My Own Steve Jobs

It has become standard practice over the last 24 hours to say how much Apple and by extension, Steve Jobs, changed the world. No doubt that is indeed true. More importantly it is infinitely true for me personally. As a young man I was consumed by creative passions that had no real focus, scattered amongst many, many interests, desires and possible paths. I knew my life would be a creative one, but I had no locus around which to build that life.

I had been involved with computers from an early age, the TRS-80, PET and others, including the early Apple I and II.  I had even taught myself programming, my Brother and I wrote a boxscore machine language program to keep track of Baseball stats. But computers were tools, not creative devices.

That all changed one day. I can still remember cracking the box on the Macintosh. And even though it was still an early, prototype, baby step machine - it changed my life. Right then and there. Since that day I have not been without a Mac. I have never owned a PC and I never will. I can't explain that to you. The mere proximity to a PC sucks the life out of my soul, literally. This isn't a tech thing, a performance thing, a price thing, it is in its purest form, a LIFE thing.

If it wasn't for that Mac and all the ones that came after, I wouldn't be where I am today. I certainly wouldn't be writing these words, I wouldn't be playing Eve and I wouldn't be creating art for the Eve community.  Every single piece of creative energy that I have expelled in the last 26 years has been expelled thru a Apple product. You may not believe me and that's your right, but, if not for Apple, I would be doing something else.  In the early nineties, when we all believed Apple might no longer be with us and we all seriously contemplated a world without Mac - I knew I would quit my job and find something else to do. And I meant it.

If I had to stare at a Windows screen every day my soul would die.  I've tried, on friends computers, at client offices, and other places, but I cannot create on a PC. I honestly don't believe anyone truly can.

I can't explain that to you. And for all the talk over the last day and the days to come, it is that single unexplainable element, the locus of technology (and not always the best technology), art, culture, and life itself, that defines for me the power of Steve Jobs and the vision he had for the world.  It is unexplainable.

I was very fortunate to once spend some time with Woz, the co-founder of Apple. I tried explaining the above to him briefly and he smiled that big Woz smile and I knew he knew what I meant. It was a profoundly moving moment that I will never forget.

As much as Apple has changed every aspect of our lives, the only important one is that it changed mine.  And for that I owe a sincere debt of gratitude to a man I never got the chance to thank in person.  So thank you Steve.