In the early 1980s I was something of a technology Luddite. I couldn't see the point of a computer. To use one you had to think like a software engineer, using command line instructions to get anything done. I was living in Germany and many of my acquaintances had Commodore 64s, which, like all early computers, required an engineer's mind set and a whole lot of patience to embrace. Using a Commodore 64 was about as attractive to me as slamming my hand in a car door.
I visited a German friend's house (who is now a member of the German parliament come to think of it), and he had a computer I had never heard of, an Apple Macintosh. I was not really interested, but my host wanted to show the computer off and I played along. Very quickly my mind was blown. This computer didn't force a left brained, verbal/analytical interface on the user, but instead worked the way my brain worked, with a visual interface that had an understandable geography, an interface that didn't require learning an entirely new lingo. It utilized an organizational model that mimicked things I already knew. It was intuitive, it was fun, it was beautifully designed, and it made me more productive.
Most importantly, it had software that allowed me to be creative, allowed me to make music and art and extended my meager creative skills in ways that opened up paths of expression I could have previously only have dreamed of.
I immediately bought the first of many Macintosh computers I have owned, my career soon morphed into that of an educational technologist, and I have been writing, making art, and composing music on Apple products for almost 30 years.
Steve Jobs was the man behind the incredible success of Apple and it's products, one of the greatest businessman, technologists, and visionaries of our time. This one man's vision for personal technology quite literally changed my life in profound ways, giving me a new and exciting career, and allowed me to express myself in ways that continue provide me with inspiration and insight.
We all know life isn't fair, but it is particularly heartbreaking that a good and decent person with so much to offer has left us at such a young age.
Read more: Steve Jobs Passes Away NY Times