I got the news this evening that Steve Jobs had passed. Hardly surprising, I coldly replied. I never had any dealings with him personally and the press was full of info/speculation about his health or lack of... just another of the rich and powerful.
But that's grossly unfair...
As I sit and reflect on his legacy, I realize that his company's products have quite literally changed my life. That's not hyperbole.
Before my first Mac, I was a Linux guy. There were two Windows machines in the house (my wife's and my daughter's). One day, I received an email from my ISP saying that my machine was spreading viruses. That's impossible, I thought. I run Linux, dammit! So I setup a network trace and left it to run for a day. Once every now and then my daughter's PC would email some virus to what read like a veritable who's who of open source (one of whom was the sender of the original complaint). I was mortified. And my response was harsh. From that day, the Windows PCs started running Debian. Oh the whining. Boo hoo, I want my Windows back. I can't play Windows Media. I can't this; I can't that. But I rulez with a ir0n f1st!
I am not a patient man. Supporting my family running Linux sucked giant donkey balls (thanks to my friend SM for that metaphor). But I soldiered on. Until one day...
I got a Mac. It gave me what I needed. A combination of a usable machine and terminal windows with a UNIX shell when things got weird (complete with useful developer tools). Suddenly, I hacked on what I wanted instead of what was broken by a random upgrade.
It didn't take long to figure out that this was a supportable environment for the family. So as finances allowed, we became a Mac house. And I became a more relaxed patriarch; one with more free time.
Which leads to my profound finding of GarageBand on my first Mac... With that I again found a voice that I had thought was long lost. I am again making music. Started learning to play guitar. Pushed and enjoy my kids' playing (to the extent they allow [insert teen eye-roll])
And for that, I am forever changed.
To Steve and the incredible team that carries on, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I don't believe in heaven but if it's there, here's hoping that guys like Steve are shakin' shit up rather than resting in peace.