RIP Steve Jobs 1955-2011

RIP Steve Jobs 1955-2011

Today I was in my living room playing with my son when on the TV news they announced Steve Jobs had passed away. I was shocked, I mean I knew he was ill, problems in the past with cancer. Didn’t he just step down as CEO yesterday? This can’t be true. I opened twitter on my iPhone and sure enough, there was the internet’s raw outpouring of emotion over a man who truly touched all of our lives.

I wrote my first lines of code on an apple, I don’t remember what it was called. Monochrome green monitor, big ol CPU with the keyboard integrated. I was in 6th grade at the time, and my math teacher taught me BASIC after class. We saved our cool role playing games onto 5 1/4″ floppies. Soon afterwards my grandmother got a Mac Classic, you know the one with the super tiny black and white screen? It had 3 1/2 inch floppies and was the bomb. I sort of broke up with Apple soon after, when I got my first 486 with Windows 3.1. It was all PC/Windows/Linux until a few years ago.

Somewhere in there I had the opportunity to meet Steve. It was just as iTunes was launching, I had just left my job at MP3.com and some local record executive thought that made me qualified to go up to Cupertino and sign them up for “the new apple music thing.” I went, and sat through 2 hours of iTunes hype just looking for some cool swag and the necessary paperwork to sign the label up. Then Steve got up in front of us 20-30 label reps. That got my attention, because I had seen Pirates of Silicon Valley (if you haven’t seen this it’s a must watch). Needless to say, I was not prepared for his stage presentation – no, his mere presence. He was so animated while staying calm, radiating energy and intelligence like some turtlenecked supernerd in a suave, confident fit of excitement. I don’t remember whatever happened to the label, but I remember walking away being awfully impressed by Mr. Jobs, and honored and humbled to have met him.

I look around now and I am on my second iPhone, I have produced a couple apps in the iTunes store, my son passes some of his time banging away on my once-precious iPad. I edit videos of him using iMovie on my macbook. My mom posts her lovely photos to the internet using the iLife and .me platform, after editing them on her iMac. Even my dad knows how to work “this apple stuff.”

None of us will ever know the real Steve like his family did, or feel the loss like they must be, but an amazing amount of people have been touched by his presence on this planet. For generations lives will feel the ripple of Steve Jobs. We are poorer for having lost him, but richer for having known him. Thank you Steve, and we will miss you.

-Chris Hedgecock

There’s an amazing obituary on Wired and a tribute on Apple.com.