Thursday, October 6, 2011

RIP

I moved from Wilmington, Ohio, to Columbus, Ohio, in the late '70s or very early '80s, and never went back to Wilmington to live after that. I moved around central Ohio several times, divorcing the husband I moved there with, marrying someone else and then, eventually, divorcing him. At the time that marriage ended I was working for a newly formed subsidiary of the Columbus Dispatch called ThisWeek Newspapers. I was an advertising designer and we were launching a new product, a series of suburban tabloids. Delaware ThisWeek was the first.

The model I used had a taller screen.
We could profitably create these newspapers because of desktop publishing and Apple Macintosh computers. Prior to these machines coming on the market, type was set on a huge, clunky machine that spit words out on long, narrow pieces of special paper that could be waxed and pasted down onto a flat. If you needed a form of any kind, you drew the lines with a pen and ink. Ads were framed by hand-drawn boxes.

Desktop publishing changed the way we delivered the news, and the innovations that sprouted from those early days have changed our world ever since. Steve Jobs was visionary, unafraid, committed, imaginative, creative and steady. We never knew what he was going to introduce next, and we snapped it up as soon as we heard what it was.

I've been a Mac girl ever since that first experience at ThisWeek. I'm now on my fourth, and for the first time I'm using both a desktop and a notebook. When I was ready for a smartphone, I was crushed to learn that AT&T wasn't available here in the Middle of Nowhere, so I went with a BlackBerry. I'm pretty sure I'll be switching to an iPhone when my current contract expires next year.

Steve Jobs' legacy was summed up in the oft-quoted commencement address he gave at Stanford University in 2005. There are snippets of it all over the internet this morning. Here's my favorite:
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.
We're all gonna die someday. There's no avoiding that fact. The business of living doesn't give us much time to think about the eventuality of dying. But thinking about it, especially when making a big decision, opens up a lot of possibilities. That's what Apple and Steve Jobs have given me.

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