My first computer – our family computer – was a slightly used Apple IIe my dad bought, probably for too much, from a slick relative when I was about 12 years old. It had huge flippy disks that I used for basic word processing, card making, games, and making giant signs on the endless reams of dot matrix printer paper. It was ugly and big, but for once, our family was actually ahead of the curve. I bought my next computer myself as a college sophomore, working two jobs all summer (camp counselor by day, Straw Hat Pizza order taker by night) to earn the $1802 that my Mac SE cost at the campus bookstore. The SE lasted for years, through graduate school and my first job, when I was able to buy iMac GS, which still lives in our garage, as colorful as the day I bought it. I now own a Macbook Pro and a Mac Mini, plus Time Capsule, an iPad, an iPhone, and a handful of iPods. That’s only me, not our household total of Apple products.
I love Apple and I always have. More than that, I cannot imagine why anyone would use a computer that is uglier and clunkier, adding a lot of frustration, just to save some money. Location adds to the love too. It’s like rooting for the hometown hero. Microsoft has always been the outsider, even with a Silicon Valley office, but Apple is one of us: smart, innovative, and scrappy. Apple implored us to “Think Different” from a giant sign across the freeway facing side of their offices. I swell with pride when I open the box of a new Apple product to see the words “Designed by Apple in California.” Even the box is beautiful.
Apple helped make Silicon Valley what it is.
When it became clear that Steve Job’s heath was seriously failing, my sadness was for his family. People wondered how Apple would survive without him, others mourned the great ideas and products ahead, had Steve been able to continue on in good health. The biggest sadness is for his family. His kids had to listen to this talk, see his frail photo posted on online gossip sites, and know that more than a gadget, they were losing their father. Regardless of how beloved, Apple is a company. Steve Jobs was more than that. Especially to his wife and four kids. Our thoughts go out to them, as they adjust to life without him. Hopefully his innovative spirit lives on in them, as it does in us. Thank you for sharing him with us.