My tribute to Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Computers, died yesterday at the age of 56. Jobs is known as the genius businessman who made Apple Computers into a household name. What people need to remember is that Jobs was also the man who kick started a technological revolution.
I remember well the Apple Computers that littered school classrooms in the 1980′s. They had been around for a little while, but were still pretty basic. At home, I had a TRS-80 from Radio Shack. It was pretty basic too. However, the personal computer age had begun. Jobs and his friend Steve Wozniak had an idea to put the Apple 1 computer into people’s homes. Wozniak was hand building the things, and Jobs was the business mind.
It’s important to remember that, despite the fact that Windows is on so many computers out there, it was Apple that first gave us a personal computer with a Graphical User Interface, or GUI. The GUI is also what we are all using on our Windows machines right now. Bill Gates might get the press today, but he lifted the idea of a GUI based operating system from Apple.
Jobs was indeed the mastermind behind a revolution. It was Jobs who deserves the credit, if one person can be credited, for the series of middle eastern dictators who fell this past spring. Were it not for computers in every home, the internet would never have bothered to come out from DOD and University walls to become what it is today. Therefore, disaffected citizens would never have had the means to communicate via social networks and coordinate protests that garnered freedom for people who had been oppressed by dictatorships.
I’ve never been an Apple person. I’ve never owned an Apple product. In an even remotely free market, I’m free to decide what products I want. However, I also recognize that many of the products I own owe some of their current features to something that Apple did first.
Steve Jobs is gone, but the revolution he was key in starting remains. Thank you Steve Jobs. I personally owe you more than even I will ever know.