Sadly, only one month after resigning as President of Apple Computer, Steve Jobs has passed away. He was 56.
A Steve Jobs biography, written by Walter Isaacson, was released in October of 2011. Isaacson interviewed friends, enemies, relatives, colleagues and competitors, as well as Jobs himself, creating a most comprehensive view of the clever, and often abrasive man who changed the world with his products, ideas and inspiration.
I’m 44 years old at the time of this writing, and I still remember my first computer, an Apple ][+. My father bought me that computer when I was about 14 years old. We subscribed to a little magazine called CALL -A.P.P.L.E. which was loaded with BASIC program code, and I would write programs on that computer day and night, when I wasn’t in school, or playing my guitar.
When Apple introduced the Macintosh, a little app called HyperCard became popular, and I began building “stacks” as they were called, making my own little mini applications and games. I also spent a lot of time using MacPaint.
I didn’t get it at the time, but later would come to respect and admire the man behind Apple, and I would start to make connections between what I do now, and what I spent so much time doing as a teen. I still work and play on my computer, now a MacBook Pro, as a graphic artist, web site developer, and musician.
Steve said, “…you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
When I look back I see that is true. Thanks to HyperCard the web site concept was easy for me to grasp. MacPaint of course led to PhotoShop, one of my other design tools, and Apple’s Logic Studio allows me to use my Apple computer to record my music, my guitar, and design with sound. I have literally grown up with Apple, and can connect those dots.
Steve Jobs was a mysterious figure to me. In those early days my father would speak of him with a sort of reverence and awe, as if Steve were some amazing, forward-thinking visionary. As a teen I didn’t so much wonder what it was all about as much as I just got the vibe, and understood what was known: Here is a man with some amazing ideas that will change everything.
Steve did change everything. Apple changed everything. Steve Jobs and Apple rearranged the playing field and continuously took us to new places with technology. They have enabled us with intuitively designed machines that have made, and make, our lives easier. Steve also inspired, and provided creative people around the world with tools that seem to directly connect to the artist within. They have opened doors for creative people worldwide.
I found this quote of his very inspiring. And it brings tears to my eyes.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life,” Jobs said. “Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ 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.”
His computers allow me to express myself as an artist. And his words inspire me to continue following my heart and intuition. I’m an artist and a musician. I need to keep doing these things and let the dots connect ahead of me.
Thank you Steve, for everything you’ve done. You will be missed.
A short note: After emailing my father a link to this post he replied with an interesting story, one I never knew…
“Don’t know if I ever told you but I met Jobs and Wozniak at the Philadelphia Computer Show in 1977. They had a small table in a corner showing off the Apple I. [a couple of my friends] and I chatted with them for a while. They introduced the Apple I in Atlantic City in 1976.”