When I started my first ever job, on a magazine dedicated to the first Midi-compatible computer, the Atari ST, back in 1992, I had a tiny work computer with a black and white screen and a floppy disk drive on the front: An Apple. Having my own “Macintosh” made me feel I’d arrived in the world of publishing.
Waking up this morning, I grimaced at the time on my radio alarm (an iPhone app), checked my emails, RSS feed, web analytics, Twitter account and Facebook page as I got breakfast for the family (iPhone), keeping an eye on TV streaming over the web (via our MacBook) – and heard that Steve Jobs had died, at 56.
As I sit here now in the Digital DJ Tips office – typing on my wireless Mac keyboard, editing via my Apple Trackpad, juggling between three open windows on the gorgeous iMac monitor – I am constantly reminded of a man whose products have changed my life, along with millions of others.
He was not only a visionary, but someone who could make those visions a reality. In both business and life, there’s no point having one without the other. The biggest tragedy was that at age 56, he could have had a quarter of a century more of useful working life had it not been for cancer, something that strikes close to my heart, having lost my mother at just 60 from the same disease.
When I heard he was ill again, I hoped, along I’m sure with millions of others, that he’d somehow find a way to beat the odds, to get well again, and back to work. Sadly it wasn’t to be.
So as you unfold your MacBook at your gig this weekend, plugging in your controller without having to mess with drivers; or sync your smart playlists across iTunes into your iPhone; or power up djay and have a quick spin on your headphones when on your way to college; or use Mixcloud, or Shazam, or Spotify, or SoundCloud, or any of the other unrivalled selection of music and DJing apps that Jobs’s App Store has made so easy for developers to make and for us to enjoy; as you do these things, I am sure that you’ll also be thinking that you’re doing so partly because in 1976, a young man and his friend had a vision for how computing should change the world, and began to act on it.
Of course, not everyone uses Apple products, and not everyone approves of everything the company or the man did – but I don’t think anyone would deny the quality of Steve Job’s contribution. And it’s the quality of each of our contributions that ultimately we’ll be remembered for.
So let’s go at it with a renewed passion today, and remember something Steve Jobs famously said: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
How have Apple’s hardware, software and apps changed your life, musically or otherwise? Please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below.