There’s been so much written about Steve Jobs that there’s not much to add. Like millions of others, I remember the first time I ever used an Apple product. It was to play Number Munchers and Oregon Trail. My first Macintosh experience was on an LCII in one of the few airconditioned rooms in Taiwan – my elementary school’s computer lab. While I was too young to appreciate the differences between the (at the time) very outdated Apple II and our fairly outdated IBM compatible XT Turbo, the Macintosh was clearly completely different. I managed to swing an editor job on our 5th grade newspaper which afforded me almost unlimited time to learn how it worked. Everything was exciting on that machine, even word processing!
I bought my very first Apple product in college, the 2nd generation iBook with a 500Mhz G3 processor and OS X. It was a little underpowered, but the hardware design was incredible and I remember being thrilled when I got several OpenGL school projects to run on Windows, Linux, and my new Mac.
To me, Steve Jobs embodies hope. A college dropout becomes a billionare. A man with limited technical skills becomes the an incredible driver of technology. Fired from his company, failing at NEXT, he stakes almost all of his personal fortune and strikes gold with Pixar. He affects industry after industry, despite many many setbacks along the way. Sure, he was a jerk, but that’s a hopeful story too – jerks can learn to movitate people and soften when they get older. Of course, none of these thoughts are based on personal experience, but it’s the perception I get. Steve’s life to me is a story of hope triumphing over reality.
I’m excited to read his biography, and I’m sad I never got the chance to meet Steve, except through his products, but here’s to a legacy of hope.