Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bye Steve . . .

Steve Jobs died today. It is all over the news and this was important enough that my DW came down to the garage while I was spinning to let me know. Tim Cook's statement not-withstanding here will be a lot of words on his passing. Here are mine.

I first met Lisa at UW-Parkside in the early '80's in a computer lab filled with early IBM machines (the kind you had to boot from a floppy) and Apple 2's. So much fun. More fun than our old Commodore 64 and certainly easier to use than the TRS-80's I learned to program on. Here was something that could "do" something.

Macintoshes soon arrived on the scene. In the evenings we used to have them play MIDI songs in synchronization. And those disks, those tiny disks.

And then I went off to grad school and worked on DOS machines. But, you know, I would make party invitations using one of the Macs in the campus labs. Graphics, different fonts, etc.. Lugged a "portable" DOS machine around during the late '80's before buying my first Mac and that is where it has been ever since.

Learned video, graphics, and layout stuff on a Quadra 650. Animation too.

Stepped on a Powerbook 180 (opps) and replaced it with the machine I used to write my dissertation, a Duo 280.

First work machine? Powerbook Blackbird 5300—rigged for the presentation and multimedia development I needed to do in the classroom. Wasn't Sound Jam cool?

Along the way a couple of new iMac DV's made an appearance in my study and office but, really laptops were the way forward for me.

Powerbook G4? Sweet! And then the MacBook Pro followed by the thrill of the iPhone, the iPad, and a small collection of iPods.

There is a reason.

Some years ago, back when Apple products had made a temporary disappearance from college campuses (due in large part to the short-sightedness of IT decision-makers) a student asked me "Why do you use a Mac?" I thought about this and said "Because it lets me do what I need to do without getting in the way."

And that is really it. Forget "Cool." It just doesn't get in my way.

Of all of the things that Steve Jobs did it is this simple thing that is his greatest gift.

Thanks Steve.