Thursday, October 06, 2011

In Memory of Steve Jobs and Apple

Pic Apple front page

Steve jobs has died, aged, 56.

The news weighs heavily on the mind. Actors, famous people, VIP and loved ones exit the stage and invariably we know little about them, other than through their films etc. With relatives the mourning is an  intimacy developed over many years.

In reflecting on Steve Jobs, you could be forgiven for suggesting you've lost someone you knew beyond the reality of film or a computer screen, some how he was a bit closer.

That's partly because his legacy is profound. The device I am typing this post on is an Apple. The phone I hold is an Apple. My first ever computer I would type on, marvel over, was a baby Mac.

It was in 1993. I was living in Yeoville, South Africa and a good friend of mine, Barry Sandland, had an idea to publish an entertainment review newspaper. It involved a lot of work. He put together 8 to 12 tabloid-sized pages weekly and I would often contribute the odd item.

One day I'd been sent a floppy disk and unaware of what, now, we could refer to as "incompatibility issues" reached out to stick the disk in the Apple's drive, just as Barry was screaming, "Stooooooop.

Too late.

The disc jammed. The publication didn't make it that week, and from the small sums of money Barry earned, a local technician fleeced him to the tune of $80 - which meant opening the Mac with a screw driver and pulling out the disc.

We were not to know that at the time.

I purchased my first Mac many years later in 1999. It was a Powerbook, which I bought in New York because it was cheaper to buy one in the US inclusive of the air ticket London-New York return. Fancy that, hopping on a plane from London to New York, just to buy a Mac.

There will be many tributes to Steve Jobs who has touched the lives of millions of people in the way he influenced mine. On the Guardian Newspaper Tech Editor Charles Arthur delivers a poignant one about  who he was, what he stood for.

It's rare as Arthur recounts how a person can accomplish one major feat in their life. Jobs did several: the music industry in iTunes; computing and lifestyle in hardware; extending lifestyle choices through software; the film industry through animation;  for A list presenters, a relentlessness in making professional presentations look easy; and for marketeers how to build product expectation.

Those late night stay-ups gathering at a London Apple store won't be the same. And all the aforementioned wrapped up in "how to look cool".

My reflection is also selfish - if that is the word - because without Apple I couldn't do the things I'd like to do and therefore am grateful to Apple in that manner of "not-being-worthy" for my looped "15 mins" on their Apple Pro website, as well as presenting twice and hopefully more at the Apple Store, London.

RIP Steve Jobs and Apple. Long live the memories of Steve Jobs and Apple. Our thoughts are with his family and close friends.