Thursday, October 06, 2011

Remembering Steve

 My son called me last night from college and said, "Hey Mom, did you hear that Steve Jobs passed away?" That was how I heard.

Immediately after hanging up, I reached for my iPad to view the news on CNN. The irony was not lost on me--here I was, watching about Steve Jobs on one of his creations. As I watched CNN's video tribute to Steve, the iPad held between my husband and I, I alternately laughed and shed a tear as the video went through Steve's life: the young man in the garage, to computer inventor, to computer innovator.

I remember my first Apple computer, an Apple IIe. I bought it right after I finished graduate school and remember thinking how I would have loved to have this when I was writing my thesis, typing multiple copies of it on a typewriter. Ugh!

My next Apple computer was a Macintosh that could run System 7. I named it Hermes. I used this Mac extensively in my freelance business during the early 90s, designing and writing technical publications for clients. I was one of the first PageMaker users. I remember going font-crazy and buying tons of fonts for this machine. I loved that you could design a book on a computer, print it out, and have it look so professional. Steve started the font thing. Before fonts on the Mac, all you could do was display in one typeface.

I defected for awhile after that Mac died and went back to a PC (yes, a traitorous act!). But I realized that on a PC, I simply couldn't easily do what I wanted, which was to design publications and make art. It was cumbersome. And using a PC made my brain hurt.

I've been back with Apple for awhile now. I have an iMac named Gandalf. I also have several iPods, an iPad, and an iPhone. It's easy to use these devices because they work the same--HOW they are used is the same across all. The visual interfaces that Steve created are intuitive and reflect how our brains work. And Steve understood that folks want computers that are extensions of themselves, that people don't want to think, they want to use devices.

Most of all, Steve created what he would like to have. I think that is why Apple products continue to be successful. He created from his heart, and it shows.

Yes, Steve is gone. We Apple geeks will especially miss him. But as I took pictures of the autumn leaves this morning, using my iPhone, I held it up to my husband and said, "See, Steve's not dead." He is in every device he created. Steve has changed the technological world for good.


Cat said...

Wasn't it so sad ;'( a creative genius . . . I worked for Apple Computers here in New Zealand. And am also a total MAC geek . . . .

just checking in on how you're going with Tilda swap - is everything on track?

Else M Tennessen said...

Hi Cat, thanks for your thoughts! Yes, Tilda swap is on schedule! Thank you!

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