Thursday, October 06, 2011

Thank You, Steve

In 1984 my husband and I bought the original Macintosh computer. It was a huge investment for us at the time, about $2400, since my husband was in seminary and I was working full-time to help put him through school. But we felt like having the Macintosh would mean he'd spend less time typing and re-typing his papers (or learning word processing on an IBM PC and I could use it for graphics work, too.

We were right. Years later our daughter, Becky, would wrap her tiny fingers around the mouse of that Macintosh and make pictures with its graphics program. (She eventually graduated from college with a degree in Graphic Design and is now head of the Photo Department at

I'd say our investment paid off.

We did eventually grow frustrated with that Mac, though, and it's lack of a built in hard drive or second floppy drive. Its 128k of ram was twice what the IBM PC offered at the time but technology grew by leaps and bounds and passed us and our small budget by. We couldn't keep up with the upgrades and new models that came each year so we kept ours just as it came from the factory.

Decades later, when we finally admitted we would never again actually use the old Macintosh and we needed the space in our tiny basement, we sold it on eBay. The one thing potential buyers wanted to know about it was whether or not we had the original Styrofoam boxes everything came in with the original cardboard sleeves on them, emblazoned with the Apple logo. We did. Everything had been packed away in the original boxes, with the original software and manuals, never upgraded. The Macintosh & Imagewriter printer were in good working order, just the way we got them. The buyer drove to Maryland from New Jersey and paid us several hundred dollars in cash for his treasured vintage Macinstosh.

We dropped out of the world of Apple for decades, unable to keep up with the high cost of the products, no matter how wonderful they were. Not everybody can afford first class. Then my daughter received an ipod mini as a gift and we gave an ipod touch to my husband for his birthday. I bought myself an ipod classic for my 50th birthday with money from my family. And when Becky started her university art classes she got a Mac with her student loan money. Now, she has an iphone.

But Steve Jobs gave us much more than good products.

He gave us ideas.

The idea that you can make your dreams come true even if you start with nothing.

The idea that you can pick yourself up and start over when you fail and have been rejected.

The idea that there is always a new dream to pursue.

The idea that every day counts.

The idea that you can change the world.

Thank you, Steve. We will miss you.

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