Archive | October 7, 2011

Rest in Peace – Steve Jobs

I’m wearing a black turtleneck and jeans today in honour of Steve Jobs because I wouldn’t be a writer of stories without his inventions. I never learned to properly use a typewriter because in 7th grade my school ran out of money for a 6th period and parents and the school chose whether your elective was typing or home ec. My parents and the school chose home ec on the theory that life skills were more important that a college prep candidate learning how to type. This was back in 1966 where anything but a huge mainframe was inconceivable and a girl being interested in computers was a non-go idea. I wanted to take shop which I found infinitely more intriguing. Who wouldn’t want to learn how to do printing and metal work? That was my idea of cool even back in 7th grade.

Anyway, until college I didn’t even need a typewriter and then I got a cheapy used portable little thing. I was the hunt and peck kind of typist with a lot of typing backward to correct things. I hated the noise they made. I hated the interruption of hitting the carriage to make it go backward. I just plain hated it and when I was working for the Girl Scout Council in 1984 some one donated an office load of used computers and I fell in love. My secretary and I were the first ones even halfway competent on them and we started putting out the Council newsletter using them. It was DOS which was a pain in the keester and Wordstar version 2 or 3 not exactly optimum.

We still had to do layout and graphics by hand but it was uniform and I learned to type and correct without a lot of fuss. I loved that it was quiet because the noise of the typewriter always drove me bats. Steve Jobs is the one that made Windows become easier when he developed icons and the ease of opening and closing files and other fun things so Gates and Microsoft had to follow. I’ve never used a Mac of any sort because I like was PCs can do and I use Adobe software for graphic use but I know it wouldn’t be so easy to use if Steve Jobs hadn’t insisted on simplicity and elegance in his programs as well as utility so everyone else had to follow suit.

So thank you Steve Jobs for allowing me to become an author in the easiest possible way. For making thinking about my story more important than thinking about the damn machine.

Thank you for the music you enabled me to enjoy and the simplicity and inexpense of trying new music. Thank you for the vision of making a phone a baby PC that even now my Android has twice as much power as my first home PC.

Thank you for being a dreamer. People keep comparing you to Edison and Ford but really, in your dreaming you were more like the genius of Disney. I hope I live long enough to see the next big dreamer totally change the world.

The Arab Spring and Occupy Wall St should know they are in your debt too because the internet would not be so easy for everyone to access with out your vision.

I raise a glass to you and wish you sweet dreams and sleep well until your like comes again.