Tag Archive | Steve Jobs

While my guitar gently weeps

The world feels different today. Though I’ve known it was just a matter of time (otherwise he’d never have given up control of his beloved company), iHeartbroken.

I was already steeling myself for the emotional roller coaster of watching Martin Scorsese’s “George Harrison: Living in a Material World,” when, during my evening Social Policy and Aging II class last night, my classmate Cindy slid her Blackberry toward me and pointed at the screen.

Apple co-founder Jobs dies at 56,” the headline said. Sound faded away for a moment, and it became harder to concentrate on class.

Although at first it seemed blasphemous to get the news on a Blackberry, I really don’t think I could’ve taken it on my iPhone without tears.

They came later, briefly, over the youthful Beatles, as John and I watched our early lives unfolding on HBO. The Beatles were the backdrop of my youth.

Apple’s been the backdrop of my adult life. I’ve taken ribbing for being such a Macophile, just as I used to take ribbings for being a Beatles nerd. Don’t care. They were all geniuses and worth the love and admiration.

I hated and feared computers with all their codes and nonsense and ugly, ugly screen fonts until I met my first Macintosh in 1990. I was iLove at first sight. Even in my early 30s, I was giddy.

Just like with the Beatles at first listen as a child.

George Harrison went out with cancer at 58. He attributed his to smoking. And though that could have/should have been anticipated (if you look back at the ever-present cigarettes in early photos and footage) for some reason it was harder for me to take than John Lennon’s insane murder,

Lennon was like Jobs – larger than life, some might say egomaniacal. It would have been strange to see him old. And as phenomenal as the Beatles were, it seemed almost destined that an insane fan would do something crazy.

Another one attacked George Harrison in his home, in fact. He and his wife could fight off the crazed slasher, but sometimes you can’t beat the big C. He tried.

And Steve Jobs gave it his best shot, living several years longer than many with similar cancers. Like our dear friend Tom, who went out in a flash of 2 ½ months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

School work calls. iMust go. But I couldn’t start the day without honoring two men who’ve had such influences on my life and overall happiness.

iThank you.

Happiness is a warm … Mac

As a long-term Apple aficionado, I was saddened to read of Steve Jobs’ retirement and evidently worsening health problems. I’ve witnessed death by liver (my father and brother-in-law) and pancreas (our dear friend Tom), and they were horrible to behold. I know Jobs is in better medical hands  and certainly hope for the best for him. Poor (rich) guy.

But we’ve known this day was coming, and Apple, being the Little Engine That Could, will survive. And thank goodness for Macs, because there was a time when I thought I hated computers.

No, I did hate them.

First HAL 9000 thoroughly traumatized me in 2001: A Space Odyssey. That flat, atonal voice gave me the willies even before he took over the ship. Only HAL could make “Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do” scary – it was a “follow the bouncing ball” singalong song before he corrupted it.

Then came the horror that was DOS and the word-processor-like clunkers we had to type on in the old newsroom at the old Arkansas Democrat. Yuck. The giant mainframe was in the back, scary big, and we had to angle for time to type or edit our stories, hoping we’d remember the hideous numerical commands and to type \p to create a period.

Give me an electric Olivetti any day. (Actually, maybe I had an IBM Selectric. Whatever.)

But in 1990, when teaching at NLRHS, I learned about Macs when we worked with the NLR Times to produce the school paper. They were cool. But in 1991, when I was given the cutest little Mac Classic II to use with newspaper staff, it was love at first sight of that little smiling Mac icon. 

I loved how the default alert was the musical Sosumi, supposedly a nose-thumb at my beloved Beatles’ Apple Corps, who stated in the agreement they reached on the name that Apple Computer couldn’t deal with anything musical.

And the kids loved it – they’d clamor to work on the Mac. Petted it, called it sweet names. We were smitten and decided to build a Mac computer lab. We had to fund it ourselves, but we didn’t care.

This was just around the time the newspaper business as a whole was going to Macs – all creative publishing businesses were. But the school district was big on Dells, so I had to call about 100 major newspapers across the country (this was the old days, and, yes, there were that many major newspapers, and more) to ask what they worked on. Every paper but one used Macs, and that one was changing over any day.

So we got approval, but no funds. Let the car washes begin! The privilege of working on Macs has been one of the biggest recruitment tools for high school journalism that I’ve seen.

A couple of years later, I bought my first (insanely expensive) personal Mac, a big, clunky beigey-white Power Mac. I loved it. Then Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, and, low and behold, the iconic egg-like iMac in multiple colors was born. In 1998, I ordered what daughter Liz and I called “Barbie’s Dream Computer,” a hot pink one. The screen was in glorious living color. (I donated the Power Mac to a high school newspaper staff taught by a friend.)

John and I met online on the dream computer.

In 2003, I jumped the gun and got a 20-inch flatscreen crook-neck iMac and gave the dream computer to Liz.  It was glorious until about 2004 when, just after the warranty ran out, I spilled coffee near it, and some got in the air holes for the fan. Shortly after that, the beautiful flat screen went black. Between the residual coffee and all the dog hair that my brother-in-law pulled out when he took it apart, we decided it wasn’t worth trying to fix, so I just bought another  flat screen and hooked it up. It still worked fine despite looking strange.

I donated that one to Central when I started teaching there, since I got a new, smaller all-in-one iMac. We still have it – one of the old white ones, not the cool silver ones that came out right after we bought it. Long-term commitment on this one.

I’m typing this, however, on my 15-inch Macbook Pro. John even made the leap this year, from PC to a 13-inch Macbook Pro. (We’re no longer a mixed marriage.)

He likes to tease, but he’s encouraged me in Macdom, actually – he surprised me with a hot pink Nano  when they were new, and after I filled it with songs, he surprised me with a second-generation, 32GB iPod Touch engraved on the back with our a line from our wedding song.

And this year, once Verizon got them, I finally got an iPhone. And, for back to school purposes, of course, an iPad 2. As the hubster likes to say, I have the “complete Mac collection.”

What can I say? Gotta love them apples.