Thursday, October 06, 2011

We're losing too many brilliant people this year #RIPSteveJobs

Way back, in the olden days, if you wanted to find out what was going on in the world first thing in the morning, you had to wake up, get up, go downstairs and switch on the telly.

Actually, scratch that. Way back, even deeper in the mists of time, you had to switch on the radio. There was only stuff on the telly that early in the morning if there was an election, or the US President resigned.

And it's not really that long since personal computers were quite complicated to operate. All // and *.* and : and various other complicated keystrokes you had to get just right.

Steadily, though, technology has become more accessible, easier to use. When I was a child, you listened to your music on records. I remember in Primary 6, when I was 10, our topic was time, and we had to imagine what life would be like in the future. Our minds were all full of flying bubble cars and transporter beams, like in Star Trek. I don't think anyone ever thought you would be able to carry around all your music with you on a thing that would fit in your pocket and still leave room for your wallet and a pack of tissues.

The reason that we can, of course, is down in great measure to the vision of Steve Jobs. The way he built Apple to get inside people's heads to understand what they wanted, needed from their gadgets. All the while making them look gorgeous. I've only recently become a fully signed up member of the Apple family. I bought an iPod Touch last year purely so I could get the F1 live timing application and have since acquired an iPhone and an iPad 2.  I love the fact that my gadgets seem to get me.

I have Steve Jobs to thank for the fact that I could sit on my sofa enjoying a Skype video call with my niece when she was inter-railing. I have him to thank for the fact that I can keep in touch with my nearest and dearest wherever I am. I have him to thank for the fact that I'm not scared in the slightest of the technology that enables me to do this because it's so easy to operate. But it's not just Apple - Steve Jobs' passion and vision has kicked the whole industry's backside. In my view nobody's yet done it quite as well as Apple, but all are better off for the creative genius he inspired.

And so, this morning, I didn't have to get out of bed to hear the news. I picked up my iPhone at around 5 this morning and learned that Steve Jobs had passed away. We all knew this was coming, from his taking medical leave in January to handing over the day to day running of Apple in August.

I'm really sick of this year - we have lost too many bright, inspirational people. Andrew Reeves may not have been a millionaire, but he inspired so many others who are now and will continue to be the campaigning backbone of this party. And the connection between him and Steve Jobs? The wicked disease that is Pancreatic Cancer - which claimed the life of Apple's co-founder, and Andrew's mother. If you want to help find a cure to this disease which doesn't let you know it's there until it's too late and often kills within weeks, or support those who are affected by it, you can do so here.

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