The Jobs of a Lifetime

Steve Jobs & the Mac Plus

So we went to Atari and said, `Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we’ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we’ll come work for you.’ And they said, `No.’ So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, `Hey, we don’t need you. You haven’t got through college yet.’ Steve Jobs

My friend Pilch laid an original Macintosh on me in 1985. He had received the cube-shaped computer as a gift from his employer, Burroughs, taken it out of its box, played around with it, and then, upon giving it to me, pronounced it “a toy.”

I used my freebee Macintosh for seven years. In 1988 I met its designer, Jerry Manock. He was a customer of the high-end seating company I worked at. He tried to convince my boss to junk the office IBM PC. No dice. The only benefit from this episode was that I learned MS-DOS. I could always go home to my computer, the one you could just turn on and get to work/play.

Over the years I went back and forth this way, between the office PC and the home Mac. (Through the nineties I also kept up with Apple’s technology by using the computer center at Middlebury College stocked with up-to-date machines.) I cannot imagine anybody being in this situation and not favoring the easier-to-use Mac computer.

Still, ‘whatever floats your boat’ was my attitude. After returning to Cleveland, I used hand-me-down Macs supplied by mom, Macintosh Plus, LC, LC III; my partner’s PPC 638; a Powerbook 140 given to me by a friend. Finally, in 1998 I bought my first brand new Apple computer, a G3. My first recording was produced on it in 2000-2001. Next, in 2003, came a refurbished Mirrored Drawers dual-boot PPC. It was the platform for my second recording, and my first OSX machine. I used it until I bought my first Macbook in late 2009.

That Macbook died a horrid death last year when I plugged its charger into a shorted house circuit. Yet, I ran out and picked up a MacBook Pro laptop, upon which i am typing this recollection.

Except for the MacBook I slaughtered, and the G3 that I scavenged for drives, all my legacy computers remain in my personal Apple Museum, and, presumably each one of the six could be started up tomorrow.

I will always associate Steve Jobs with Apple Computers rather than with the revolutionary media appliances and vertical industries he helped bring forth. When he returned to Apple in 1997, he, soon enough, saved the company, and, in effect, saved it from itself. Given this personal association, the contemporary 12 core Mac Pro at $5,000, draws the line all the way back to the original Macintosh, with its 128k of memory, and 400k floppy discs.

Yet, revolutionizing computing while sitting won’t be the capstone on his legacy.

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