There has been so many things said about the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs in the past couple of weeks, it’s been an overwhelming outpouring from customers, colleagues, friends and even competitors. I wanted to pause my blogging on virtualization to pay my respects to the man who changed the world through the amazing technology he brought to life. I have to be honest and up front, I’m not a 100% Mac user, in fact many of my coworkers will tell you how I’ve poked fun at Mac from time to time and had ongoing arguments supporting Windows. With the passing of Steve Jobs, it doesn’t seem to matter whether you are a Mac or a PC, everyone can find something they admire about the man who brought Apple back to the forefront of computing.
My Apple History
Like I said before, I’m predominantly a PC user. However, as time has passed, I’ve become more and more intrigued with Apple products. My wife and I have been debating the purchase of Apple TV (no decision as of this post), as well as the purchase of an iMac (no decision here either). I’m sure before the end of the year, we’ll own one of these two devices… it’s inevitable. I can remember how exciting it would be hearing that Apple scheduled a press conference, you knew it was going to be something awesome. I can only think of one Apple press release that Steve wasn’t on stage in his signature black mock turtleneck, jeans and New Balance sneakers. He was really good at showing off his newest device and giving us a short walk through of it’s best and most attractive features. There was never a shortage of options with Apple, they seemed to have options that appealed to every end-user out there.
The first time I remember wanting an iPod (I really didn’t even know exactly what it did) was when I saw an ad on TV for the 20GB iPod (2nd Gen). This ad was the one in which U2 sang their “Vertigo” track. I was sold! Actually, Apple was even shipping a special U2 edition iPod that was pre-loaded with U2’s entire library, and included the band’s signatures etched on the back cover. Needless to say, it ended up being my Christmas present from the wife! Love it, and Vertigo was my first iTunes purchase. With those two transactions, I completely changed how I bought and listened to music forever.
Since then (2004), I’ve exclusively purchase all my music on iTunes, and despite the recent price bump per download, I’m still on iTunes buying music. Since then I’ve added an 80GB iPod Classic (black), and an 8GB iPod Nano 2nd Gen (gold). My oldest daughter is 6 years old, guess what she want’s for Christmas?… an iPod touch! Apple has made my kids tech savvy at a super young age. Thank you, Steve Jobs.
I can’t say enough about the iPad. It is probably the one Apple product that I’ve talk about the most, I could talk about it until I’m blue in the face, my family will attest to this. In July of this year, I finally picked up an iPad 2. I was working for a charter school in Gilbert, Arizona and they had just rolled out a pilot program titled “The iClassroom”. The idea was to eventually give every student an iPad to use interactively in the classroom. This is a great idea and I can attest that it works! No doubt, the pilot program was not smooth (at all), there were a lot of bumps in the road, and it’s still ongoing at the school. Seeing the kids interact on their iPad with some of the coolest and most intelligent apps, was incredible. I was able to have one for my tenure at the school, so I took it home and synced it with iTunes as fast as I could. I was stunned at the beauty of the device and the endless possibilities it offered. I downloaded some educational apps, Stack the States is my kids consensus favorite app, and I turned it over to my 6-year-old daughter. She loved it, and would ask for iPad time everyday when she got home from school. I’ve never seen my kid so focused and attentive, it was moving to see things she was learning on a daily basis, and remembering! Thank you, Steve Jobs.
What’s interesting is that Steve Jobs not only revolutionized personal computing, but he also revolutionized so many other industries. Let’s be honest, the cell phone market was pretty boring until the release of the iPhone. RIM introduced it’s BlackBerry in 1999 as a two-way pager in Munich, Germany and became hugely popular with the enterprise users. Only within the last 4 years did it gain traction in the personal cell phone market. Outside of the Blackberry, people used cell phones as just that, a cell phone. We made calls, kept our contacts and occasionally sent a text message. Enter the iPhone, unveiled by Jobs on January 9, 2007 at the Macworld 2007 convention at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The cell phone market is turned upside down! Now we manage our bank accounts, compose tweets, update our Facebook status and listen to our iTunes all on our phone. I recently purchased my first smartphone (yes, I’m way behind the curve), an Android device, while it isn’t the iPhone it certainly owes much of its features to the innovation of the iPhone. After owning an Android for over a month now, I’m still finding myself longing for an iPhone, simply due to the seamless integration with iTunes and now iCloud. I probably won’t last another week or two before I’ve got an iPhone in hand. With the release of the iPhone came the release of the App Market, loaded with app versions of our banks, websites, blogs, games and productivity tools. The App Store quietly ushered in the age of Internet a la carte, making actual web browsing from a PC archaic. We now have the capability of taking from the Internet only what we want, in slices. Thank you, Steve Jobs.
You’ll Be Missed
Steve Jobs will be missed all over the world. I’m hard pressed to believe that Apple will continue on with the same innovation and market share that it enjoyed while under Jobs purview. He was such a hands on CEO, you can see the his perfectionism in the details of his design and the creativity behind each new release. You made using a computer fun again. You made the way we communicate easier and more interesting. You changed the way we buy and listen to music. You gave us only what we want from the Internet. Your attention to detail and pursuit of perfection inspired us. You changed the world.
Thank you, Steve Jobs.