The Real Post-Jobs Era Has Begun

I heard the news as I sat in Natty Greene’s. I had just somewhat embarrassed myself by complimenting our adorable twenty-something waitress on her hairstyle, which kind of caused her to pause as she admitted that she had just gotten it cut that way yesterday.

“Michelle says that Steve Jobs has died.” said Joe.
“What? Aw damn.” I said.

Fifty-six is too young for someone who changed the world, and whose work definitely changed me.

My first interaction with computers came in the late 1970s, early 1980s when my cousin Joe took me into the Clearwater High School computer room and we played around with a DEC Writer (monitor-less computer).

My first computer was a Apple //e, purchased from Ray’s TV in Clearwater Florida. I think my Apple //e with green-screen monitor, duo 5.25″ disk drive system, and a Okidata dot matrix printer cost “me” (I may have had a lot of help from my parents) about $1500. I have the receipt stored away somewhere and should really find the actual cost when I return home. When we purchased this computer I had been using Apples in high school, and had been lusting over them a place called Computerworld (which also sold Osborne “portable” computers at that time).

I learned to program Basic. I learned a smidgeon of Apple Assembly, but not enough to be considered a nerd at that time. I should have tried to become a Computer Science major when I first entered junior college, but I wavered and spent some time getting a bachelor degree in Chemistry before righting my personal ship and staying in school and earning a bachelor degree in Computer Science.

By the time I had graduated college (just about twenty years ago as I admitted last week) I had become an IBM-compatible, Windows man. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to remain an Apple devotee (in fact I lusted for the computers created by Steve Jobs’ “new” company NeXT), but as a poor college student I couldn’t afford Apple’s products then.

I can’t remember if I finally returned to Apple’s fold in 2005 or 2006 (Anyone remember when I visited Chicago? I purchased that computer just before taking that trip.) when I purchased a 12″ iBook. I had gotten frustrated running Windows security updates and virus scans and when my CRT died I took that opportunity to leave the Windows world.

It was just before Steve Jobs took his first medical leave that I became an Apple shareholder. At that time AAPL was trading in the $90/share range. While I won’t become wealthy off my decision to invest at that time, Steve Jobs’ vision helped me make a fair bit of cash that I will use to better my house, if not myself.

My iPhone 4 is wonderful and I love my first-generation iPad — on which I am writing this blog with the cooperation of Apple’s bluetooth keyboard. Simply amazing.

I don’t shed many tears but I shed one last night for a man I never met. His work had been an integral force at making me what I am today and for that I shall always be thankful.

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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14 Responses to The Real Post-Jobs Era Has Begun

  1. Steve says:

    A sad day in the geeky universe. I don’t speak Apple, have been “Big Blue” since my first days earning a living in this career, but understand what a visionary he was- you don’t have to be a user of his products to see just how revolutionary they are.

    “Back when” you got started, much like me, there was only a very small group actually making money and using Apple products and I believe they are still the bread and butter of their “business” side, which are those artiste’s. I think you made the right choice by sticking with the well travelled road of IBM- certainly to get where you are today required “mainstream” skills.


  2. Stacy Fox says:

    I must admit my first computer purchase was an Apple simply because I wanted to be like “the cool kids” who had them — a little Macintosh Performa 5200 in the mid-90s, shortly before they were discontinued. My worklife consisted only of PCs, but I sort of got the best of both worlds: knowing and learning the operating systems of both (back then when they were so different, that is. Now, not so much).

    At work, I am back on an Apple today (a Mac-daddy of an apple! ayuk ayuk), what with being in publishing and graphics and all. One of these days I’ll be able to afford one for home too. My next phone will probably be of the iVariety now that Verizon allows ’em and my tiny little iPod Nano has serviced me well for years and is still kicking.

  3. Paulie [eatl/ga] says:

    Back on the ground in Atlanta. Ny next stop is home to gather what I need for Savannah. I hope that I don’t get arrested doing so because I told the East Atlanta Security Patrol that’d I’d be gone until next week and that no one was supposed to be on the premises.

  4. Steve says:

    Breaking and entering your own house? That would be funny and worthy of a renaming.

  5. Barb says:

    I’m all packed and hope to get out of here by 3pm, Allan should have everything ready to go, quick stopoff to get Mango & Kitty, & we will be Savannah bound. I’m sooooo ready to get out of here.

    and – Steve Jobs is getting almost as much press as Michael Jackson did when he died – you know he was an important guy if they take time away from that stupid trial going on. I’ve never used a Mac, but Steve Jobs has always been one of the most impressive guys I’ve ever heard of.

  6. Stacy Fox says:

    “…stopoff to get Mango & Kitty” – obviously I know who you’re talking about, but it made me giggle. We have a kitty that lives out back the house. His name is Mango. No joke.

  7. Barb says:

    glad I can make you giggle this morning……. but if I type John & Kat, does that really sound that much better? 😉

    I keep trying to figure out what hash crap I’ve forgotten, I just left Allan a message to grab my necklace…….. and I packed a mug….

  8. Steve says:

    How many are registered for this extravangaza? While the trails sound like fun, all the rest of the milling about just doesn’t. I hope it’s a blast!!

  9. Barb says:

    what?? Hanging out with 1500 of your not closest friends doesn’t sound like fun?
    The trails are the part that I’m least interested in – seeing some out of town friends that we’ve met over almost 20 yesrs of hashing, plus seeing some of my Atlanta hash friends that I never see- that socializing part is the part I like the most.
    and – you can always get away from the hash crowd & just be on vacation when you feel like it – that is what I did in Winter Park 2 years ago, I went downhill mtn biking while others were running trails.

  10. Jenka says:

    My dad bought our first Mac in 1986, and soon after upgraded to the Mac II, which, as I recall, cost us $2500 (with printer)! At the time, that was very expensive. I learned how to code Basic as well! Of course, I was in grade school at the time. I took an LCIII with me to college in 1993, and I was the coolest kid in the dorm, having my own computer in my own room. Of course, I still had to go to the computer lab to login to my email. Heh.

    Because of my exposure to Macs at a very young age, all of my life I’ve been able to intuitively understand how to use new computers and programs. It’s safe to say that Steve Jobs gave me the skills I use every day which make me successful.

  11. Steve says:

    And that’s why the media is covering his death like a rock star… probably more so.

  12. Paulie [eatl/ga] says:

    Headed to Savannah, hoping rain forecast is wrong.

  13. Barb says:

    NO RAIN!!!!!!!!

  14. Debbie says:

    As a journalism major in the mid-80s all of our computer labs were Macs and I was fortunate enough to land my first job at a magazine and reported to a guy that was one of the first 1000 Apple employees. He had some amazing stories about his years with Apple – lots of coke on that campus back in the day, but primarily an amazing vision and a culture of treating employees like rock stars.

    56 is way too young but he sure packed a lot into it.

    Have fun in Savannah!

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