To all of you in Cupertino and Austin and to the family of Steve, my heart and thoughts are with you.
The world is mourning the passing of Steve Jobs today, and so am I. Steve passed away yesterday after a long battle with cancer. For those of you who use apple products, the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Macs, this is a sad day. For those of us who spent time at Apple, it's almost a personal loss.
My first computer was a Commodore 64 with dual floppy (5.25) drives. It was soon and quickly replaced with the first Macintosh. I was in love. I bounced from the 128 to the 512k model in a year, then to the SE, SE/30, and ultimately to the LC I. My first personal computer at home was the LCII followed by a Performa 6116CD (my first PPC chip), 8150 WGS, beige G3/233, and finally Blue&white G3 with a G4 upgrade. Twenty years of history and memories defined by the Apple products I used at home and at work. I learned almost everything I know about computing (which is a lot, but not exhaustive) on the Macintosh Platform.
In 1995 I started a contract with Apple at a call center for the AAC (I still have my 1990s Apple Assistance coffee cup). I worked for Apple during the dark times. The times of licensing the OS, clones, Pippen, OS 7.5, and Gil Amelio. It was a hard time for Apple, there was a loss of focus on innovation, easy of use, and technology. Stock prices and market share were at an all time low and nay-sayers were constantly predicting the closure of Apple's doors. Yet there was always this spirit of hope. In the last few months of my tenure there, Apple bought NeXT, and it was announced that Steve would be returning as a consultant. I left that job to go work elsewhere. I received my hardware and software certifications during that time and was happy to see things beginning to change.
Then the most amazing thing happened, iMac. Ditch the beige boxes of yesterday and make the internet and home computing fun again for the everyday person. Apple stopped trying to compete with the PC market and made something fun and interesting again. iTunes and iPod were just around the corner bringing to the masses the wonders of mp3s. iPod was not the first mp3 player. I owned a Rio (which worked with iTunes at the time), but in my opinion, the iPod changed the world. Mobile devices were never so easy to use, so well integrated with the GUI and operating environment.
With the dissolving of the AIM alliance and the release of OSX, Macintosh computers exploded on the scene as well. Innovation and design was alive again at Apple.
I could go on about the innovation of the iPhone and iPad as well, but those are much less personal to me. I turned many people to the Mac platform. I've used it for 27 years now.
The world became a better place for the technology and innovation developed by the Steves (yes I hold Woz in the same regard). My only hope is that Apple continues to foster and nurture the abilities of other visionaries and innovators.
Thank you Steve, you will be missed. Rest now our friend.