Like so many I was saddened to hear of the passing of Steve Jobs. You think some things will be forever, but of course, they’re not.
It’s amazing though the effect death can have! It seems everywhere I go now, this very image (approved by Steve of course) is there. I call it ‘The Ghost of Steve Jobs’. I know the biography was rushed into print and maybe it’s just me noticing it as I have been a paid-up member of the Cult of Mac long before the iPod.
Thinking back, it was probably the Macintosh II which was the first computer to realise my dream of multi-functional, compact, empowering technology. This was a device which would enable me to throw out the typewriter, the tippex and the correction ribbons because, as part of the great GUI, it enabled true WYSIWYG.
With a postscript printer it was suddenly possible to print a layout comprised of graphics, columns and kerning and multiple fonts rendered exactly on paper as they were on the screen. Of course this hardware was very expensive, by the standards of the IBM XT computers available at the time. I never thought fr one moment that I would own one, let alone a number of them.
What was clear to me though, even in those days, was that Apple and the vision of Steve Jobs was something unique and something which would determine the future course of technology. Over time those beige boxes were transformed, first by the iMac and finally by the iPad. It was personally gratifying to see a company that I had appreciated for so long truly come into its own with the return of Steve to its helm.
The very notion of high street Apple stores back then would never have entered your consciousness! Ralph Lauren, sure but a computer manufacturer? It shows how far Steve has brought Apple. I am proud to be the owner of a wide range of Apple products, not just for their fantastic ability to consume content in a stylish way but that they have always enabled me to create publications, music and art. Apple became the intersection of technology and the arts and continues to inspire those of us standing in that same place.
Steve saw death as a great definer, an agent of change that forever forces us to realise our dreams and to free our imaginations from the shackles of everyday existence. We don’t want to think about the finality it brings, but we should. We should be grateful for every day breathing, for every possibility that brings.
I couldn’t resist finishing this post in a Steve-esque fashion. These are some of my own thoughts about the ways in which he affected my own life.
And another thing …. to think different.