Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs

Somewhat interestingly, my family has never owned anything but Apples, as far as computers go.

This was mostly happenstance. Both of my parents were teachers for most of my childhood, and would often bring home school machines--invariably Apple IIs, and later the first generation of Macintoshes. I remember how impressive the black-and-white graphics and speech emulation were, and how intuitive the operating system was.

For playing Wasteland.

The first computer we bought was a Macintosh LC... again, because my mom was a teacher. Apple offered educators' discounts, and that made the decision easy.

For playing Starflight.

The next one I can remember us getting was a PowerMac. A big tower, a big educators' discount, but still no internet.

For playing Marathon.

Then I went off to college. Surprise, Apple also had discounts and low-interest loans for students. So I got a PowerMac of my own.

For playing Mechwarrior.

After college, I headed to Florida for my first job... and my first laptop. I paid cash and walked away with a Titanium PowerBook G4.

For playing Falcon.

I should add that on literally all these machines, I was also writing. The first short story I ever sold--"Rain"--I wrote in high school on the Mac LC. I wrote my novel on my PowerMac 5400. Now I have a newer PowerBook and don't play any games on it at all... just writing, reading and Interneting.

Along the way I (and everyone I knew) wound up with iPods too. I have owned a second-generation iPod, an iPod Mini, an iPod Touch and an iPod Nano. Three of them have been stolen.

All this is to say that as far as CEOs go, Steve Jobs has had more impact on my life than most. I listen to music I love on a machine whose design he supervised and write words I love on a computer that was his brainchild as well. Many of the people I telephone, including Mrs. Blog when we're in the U.S., answer using a device he designed as well.

Steve Jobs seems to be universally viewed as a visionary. And at 56, he likely had a lot bigger plans left unfulfilled. It will be interesting to see where Apple goes in the next 25 years. But looking back over the last 25, the influence of Jobs and his company is pretty clear.

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