The first computer I ever used was an 80’s era Apple Macintosh Plus. I was six years old. When my Dad brought it home from his job at Control Data, I didn’t even know what a computer was. That day he picked my sister & I up from school and we talked about what makes a computer a computer in the back seat of his clunky Plymouth Horizon. “What’s a mouse?” I remember asking. Does it have a tail like a REAL mouse? In hindsight, naming such an important tool after a small furry woodland creature is a classic example of how user-friendly Apple has always been. I remember thinking this thing can’t be that intimidating if it’s named after a mouse.
I wrote papers on the Macintosh though high school. Sure it was as clunky as my Dad’s cars, but that thing trucked along for almost ten years. I went to college with one of Apple’s first laptops, a PowerBook 1400cs, a hand-me-down also courtesy of the Dad. It was a tank, so heavy it barely qualified as portable, and yielded maybe only a half an hour of battery life. I logged many hours of Snood on it before deciding that if I wanted to be a real designer I needed to upgrade. OSX was released shortly afterwards and the rest, as they say, is history.
But really there’s no better example of Apple’s spirit than their response to earthquake & tsunami in Japan earlier this year. In an act handed down straight from the higher-ups, the stores were kept open long after business hours, offering victims refuge and a place to make contact with their loved ones. They provided free food, clean water, shelter, and transport to staff and many customers for days after the disaster struck. I took that in with tears in my eyes, amazed at their sheer selflessness, acts almost unheard of for a large corporations today. Acts that would not have happened without Steve Jobs.
I’m holding all my Apple products a little tighter today as I think about Steve’s astonishing influence. Thank you for giving so many people a new way of seeing the world. That is a huge gift and I feel lucky to have it. I’m so sorry cancer dealt you its worst and I’m donating to the American Cancer Society in your name.
We’ll miss you.