by Jess Faulk
There is no doubt that the passing of Steve Jobs this week has shaken a large community of die-hard apple lovers. But Steve Job’s impact goes far beyond a group of dedicated fans. Steve’s impact was so far reaching, that it has impacted every single one of our lives. Whether you have bought every version of the iphone, or are an avid Droid user, Steve Jobs, and Apple (and Pixar) have been influencing innovation, design, and the rapid pace of technological growth around us for over 25 years.
Many people know that it was Apple who first brought us the computer mouse in 1984. With their Macintosh computer, they made computing fun and accessible for a whole generation of people. After so many years, we now take this advancement for granted, but can you imagine interacting with your computer in any other way? This was just the start of a long line of technological advances yet to come.
Job’s re-emergence as the CEO of Apple after many years absence (in which he bought and nourished Pixar animation) was a second renaissance in computer design. For anyone old enough to remember those little bubble gum colored macs spinning around on a platform, you couldn’t help but want to be a part of the fun that was an iMac.
My first love for Mac came much before the iMac launch (1998). When my family decided it was time to finally buy a computer for our household I was in high school. They asked us whether we wanted a Macintosh or a PC. Fortunately for me, I had a couple of friends who had some strong feelings on the subject and guided me in the direction of the Macintosh Performa. I can not even venture a guess of how many hours my older brothers and I spent at that computer, playing games from CD-ROMs and Floppy Disks, finding 100’s of demos of free games and downloading them with our 14.4k modem. We were in heaven having bought this beautiful machine that captured our imagination, allowed us access to information on the net (though the standard AOL connection), and gave us a new way to play.
One particular moment of excitement with my Performa will be forever remembered by the scar I have on my left hand. When I learned from a classmate that ClarisWorks (a old document creator) could connect to the Internet to send documents I was beyond ecstatic (don’t ask me why we didn’t just email the document, since that would have clearly been too simple). I was excitedly working on setting up the connection, running around the hallway between the phone, my room, and the computer in the hall, working beyond the point of stubbornness to make this connection work. In my haste, I managed to punch the stair banister in the hallway and didn’t even notice it until many minutes later when I looked down and saw the blood. I was so preoccupied with the work I was doing on my Mac that I didn’t care that I had permanently scarred my own hand! Now I cherish this scar as a reminder of the joy of discovery and a simpler time when connecting to another person’s computer was the most exciting thing in the world.
My life is peppered with memories like these, all a tribute to the impact Apple has had on my life. After 19 years of Macs, IPods, IPhones, IPads and listening to Steve Jobs keynotes, I can truly say that Apple is a piece of who I am today. From their intense focus on design, to their innovative spirit, Apple inspires me, and the work that I do everyday. Thank you Steve Jobs for all that you have brought to this world.
Author’s note: Except for a few brief dalliances with PCs (what can I say, it was in college and I was going through an experimental phase!), I have stayed true to my love of apple. Below is a graphic of all of the Apple products I have owned, a timeline of my “iLife.”
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