The man on the right is Steve Jobs, working with Steve Wozniak on the Apple ][e personal computer. My first home PC was an Atari 800XL, but my first experiences were with IIe’s at the middle school computer lab, and DEC DOS terminals. I still like a monochrome black screen with green text. Amber is okay too.
I disagreed with a lot of Apple’s business practices in the last decade, but you cannot overestimate the effect these two men had. Steve Jobs then went on to to revolutionize music with the iPod, and slap smart phones out of the business world and into normal life with the iPhone. The product he built that I wanted most? Toss up between the NeXT Cube computer and the Apple //c, though I will admit that the early Macs were kind of cool.
I’ve never owned an Apple product. (I bought my wife an iPod). I appreciated their design and vision, I’ve even considered a MacBook Air for writing, but I’m too much of a tinkerer, more of a Woz than a Jobs. He was a visionary who died too young. A dyslexic who dropped out of school because he couldn’t afford tuition, found like minds and pushed his dreams to incredible success.
Perhaps in the end Apple because more like IBM in the ’80s than the hammer thrower from their famous commercial, but you cannot deny that he was the last of the techno hippies who used technological advances to further individuality over mass control of humanity. The company led may have strayed from that ideal in the end, but he changed the world, for the better.
© 2011 Thomas Pluck