Thank You Steve
The world lost a genius today. He played a big part in changing it for the better. I want to celebrate him for the work he has done and most importantly for how he had played an important role in shaping my life.
Steve returned to Apple in the late nineties after Apple bought NeXT, which he founded after resigning from Apple ten years earlier. It was during that time I left high school after being debarred from the O’ Levels. Shortly after leaving school I began to look for work. I didn’t have a computer then and I’ve only used PCs in school. A friend recommended I find work in Apple’s factory in Singapore because they were hiring operators like crazy.
Back then my only knowledge of Apple was that it’s one of several types of computers and it’s especially good for artists and graphic designers. I’ve never actually seen one. Working at an Apple factory changed that. After Steve returned to Apple, Jonathan Ive, then a struggling under-appreciated designer in a pre-Steve Apple created the first iMac in 1998. My job as one of the factory operators was to assemble it. The computers we assembled included various flavors of the iMac and the G4. I still remember how organized and precise the factory operations were. It opened my eyes to the Macintosh. The iMacs were running OS 9 and they were stunning machines. I was responsible for attaching the CRT monitor to the plastic chasis and the station opposite mine was responsible for cosmetic inspection. As my electric screwdriver hummed away, the iMacs danced around in the hands of my colleague, showing off its beautiful curves and through the fluttering of its rainbow-hued dress of clear and translucent fabric it hinted of its insides which I touched just a few minutes before. I never grew tired of looking at it. The plastic handle fascinated me as well because I have never seen anything like it before.
I got my first computer when I was nineteen. From then I was an avid PC user. I’ve even built my own PC from components and played with things like over-clocking. My first serious use of a Mac was when I joined a marketing firm and they gave me a Mac Mini. It was running OS X v10.4 Tiger. It was really easy to learn and I had no problems designing brochures and websites with it. It appeared so much better-designed than Windows XP. I really liked how Exposé made managing multiple windows so easy. It was then when I first realized what user interface design really is about.
In between this company and the next, I bought a silver 2GB iPod Nano for my girlfriend (now my wife). She was using a Sony Ericsson Walkman phone before and she absolutely loved the iPod.
When I left the company I wanted to continue using a Mac. Luckily there was a promotion going on and I could get a free MacBook if I upgraded my broadband subscription. I did it and became a proud owner of a 13-inch white polycarbonate MacBook. It also ran Tiger and I took it everywhere I went. My girlfriend and I especially liked watching anime on it in McDonald’s. I upgraded to Leopard and continued using it until it died recently.
My next Mac was a late-2008 17-inch MacBook Pro. I bought it when I was freelancing and got a little rich while working on a projet that paid well. Soon after that I bought my girlfriend a early-2009 15-inch MacBook Pro. I remembered how I was so jealous of its “Precision Unibody Enclosure”. Now my wife, she is still using the same MacBook Pro.
My friends were all using iPhones. I didn’t want to be like everyone else so I ‘thought different’ and got myself and my wife a Prada phone. When the iPhone 3G came out, we couldn’t resist and bought 2 white 16GB models for ourselves. We recently switched to white iPhone 4s.
I worked on my 17-inch for two years until I joined my previous startup which provided me with a mid-2010 17-inch MacBook Pro. That was my first unibody Mac. When I left the job I returned it and got my current Mac.
Now I’m using the latest 2011 MacBook Air and I absolutely love it. I also own a first-gen WiFi iPad. I will continue to use Apple products for their design and quality. Thank you Steve for making technology so accessible so I could become a designer. Thank you for the products you created with your team so I could become better at what I do. Thank you for your keynotes, quotes and all other words of gold which taught me what communication and leadership was. Thank you for showing me that it is possible for relentless heart to put a ding in the universe. Thank you for reminding me to stay hungry, stay foolish. Thank you.
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