Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thanks for Pushing Me to Think Different...

My open letter to Steve Jobs...

Dear Mr. Jobs,
Let me first begin by apologizing for the lateness of my thank you letter. You have had an immense impact on me for many years, literal decades, yet it is only now I get around to saying thank you. For that I do apologize.

It was the mid eighties when I first touched a computer. That computer was an Apple II. I was in elementary school and I made the turtle move around the screen. Yes, Logo was my introduction to the computing world...

High school was a dark time for me. It was the early 90s and Windows 3 was all the rage. My father was a corporate guy so we went Microsoft for those, the Mac-less, years. Thankfully the Jesuits had me writing so many papers I barely had time to loathe the OS, but I digress...

College. 1994. Boston University. Redemption, and a return to the warm embrace of the PowerPC. My computer at the time was a PowerMac 6100/60. I was a film major in college and the only television advertisement to ever grace the lips of a film professor was, of course, the introduction of the Macintosh. My first video editing experience was on that 6100/60. Years later as a professional editor I always thought fondly of that system (it lived through 12 years of college as both my younger sisters inherited it as I upgraded).

In 1997 I got a job at PC Week magazine. Yes, a Windows themed publication. The art department were my best friends, the only Mac users in the company. By 1998 I was editing video for the website on a G3, the beige one. In a world of Windows boxes I, along with my art brethren, were the small band of outlaws.

After that it was G4s, iMacs, Powerbooks, MacBooks, MacBook Pros, iPods, iPads, and of course, an iPhone....

Since 1997 I have been faithful. Today my iPhone is in my pocket, my iPod is on my wrist, and my iPad is in my hand. Some say I "drank the Kool-Aid" but I prefer to think of it as "I've been around since the Kool-Aid was being mixed."

It is now 2011, October 5th to be exact. You, Steve, have unfortunately shuffled off this mortal coil. Your passing has saddened me as it has millions of others. Your passing has made me reflect on my own connection to Apple and you, and why it is your passing has my heart so heavy.

It has been 20+ years since I fist touched a computer, that Apple II, as an elementary school student. I am now an elementary school computer teacher myself. I have a lab full of iMacs. I don't teach Logo. I teach Keynote. I have evolved and grown as a student, a person, and an educator with Apple by my side. And it has been Apple that inspired me and pushed me to get to where I am. Apple will live on but it was your driving force that kept my interest and inspired me.

Thank you for gaining my attention.
Thank you for keeping my attention.
Thank you for the tools you helped create.
Thank you for inspiring me to create.
Thank you for the simplicity and elegance of design and function.
Thank you for inspiring me.
Thank you for helping me to inspire others.

Your innovations have allowed me to see the possibility of my own innovation.

Thank you for pushing me to think different...

You will live forever in the legacy of what you have given the world and what you have given the world allows the world to create in return...

Thank you.

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