Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs 1955-2011


So as everyone has heard, Steve Jobs, the founder and CEO of Apple, died today.  It's been pretty much all over the news, and has got me thinking a bit.

I've grown up with Apple products since I was a little kid.  As far as I can remember, we never had a PC in my house.  I remember my family getting the first iMac G4 that was shaped like a bubble in the base.  It was the coolest thing 11 year old me had ever seen.  I remember my brother getting the first iteration of the iPod, which was blocky compared to today's standards, but as state-of-the-art as they came at the time.  I remember trying my first iPhone and iPod Touch in the local Apple store.  My family has often been called gadget people, so for me, what Steve Jobs created wasn't just high end gizmos-- they were little pieces of the future, as if we were lucky enough to try something we only saw in movies.  Another magic moment I can remember is trying iChat with video conferencing before Skype was big-- I was able to see my brother who was miles off at college face to face.  These major tech moments, where I was fascinated by technology and felt like I was seeing into the future (if you've seen Back to the Future II, it was like feeling that world in my own).  Everything else that's not Apple almost seems derivative to me-- so much of what I'm intrigued by is fed by Apple products.  I wouldn't be able to blog without my laptop, I wouldn't have the music collection I do, I wouldn't be able to play games on my phone like I do, or listen to music anywhere I want.  I'm not saying I live and breath Apple, but when I touch technology, I might as well be touching Apple products.  While it almost sounds like I'm saying Apple is dying, I know it isn't, but I'm not sure if it will ever be the same because the creative force pushing it is now different.

In hundreds of years, I think Steve Jobs will be one of those guys who we group in with other inventors like Watts and Ford. There have been many contributions to technology and science lately, but only Jobs has left a mark on so many different areas-- he founded Pixar, changed computers, and changed the way we look at phones.  Sure, there are a ton of copy cats of the iPhone and iPad now, but without him coming first, we wouldn't know these great devices.  Macs are used pretty commonly in making music nowadays-- you can watch any amount of Future Music's In The Studio interviews and see that most of the producers use Macs.  There's very much a connection between music and Mac-- after all, they started the iTunes store in addition to iPods, and they've made it super easy to make your own music on Logic or Garageband.  All this wouldn't exist without Steve Jobs' innovation.

So I just wanted to say thanks, Steve Jobs.  You've put the future on our desks, on our TV and silver screens, in our hands, in our pockets, and in our ears.  You've forced every other company to try to catch up, and you've pushed the quality of technology much further than it would have been without you.  You will live on as a legend for many reasons.  Rest in Peace.

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