Oct 062011

Today Steve Jobs took his leave of us.

With his loss we have become a little smaller; our dreams have become a little dimmer; our possibilities have become a little less likely.

I am typing this blog entry on a Mac Book Pro using Pages. I have a Mac Pro in my study, a G5 in the boys’ bedroom, and a G4 in the garage. I have a Mac 512K (dealer upgraded to a Plus). I love my Macs if you couldn’t tell.

My first encounter with Apple was a game. Go figure. Way back in 1983 one of my friends got lucky, very lucky. His Mom bought him a Franklin computer. Franklin was at that time one of several Apple clone manufacturers and their Ace series was Apple compatible. The first thing we put on it was Ultima II. We played that game for hours, puzzled over the quests, and could never figure out how to survive on that spacecraft. Along with a lack of money, there was a big drought of computer buys between the Franklin and the next, but in 1989 after saving and scrimping I bought my first Macintosh; a Mac Plus with 1 MB of RAM and no hard drive at the small technology store in a Burdines.

I used that Mac Plus for years; for everything. I wrote, I programmed, I drew and painted, and I played games. I refused to believe that you couldn’t game on a Mac. All of my PC friends laughed at my furtive attempts to find and play games on Macs. A Mac gamer is an oxymoron they said. It was true, the number of titles was limited, but those that made it to the Mac were often top quality. Prince of Persia was astounding on the Mac Plus. The Manhole was a glimpse with what could be done and Myst was the vision of the future. By far my favorite early Mac game, and still to this day one of my all time favorites, was Reach for the Stars from SSG. It combined a simple interface, a challenging AI, multiplayer (hot seat), and excellent replayability.

Today we are in the age of mobile gaming and while many in the industry could see the impact and potential of gaming on handheld devices, Steve Jobs and Apple really brought all of the elements together. The number of game downloads from mobile app stores across every platform tells the story.

The impact he had on so much of what we do was so dramatic, so substantial. This little homage to Mr. Jobs can in no way relate the magnitude of that impact. I think what best sums up Steve Jobs is something he said at his famous Stanford University commencement speech,

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

From his life we became bigger; our dreams became brighter; and our possibilities were shown to be more expansive than we had ever imagined.

Thank you Steve Jobs.