribute is as simple and elegant as any iPod or Mac: no products on its main page, just a picture of the company's co-founder, and the years he lived.
Jobs had been battling pancreatic cancer since 2004, and when he officially resigned as CEO six weeks ago, there was a sense the end was near. But Jobs was philosophical about his own mortality. In a 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University, he said, "death is the greatest invention of life, because it clears out the old to make way for the new."
Many say it's ironic that Apple's consummate pitchman died just a day after the company unveiled its latest version of the iPhone. In the minds of many who attended the presentation, Jobs' presence was missed, and the vacuum could give rival tech firms a chance to catch up to Apple.
But no one will miss him more than his family -- his wife of 20 years and 4 children -- who are mourning in private today.
The company says it is planning a celebration of Jobs' life and legacy "soon," and for now is asking fans to share their thoughts and condolences at firstname.lastname@example.org.