I never met Steve Jobs. And yet somehow he has been a major factor in my life.
I didn’t get on the Apple bandwagon until 1984 when the Mac debuted. Before that I used mainframes, then Commodore machines. the unlamented TRS-80, and the like. After the Mac, Steve’s vision dominated my interaction with computers. In my business life I worked with MS-DOS and later, with Windows, but I never liked the ungainly mundanities. Macs were poetry. Macs were magic. Macs were the way of the future.
As the years have passed, I think that initial assessment has proven true, over and over. True ease of use, the whole GUI and WYSIWYG approach, would, at the very least, have been drastically delayed but for Steve Jobs’ initial push. Xerox Parc may have been the birthplace and early proving grounds for these approaches to computer interfaces and usages, but it was Steve and the Apple Corps who pushed them out into an initially skeptical world and made believers of the Rest of Us.
During the Wilderness Years while he was away from Apple the company stumbled and very nearly died, but he brought it back and led it to new triumphs. So while there are at least seven Macs scattered around my house, there are also a couple of iPads and an iPhone, with iPods resting in honoured retirement here and there. I’m sure there will be more wonderful devices out of Apple, coming from the teams Steve nurtured, but the world is a little dimmer today than it was last week.
Dammit. Just … Dammit.