Driving Ian to his far-off school this morning, I listened to NPR and slugged down luke warm coffee. This morning, the news is all about Steve Jobs' death.
How did I find out? Last night, I came down to the office to check my mail. The homescreen on my brand new Mac is still Apple.com. I hadn't had time to change the defaults on the computer yet. When I flipped on my computer I saw this,
My life with Steve Jobs goes back to the early 1980s, when my dad's publisher gave him an Apple IIe. I helped my dad learn how to use the first word processing program with those enormous floppy disks. When I went off to SUNY Binghamton for college, I typed out my freshman year's papers on an electric typewriter. Remember Liquid Paper? By my sophomore year, the college set up a computer center with a room of Macs, and I never went back to the typewriter.
Gen Xers are a funny generation, because we lived the transition. My parents were too old to have their brains rewired with computers. They use computers, but they don't really understand them. My kids will never understand a world without computers. Gen Xers, on the other hand, lived through the change, and can really understand the gap between the pre-computer world and the post-computer world. We'll have both the awe and the understanding of the change.
My husband mocks me for being part of the Apple Cult. And I am. iPhone, iPad, iMac. The Hello screen. The smiling computer. The neat design. The neat operating system. The cheerful chirp when I boot up my computer up every morning. I have always had a Mac on my desk.
Beyond design, I'm enjoying reading all the great quotes from Jobs.
Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. (Apple Inc.)
"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."
When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.
Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.