By David K.
I can’t remember exactly how old I was when my dad brought home the first computer I would ever use, a Mac Classic I believe, for summer from the high school where he worked. My first memory of using a computer was playing the black and white version of The Oregon Trail. Fast forward a few years and I was in school, always the first to finish my classwork so I could play Word Munchers or Number Munchers on the Apple IIe we had. I was already hooked. For the rest of my life, computers would be one of my biggest passions. I convinced my parents to get our first home computer (a lowly Performa 475) and then later to upgrade (a Performa 630). I had a subscription to MacWorld and MacAddict. I was a member of Guy Kawasaki’s Evangelist mailing list. For my 17th birthday I asked for (and got) a copy of MacOS 8 for our home computer. Even in those dark years when you were away from the company, I was an Apple fan. Thanks for coming back by the way, it got SO MUCH BETTER!
My passion followed me to college, where I had MY first Mac, a PowerMacintosh G3 tower. I even had a couple Apple posters on the walls in my dorm room. Two years later when my brother went to college he got my G3 and I upgraded to a shiny new G4 tower. From there it kept going. A G4 iMac, a G5 iMac, and my current iMac a Core2 Duo machine. I’ve owned every model of iPhone since the first one, and I use my iPad more than my desktop computer. I’ve followed the keynotes, watched the videos, and truly enjoyed using your products, so many of them ground breaking, over the years.
But I think my favorite moment relating to Apple technology happened just this summer. Earlier this spring my nephew was born, the first in a new generation of our family. He and his parents were living in Chicago at the time so it was hard for the whole family to get to see him in person, especially my elderly grandparents, whose health isn’t what it used to be. While visiting them in California this summer, someone, I can’t recall who, remarked that it was too bad we didn’t have a fast enough computer or internet connection (they still only have dial up!) to do a video chat so they could see and interact with their great grandson for the first time in something other than pictures. At that moment it hit me, we DID have a way to do it. I had my iPhone 4, and a healthy 3G connection at their house! We made the arrangements and one afternoon we got Grandma and Grandpa together in the kitchen together, made the call and then I handed them my iPhone. It was, as you would say, a truly magical moment. The joy on their faces as they saw their great grandson in action for the first time, as they talked to him, listened to him make those cute noises babies make, and saw him moving around, it was like the weight of their age lifted off their shoulders for those few minutes.
So for inspiring me to a life of passion about computers I thank you, but my biggest thanks is for helping to enable moments like the ones my grandparents were able to share with my nephew. That story and millions of others like it are the legacy you have left behind. Today we lost a true visionary, your family lost a loved one, and we all mourn for that loss, but we also celebrate the creations you have helped usher in that have changed and enriched our lives. I regret that I never had the opportunity to meet you, but even without that personal connection you have touched my life and so many others. Thank you Steve. Rest in peace.