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RIP Steve Jobs

Posted by Alder Yarrow 11:30

Steve Jobs changed my life.  At the age of 12, I was a skinny, awkward pre-teen with a single mother, living in a trailer park and shopping for my clothes at a thrift store.  I had better grades than friends, and my idea of a good time was curling up on the couch with a science fiction book.

And then, in what retrospectively is clearly a staggeringly generous gesture, a boyfriend of my mother's bought me an Apple IIe computer.  

The worlds that opened up to me through that machine seem prosaic, even charmingly quaint, today -- Compuserve, Wizardry, Zork, Logo, The Oregon Trail -- but they completely redefined me as a person and literally changed the way I thought, and still do think.  My abilities, such as they are, to grasp and operate in the virtual world of computing technology, from things as simple as understanding computing logic and using a mouse, to the more complex understanding of what changes computers have wrought on global markets that lie at the heart of what my company offers, all lead back to those early moments with that big beige box on my desk.

Today, of course, my livelihood, my career, and some elements of my personal identity are completely dependent upon the vision of Steve Jobs and the company he founded, steered, and inspired.  While it would be possible for HYDRANT to do our work and be successful without anything made by Apple Computer, we wouldn't do it nearly as well.

Jobs almost singlehandedly brought good user experience and UI design to popular acclaim, not only because of the insane popularity and sales of Apple products, but because of the benchmark they continue to set in the industry for ease of use combined with beauty.

At 56 years old, Steve Jobs was far too young to leave his family behind, and far too young in his career. He changed the world in innumerable ways. It boggles the mind to think what he might have done given another 20 years.  

Goodbye Steve. You will be sorely missed.

About the image: this riff on the apple logo was designed by a teenage design student in Hong Kong, and went viral last night for obvious reasons. 

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