At ground level

A column about LIFE

I am an Apple lover; how can you not be?

I am an Apple lover. I have always loved Apple computers, even before I knew who Steve Jobs was. Beginning with an Apple IIc computer, which we purchased while still living on the farm, I have been through many Apple/Macintosh computers and loved every single one of them – the Macintosh Performa, and then the iMacG3, the iMac, the iBook, the PowerBook, the MacBook Pro.

Yes, some may call me a Mac junkie, with one desktop computer and three laptops in tow. Unfortunately, I had to stop with the Pro. I am a single mother now, and cannot afford to keep up with the latest, like I used to. I did purchase the first iPhone. $250 was a lot of money for me to spend on a cell phone, but luckily I was given a raise at about the same time, so I finally rewarded myself with the iPhone.

Since I bought my iPhone in 2007, I have fought the urge to upgrade and even buy myself an iPad2. It’s been difficult, almost like Eve being tempted to eat the Apple – pun intended. Some may think it was stupid of me not to upgrade my first generation iPhone, but there were times it was a question of having just $20 on a weekend and having to choose whether to spend it at the store or relinquish it to my daughter, so she could watch a movie with her friends.

Like many people, I was a bit disappointed when Tim Cook unveiled the iPhone 4S. I, too, was hoping he would announce the iPhone 5. But it’s okay; I will succumb this time and I will be one of the thousands in line for the iPhone 4S.

The one thing that always irritated me about Macs was their exclusivity, which meant they were pricey, too pricey for the average earner. Even the computer games for my kids were too pricey and few. I often wished they were priced like PCs. My kids complained. All their friends had such neat computer games; we didn’t have many.

Yet I have always continued to love the Mac. It is simple, neat, easy and friendly. I found the IBM so intimidating; same with Dell and other PCs – too formal, too cold. My decades of work with newspapers and even teaching, jibed so well with the Mac. As the Mac grew more sophisticated, so did I, I felt.

The giant behind Apple has left us. I didn’t realize how hard the news of his death would hit me until I learned about it at around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, a day after the iPhone 4S was unveiled. I imagine he was just waiting until that project and announcement was completed, and then felt he could, indeed, rest in peace.

It was only when I came to live in Cupertino that I got to know Steve Jobs, though not personally. If you live in Silicon Valley and work just a stone’s throw away from Apple’s headquarters, you are bound to learn about Steve Jobs. His leaving this world has left many of us with a hollow, heavy heart. Jobs is, and always will be, a legend of our time.

The text from his speech to Stanford’s graduating students in 2005 is very telling about this great man. Here are excerpts, lessons which I, and everyone, should take to heart:

… Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

… I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

… Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

… Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

He is/was so right!

Thank you, Steve Jobs, for all my Macs and my iPhone. Each time I use them, I will remember you and feel good. And yes, I will make sure I follow my heart!

October 8, 2011 - Posted by | California | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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