Ghost in the Machine…

I gor the memo late, not discovering that Steve Jobs has died until I read Scalzi’s post while at work this morning. (After which, seeing entries from Charles Stross and Wil Wheaton… in that order just drove it further home).

Unlike Scalzi & Wheaton, both very upfront about their early exposure and acceptance of Macs, I was on the other end of the line – very staunchly anti-Apple. Not completely the foam-at-the-mouth “Apple are Evil” end of things, but much closer to that then either Scalzi & Wheaton. I saw how they were useful they could be in artistic related endeavors – graphic arts, especially, but they were different. Different shortcuts, different file systems.

My first significant exposure to using a Mac was my senior year in high school, working for the school newspaper. Then came my freshman year of college where all of the computers in the English classrooms & writing lab were Macs. This was back in the days before plug-and-play and universality in reading file storage, which was the key issue that fuelled my anti-Mac-ness: it didn’t seem practical to do something at school only to print a copy and retype it at home to do any more work on it.

But as my personal projects changed, and the cross-platform interface inproved, I found myself gravitating more towards a Mac, finally making the leap in 2007. I don’t see myself as a fanboy, just a convert that has self-identified goals and interests that happen to be in line with advantages of  products that Jobs helped to bring into the world.

Which, I suppose, is the long way to say that I appreciate the impact that Steve Jobs had on the world through his influence in the computer sector. While I can’t say I know a lot about how he lived his life (I’m looking forward to the biography due out if a couple of months for that reason), I can appreciate the man for his vision, his passion and his (corporate) leadership over the last few years.

I’ll close this with an excerpted quote from his Stanford commencement speech from 2005 (and a video clip of the same).

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.


Thank you, Steve, for staying hungry and staying foolish.

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