Tag Archives: Steve Jobs

An Ode to A Dreamer

10 Oct

This post isn’t really going to be music related but it is something I want to get off my chest.

I’m going to confess something.  I’ve never owned a Macintosh, a Mac Pro desktop, or the slim and elegant Macbook Air. I’ve not even owned the powerful Macbook Pro.  I’ve never owned a Shuffle or an iTouch, not even an iPhone numbered one thru 4s.  In 21 years the only reason why I can’t say I’ve never owned an apple product is the iPod that I’m currently listening to, which by now is from the technological Stone Age (it doesn’t even have a touch screen!).  But sitting here, writing on a machine that I bought in lieu of Mr. Jobs’ lineup of a Mac laptop, he still has done me a great service that I can only repay by sharing.

I’m not here to tell you the impact that Steve Jobs had on the computer industry or that his dream of a personal computer is a major reason I, as a young kid, had a personal computer in my house.  Someone would have eventually gotten the idea, hell someone probably even had the idea before Mr. Jobs, but it was Apple at the forefront of the computer revolution that allows me to write this sitting at my desk in my home.  You don’t need me to say that Jobs’ impact as head of Apple revolutionized cell communications with the iPhone and that his iPad tablet is changing the way companies can do business and students such as myself can take notes, share them and stay wired to the rest of the world with a tablet.   I wanted to toot his horn just in case you weren’t sure how important he was and still is, not just in the world of computers, but also in that everlasting quest for technological perfection. As Jobs’ life and work become his legacy, I wanted to share what Jobs’ conquests meant to me: that the dreamers haven’t quite lost yet.

Apple wasn’t started by a man with a fancy college degree, but a college dropout who audited classes while sleeping on friends’ floors and returning cans for money.  Jobs’ aspiration wasn’t to be a businessman and Apple wasn’t created simply to make money.  The company’s modest beginnings in a garage so sharply contrast with its current success and this paints such a strong rag to riches dream that it’s founding mission sometimes gets obscured. This, though, is what resonates with me the most.

It gets hard nowadays to recognize that not everything Jobs touched turned to gold and that many of his works were financial failures.  It took a legend to remind me of something that I had long forgotten, that the path to success does not start with a college degree, nor end with the lack of one, but dreaming and that success itself is not defined by financial reward, but by making your fantasy reality.  Despite the stress in academia to stay grounded and to be realistic, Jobs reminded me that being grounded is just a state of mind and that unrealistic dreams are only those you don’t have the passion to see through to completion.  The grind of everyday life made me forget that I must limit the size of my dreams only to the limit of my personal ambition, that the path I choose must be my own and that success will come regardless of how others measure my success but I won’t forget ever again.

A Reaction to Steve Jobs’ Death

6 Oct

My initial reaction to the news of Steve Jobs‘ death was my typical reaction when I hear that a well-known celebrity/icon has passed away. I watched as Anderson Cooper interviewed tech junkies, newsmen, and CEOs of other companies. I listened to them swoon over the man that was Steve Jobs. I, myself, said that the news was terrible, talked to my father about the death sentence that is pancreatic cancer (seriously, if there were any doubts, Steve Jobs died from it – Steve ‘I Molded Your Life” Jobs), and then moved on to my dinner of avocado and ricotta soft tacos (which were excellent). My family reflected briefly on how we must all not sweat the small stuff and realize that, in the end, the only thing one truly has is their body and health. And then we ate dinner and stored the thought of death back into the locked, fire-proof safe in our minds.

This morning I had a moment to reflect on the passing of Jobs. The tremendous outpouring of grief on social networking sites was astounding. I have actually never seen such a universal mourning in the recent modern age. Facebook and Twitter exploded with messages of “rest in peace” and small anecdotes of how Jobs’ inventions impacted their lives. It was just one man’s death, though, and I initially thought that such a reaction was weird, perhaps slightly misguided. It was almost too uniform, too trendy. But then I realized that in this odd way the reaction to Jobs’ death was caused by the man himself. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak’s Apple circuit board pretty much sponsored the rapid development of the personal computer. Jobs’ intuition could be looked at as a reason for why I am typing these words on a keyboard today. Jobs helped turn science fiction into reality.

Think about the last fifteen years. I am 22 years old. I remember fooling around with simplistic games on my bulky Apple computer in the 90s. The computer evolved and flourished and new features were added. It became a true constant in our lives. People had such a personal reaction to the news of Jobs’ death because personalized computer technology is so important to the masses. We, as humans, need interaction and connection, and while it does seem that people trap themselves into a closed, cold world when using these products, these high-tech phones and music storage devices do connect people to their loves and interests. So, in a sense, when the CEO of Apple passed away last night, people held a momentary personal funeral for a person who helped make their expansive technological world possible.

The iPod has revolutionized music. It was the next step in the evolution of listening to music. We can now carry gigabytes of music with us in little pocket devices for personal enjoyment whenever, wherever. Such an ability was a dream only relatively a few years ago. This remarkeable transformation was heralded by Jobs and Apple. I have become so accustomed to my loaded iPod that I often forget about those times with my skipping walkman in the backseat of my family’s old SUVs. Seriously, do you remember when the songs would skip when you hit a bump on the highway?

Today, as I pump my iPod during my noontime city walk, I will think of the advancements sponsored by Jobs and quietly thank him for improving technology for such a wide range of individuals. I am sure many people are doing the same today.

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