The Passing of an Era
As I’m sure everyone is already aware of, Steve Jobs, the Founder and innovator of Apple, has passed away. After years of battling Cancer, he died peacefully, according to his family, in his home. He was 56 years old and looked upon as one of the greatest inventors and creative minds of this age. Bringing technology to our palms, making our music easier to carry/sync and showing us the future of computer technology. I was raised on PC’s and, personally, I never could see the appeal of Apple computers. Even today I prefer using a PC over a Mac and I avoid them if I have the ability to just because I don’t have a preference for the layout, the control scheme and the Mac OS X as a whole. Regardless of this dislike, I can’t help but think about how nearly every piece of technology I use on a daily basis was somehow influenced or created in part by Steve Jobs. So this is the view of Steve Job’s life and legacy from someone who’s never owned a single Apple product.
In my household, growing up, I was surrounded by computers. Having a father who was a computer programmer led us to having about 20 spare computers in our house at one point. From a young age, I was already using the computer for many things. I played Doom at my grandparents when I was about 4 years old and I would mess around with MS-DOS for hours trying to figure out how to access parts of the hard drive by guessing entries into each line of text. It was like a mini adventure trying to get further into the C drive of the computer, sometimes coming up with stupid commands like “C:/create mailbox” or something along those lines. Letting my imagination flow was a lot of fun back in those days.
Not much later Windows started it’s new form of OS that completely blew me away, Windows 95. Having this design where you could point and click things with this new device known as a “Mouse” was very strange to me, but it allowed my imagination to flow even more. I first discovered the “Paint” Program and I learned to play “Hearts”, “Solitaire” and “Minesweeper”, but little did I know that without the inginuity of Steve jobs, I would not have been able to do these things. Steve Jobs invented, not only the first home built computer, but he introduced the idea of a mouse that would allow for easier, faster navigation of your home computer.
As time went on, I got into school and I started to use some Macintosh computers, but they didn’t really appeal to me. By this time, I was already accustomed to the Windows OS and, while I would play around with the Macintosh computers just as much, it didn’t really seem as fresh because I had already done most of these things on the PC. Nevertheless, I eventually had to start typing papers and using the computer for learning programs such as mathblaster. Those games were extremely entertaining and at one point you could get them out of cereal boxes because they were so popular. As far as typing goes, I had to learn how to type on a computer “Properly”: having both hands on the keyboard, my pointer fingers on the two letters of the keyboard F and J. You’re supposed to use your thumb to hit the space key, but I never truly learned that, so I actually hit it with my pointer finger. I also rarely use my pinky fingers when I’m typing, so sometimes I look like I’m doing a lot more work than I need to and a lot of people complain about the loudness of my typing. I may not have enjoyed learning to type, but I have always loved writing stories and being able to open notepad or wordpad or any other type of word writing document to make up stories, poems, scripts and outlines for anything my imaginative mind had cooking and it made everything so much easier to have a program that would allow me to do such things. Again, little did I know that without Steve Jobs, who knows what I could have been typing on. Steve Jobs introduced the idea of making “fonts” in word typing programs that would allow for many different kinds of expression in the world of typing. Without him, we may never have been granted the idea of using Times New Roman or Wingdings or calibri the way we do today. We might still be in MS-DOS typing out basic command lines to get our computers to do what we wanted them to do.
As I grew older I had the choice to stay in choir or move to band in 6th grade. I chose the latter and started to learn trumpet. I was in band for 9 years and even today I have a passion for music, playing 8 different instruments at varying levels of proficiency. After a while, I got a portable CD player and even later I obtained my first MP3 player. It was about the side of a really thick Samsung galaxy and it only had 64 MB of space, but I loved it and I would listen to music on it for hours and every time I walked home from school I would whip it out and jam my way home. Only a couple years later did the first iPod release and with it, I was instantly made jealous of any person I knew who could get one. Dishing out a whopping 10 GB of space in such a small device was an amazement and to me, it was crazy to think you could fill all that space with music. A friend of mine was one of the first to get an iPod after they continued to become more popular and more insanely packed with space and features. It was after the click wheel feature was released and while it was still in black and white, it boasted a 20 GB hard drive and it’s ability to manage your music was seamless. It made me beyond jealous that I was still stuck with my measly 64 MB MP3 player, but I did what I could with it. I eventually stepped up to get more MP3 players that had 2 GB, 4 GB and up, but I have yet to ever purchase an iPod. It’s no denying that the iPod influenced just about every MP3 player I’ve had since they released, as now I have one with a touch screen that is also used to read e-books, watch videos and much more.
Once I got into high school, everyone started getting their own cell phones and, wanting to fit in as all high school students actually do (Regardless of their rebellious tendencies), I asked for a cell phone. I got my first cell phone my sophomore year in high school. It was a motorola phone and it was prepaid only, so I had to pay for every minute I wanted to use. It was black and white and had a couple games on it. While I was tinkering with this black and white, prepaid phone, my friends were getting Razr’s (The big phone to get at the time) and other, more expensive and powerful pieces of technology. I certainly didn’t feel left out, but I did feel behind the curve. My second phone was another Motorola that had color and was a flip phone (Like my first one was) but it only lasted a few months. Within those few months, however, I was obsessed with the poker game on my phone and I would play it over and over until I found a way to cheat the system and always win. After my motorola phone busted, I looked onto a new phone, this one by Samsung. It was yet another flip phone and it was more advanced than any other phone I had previously had, but by this time other phones that were sliders and smart phones were starting to make their debut. Things like Sidekicks and blackberries were starting to become popular and yet again, I felt behind the curve. After a few years passed I got my first Sidekick phone and was extremely happy with it. I finally felt caught up and at the current generation. Then it hit, the biggest revolution in cell phone technology. The iPhone. It was sleek, it was sophisticated and it had technology in it that had never been in phones before. It played your music, it would display your text conversations like an instant message session, it ran games at smooth framerates, it would rotate from portrait to landscape at the movement of the device to it’s side and the biggest innovation was that it had a touch screen. This, along with the iPod Touch gave rise to some of the biggest technological advancements we’ve seen in recent years. Touch technology is everywhere it seems today, from computers to phones, MP3 players and even Televisions. Even my phone, another Samsung brand phone, has a touch screen with internet capabilities and so many different features that weren’t even thought possible before the iPhone. Using a phone to watch Youtube or to read books sounded like a crazy idea before the iPhone was released and now it just seems like something that should be bundled in just about every piece of cell phone technology. But Jobs didn’t stop there. He saw a much bigger thing on the horizon that Apple could lead the way with.
I was in college, lugging around my graduation present from High School, my laptop, to every class. It didn’t weigh too much, it wasn’t a burden and I loved it (Even though I eventually overheated the graphics card) but Apple saw a way to improve even this minor inconvenience with the release of their next big product, the iPad, in 2010. While many have put it as a glorified iPhone or iPad with a bigger screen, it’s been reinvented and distinguished into it’s own category that gave rise to the new laptop replacing “tablets”. Right after the announcement of the iPad, companies everywhere scrambled to release their own version of a tablet before the iPad release date. The reason why is because Apple had already shown it’s brilliance in the iPod and iPhone and so much more that people knew it would be a hit. Companies tried to figure out something that Apple hadn’t thought of, and while the integration of Flash became a big game changer for some tablets running Android, the iPad hit and was an instant success. Now people could read their books, play Angry Birds, surf the web and do all the things they could on their iPhones, but this time with a bigger screen, faster hardware and better technology overall.
All of these products, ideas and creative imaginings have been the children of one man, and that man has sadly passed away. His legacy shall forever be cemented in history as one of the key innovators in the information/technology age. He looked to do things that no one had ever dreamed before and wanted to integrate things in ways that people couldn’t fathom. While I may not own a single piece of Apple product and never have, it’s very clear the impact that Steve Jobs has had on the life I live every day, even when using my current computer running Windows 7, a platform that decided to become more “user friendly” because of it’s competitor, Mac OS X. Steve Jobs started Apple in his garage when he was 20 years old and it has become one of the most powerful and successful technology companies in the world, and it’s because of that innovation, that creativity and drive for success that makes this PC user not only acknowledge, but praise the work that Steve Jobs has done for this day and age. He will be severely missed and his legend will live on, as many have already stated, as the Thomas Edison of this era. Rest in Peace, Mr. Steve Jobs.
“Steve died peacefully today surrounded by his family. In his public life, Steve was known as a visionary; in his private life, he cherished his family. We are thankful to the many people who have shared their wishes and prayers during the last year of Steve’s illness.” – Job’s Family
“We’ve lost something we won’t get back. The way I see it, though, the way people love products he put so much into creating means he brought a lot of life to the world.” — Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak
“For those of us lucky enough to get to work with Steve, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.” — Bill Gates
“There may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented.” — President Barack Obama
“Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you.” — Mark Zuckerberg
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs
This entry was posted on October 6, 2011 by Kyle Lock. It was filed under News and was tagged with apple, comp, computers, death, dies, era, facebook, II, ilife, imac, ipad, iPhone, ipod, jobs, legend, mac, microsoft, nano, passying, pc, phones, screen, stanford, steve, stocks, tablets, technology, touch.