Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs

Well Crap.

Just yesterday, Apple announced the new iPhone 4s. As usual, many analysts and bloggers stated that it was no big deal, another disappointment from Apple.

But I don't believe it, because I've never been unhappy with any Apple product I've ever had. And I've been using Apple products since 1985.

Yep, I'm an Apple fan, always have been, and proud of it. And I'll be updating my iPhone 3s to an iPhone 4s. Just the camera is enough to get me all excited.

With this in mind, I've been all over the internet today, reading about this exciting new device.

So you can imagine how very sad and shocked I was this afternoon to read of the death of Steve Jobs at just 56 years old.

I am stunned and so very sad. I knew it was coming, but it seems too soon . . .

I'm sure you've heard all about this, but I just need to write it out, so bear with me here.

Steve Jobs and Apple changed my life.

I remember in the early 80s when I kept hearing about software. Hardware I understood, but what was this software everybody was talking about? I thought about it and wondered, but by this time it was so entrenched in our vocabulary that truthfully, I was embarrassed to ask anyone.

Finally, I went over to a friends house and she had a brand new Apple computer, a Macintosh Classic. We sat down and she began to show me what it could do (after kindly explaining what software was). I was enthralled. Let me be clear here, I had never sat down in front of a computer before. I had friends who were geeks, but they built their own, learning endless lines of code to run DOS. I knew that it wasn't for me, so I had given up on the idea of ever using a computer.

But this I could do!

The mouse, what a wonder that was. And how very clever that there was that tiny garbage can in the corner where you could "throw something in the trash"?

I was hooked.

I bought myself a Mac Classic, a printer and a stack of floppy discs. I also bought an external hard drive with a whopping 20 megabytes of storage (more than you'll ever need, I was told). The external drive was so big that it had to sit underneath the computer itself. The cost was just under $3,000.

But I was bewitched. I bought myself a phone with a headset and spent all my extra waking hours on the phone with my friend, who would walk me through the basics of the Mac. I really couldn't let it go, I was like a sponge that hadn't seen water in years.

I went to my first MacWorld and was like a kid in a candy shop. I bought an external floppy drive. Now I could swap discs, wow, and there were so many cool things, it was a whole new world. I bought a Compuserve package, and suddenly, I could get on the internet. That was before I even knew what the internet really was, but I knew I wanted to be a part of it.

And in learning the Mac, I was introduced to word processing, which led to my newsletter which introduced me to so much of the Disney Universe. It was all due to the Mac. Without it, I would have never attempted a newsletter, much less managing the subscriptions, mailing labels, etc.

Then came digital photography. We had a film camera, we would take pictures, but faced mostly disappointment when we finally got them developed. I just wasn't much of a photographer (and I'm still not). But with the aid of digital manipulation, I was able to learn how to fix many of my shots.

It was a learning curve but I took to it.

Us Apple people were in the minority, laughed at by so many friends on PCs. Then Windows came out. In my mind an excuse to try to make the PC somewhere near as user friendly as a Mac. I didn't think it worked, but many people were pleased.

I stuck with Apple as the computers continued to improve. Faster, more powerful, certainly more elegant than anything else on the market. I loved the hardware, the software, I just couldn't understand why anyone would want any other computer.

Then there was digital music. The iPod was an amazing game changer. Suddenly PC people were starting to pay attention. This thing actually worked! I think that this was where the tide began to turn.

And through it all, there was Steve Jobs. Nitpicking the hardware, always making it better. Friendlier. Less clunky. More beautiful. And always more user friendly. I love how it all just worked.

Then came the iPhone and things really began to change. Suddenly, we all had computers in our pockets, WOW, it was a whole new ballgame. And Apple was getting some respect.

And now there's the iPad. Go back and watch Steve Jobs presentation. It's been said he knew what we wanted before we did. And it's true. Everyone who reads this blog knows I love my iPad, and I'm certainly not alone.

I recently read an article talking about all the choices everyone has as far as tablet computers. The final line read "But people don't want a tablet, they want an iPad". And it's true.

Steve Jobs knew what we wanted before we did.

I have faith that Apple will continue to shine, the infrastructure is certainly in place. But a bit of the enthusiasm, the shine, the sparkle is gone.

And we are all the poorer for it.
My thoughts go out to his family.
And we are all part of that family.

Steve Jobs

Note: This lovely silhouette image was created by Jonathan Mak Long (thank you Lorna for supplying that information). The other image was pulled from the internet, I could not find anyone to credit for the work.


Jerry and Suzy said...

Maybe we should look at the sparkle and shine that is here today and into the future because of Steve Jobs and the contributions he made.

Kimberly and Jerry Peterson said...

Hey guys, we will be traveling down to San Diego the first part of November and would love to stop by and visit. Send us a personal email and let us know if you guys will still be there. Give us names of nearby campgrounds you would recommend and any other information so we can check it out and see if we can possibly put it in our schedule. Would love to meet up and have some lunch or visit for a day or so.

Levonne said...

That was a great tribute to Steve Jobs and Apple. He will be the apple of our eyes for a long time yet! Thank you. Rest in Peace Mr. Jobs.

Big Matt said...

Given that a large portion of Apple's innovation came from Jobs himself, it might be within our lifetimes to see Apple drop to a point where Bill gates or another of the giants buys them up.

Kate said...

Matt, While I don't think Jobs contribution can be undervalued, it's a huge company with a lot of talent under the hood. He knew he was dying and has been setting things up for a long time. I think what we'll miss most is the flash and passion of his presentations. It will certainly be a different company, but I think it will be fine.

That said, you might be right. I think a lot of people would love to see Apple fail.

Lorna... said...

Kate, the graphic is by 19-year old Jonathan Mak Long. I grabbed the same one from "The Daily Beast" for my blog post today. Great minds...and all that. And great minds love Macs and that visionary Steve Jobs!