I’ve been around computers for a long time. I touched my first computer back in the late 70s and fell in love. Unlike people, who could change on a dime and behave in ways that boggled my mind, computers made sense. Once a person understands the rules, it’s easy to predict what they will do and how to keep them from doing undesired things.
I remember those early days of personal computers and read quite a bit about the rivalry between Apple and Microsoft. I went through college and went into software development. Microsoft (or Microsloth, as we liked to call it) was king in the defense industry. I didn’t love Microsoft, but I thought of Apple products as a joke.
It wasn’t until about ten years ago that I was forced to face demon Apple computers. I was hired as a campus tech in a school that used predominantly Apple computers. I remember my first day that I met the district coordinator for tech help. After trying (unsuccessfully) for ten minutes to figure how the @#$@%%@~~~!!!! adapter for the MacBook together, I muttered that I hated Macs! Before the end of the day, every tech in the district (and many principals as well) had heard about the horrible person who was hired for my position.
As time went on, I learned to use Macs and learned that there is elegance to the system that I hadn’t known before. I learned how much easier they were to fix operating system problems than Windows computers. I appreciated not having to deal with virus issues. I learned how to make a Mac run like a Windows computer too.
Plus, Macs had a bit of the “In your face, Microsoft!” attitude that I appreciated. I mean, Apple was on the ropes, and they came back with products that were visually appealing and easy to use. Watching Apple change from the wimpy kid on the techno-playground to the powerhouse that it is has become gives everyone a reason to believe that hard work and thinking outside the box pays off.
Even though I never met Steve Jobs, I am greatly saddened by his passing. His ideas have been used to inspire development in so many areas. Windows wouldn’t be Windows had it not been for the original Mac OS (no matter how much Bill Gates may protest to the contrary). Those sleek Android phones wouldn’t be around had the original iPhone not blown everyone’s socks off. We would likely still be listening to music on CD players had Jobs and his crew not developed the iPod and iTunes (which inspired other companies to create similar products). Some call him the Edison of our day. I think it’s a fair comparison.
So tonight I’ll sign off by saying, “So long, Steve Jobs. Farewell, and thanks for all the toys! You will be missed!”