Today there will be somewhere around infinity billion people filling the Internet with words about Steve Jobs, so I really didn’t want to write one on this little site nobody yet knows to visit. Despite my intentions, the needs of my inner nerd are acting strongly against my will,and I feel obligated to say a little something.
I was just finishing up work last night when word broke out over Twitter about his passing. Not surprisingly, I first noticed the news when Wil Wheaton posted “iRIP, Steve Jobs. Thank you for making incredible things, so we can live in the future.” This was followed by hours of my timeline showing almost nothing but people sharing condolences, thoughts and memories. Though Jobs had been sick for years, there was still a suddenness to his death that took everyone by surprise.
I’m not an Apple elitist. I build my own PCs and use Android. I have never touched an iPad. I currently use almost no Apple products aside from my work computer, save for an original big fat video iPod and a little yellow Nano. Nonetheless, my digital life and overall geekdom started thanks to Mr. Jobs and his company.
Apple products started my early interest in computers and technology, which subsequently led to loving the Internet, video games, digital media and everything I now spend all my time with. In short, Jobs provided the framework for a revolution that helped make me (and millions of others) into nerds.
In elementary school, our classroom computers were all Apple. I lusted after them for years, relishing every chance we got to use them, whatever the reason. In the summer of 1993 my family could finally afford to buy one for us at home. It was the Macintosh Performa 450 (seen above). It boasted a 25MHz processor, 4MB RAM, a 120MB hard drive and a floppy disk slot. Eventually we were able to get the DB-25 2x external CD-ROM peripheral, which really made it sing. This computer was the greatest thing in the world. Launching at a mere price of $1,800, it was a purchase that would lead to hours of Oregon Trail, Sim City and a lifetime of interests in all things geek. It didn’t seem that impactful at the time, but it opened me up to a digital world from which I’ve never been able to escape. It also led to a lot of really bad MacPaint art decorating my bedroom walls, complete with awful 1990s inkjet quality.
Now nearly everyone’s life has experienced some form of Apple influence, from machines to music to movies to media. He helped shape the entire universe we now share. The capabilities we have today would have seemed like unfathomable science fiction back when I was using that Performa 450, and this future was partially innovated by Jobs.
Thank you and RIP to a man who had great success and impact on the world, and more importantly, a man who had true vision which he knew how to embrace.