Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

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I’ve been accused of being an Apple fangirl, but you’d be surprised to know that I’m a recent convert.  There were years that I had nothing but contempt for Apple products.  I thought they were over-priced and ugly.  I thought people who said you could just open them up and get down to work were fooling themselves, to put it nicely.  I liked my old IBM clone just fine, thank you.  I liked clicking around with my noisy keyboard.  I liked DOS, and I didn’t need a mouse for “pointing and grunting”, as I described it.  I wouldn’t even walk into the Apple section at the local CompUSA store.

Then I saw an iPod, and I needed one.  I eventually got one after Apple saw the light and allowed them to work with real Windows computers.  That was just one little blip; I didn’t have a problem yet.  I began to notice how beautiful Apple computers were becoming.  I still would kill for one of those clear easel-style monitors.  I started to wonder how difficult it would be to put Windows on an Apple computer.

Then I saw my first iPhone commercial, and I told my husband I wanted one of those to use instead of my iPod (still the original one I bought).  When Apple introduced the iPod touch, I was tempted.  I was doomed when the introduction of the 2nd generation iPod touch coincided with the opening of the Greensboro Apple store.  We bought three touches, and I was on the slippery slope to fandom.  I firmly believe the iPod touch is the gateway drug that leads to harder, unibody things.  I was truly converted when I got my first iPad thanks to Julie.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was being lured in by the evolution of Apple products as directed by Steve Jobs.  I didn’t know the man, and I don’t know much about his personal life.  None of that matters to me.  What matters is his genius and how it has impacted my life.

I think there are some true geniuses in this world, not necessarily as defined by an IQ test.  I think some people “hear the music of the spheres” and they can translate that beauty into something for the rest of us.   Frank Lloyd Wright heard it, and he made buildings so beautiful that I have literally cried as I walk into them.  Einstein heard the music, and we are still finding ways to prove his “transcription” of the physics of that music.

I think Steve Jobs also heard the music.  He translated it and harnessed it into products powerful enough to help us do our jobs, simple and intuitive enough that young children can play on them and learn, fun enough to provide us with hours of entertainment (when we aren’t using them for our jobs).  Most importantly to my family, his products have found a way to bring this to people with disabilities who can’t easily use other computers.  My story of George and Gracie shows how his simple little tablet is helping George recover his life after a devastating stroke.

Yes, I’m an Apple fangirl, and I’m damn proud to be one.  I think the world is a poorer place today.  I hope the folks at Apple will be able to continue bringing us wonderful products that still have a touch of Steve’s “music.“

Steve was a giant.  It’s his shoulders we’ll stand on as we go forward.

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7 thoughts on “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants”

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  2. I hated him when he killed Newton and blasted PDA is useless ( I was PDA fanboy back then). AS well as his attitude. Then he flipped and gave Ipod Touch which is best PDA I could ask for.(I have used predated Palm Pilot type to Sony to Pocket PC etc.) It came to me shock that he passed away despite of knowing it would happen soon or later due to nature of illness. I may not like his personal life and other areas, but as a visionary and innovator, I will miss him a lot. R.I.P. Steve Jobs.

  3. You just about perfectly described my own evolution from Apple hater to fanboy. Very well said, and I heartily agree with your sentiments about the man and the loss to the world.

  4. I’m not a fan of anything except what works for me; never bought into this fanboy/girl thingy. I used an Apple II when I was in college- before that DOS- before that OS MVS JESII on an IBM 370. I have ancient computers lurking around my home: a Newton here, a TRS Model 100 there. Old laptops that run on Win 3.2 on up to Win7, a couple of Macs from the earliest to my MacBook running Snow Leopard. I never did like the Mac OS simply because I couldn’t choose what platform to run it on without a lot of tweaks and I’m more familiar with Windows.
    Now with all that being said I believe that the iTouch is one of the greatest devices ever created. I never thought I’d watch anything from a 3.5 inch screen, been there done that, but with the Retina display I can very easily watch my lectures from MIT and Berkeley. Take pics and movies and upload them to FaceBook. Dang I can even place calls using Skype. I do have an iPad but find it too bulky to use as an ereader or whatever- still trying to find a use for it- but the iTouch I pop into my pocket and I’m off on my Harley 🙂
    I’ve watch Steve ever since he created Apple, he’s a little younger than me, and watched Bill, too. These are guys like you and me who had a vision. For example: I was shown by a Xerox Rep a top secret device when I was taking classes at Xerox for forms creation on the 9700 Laser Printer. In a locked room of the security section in the building was a small computer. It looked like the 820 with a small laser printer hooked up to it; no big deal I thought. What was amazing was the screen; no command line with blinking cursor but a GUI, with a trash can and a few other icons on a desktop and an arrow controlled by a mouse, wow! I said to myself this is where computing is going. Steve Jobs saw the same thing and said to himself this is where I’m taking computing! There is a difference…

  5. “I’m not a fan of anything except what works for me; never bought into this fanboy/girl thingy.”
    The same for me too… but, the end results are different: for example, I switched from my old symbian-phone to one using Android 2.1, and from my old iPod to an iPod Touch running iOS 4.0. Well, every time I moved from my phone to the iPod, it was like returning to the Stone Age. Apple OS never worked for me: yep, it gets things done, but in its own way, and without any way for me to tweak it to get things done in MY way.. and being the one that pays for the gadget… well, it went to Ebay after an year and an half of frustration. Never looked back at it.

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