R.I.P. Steve Jobs

From his famous commencement speech at Stamford in 2005:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

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.

I own two iPods, but could otherwise not give a damn about Apple products. I find Apple’s products to be both hostile and clueless to enterprise. I find Apple’s computers to be pretty in design but mediocre in specs and execution and terribly overpriced. And there are few people in this world more annoying than Apple fanboys. In short, I’m not an “Apple guy”, nor will I ever be.

However, the very first computer I ever owned was an Apple II+. I spent hours upon hours upon hours using it. And it wasn’t just a simple machine. It was a veritable spaceship that could take me almost anywhere I wanted to go. I learned BASIC and a bit of Pascal on it, and learned to make all those transistors work for me. I eventually got a modem and discovered the world of BBSs and online information services. And my world was no longer limited to Snellville, Georgia. Using this magic box, I could communicate with people all over the globe… instantly.

Moreso than any other single device, the Apple II+ changed my life. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

Thanks, Steve.

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