I Cannot Imagine My Life Without the Influence of Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is gone, tonight.

But he’s not really gone. Everything he did is with us. With me.

I’m typing this blog post on an early 2008 model MacBook.

I don’t like eulogies. But I have a few emotions right now.

Omitting mention of a couple of generations of other Macs I’ve owned: I became a programmer largely because his work showed that computers could be beautiful, useful, and liberating to ordinary human beings.

Steve Jobs altered my direction in life. I wrote my first Kernighan and Ritchie hello world\n C program on a Mac Classic. I learned C++ on a Mac SE/30. I got my first job writing my resume on the SE/30.

Before that, I wrote my first Pascal program using MacPascal on the original 128K Macintosh in school.

Before that, I wrote BASIC programs on an Apple IIe, my first computer.

Skipping forward: at one point I bought an early PowerMac, but it was uninspiring: Apple had lost its way without Steve Jobs. I cursed Apple and abandoned it, bought a PC, and ran Linux for years. I never touched a Mac again until OS X came out. Steve Jobs was back!

Steve Jobs was a programmer, an artist, a businessman, a philosopher, a psychologist, a salesman, a speechwriter, a fighter. He cared about beauty, about consistency, stuck to his visions, failed and succeeded and failed and succeeded. I live because humanity produces men like Steve Jobs.

That is all. Tomorrow is another day.

Update (2011-10-25)

I write this short update to note that I never did get around to writing my intended in-depth discussion of Steve Jobs, but will do so at some point. For example, it was too close in time for me to launch into a personal exploration of the dark, negative sides of his legacy.

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