/ apple

"Remembering Steve," or "20 years of the Happy Mac"

It started with something called an "Apple II" in a darkened room at my elementary school. Oregon Trail, Odell Lake, turtle graphics, writing our first stories and printing them out.

HyperCard, hours making flipbooks and puzzling through scripting on my salvaged Mac SE 30 (30 for 30 meg hard drive). Happy times spent with my friend who is also gone building new worlds, bending the machine to our will, fueling our imagination.

It's what I used to write my first newsletter, print and distribute it to my 4th grade class. The first time I'd ever see a CD drive or play a multimedia game.

The first computer I seriously wanted: a Color Mac Classic. The first time I started saving my money to buy some new hardware. (Only $600!)

BBEdit on a Performa: my first keystrokes of HTML which launched a life of work on and love for the Internet. Hours fixing Macs and Mac printers. Netscape Navigator. Disabling extensions and freeing up memory to run Prince of Persia II.

The first computer I'd ever see without a floppy drive.

My first laptop and UNIX workstation, host to thousands of lines of code, my music collection, every word I've written. A tool for exploring my world.

It's what I use to earn a living. How I chat and video conference with my team around the world. How I tend my business when I'm away from my office.

It's the first computer that my children used, our tool for playing with the world of sound, video, and pictures, for learning about the universe outside our door.

In my hand, it's what I use take pictures and video of my kids and share them with family, recording these fleeting moments of their youth. It's how I learned that you died.

You led a cast of thousands whose work influenced, inspired, and touched millions of lives around the globe. Even though we never met, I can sincerely say that my world was brighter for what you did, what you dreamed, the bits of future you brought to our present. Is our world a little dimmer now that you've departed? Yes and no.

Yes, you are missed, and we're sorry at the passing of a great life. But now the mantle has passed on: it's time for us to dream a new dream, fire up the imaginations of a new generation. Your passing leaves a big hole, but also an opportunity to hold up a mirror and ask, "what am I doing that's so damned important?" Our time is short and the world aches for the next big idea, ideas that will drag us out of darkness and into that bright future which seemed your home. It's time to take a moment and chase after those things that bring us and others happiness and freedom; those things that ease pain and suffering and allow us each to love each other just a little more.

If I've learned anything, it's that maybe a business can do just that; maybe we've completely missed the point: maybe it's ALL about making things that make people happy and more fulfilled in their lives. The future is bright… if we make it so. Let's pick up where Steve left off and invent that bright future starting now.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
— Mark Twain

Think different.