I recall our Ithaca College computer room in the mid 1980's. I was a computer science minor. We programmed on terminals that connected to mainframe systems. The computer screens were the kind you'd find in the back room of a manufacturing warehouse. Green and black read outs or maybe orange characters on black. Very technical in their appearance. The language was complex and accomplished little when you compare to the advancements of today.
Next to those terminals in one of the rooms was a tight little personal computer called the Apple IIe. We did a little work on it. It wasn't very productive. Apple mostly was being viewed as a tool for education and school settings. It could do simple tasks like primitive word processing and math solutions. In the parlance of golf, the Apple IIe was the persimmon wood driver compared to today's titanium shafted 460 cc aerodynamic golf club that launches the ball 300 yards and beyond. The Apple line was setting the table. It was Steve Jobs creating what no one else had created and seeing the pending technical cascade with a unique eye.
During that same time frame I was part of a group that debuted the use of computerized teleprompters for television newscasts. A profressor had donated a couple of Commodore 64's to get that job. Apple didn't have enough going for it to make the grade. I spent many years away from Apple products. When I started to use a personal computer it was in university labs with IBM operating systems. It was the early years of MS Dos (Microsoft).
The MacIntosh brought Apple through its first renaissance. It created a divide between Mac users and PC users which was much later formalized in those familiar television commercials. The return of Steve Jobs and the ultimate development of the iPod changed that divide forever. His continued perseverance and vision created a product that sold tens of millions of units. The iWorld began to take hold. iPod, iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, iTunes and iAnythingelse.
We had entered the world seen only by a young Steve Jobs where graphics, music and video would all be accessible in easy to use tidy technical packages. The hardware advanced, the software and packaging followed. We were realizing we'd never be the same.
So few actors in history have that status. Henry Ford, Walt Disney, maybe Bill Gates or some day Mark Zuckerberg, but Steve Jobs has his own realm of creativity and innovation that thus far is unmatched. He died a global billionaire. He faced death with apparent tenacity and drive to utilize every last breath of life to change the world's face. Now it's his face we are seeing every where with the hashtag #iSad. Well stated in a Steve Jobs way. Clean and to the point with lasting quality and meaning.
Watch an interview of iSchool Professor Anthony Rotolo with Matt Mulcahy about the legacy of Steve Jobs.
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