On October 5th, we all heard the news that Steve Jobs had passed away. Mr. Jobs was combatting a rare form of pancreatic cancer and a few months back, he had stepped down from his position of CEO at Apple. If you follow my column, you know that I tend to lean heavily toward writing about Apple products, a direct correlation to my having and using Apple products in my daily existence. While this may hold true now, it wasn’t always the case. Though oddly enough, when I think back, I suddenly realized that I have been an Apple user since I first touched a personal computer.
The first computer in our household was an Apple II Plus, which came with a whopping 48Kb of RAM. I don’t recall if we had the upgrade to a total of 64Kb, which was the most the Apple 6052 microprocessor could support. We did have a 5.25” floppy drive at first, and I remember eventually adding a second one, and the graphics were brought forth on a CRT that displayed monochromatic text. I learned how to make it perform the tasks I could using BASIC, which for the limited things I could do, was good enough. I was around 9 years old, and it was something to behold.
Over time, I was introduced to the Apple IIe, the Apple IIc, and the Apple IIGS in various environments like school or at a friend’s house. By that time, my household had adopted a IBM compatible computer and I had begun my path down Microsoft lane, learning MS-DOS and seeing each technological leap Apple made from afar, with an occasional Mac here and there that some lucky classroom or friend might have had available.
When the iPod first arrived, I was heavily into digital music, but I didn’t adopt one as my portable player until the first iPod mini. I knew that this technology was impressive, but I was still a PC guy, and while I thought that Macs looked kind of cool and were good for things like graphic design, music production, and video editing, there were a ton of PC applications that could do it just as well. My peers that used them would try to tell me how good they were, but they just couldn’t put it into a perspective that I could understand.
By 2005, Apple had already released their iMac line of computers that resembles their current form: a graceful and sexy single piece of machinery that encased the flat-screen monitor and computer all in a single, svelte unit. When I first heard that they now had the ability to run Windows due to the Intel processor Apple adopted in 2006, I purchased my first iMac just to “kick the tires” on their operating system, OS X, and besides, I could always run Windows on it. Three months later, I had purchased a second one for my wife. Six months after that, I purchased my first MacBook Pro for portable use. While I do have Windows installed on one of my Macs, after I got a bite of that Apple, nothing was quite as juicy nor did it taste as good.
Of course, many Apple products later, which have included iPods, iMacs, MacBooks, MacBook Pros, iPhones, and iPads, I have been and will continue to be a loyal Apple customer. No, I don’t worship at the Apple store and I don’t have an Apple sticker on my car, but I’ll be damned if I can’t admit that every Apple product I have elected to buy is wonderful. Steve Jobs reclaimed the throne at a company that had once ousted him, and his return heralded a changing of the times. His vision for technology changed our entire world, and I, for one, will miss him.
Rest in peace, Mr. Jobs.