He has been gone now for a year.
Yet in the time since Steve Jobs lost his battle with cancer, the Apple (AAPL) magic he became synonymous with continues to flow as if he were still here, jumping around like a kid, refusing to suffer fools gladly, dreaming up the next insanely great thing that none of us would see coming but that few of us would be able to live without.
"I get goose bumps when I think about what he did for the world," said retired college professor Francina Nur. "In a way, through his amazing products, he will live forever."
Nur had just composed a remembrance note on one of the 100 sheets of 8x12 typing paper a stranger had taped early Friday to the front of the Palo Alto Apple Store. Suddenly a makeshift shrine to the Apple co-founder, this is a spot not far from Jobs' home, a place he'd visit often and always to the delight of his adoring fans lucky enough to be on hand. "You are still the best Apple ever had," Nur wrote. "No replacement yet."
She signed it "Francina," as if she and Jobs had been close, a presumed intimacy many of his smitten followers would confess to secretly harboring. Jobs just seemed to understand them, sometimes even better than they understood themselves.
How else to describe that feeling of gee-whiz joy they got removing an iPad from its sleek packaging? Or that sense of wonderment each time they flick their finger across the iPhone screen, dispatching a fruit bowl of colored icons like some dazzling sleight of hand?
"I like playing on the iPod," someone had scribbled on one of the sheets of paper taped to the Apple Store's shimmering glass face, someone with the handwriting of a small child.
Alexander Lepskii, visiting Palo Alto from his native Siberia 6,000 miles away, wrote, in Russian: "Thank you. Russia remembers you."
His 32-year-old sister, Veronika Lepskaya of Miami, said "I think of Steve every time I use my iPad 2. I spend every day on it. It's part of my life."
Then she added: "In a way, so is Steve."
On Friday, the home page of Apple's website had been turned into a sentimental slideshow homage to Jobs. In a note, CEO Tim Cook wrote about Jobs' "extraordinary life" and vowed that his "spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple."
There were audio clips from Jobs' speeches and product launches.
"It's in Apple's DNA," Jobs says at one point, "that technology alone is not enough. It's technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing."
Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 played in the background.
The words "Remembering Steve" flickered for a moment.
And then the screen slowly went dark.
Contact Patrick May at 408-920-5689; follow him at Twitter.com/patmaymerc.