Thank You, Steve Jobs

Sad-Mac-logoIt doesn’t matter which side of the PC vs. Mac or Android vs. iPhone fence you are on because today you lost an ally. And whether you consider yourself geeky or a total n00b, you should pause for a moment to reflect and give thanks.

Steve Jobs, the magnificent mind behind the plethora of Apple products consumers know and love as well as the man that saved Pixar, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer today at the age of 56. His innovation and creative spirit will definitely be missed.

That said, we have to remember that Jobs wasn’t the first to create a lot of the products we use today but instead, he made them better by rethinking them. The Apple II wasn’t the first computer on the market but it was the first with color graphics and floppy drives (as opposed to cassette drives).

The iPod wasn’t the first MP3 player either, but Jobs took the idea and brought forth his vision in the first iPod back in 2001 along with a place to buy and manage your music.

Until the iPhone came along, smartphones were limited in memory and capability but Jobs ripped that idea to shreds with his vision of a phone which pretty much changed everything. And without the iPhone and iOS, you can bet that the Android platform wouldn’t exist. Indeed, a little competition never hurt anybody.

And for years, Bill Gates labored with the idea of a tablet PC which, until Apple’s iPad came along, would still be swirling in the toilet. But with the innumerable amount of iPad clones on the market, it’s safe to say that Steve Jobs once again saw an idea and thought he could improve upon it.

With all this, though, also comes criticism and controversy.

Remember Antennagate? An unhappy iPhone 4 user emailed Jobs directly to ask him why he got poor reception when he held it a certain way.

Jobs’ reply to him was to “Just don’t hold it that way.”

Another big “duh” moment came when he introduced the new line of iPod shuffles – the ones without buttons and that relied on voice commands, with voice dictation being what every athletic person wants to do while jogging. This was remedied with the 6th generation, which appeared to be just like the 4th generation: complete with buttons and volume control. Never quite understood that.

One of the things I’ve been most critical about with iPods is that with every new generation, accessories like alarm clocks with iPod docks are made obsolete. I have two alarm clocks that won’t charge 2 of the 3 iPod touch models I own so I’ve since given one of them to Anthony to charge his 8GB iPod touch which happens to be my 1st-gen model. (Read more about all of my iPods in this post.) It’s a bit frustrating.

Regardless of the bad, I’m happy to be the owner of a myriad of iPods even if I have sold a few over the years. Whether my 30GB iPod Video I bought back in 2006 or the 64GB iPod touch I bought just last year, they have brought me hours of entertainment that I would have otherwise never experienced so conveniently. In fact, I always blog while listening to my White Noise Storm app on my iPod to clear my mind as I write.

Jobs will be missed. This was evident by the number of Wall posts and tweets by individuals and companies alike on Facebook and Twitter, all of whom either posted links or images in memory of the Apple co-founder. I’ve never seen my entire Facebook News Feed dedicated to one person’s passing which gives you an indication of how much we all admired the man’s unique way of making our lives better. Without a doubt, we’ve been enriched by what Jobs brought to the world and we probably can’t thank him enough for the way he changed the way we work, play, and communicate.

But I’ll start in the way I would have done it in high school, using an Apple IIe and Pascal:

program ThanksSteve(output);
  Writeln('Thank you, Mr. Jobs. RIP.')