Thursday, October 6

Wisdom from Steve Jobs

It is funny to think that we once played solitaire with a deck of cards.

I remember the very first personal computer that I encountered. Oh sure, I remember the TRS80s in the computer lab in high school...I didn't take that class, but I remember being able to make my name repeat endlessly on a computer screen. That was the extent of my interaction with them for a long time.

And then I worked with things like word processors...I could find documents in DOS and print them. But I didn't see a need for a computer in a person's LIFE until I sat down at a friend's lumpy little Mac...and played Mahjongg.

Really - until then I thought that personal computers would be limited to stuff like recipe files, personal journals (like Doogie Howser!) and word games. (anybody else remember "Zork"? You typed in commands like "east" "get bolt" "climb tree"...and there was this whole adventure that you went on. I got stuck in an echo chamber...never did finish that game).

But that experience, with icons that told you what program you were running...and a mouse to choose things...was the first time that I thought "I might like to have one of these". Soon after, I played solitaire on a friend's PC (and enjoyed the starfield screen saver).

And then, it snowballed...there were more and more tasks you could DO with a computer! It wasn't just an oversized calculator, typewriter and card deck. And then when you could communicate via email with people and get immediate response... Eventually I got one.

Steve Jobs saw the potential of making a computer something that regular people could use. He envisioned a way to make it easy to interface with programs. And now I have a phone with more computing power than that first Mac and my first PC could dream of having.

And I've always liked the fact that he thought it important to think of the aesthetics - form, color, comfort.

Your genius was a part of a revolution of innovation, Mr. Jobs. Thank you for sharing it with the world. Save me a few minutes in heaven, I'd like to shake your hand.

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