Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs.1955-2011. RIP.

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's 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.” - Steve Jobs
This evening, Apple announced that Steve Jobs, its legendary leader, has died. Watch his powerful talk “How to live before you die” — in which Jobs urges us to pursue our dreams and see the opportunities in life’s setbacks, including death itself.

I remember the first time I used a Mac after years of working on PC's. It was like going from a donkey cart to a Cadillac. Everything worked the way it was supposed to. All the programs interfaced together, cleanly and elegantly. I realized that Mac was a superior product when I moved from a Mac user environment to a department that used PC's. 

The department that used Mac's had two tech guys to take care of over 500 doctors and personnel. They were busy but not overwhelmed. The department that used PC's had an IT staff of 10 for 150 doctors and their staff and they could not keep up with the computer breakdowns, the virii and the hackers. Any change in operating system was traumatic and forget about installing your own software.

The flow of innovative products has been amazing - computers that really were plug and play, all the versions of OS which did not crash and did what you bought them to do, the iPhone, the iPad, software that worked as soon as you installed it. Sometimes Apple was a bit behind the game, as in voice recognition software, but they were in front in so many other ways.

My biggest complaint is that they never imported my favorite city building games onto a Mac platform. As for the rest of the games - not interested, not my thing. I leave the big bangs and the imaginary violence to people like my immature upstairs neighbors.

RIP Steve - you made my life and that of millions of other computer geeks in hundreds of ways, how we work, how we play, how we communicate. Let's hope that Apple stays on the path you forged for it. 

ps: Boing Boing has changed their web page to honor Jobs. Anybody who remembers their first Mac will remember that screen. I got a lump in my throat when I saw it; I remember naming my first Mac after a Goddess, a practice that I still follow. She was called Clio, followed by Artemis, Sophia, Minerva and Athena.


A Cuban In London said...

I admit that I found Macs unappealing but then again, I'm not a visual artist, a photographer or a musician and people working in thos efields always found Macs very useful. To me Steve symbolised something else: one of the best examples of forward-thinking in an individual in a capitalist society. People tend to confuse individuality with individualism. I go for the former but despise the latter. To me Jobs was one o fthose rare creators who believe in content.. and form. But not one above the other. Great post, many thanks.

Greetings from London.

namastenancy said...

I do find the outpouring of grief at his death a bit amazing but I think to a lot of people he represented a certain type of invention and integrity that is very rare.

I listened to Steve Job's 2005 Commencement address at Stanford which is posted all over the web.

His talk sounded to me like the description of the ideal life, the life of the high achievers. Like Alexander the Great, or Byron or anybody who is now famous (but often wasn't in their own time). What Jobs left out is the trail of pain, broken lives and broken promises they often left behind.

I also think his address grossly underestimated how difficult success and achievement are. He started out in the magical 1960s where it was easy to find employment or to manage without. The world has got harsher since then.

But then, life will always open doors for the charmed kids who graduate from Stanford. Unless they seriously mess up, that degree and the money that got them through that expensive place will carpet their lives in ways that we can't even begin to imagine.

I graduated from the school hard knocks and worked hard for very little reward. They will graduate with a magical degree that will turn their future into gold.

For every real genius, there are a lot of unhappy, haunted people without the vision and the talent. There's only one Shakespeare, and there are lots of men who walk out on their family for a more interesting life than selling gloves in a small town and end up... where?

Their families are the ones that suffer but who cares about them? A lot of people are encouraged to take huge risks, and then, take a nose dive into the deep because they don't have the talent and more importantly, don't have the support or a safety net.

My point being: that philosophy worked for Steve Jobs. I believe too that follow your bliss is the way to live a good life --- IF YOU CAN. It also helps to be male.

he successful always have a way of making their achievements sound like a simple straight line that was inevitable because they wanted it 'bad enough' and were always sure they would succeed, which implies anyone can do it. And if you don't achieve the heights, you are labeled a looser.

My friend Linda wrote: Life allows for very few true golden boys or golden girls. It isn't fair but it's the way things are. That is probably the most bitter lesson to absorb in life since we are always told we can get what we want if we want really work at it. Many have vision and talent that will be stopped in it's tracks because they could not get into the right school or meet the right people.

Steve at least contributed something to the world. The rest of us can probably consider ourselves blessed if we have a decent income and aren't being crushed by debt.