As usual, XKCD says it so well.* (Be sure to mouse over the image.)
I’m amazed how broken up I am about the death of Steve Jobs. I dabble in the Mac world, but have long been a PC user. (My work computer is a Mac; my home computers are Dell PCs.) I’ve managed to resist the siren call of the iPhone, though I have to admit maybe a small iPod would be nifty to have. Even so, I can’t help but admire the design genius (and marketing genius, too) behind Apple products. It’s fair to say, I think, that there’s a chance we’d all still be using command line (or at best Windows 3.1 *shudder*) on boxy beige/gray things without Apple pushing both software and equipment design forward. Not to forget Pixar. Where would animation be without that?
Maybe the thing is, he went so quickly after he left Apple. He was still very much in our minds as Mr. Apple. Or maybe it’s that there are so few great humans, ones who have talent and a vision and who can see them through, who can create something truly Big and still be someone people like and admire. You lose one, and you cannot help but hurt. But you also cannot help but be glad they were here to do what they did.
* For non-Mac people, the beachball, or little rainbow spinny thing, is what you get on a Mac when something takes longer to execute than it should, unexpectedly. It’s never a good thing.