Thank You Steve Jobs! You and Your Products Change Lives!
I’ve read a lot of tributes to Steve Jobs in the last 12 hours, and they are all beautiful. Aside from reporters who knew him, not many of them have been very personal. I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about how Steve Jobs changed my life, and many of my family member’s lives.
I was a late adopter of the Apple culture. I got my first computer in the fall of 1993. IBM had just come out with a color screen for their laptops. It was the coolest thing I had ever seen. As an engineering major, I wasn’t exposed to Apple computers in my classes. I was always good with computers, and often helped my friends with their problems. I remember helping a friend who was Political Science major, I’d never seen this all-in-one contraption on his desk. In my college years, I came to perceive Apple computers as machines for the computer illiterate.
Several years later, my brother was going to college to obtain a degree in Fine Arts with a specialty in graphic design, I came to perceive Apple computers as machines for creative people. I had bought myself a new computer sometime around 2000, an HP Media Center. It was supposed to help me manage my pictures, videos, and music better than any other PC on the market. What I know now, that I didn’t know then, was an Apple computer would have done all those things more naturally.
Music has always been an important part of my life. My father was in a band when I was young, and my mother loves to tell the stories about me singing along to songs in the car before I could speak in sentences. Needless to say, there was always music on in our house. In my teens and early twenties is had a Walkman, a Diskman, and even a MiniDisk player. Shortly before a skiing trip to Colorado in the winter of 2004 I bought my first Apple product, immediately I was hooked. I bought myself a pink iPod Mini, loaded up all 4GB of its memory with almost every song I had on my computer at the time. I can remember staying up late to make playlists for the plane ride, the car ride to the mountain, for skiing, and hanging out. One day of use and I was hooked for life! That first Mini didn’t last long, a few months later it stopped working. I took it to an Apple store and after looking at it for a few seconds the sales person went into the storeroom and came back with a brand new one for me, no charge. If it was possible, I was more in love with Apple. Several Christmas’ in a row, iPods dominated Santa’s gift giving to us kids. I was upgraded to a 40GB full size iPod, then I was upgraded to the iPod touch. Every year Steve Jobs was like Santa, bringing new toys to the children of my family; the grown-ups even got in on the action. The year Santa brought me a Bose Sound Dock, which my iPod connected to, changed the way music was played in my home. I’ve been in my house for 5 years, and I have yet to set-up my stereo system. Anyone visiting our house can drop their iPod in the dock and we can listen to whatever playlist fits the mood. Thank goodness for all of these iPods, as I leave one in my car connected directly to the stereo, one lives on the Sound dock at the house, and of course there is the iPod in my iPhone.
After my success with my iPod Mini, when it came to buy a new computer, there was no doubt in my mind it needed to be a Mac. To say that I can be rough on electronics is an understatement. I bought myself a MacBook Pro with the metal case and it has served me well. It took very little time to adjust to working in Mac Land. Gone were frustrations over connecting to a wireless connection, a printer, or setting up email settings. Apple’s user interface was intuitive and smart, taking away the need for so much of the help I had to give my friends back in college. So who was the dummy? Certainly not my PoliSci major friends, they had already figured out what it took me over a decade to learn. Since I became a full Mac convert, I have had to switch back to PC for work several times. I am always so happy to return to Mac Land where things work smoothly without a fight.
When the iPhone entered my life, it kicked my Blackberry’s butt! All the information of the information of the internet at my fingertips wherever/whenever I went. I am still in love with visual voicemail, and not having to call into get my messages. Oh, the App Store, I love it! I have broken a few, but that wasn’t the phones fault, I drop it a lot. And if I thought the iPhone changed my life, when the Birthday Fairy brought me an iPad I was truly transformed. I rarely go anywhere without both devices, and only tote my laptop while travelling if absolutely necessary.
My brother, the original Mac lover in our family, has a MacBook Pro (much newer than mine) and a 27” Thunderbolt Display, just as many iPods as I have. Giving up cable TV last year, he bought Apple TV and has not regretted his decision of rejecting cable.
My Dad recently upgraded his iMac to the new and very sexy 27” iMac, it is flanked by his Black iBook, which he had used when travelling for the last several years and his iPad 2. Just like buying us “kids” the latest iPods, he has bought himself the latest iPad. The iPad2 recently made a trip over the French Alps and across the French Riviera. Most of the pictures from my parent’s trip were taken on his iPhone 4. Several times each day he set the iPad on the dashboard of the car and took video of the roads they were driving. It has been a blast to follow along with their journey. Even better to look at the pictures and watch the videos on his 27” screen when they got home!
Mom became a Mac convert a few years ago, but dragged her heels on getting an iPhone. She resisted converting to a smartphone saying she didn’t need it. Well, no one NEEDS it, but boy do we like it. After several car trips with her constantly stealing my iPhone to check traffic or play Angry Birds, she realized it was time. She can now be found texting, emailing or playing Angry Birds on her iPhone.
I am very grateful to have been a Mac Lover in the era of Steve Jobs. His visionary guidance of Apple has changed lives of people and inspired entrepreneurs all over the world.
Post by Don BattisDon Battis
is the CEO of Pawntique.