Steve Jobs. These two simple words create a name that the world will never forget. Last night as I turned off my Mac and headed into the bedroom to watch some television, what do I see? The newscaster announces breaking news that Apple’s co-founder has died. I dropped the remote on the floor and watched in awe. I realize that Steve has been ill for quite some time and recently, cameras spotted him coming out of the clinic where he was receiving treatment. We all knew it was going to happen; however it still didn’t make it any easier.

I remember being back in second grade in upstate New York and we had computer lab time. If you think about it, this was revolutionary. We are talking about the mid 1980’s and I was sitting in grade school that had a room full of Apple II. I remember everyone complaining about paying taxes in NY, but I also had a first rate education, unlike what I received when we moved to Florida. Anyway, I still remember pushing the button on the corner of the screen to turn on and off the computer.

Some may say, “What’s the big deal? The CEO of Apple died.” For those, all I have to say is that you have missed the point. The everyday technological tools that we use are taken for granted. Apple first developed the oblong looking thing, with a ball under it called a mouse, more specifically it was Steve’s brainchild. This was huge. Not because it was a new piece of input hardware for your computer, but it was the device that now made it possible for a human connection with an electrical device that was limited to just pushing a bunch of keys before.

This is what made Steve such a visionary person. He would foresee a need that people would have and develop products for them. For example, I remember when I had my first car; in my case it was a truck. It had the original radio that came with it in 1984. So it was AM stations for me! Needless to say, there were times that I wanted to listen to other stations besides talk radio. I went and plunked down $300 for my first “CarDiscman”. This was a CD player from Sony that had this new technology called “anti-skip” protection. I was in heaven. A few years later and a different car, I wanted to upgrade the radio as I was driving to Tampa for school a few times a week. I put in a new radio with a cassette deck so I could still use my CarDiscman. In the front seat along with my schoolbooks I had a CD wallet that held about 30 cd’s. It wasn’t uncommon that I wanted to listen to one or two songs on a cd then change it. I’m strange like that. Here I am, going 80 MPH (don’t tell my mother) and trying to switch cd’s in the player. This was a risky move, however I never had any issues. I always thought that there had to be a better way. Fast-forward about five years and the iPod was born. This little device would hold 1,000 songs and would fit in your shirt pocket, also no skipping. This little device revolutionized how people now listen to their music.

Most people that I know have a Windoze machine. That’s great if you like what you have. Steve wanted something better. He had helped designed the software that would go with this new Macintosh computer that had a mouse. It was going to change how people were going to use their computers. During this process, Steve also had different ideas on how the system should run. When I talk with other Windoze users, I hear about a new virus, their printer stopped working all of the sudden, the system had to install another 28 updates today. This is a mess in my opinion. Steve created an environment where anyone could write software for the Mac and there are no virus issues. If I buy a new printer, all I have to do it plug it in and it just works. In today’s computing environment, Windoze machines and Mac’s actually have the same parts, although Apple likes to put higher end versions of these parts in their machines. But, here’s the thing, you would talk with someone about switching and they would say that they have some specific software that only runs on Windoze. Well, if you don’t know this now, here it is….the Mac can run it’s own OS, Windoze and Linux and it does all of this in a snap. But, if everyone is having issues with their Windoze machines and the parts are close in both Mac and PC’s what is going on. Well, it must be the operating system. What does this have to do with Steve? He was the one who made the computing experience so enjoyable for Mac users while Windoze people are pulling out their hair.

People last night were comparing Steve to Thomas Edison. Edison was a great man; I mean he made it possible for us to see in the dark with the light bulb! However, I think that he had more of an impact on our world. I would rank him up there with Albert Einstein. Einstein came up with the theory of relativity. This is a cool discovery, as Steve changed the way that we will forever work with devices that help the human race communicate.

I hear people say, how great Windoze is along with the Android and Samsung tablets. I just smile at all of those people and tell myself that all of these devices were copied from Steve’s original ideas. I’m sure that we will be seeing his influence for some time. A person like him doesn’t just leave without a plan. I think that Apple has ideas and plans for years to come that were ideas that were sprouted from Steve’s mind.

I can relate to his life’s story. He started Apple in his garage and eventually grew it into something that no one ever imagined. I’m at the point in my life where a few years ago I found myself instantly self employed. Even during the economic downturn in 2008 and with all of the cards stacked against me, I’m trying to pave a way using technology for my family’s future and leave my mark before my time is finished here. If you don’t mind doing what you have to do, and thinking out of the box, it can be done.

Steve, I will miss you and I hope that you are out of pain and have limitless vision.

Until next time…

Keep Your Glass Clean

Spencer

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