I have to go off topic for a moment to remember Steve Jobs and what his products have meant to me. The last 20 years of my life would not have been possible without him, and this blog would not exist.
I started off my professional career as a typesetter for a newspaper. It was an unlikely career choice as I knew nothing about computers and had barely passable typing skills. My hometown newspaper, however, was training and I took the job. I found I had a real talent for learning the computer and making it work for me.
Typesetting back then was done on a dedicated system. Several years later, I met the Macintosh for the first time at another newspaper. At first I didn’t like it. The mouse was hard to get used to, the Mac didn’t have the programming capability of the typesetting machine . . . I had my doubts.
But once I got used to the mouse, I was hooked! I had always enjoyed art but had limited ability. The Mac unlocked something inside of me and I just had to have one. Isn’t that the typical story of every Apple user?
I remember spending over $4000 for my first Mac, a an SE and it was so worth it. I “acquired” software for it (yep, I’ve been a software pirate) and started learning desktop publishing. This skill opened the door to endless possibilities and unleashed a resourcefulness I never knew I had. The products of Steve Jobs helped me discover and develop skills I never knew I had.
Apple products made it possible for me to have a career as a musician covering some 18 years. With a shoestring budget, I was able to create 4 CDs of music (with help, of course!), doing all the artwork and promotion myself. I even ventured into producing and recording music on my own.
For 10 years I wrote, designed and produced an e-magazine supporting a community of Catholic musicians. I was able to travel around the country and meet many wonderful people, and in the process became empowered. A natural introvert and loner, I emerged from my shell. Although I no longer actively pursue music, my songs live on through iTunes and Amazon, and I make a nice little profit through digital sales of music. It helps support my reading habit. 🙂
Apple products got me into podcasting where I rediscovered a gift I had long forgotten about – public speaking. As a kid, I was always the one who loved to give the book reports in front of the class, armed with a killer poster.
The skills I acquired during my music career have made this blog possible. My love of reading, long dormant, reawakened and blogging has taken it to new heights. And once again, I am meeting many wonderful people while I work to contribute to Louisa May Alcott’s lore in some small way.
Thank you, Steve Jobs. You were insanely driven to create beautiful yet functional products that would do so much more than just work. You strove to unlock the creativity in others that you found in yourself. They say you knew what the world needed before the world knew it needed them.
Your products certainly unlocked and unleased an amazing new life for me.
When I heard the news of Steve’s passing, I was holding my iTouch in my hand. I was surprised how emotional I felt, crying over someone I had never met.
And yet, every day I will hold the legacy of Steve Jobs in my hand, reading books by Louisa May Alcott.
Thank you, Steve Jobs! God rest your soul.