Yes, a corny title, but a testament to the pervasive influence that Steve made upon our lives. Not just with language, technology, creativity, design and the obvious list that goes on, but also with inspiration, motivation and dogged determination.
Ironic, but fitting that my trusted MacBook told me the sad, but inevitable news of Steve’s passing. My homepage is still apple.com and when I arrived home from work on Wednesday, I went to check emails and stopped in physical shock at the image of Steve that filled my screen. I clicked to Google to find out what happened and exactly when, and a barrage of articles appeared, but I read the first one that was by WSJ. I called my husband (on his iPhone) at his office, and was surprised he did not yet know as he works at a tech company. He shared the news with a colleague in his office. I tweeted and facebooked about Steve along with hundreds, and now thousands of others. In the quiet of this Sunday morning, I am finally able to arrange and articulate my thoughts about the loss of one of the most iconic people in my lifetime.
I knew about Steve Jobs before I was interested in tech and long before I touched my first Mac. I grew up in Australia when computers were just being put into schools and there was such a subject called “Computer Studies”. We would learn how to use a computer for one hour a week in the “Computer Lab”. The Commodore 64 was the personal computer of choice. And Apple was around too, but I did not know anyone with an Apple computer. I heard about it in the news. And about the rivalry of two people in the US called Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. The computers I used at school and later at work were all windows machines.
It was not until I moved to Vancouver, BC Canada that I stayed with a musician friend who had a Mac at home. I had to type up my resume on his computer, and it was strange at first, but not as different as I had expected considering I had only ever used PC’s. Three years later, I took my first job in tech. After completing a three-month contract in one department, I was permanently hired into another department to do tech support for Mac users to print to PC printers using a product called PowerPrint. Yes, there was a time before USB printer ports. This was the beginning of my appreciation for Mac vs. PC. Gradually, my home PC was replaced by an iMac, and then a PowerBook. I received my current MacBook as a gift from my husband who calls himself a staunch PC guy. This same PC guy bought the iPods, iPhone 3, then the iPhone 4 and now an iPad 2. Apparently, there is a difference between computers and iGadgets (my word for all of Apple’s gadgets)?
In the last tech company where I worked, there were two clear camps of pro-windows and anti-windows supporters. Of the anti-windows camp, the users were predominantly passionate about Macs, and the others (a smaller sub-group) were just as passionate about Linux. I am no longer there, but I know my ex-work colleagues are still as passionate today in their respective camps as when I worked there. I am still surrounded by friends and family who have iGadgets and Mac computers.
What is the point of my detailed history of my home and work life in relation to Steve Jobs? On the eve of this Canadian Thanksgiving, I want to thank Steve for having the vision, tenacity and passion to work his dream to literally help make the lives of so many people more beautiful. His amazingly motivating speeches from keynotes at MacWorld to addressing promising graduates gave us inspiration and hope. Yes, it started with the technology, but for many, he has made our lives sound and look more beautiful. Take in your technological landscape with as many senses as you can, and count how many times Steve Job’s creativity has had an influence. Steve, iThankyou.