Friday, October 7, 2011

A Fond Goodbye to This Generation's Edison

I was flying into Dallas on a business trip two nights ago.  It was a totally ordinary flight from all perspectives.  As usual, I was not connected to the web and that was just fine with me.  It is my preference.  The period of being off the grid completely that a flight can provide often proves to be a welcomed refuge. 

I used my time to do a little personal writing and cranked out the latest chapter of A Dog Named Blitz on my iPad, while enjoying a fine mix of tunes provided by the iPod capabilities on the device. 

As we approached our destination at DFW, I powered down the iPad and stowed it into my bag.  The second we touched down, I reached to the iPhone hanging off my waist and powered up to see what messages I had missed in my 34,000 foot hibernation.  That's when the push notification functionality from Drudge Report passed along the fateful message:


An audible "oh no!" slipped from my mouth as I read the news. 

I certainly knew he was very sick, but he had been so very sick for so very long that I guess I felt him hanging on was just to be expected.  I had no idea he was that close to the end. 

I then immediately thought about the relationship I had with this incredible man for the past 25 years. It all started with with the the Apple II+ that I had my junior and senior year in undergrad.  It literally coined the phrase "home computer" back in the day.  I then graduated to an early-version Mac when I went off to grad school where it cranked out many a paper and case review. 

I took a bit of a hiatus from Apple when I started my career, but I ended up winning an iPod at a trade show and found that instantly my waining relationship with music was rekindled into a raging inferno.  It literally changed my life so much that I went so far as to buy a small stake of stock in APPL and proceeded to watch it go though the roof.  I sold my whole stake at about $125 at a tidy 50% gain when we needed a down payment for our cabin, and how I wish I still had those shares today. 

As mobile devices infiltrated my work arena I moved to an iPhone to stay abreast of the technology and again my world was completely changed.  The power of the PC, and then some, right at your hip.  Incredible.  I've ended with the iPad from which I'm writing this very post, and while I know this is my latest technological stop, this is hardly where the Apple train ends. 

What a legacy this genius leaves!  I hope that his spirit continues to inspire the other good people at Apple and that they continue to effect my life in such a productive, positive, and amazing way. 

Thanks, Steve.  You were my generation's Edison, and we will miss you greatly.

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