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Steve Jobs

Posted on Saturday, October 8th, 2011

Dave!As I write this, I am sitting in the beautiful Air New Zealand lounge at Sydney International Airport. Very soon now, I will be hurling back across the Pacific Ocean to go home.

But I'm not thinking of my impending trip yet to come, my mind is set on October 6th. Which was still October 5th back in the USA. Time, like all things we experience and attempt to describe, is relative to the observer.


After a run with the dolphins the boat headed back to Fiji and dry land. As we approached the shallows, my mobile phone came into cellular range and I heard a muffled "beep" telling me that a text message had arrived. I ignored it while I loaded up my gear and went trudging to the shore. I had intended to check my new text as I waded back, but the sandy floor was squishy and slick with plant growth. This made the risk of slipping and dropping my iPhone into the ocean a bigger risk than I was willing to take.

So inside a waterproof pouch which sat inside a waterproof bag, my iPhone waited.

As did I.

And it was a torturous wait because I rarely get texts. Especially when people know I'm out of the country. On those rare occasions when I do get such a text, it's almost always bad news.

My mind was not in a very happy place when I finally got back to the Scuba Bula shop. A part of me wanted to continue ignoring the text for fear of what it might say but, as you can imagine, this is really impossible.

Of the hundreds of nasty scenarios that went through my head, a text from my brother telling me that Steve Jobs had died never entered my mind...

Steve Jobs has died!

As I said, texts always seem to bring bad news.

One of my heroes for the past 27 years was gone.

As anybody who has read this blog for any length of time can probably guess, I was devastated.

I tried to avoid the crush of chatter online, but you couldn't be online without reading about it. And so much of it was beautiful and touching and everything one would expect. But not all of it. A common thread emerged mocking those who were grieving by saying "How can you be so sad and pathetic? You didn't even know him!"

Which is wrong, of course. So very wrong.

Just as you can come to know an artist by their art... Steve Jobs was probably one of these easiest people on earth to get to know through the products Apple makes. And though a great many people contribute to the design, manufacture, and experience that makes these products intrinsically "Apple"... Steve Jobs' fingerprints are on everything. It's his beautiful, singular vision that drove the company to it's massive level of success and created legions of fans worldwide.

As I type this blog post on my MacBook Pro while uploading television episodes for the flight to my iPad and charging my iPhone, I know Steve Jobs. He surrounds me every day. I spend more time with him than I do anybody else.

And so I grieve as I would for any friend who has passed on.

And I remember, because it's impossible for a Certified Apple Whore to forget.

I'm sure this is not the last thing I'll have to say, but it is the only thing I can say right now.

I've got a plane to catch so I can travel back in time.

Goodbye Steve.

Tags: ,
Categories: Apple Stuff 2011, Travel 2011Click To It: Permalink


  1. claire says:

    I thought of you when I read the news, on twitter of all places where I hoped it was another tasteless hoax. I figured you would hear about it soon enough, so why not leave your vacation unmarred a little longer.

    It caught me off-guard how much like a gut punch the news was and even thinking about it now. I really would have liked to see what he came up with in another 30 years. Perhaps it’s selfish to miss his vision and the potential of that vision, but I do.

  2. Suebob says:

    I hadn’t thought much about him dying and I certainly would not have predicted my reaction, but I cried for hours. I felt a connection to him and a gratefulness for all the work and fun he and his company made possible in my life. He was a leader who was dedicated to excellence, and that is so rare. Time after time, his companies simply made the best stuff anywhere. I have no idea how his shoes will ever be filled.

  3. Kirsten says:

    I found myself saddened by the news of his loss, and I don’t usually feel that way when I public figure dies. After working all too briefly on a Grape iMac when I was employed by a graphic design firm, I spent the next decade as a wannabe Apple Whore. Finances and practicality (my family expecting me to be their PC tech support) kept me on Windows machines for far too long.

    After begging and begging my husband to let me get an iMac, spending a night in the ER with him and telling him I wanted a divorce, he bought me one and I rejoiced. So when I finally heard the news about Steve Jobs, because I was too busy grocery shopping while the internet exploded with the news, I hugged my iMac while petting my iPod.

    I’ve spent way too much time online the past 2 days reading Steve Jobs tributes and wondering when I was going to read your post about it, knowing how devastated you’d be since you’re a Certified Apple Whore. The tech world lost great person, and I only hope that future Apple products live up to his vision.

  4. I thought of you as soon as I heard the news on Twitter.. but figured (rightly) that someone else would tell you, and I didn’t want it to be me that broke the sad news while you were on holidays. He certainly was a great visionary and will be greatly missed.

  5. Jeff says:

    I’m sorry Dave. I’m not an Apple Whore like you, but I certainly appreciated his vision and expertise. Curious, I watched his 2005 Stanford speech and was quite moved. A tremendous loss, indeed.

  6. Sarah says:

    This was wonderfully written Dave.

  7. bo says:

    I’m sorry for your loss, Dave.

  8. walt says:

    well said…I remember the first computer I ever touched was an Apple IIc. My school had just gotten them, a great gift from the manufacturer, and they threw us into a keyboarding class. It was awesome. In the fifth grade, I had my hands on what businesses like IBM tried to keep for their business clients only. At my assigned seat, I was at my own personal computer learning to type with out worrying about having to retype an entire page to fix one mistake. No more clunky ribbons, white out, or what have you. We moved around a lot and it wasn’t for another five years before I saw another computer. This time an IBM that crashed everyday during typing class. I didn’t get my hands on another Mac until college for editing and it wasn’t until 2008, I bought a probook after reading several of your posts, Dave. As a PC user, I can see how someone wouldn’t feel like they know Bill Gates for example. After owning a probook and remembering that awesome Apple IIC, I can easily get a sense of Jobs and what he was about.

  9. the muskrat says:

    I watched the speech to Stanford the next day at work, too. Funny that I was anti-Apple products til I met Deb, and now I have an ipod, Mac server, 2 MacBooks, an iPad, and 2 iphones for my firm. So, yeah, I like his creations quite a bit.

  10. i didn’t know him and don’t really use his products, but even i felt the void left by his passing. considering how my stomach felt sick at the news of his passing so young, i can’t even imagine how it must feel to you.
    sorry for our loss. the world truly will miss him and his contributions.

  11. martymankins says:

    I got very emotional when I heard the news. Very sad loss. Hoping his legacy lives on for years.

  12. I thought of you when I heard the sad, sad news. This is a lovely write up, Dave.

  13. whall says:

    Like others, when I heard the news, I wondered about you. I for one would love to see the notes and instructions he left behind for what he wanted to come next.

  14. Sarkawt says:

    I am sorry for your loss, my friend. iSad 🙁

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