 A Eulogy For Steve Jobs. Written On My Mac.

Steve Jobs while introducing the iPad in San F...Image via Wikipedia
I did not know Steve Jobs.  I never met him.  There would have been no reason for our paths to cross.

And I can't even say I entered the Mac world early on.  My first Apple computer was a laptop in 2002, after an old Dell system running on Windows ME died on me.  I figured, at the time, that I was starting from ground zero and I'd give the Apple Computer a fair shake.  It did all the stuff I wanted it to do.  I could do Word Processing.  I could publish a newsletter.  And I could get on the internet while traveling.  I purchased one.  I loved it.  I haven't looked back.

People who read this blog on occasion know that I admire the Apple philosophy, which is really a Steve Jobs philosophy.  It is a business model that never tried to be all things to all people but aimed for simplicity and user experience.  Where other companies (I'm looking at you, Microsoft) tried the shotgun approach, shooting at a large area, Apple tried to do just a few things well and have total control  Oftentimes this has been done by working in a "closed system."  So, if you purchased a song on iTunes, you'd find you couldn't play the song on other music players than your iPod.  And, if you had an Apple laptop and wanted to make a presentation, you had to purchase a special "dongle" to view your PowerPoint.  And, truly, I don't believe that the point was ever about forcing Apple users to purchase special equipment or to not play nice with other formats.  The point was always to have the best user experience.  Steve Jobs wanted to combine technology and artistic beauty and he wanted it to work.

Nowadays, people call this "the Apple ecosystem."  From music download to the computer it's downloaded to and then to the music player it's played on the experience was controlled.  It worked.

One of the things I admire about Steve Jobs was his ability to make things that were "magical."  After the original iPad was released, I waited a year to purchase the iPad 2.  Here was something that, on a very base level, I wanted to hold in my hands.  It was something so simple.  It was beautiful.  And, to top it off, it's something that I find very useful.  It was on this iPad 2 that I first read about Steve Jobs' death.

President Obama had this to say on news of the death:

The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Steve’s wife Laurene, his family, and all those who loved him.

Did you get that sentence there?   "There may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented."  That was certainly true in our household.  My daughter read about it on a MacBook.  My son heard about on his iPod Touch.  I then read about it on my iPad. And now I write about it on my MacBook pro.  Isn't this a tribute to Mr. Jobs?

Over the last three years I've read just about all I can about Macs and Apple Computers.  I've done research on purchases.  I've drooled over the latest product.  I've followed the hype.  And I've read quotes from the man, Steve Jobs.  So it is not with just a little sadness that I learned of his passing today.  I didn't lose a friend.  However, I lost someone who has touched my life.  He made computers, indeed technology, personal to me.

For a long time I was baffled by what seemed like the silly Apple naming system.  There was the iMac, and the iBook and the iPod and the iPhone and the iPad.  I thought that the "i" was for internet.  But perhaps it really referred to "individual."  Steve Jobs and his company was making something for me.

So, rest in peace, Steve Jobs.  I pray peace for your family and the many persons who called you friend.  And I pray that someone in a garage is an innovator who has taken some inspiration from you to make the world a better place.  Some have called you our modern day "DaVinci" or "Einstein" or some other great thinker and visionary.

Whatever the case, your vision lives on for many of us who find a shiny piece of technology in our hands today that you helped bring into the world.
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  1. I liked what you wrote. Really, Apple's and Steve Jobs' legacy goes far beyond what we know today if one considers that the first home computer running a graphics oriented OS was an Apple, and they were the first to adopt the basic mouse. Steve Jobs made computers accessible to everyone, and for that, I thank him!

  2. He put the "personal" in personal computer.