PARIS--It's a sign of just how deeply Apple technology has moved into people's lives that Cedric Jacquiot awoke early this morning to an iPhone notification with the news that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had died.
And it's a sign of the importance of Jobs himself that Jacquiot, on his way to work, decided to go to the Apple Store to purchase a memorial iPod.
"That's why I bought a Shuffle," Jacquiot said. "It's a collector's item, I guess."
He was one of a handful of people who made a pilgrimage today to the Paris Apple store across the street from the gilded statues of the city's opera house. The posh building serves as something of a shrine to Jobs and to the tremendous consumer success of the company he co-founded.
Xavier Zeitoun, too, made a special trip to the store for what he called a sad occasion. Wearing a black leather jacket and Apple's white-cabled earbuds, he stooped to light a candle beneath two bouquets of pale yellow roses beside the store door.
As an employee of 1001Menus, a 10-person start-up that's a year old, Zeitoun said he feels Jobs' influence on the world firsthand.
"What he achieved is to democratize IT," Zeitoun said. "Technology was for geeks before Steve Jobs."
Zeitoun said Jobs is a role model when it comes time for him to speak publicly. "The way he did marketing is just amazing," he said.
Jacquiot, who works in the computing industry, also sees Jobs' influence personally. "He invented like everybody should. That's your biggest inspiration when you're in technology," Jacquiot said.
Mallory Lourdault, a 34-year-old visiting Paris from Geneva, also came by the Apple store, curious to see what was happening after Jobs' death. He's been using Apple products since he was 8 years old, when his father bought a Macintosh at age 8.
"It was a revolution for me," Lourdault said of the Mac.
Jobs was something of a dictator, he added--but as with many musical geniuses, that's common among people with a strong vision they want to pursue.
Jobs, who co-founded Apple, founded NeXT, and led Pixar after buying it from Lucasfilm, was an important figure in the world of computing. But Lourdault believes the excitement for tech that Jobs so helped to foster won't stop just because Jobs is gone.
"I think it will continue," Lourdault said. "There are more new things every day. There is more new technology every day."