Everyone knew that the resignation of Steve Jobs was imminent. But it’s still sad.
Last weekend, while rearranging upstairs bedrooms to prepare a nursery for our son (he’s due in less than 3 months!), I found myself looking at my old G4 iMac. It’s the one with the goose neck and the dome base. This one has a nice 21″ screen. It’s got a problem now where it’s a pain to turn it on, but it’s otherwise in great condition. It’s still a stunning computer.
Seven years ago, I moved from Flagstaff, AZ to the midwest. Things weren’t going so well. I talked my parents into buying that iMac for me. It wasn’t cheap — along with Final Cut Express it was around $1,600.
My interest then was video editing. But it was more than that. For years I was a UNIX nerd. Linux in particular. I still have a soft spot for it (I use Terminal.app and vi every day). But Mac OS X took it to an entirely new level. They somehow managed to combine UNIX underpinnings with solid UI and UX. It was, and still is, amazing.
But, as I said, my interest was in video editing. Through this, I eventually re-connected with an old friend from middle school and started an internet comedy group. We made very few waves (there were some very small ones), but the personal implications were far-reaching. I got a job at IB (where I worked for 5 years) through a recommendation from several of the guys. Shawn officiated my wedding with Kelly. These are people I never would have known if the state of tech on the Mac had been less awesome. They’re all good friends (and we still miss you, Eric).
My current employment can be traced back to it as well. Not because I use a Mac at work (I do), but because the Mac re-ignited an interest in computing for me. Keep in mind, I was not a fan of the mac in the pre-OS X days. It might have been a decent OS, but it was severely lacking in many respects. OS X, though, was a breath of fresh air. It was a technically competent OS with a nice, even wonderful front-end. People forget just how shitty GUIs were 15 years ago.
I still own a shirt that says, “I dig Mac OS X”.
I carry around 2, sometimes 3 iOS devices every day. Which is ridiculous, of course.
I remember thinking, back in 2008, how strange it was that just a year before I didn’t have EVERYTHING at my fingertips. The iPhone and iPad have drastically altered my lifestyle. I can’t even imagine life without them now. I use my iPhone more than I’ve ever used any computer or phone. Or any device, really.
iPhone, and iPod Touch and iPad have had such a huge effect on the market that it’s really hard to gauge. People lately have taken to saying that there’s no tablet market: there’s an iPad market. And it’s true. Apple is so far ahead of everyone else that it’s a bit embarassing. They’ll all catch up eventually, but right now the competition is completely incompetent.
So. Here’s one guy who managed to create and shepherd some seriously world-changing technology. I didn’t even mention iPods or MacBooks. He’s probably going to die long before his time. But a large part of modern life is shaped by what Steve Jobs has done. He changed the world for the better.
Here’s wishing him the best.