Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs Passes Away at 56 - RIP to a Genius

For the first time in the history of this blog, I'm running the same picture 2 days in a row.  Last night, I pulled my Mac out of my Oakley backup and fired it up as I normally do.  When I opened Google Chrome and went to the Fox News website, I gasped.  My wife overhead and was immediately concerned.  "What;s wrong?", she asked.  When I told her the news she too was stunned.
By now you've read the obituaries so I won't bother with that.  What I will tell is my Apple story because that, in a way, pays  tribute to the man.
I'm an Apple/Mac guy, but I haven't always been.  For years I was a Windows guy and in a way I still am, since Eaglesoft that runs my office is Windows.  However, I've always been a huge music lover and when my computers suddenly had the ability to rip CDs into digital files, I was hooked with the whole digital music thing.  I began to rip all my CDs and that was a task.  Then a little thing called the iPod came along and it fascinated me.  So much so, that being a geek, I ran right out and bought one of the original 5GB models.
I'll never forget opening the box.  There was a whole Zen to the way it was packaged, the way the box felt, the way the components were placed in the package.  I remember thinking "if they put this much thinking into the package, what is the iPod going to be like?"  I wasn't disappointed.  Matter of fact, I still have that iPod and the dang thing still works.  After that moment I became a Mac fan.
A few years later I was in need of a new laptop.  Being a geek I had several Mac fanboy buddies and they were pushing me to join them.  However, I was hesitant.  I didn't know the Mac OS and with my constant lecturing I didn't want to learn a new OS.  I finally decided to wait for the MacBook Pro with the dual processor that could run Windows or Mac.  At the worst, I figured, if I didn't like the Mac part I'd just have a really expensive Windows laptop.
By now you know what's coming... I bought it loved it and probably used Windows "a few" times when I absolutely needed it.  Then it began.  First it was a Mac baseball hat for my collection.  Then it was the sticker that has graced every vehicle since.   Funny I pay extra to have the dealership remove all the plates and lettering from my vehicles because i dont' like the clutter, but I'll add a Mac sticker.
I became a bit fascinated with Steve Jobs.  The guy just kept hitting home runs.  He was sure of himself and stuck to his guns.  There were of course stories that didn't paint him in the best light.  Some employees felt he was harsh and it's been said enough that it was probably true, but we all have our faults.  The bottom line is, Steve had an amazing instinct for technology and it changed our lives... over and over and over again.
This summer, Apple had more cash reserves than the U.S. Treasury and is second only to Exxon as the world's most valuable company.
There aren't many rock star CEO's, but Steve Jobs was definitely one.  I'm going to miss the stories about him, but more I will miss his insight into what gadget I needed when I didn't even know it existed yet.
Also, my thoughts and prayers go out to Steve's soul and to his family and other loved ones.  RIP Steve.  I was a Mac guy all along and I didn't even know it.

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