Thursday, October 6, 2011


Sometimes I see life as a road map. I see my road, and it's grown from a footpath to a multi-lane highway as my family's roads joined mine.

Then there are the roads of friends - intersecting, crossing, partnering - sometimes staying alongside my road for many years, other times veering off toward directions of their own and away from me.

But twice in my life there have been roads that profoundly affected mine - without any interaction whatsoever. One was John Lennon's road - the other belonged to Steve Jobs.  So many parts of my life were orchestrated by John Lennon's music. My first date; my first kiss; my initial introduction to a new home in a new country. Lennon sang the songs that I danced to as I traveled down my road. When he passed away, the road closed. Other highways came close to mine after that, but none hit that perfect bit of asphalt which ran smoothly alongside me for many years.

Yesterday, the other road closed.

I didn't know Steve Jobs; his road never intersected with mine. But the amazing vision and consequent technologies that he developed while streaking down his own interstate - those changed me and the way I think. I moved to Apple products a few years ago...a holdout and (in my son's view) a bit of a dinosaur about the 'net and my computational abilities. Finally getting lured into an iMac, the world expanded for me and shortly thereafter I realized I was now part of Apple's iWorld, with my iPod and iPhone, which were quickly followed by my MacBook Air and my iPad. 

I grew to realize I'd sipped from the legendary cup containing Apple Koolaid; that I was now enveloped in the warm embrace of the Cult of Jobs and loving every fascinating twist and turn and new concept that flowed from that amazing man's brain with stunning regularity. I added links to my home page - to Macworld, to  the App store, to all kinds of other bits and bobs that attract us members of the Apple congregation. And I came to rely on those wondrous conferences streamed from Cupertino. I drank up the statistics and waited - with a gazillion other people - for those magic words "Oh, and one more thing..."

Steve Jobs' passing was not unexpected, but it was accompanied with a tremendous sense of loss for all of us who shared his "Apple Experience". No matter what your opinion of him, his visionary brilliance was undeniable. He's one of the few men who leaves a legacy involving the words "changed the world", because the revolutionary iPhone truly did just that. It was recently chosen as the one device that has has the most impact on our world in the last one hundred years. Even if you don't use one, the cell phone you DO use owes a lot to Steve Jobs and Apple.

So now my road is moving on, past the "ROAD CLOSED" sign over Steve Jobs' highway. I'm feeling very moved at the tributes I'm seeing, and I mourn his loss with everyone. His family has my heartfelt and profound sympathies, because certainly their loss surpasses anything we could imagine. I doubt we'll see anyone quite like him for many years. He defined one-of-a-kind.

Which is why, today, I am unashamed to admit I'm i-SAD. And I'm also unashamed to admit I shall be pre-ordering the 4S tomorrow. Thanks Steve. I'll miss the sound of your wheels on that road near mine.