This is one of these moments that, despite being expected for a long time, end up really impacting you when they finally arrive. Steve Jobs passed away today. I am not the kind of person who like to exalt individual characters. It is always the case that behind the character there is always a group of people that help realizing their dreams. I am not even a long term mac advocate, nor a fanboy. I started using mac back in 2002, when OSX was mature enough and I was getting increasingly tired of the other OS alternatives. And I will of course change again when the alternatives catch up and surpass what Apple provides nowadays.
Despite it all, reading today about Steve Jobs death felt deeply painful. I guess you end up sympathizing with such charismatic personalities. I remember how, when I was younger, I would wait impatiently for his next keynote, download the video and watch it over and over. Yes, I must admit I was trapped in Jobs’ Reality Distortion Field for years.
Looking back, I think there are two main reasons why Jobs’ news today are having such a significant impact on me. The first goes back to 2002, when I bought my first mac, an iBook G3 800Mhz, and used OSX for the first time. That was the time I discovered there were different and better ways to do things, specifically in the computing field. There is always room for improvement, for innovation. It was a complete new user experience, the mix of a unix heart and, at last, a productive graphical interface environment. It also made me feel somewhat ‘unique’. I don’t have the numbers, but there was probably more Linux than Mac users at that time. Funny how macs are now the most popular computers, at least in my area of scientific research.
The second reason is the well-known speech for Stanford graduates he gave some time after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It is a transcendent speech, about death, about goals, about dreams. The speech of somebody that has looked at death in the eye. He was able to convey the insignificance of our lives, and the necessity to pursue our dreams and follow our instincts.
I guess that watching him pass away makes me realize how far I am from realizing mine…
Thanks Steve Jobs. Rest in peace.