When I was six years-old, I learned BASIC on my Apple II+ and I learned to program with High-resolution graphics because I wanted to make Yoda and ET move across the screen.
When I was 15 years-old, I turned in a project in high school for a chemistry class on 3.5″ disk using Hypercard that I did on my dad’s SE/30. My teacher was Mr. Edington and we bonded because he actually was interested in how I did it and we exchanged stories of coding back from 1978 when he was in college writing in assembly, and I was coding in BASIC. Both of us were on Apple II+.
When I was 24 years-old, I bought my very first computer on my own: a brand new G3 266MHz minitower and I picked up Flash to make ET move his neck up and down and waddle across my screen.
The rest, as they say, is history. I did a lot more with Flash and with scripting and the fact that I moved so naturally beyond that into writing and creating and designing, in my mind, has a whole lot to do with my experiences with the specific tools I had to work with.
I’m not going to be coy about it. Steve Jobs has made things that have been part of my life since I was six years-old. The man, through his craft, influenced the man I’m still becoming.
This is not me praying at some CEO’s altar, and Jobs is no father figure. My dad bought our computers as a means for us to bond. I wasn’t good at playing catch with my dad, but knowing this, we learned to program when I was six instead. We learned on an Apple.
This is me saying it’s like the end of The Beatles. I can appreciate John Lennon and how incredible his music is, but it’s not the same as it was for my mom who could hang with baited breath as a teenager waiting for a new album to drop and listen with awe at what new wonders awaited at the first listen.
That’s what Steve Jobs has been for me. He’s the closest thing to John Lennon I have.
It’s not the end of the road by any means, but I’m a bit choked up tonight.
UPDATE: I put in a bit more. There’s a lot of memories this is triggering for me.