October 06, 2011

Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

Arguably the greatest technology innovator of the 20th century (and one who will no doubt be remembered for his contributions to the 21st) has passed away: Steve Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple.

I'll admit up front that I've never been a hardcore Apple cultist. I used an Apple II computer in elementary school (along with Commodore PETs and C64s) and had an early look at the original Macintosh at a 1984 science fair. I wrote my first co-op education work report on a Mac SE as a first-year engineering student. I may even still have the diskette, though I don't know if I own any computer that can read it anymore—and I don't even remember what format the file was in. I used other Macs off and on throughout university, most notably at the school library where the entire catalogue system was migrated to Mac II's in about 1996. I use a current Intel Mac model at work, as well as my boss' iPhone, and I've had an iPod since 2007.

So Apple, though not my primary choice of platform, has been part of me since the beginning. For regular, everyday computer use, though, I'm still a regular user of Linux and Windows rather than OS X. That being said, when I bought my first copy of Windows 3.0 back in 1991, it was because it made a DOS PC work like a Macintosh. The influence of Steve Jobs lives on, even in his competitors' products.