Thursday, October 6, 2011

Death of a salesman

Every obituary I heard this morning celebrating the life of Steve Jobs compared him to Thomas Edison. This comparison is apt, because much like Milan, Ohio's favorite son, Jobs never invented anything. Thomas Alva did not first create the radio, movie camera nor the (gasp) light bulb, Steven Paul did not invent the graphic interface, mouse, nor the mp3 player. But Steve Jobs made you NEED them.

My first computer was an Apple II+ (see above.) My parents presented it to me on my fourteenth birthday, in 1982. We were on vacation, so they didn't lug the whole thing with them, they just gave me an apple with a Roman numeral "II" on it. See how elegant that is? How were they going to do that with a Trash-80? Every computer I have owned since has been an Apple. I even dealt with a horrid Apple IIci for six years, now that's devotion. You can't blame Jobs for that one, however, they made the IIci during the Apple's Dark Years (1985-1996).

I do not own an iPhone, I do not have an iPad. In spite of my seeing them everywhere, I do not need one ... not the way I NEED my iPod. An itinerant runner since I was 12 years old, it wasn't until the life-altering appearance of this wafer-thin music machine that I have been a consistent runner (did you know I also keep a running blog?)

Steve Jobs made it possible for me to complete a marathon.

The praise that I hear being heaped upon the man today is a bit overwhelming. He was a CEO, I thought we hated those. But he was credited during his lifetime as the man who made technology stylish, cuddly, as my wife put it this morning, Steve Jobs invented the cyborg, and made us like it. For better or for worse, Steve Jobs married humanity to the machine.

Mecha Yenta.

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