So farewell then, Steve…

This has nothing to do with knitting, spinning or anything else directly relevant to this blog, but it has everything to do with what is relevant to my life. I don’t think it is exaggerating to say that my life – like many other people’s – has been transformed by Steve Jobs and Apple.

In 1997, I was turned from the dark side of computing. I had been told that there was another world out there, but I sneered at it. I had liked MS-DOS (I know, I know.) I believed – without any basis whatsoever – that Apple Macs were fluffy bunny, hippy dippy computers. I’d not been anywhere near one, apart from occasional trips into the design department, but I knew, right?

But then I began freelancing, and got an in-house job with a publisher. And – shock, horror – there wasn’t a PC in the place. I was briefly tempted to run screaming for refuge, but I needed the money.

And within two days I was utterly, totally, completely converted and gave my clunky old PC away (I’ve always been one for extreme gestures, I guess). I was now using an operating system that gave me a staggeringly small gap between what I wanted to achieve and what I could achieve, one that almost made my Mac an extension of my thought – and that was  OS 8, yet, which probably says more about my life under Microsoft than anything else.

When things went wrong – and they did go wrong, remember SCSI chains, anyone? – we could fix it. I kept an unfolded paperclip to hand for ejecting recalcitrant drives and floppies, I spent time crawling around the floor fixing cables, but the point was that I could do it. It was fine. And this gave me the confidence to break out, to leave the womb of working in London and live where I wanted to live and do what I wanted to do, where I wanted to do it. As he said in a lecture relatively recently (and I’m paraphrasing here), you have to keep looking for what you want; keep searching, keep doing what you do, and you will find it.

 

Times have changed, and I’m no longer a member of a relatively small band of devotees. There are many, many more of us. And I’m sure many Mac heads feel exactly like I do this morning. Steve Jobs revolutionised computing in many ways, and I am very very grateful.

This, by the way, is being written on one of my three macs, the youngest, my MacBook. I also have a Wallstreet Powerbook, which was still functioning well at the age of 12, and a G4 tower, some 10 years old, still working as a server. Good engineering, too, by and large.

Normal woolly service will be resumed as soon as possible!

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6 thoughts on “So farewell then, Steve…

    1. Kate Post author

      Thank you so much for this link – it says it all. Still very sad, and not at all surprised at the immense coverage and reaction to Steve Jobs’ death. RIP, indeed.

      Reply
  1. Karen - An Artists Garden

    Yes, a sad day indeed. Like you Kate – I am a confirmed mac user (I am also on my third Mac) and yes – in the early days they were not without a few glitches, but as you say they were solvable by the user. I turned to Macs when I discovered that all I had to do was stand next to a PC and it crashed. Shedman still bars me from the room when he is doing something tricky with his PC!
    K

    Reply
    1. Kate Post author

      I was just thinking – fourteen years now I’ve been a mac user, and I reckon I’ve had about fourteen crashes, maybe even fewer than that. And when I have had problems (as recently) it’s been because of something I’ve done, like pushing an old OS well beyond its sell-by date because I was just ‘too busy’ to update it…

      But Apple’s about more than just macs, now, of course. Liberation?

      Reply

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