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Apple pauses to celebrate life of Steve Jobs

Apple's San Francisco retail store puts up curtains ahead of the event.
Apple's San Francisco retail store puts up curtains ahead of the event. Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Two weeks after the death of Steve Jobs, Apple celebrated the life of its late co-founder at a private event held today at its headquarters in Cupertino.

In conjunction with the event, Apple closed its retail stores for three hours worldwide, giving store employees a chance to watch the proceedings from live video being piped in.

Stores put up white curtains over glass windows to keep passers by from watching said feed, as well as signage noting that the store would be closed until noon Pacific. Apple typically only closes its retail stores during business hours for renovation, and just ahead of product launches.

The closures come on the heels of the launch of the iPhone 4S, which went on sale last week in the U.S. and several other countries. The phone is Apple's fastest-selling product, and is still commanding lines at some stores. Those looking to get a unit at stores before Apple closed down stores were told to come back later in the day.

The service is the first for company employees. Over the weekend, Jobs' life was celebrated on Stanford University's campus in a similarly private event attended by friends, family, and colleagues. Jobs, who died October 5 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, was buried a few days later during a private, non-denominational funeral in Santa Clara County.

Apple today also posted a Steve Jobs memorial page on its site with messages sent in by the general public. The company said on that page that more than a million people sent in notes about Jobs, some of which are now displayed on the tribute site.

Update at 11:45 a.m. PT: Here's a shot of what's going on at Apple's campus taken shortly after the event kicked off at 10 a.m. this morning:

A throng of employees is gathered inside the company's courtyard. On the wall is a massive photo of Jobs holding an early Apple computer. Musicians Norah Jones and Chris Martin of Coldplay also played live on stage following speeches from Apple CEO Tim Cook and Apple board director Bill Campbell, Apple blog CultofMac reported based on a collection of tweets from inside Apple's campus.

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