Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Thoughts on Steve Jobs

I know J mentioned it earlier, but this being a pop culture-type site, and this likely being one of the biggest stories for people who read that kind of thing over the next few weeks, I thought I'd use the spot for a little free therapy and ramble a little.

I have an apology to make to the internet. You see, I killed Steve Jobs. Okay, not really…but I have to admit that when I heard the news, for just a brief second, that thought did cross my mind. You see, I took a day off of work today. Cleaned my apartment, did laundry, bought groceries, picked up a couple movies and a cd, and grabbed and read this week’s new release comics. All in all, a really good day. I was writing up a thing about the comics for here on Fruitless Pursuits when I took a break to check my Twitter. And that’s when I read the news that Steve Jobs had died. It’s weird, how the first thing people think of when they hear of someone’s death is how it affects their own lives. It’s human nature I guess, but it makes me feel guilty nonetheless.

Apple Computers was started in 1976, two years before I was even born. For me, there has not been a world without Apple, and I’m obviously not alone. My family’s first home computer was an Apple IIe. I remember how gigantic it was, especially to little-kid me. It had three parts: the “keyboard”, which was actually where all the guts of the computer lived, but had the keyboard sticking out of the front; the disk drive, which had slots for two 5.25” floppy disks; and the monitor, which was green with white writing and I swear seemed bigger at the time than my sister. That was closer to 30 years ago than I’d care to admit, and it’s funny to me when I realize that my iPhone 3GS has waaaay more processing power (and a much better screen).

It’s different today. Today it’s Apple’s world. Between the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad, and the all-powerful iTunes; much of how the world interacts is centered around Apple. Look at us here at Fruitless Pursuits. We’re actually split between the USA and Australia, yet recently we’ve started doing a weekly podcast. We're able to get together and talk about geek stuff in a way we could never have done without Steve Jobs. Even the word "podcast" comes directly from the invention of the iPod. I don’t know about anyone else, but I can barely remember my life before podcasts.

Jobs has left an indelible mark on our culture in ways that people are only now going to start to realize. He was one of the minds behind Pixar, which arguably changed the face of movies. Without Jobs, there’s no Toy Story, no Incredibles, no Up…not exactly a world I like the idea of living in. I saw someone on Twitter say that he “gave us the things we didn’t even know we needed”; I think there’s a lot of truth in that. Jobs was one of those rare people with both the vision and the means to ACTUALLY change the world, and the world is now just a little bit darker without him. As I watched my Twitter feed this evening, and saw as person after person got the news, many on Apple devices, it struck me: I haven’t seen people this upset over the death of a person they’ve never actually met since Jim Henson died.

Jobs, like Henson, was a visionary. He saw the way the world was, and he saw the way he thought it should be. He then set out to make the two meet. It’s unfortunate that, also like Henson who died of illness at age 53, he left the world with still so much he could have given. But he’s definitely left a mark on society that will not soon be erased. In the end, who could really ask for more?

So thank you, Steve Jobs. Thank you for helping to create the future so that I could live in it. Even those that aren’t Mac people have to admit that you changed the game for everyone, and made all of technology and the world step up to the plate in a way that no one ever could have foreseen. I have to admit though, I’m really interested to see what happens over the next couple of weeks.

Thank you for indulging me. I now return you to Pokemon poop jokes, comic books, and Star Wars.


  1. Yeah, I'm not a huge Apple or Mac guy but I listen to podcasts more than anything else. Plus I am very grateful that Pixar exists too.

  2. I didn't realise how much I liked and respect the guy until he died. It's pretty horrible that that tends to be the pattern :(

  3. Between me and my wife we have 2 macBooks, 2 iBooks, 1 iMac, 2 iPads, 2 iPod classic, 3 iPod Nanos, 1 iPod shuffle, and 2 Apple TVs. There are currently 4 iPhones in my house. (I'm on my 4th iPhone and next Friday will be my 5th). I also have my sweet Apple Cube, which started it all for me.

    I'm definitely impressed by Apple's products. And could be considered an Apple fanboy. For me it's all about simplicity, ease of use, solid design, presentation, inter-connectivity, and sticking with something that I know and love. I would never buy a different brand phone or laptop or tablet, because I know that Apple will do exactly what I want with it. There are some downfalls to the products, but they positives outweigh the negatives. 1). I barely remember how annoying computer viruses used to be.

    As for Steve Jobs, the thing I like the most (aside from his vision and inventions) was his accessibility. He would answer fan emails, and address their concerns (but not all of them) in a massive keynote. He carried himself like one of us, just another passionate tech geek.