Rodney 1 comment

To Steve’s family, co-workers, colleagues, friends and those he inspired…

I say this as someone who has spent their entire life in, on and around computers. Since primary school I had a fascination with them and since early high school I have been programming, developing, designing and eventually working with, computers. And for most of that time, I took for granted how they came to be.

Like so many, I grew up using whatever computers I could get my hands on – the first one that was truly “mine” being a 286 running DOS. I admired the visionaries and the people who made it all possible and was so impressed with the likes of Bill Gates and others that I wanted to do like they had – spend my life working with computers.

As I finished high school, university and went into work, I feel heavily into the Windows camp and used to enjoy regular Apple vs PC arguments with friends and co-workers; always taking the PC side. Having to occasionally work with Apple, I admit that I wilfully ignored their benefits and continued to take the MS line. Over time I came into use of Linux and switched from a mindset of one ecosystem vs another for the best system for the task at hand.

So it’s with some regret that I only recently truly discovered what I had been ignoring for so long and switched a large portion of my company over to Mac. Having made the switch some years ago from being an employee to running a development company, I began to look into the early greats of IT for inspiration – and was surprised to find just how much of the things I know and love about computers I owe to Steve Jobs. It’s not just his popularisation of the GUI or more human interfaces but it’s his vision of marrying style with substance, rather than the approach I was used to seeing of functionality over form.

It’s always been so important for me, as a developer, to provide a product that does 2 things: exceeds the clients expectations in terms of what it does and is highly usable and stylish. Then I found out there was a man who made a company with a vision not too different from that, many years before. And I’d spent so much time avoiding his work; sticking my head in the sand for no reason worth mentioning.

To me, Steve Jobs just bring us the personal computer, the smart phone revolution, the GUI or so many other things. He brought us a world which no one else before him envisaged – a world in which technology isn’t just for us geeks and isn’t just about doing amazing things – he brought about a world where doing amazing things could be done in beautiful ways, in ways that everyone could appreciate. I am among the small percentage of people who can see a sort of beauty in a command prompt – but Steve brought forward a beauty that everyone could see and touch.

Everything I know and love about the industry that I… know and love… I learned only in the last few years that I owe to Steve Jobs. For 20 years I have been excited about computers every day. For 20 years I have looked forward to creating, designing and using.

And I owe it all to him.

May you at Apple find comfort in knowing that even the hardened PC fans acknowledge what you gave us all. Know that you work is admired and respected by countless millions. May Steve’s family find comfort in knowing that he touched the lives of almost every human on the planet and that his dream of changing the World for the better through technology has been well and truly met.



Sunday 9th October 2011 | 01:19 PM
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