Friday, October 7, 2011

Insanely Great*

I am writing this post on an iMac. It’s a beautiful machine, sleek and imposing, with a magnificent 27-inch screen that is a work of art even when the power is off. But when the power is on, well, that’s when the magic happens. I can make movies and book trailers, take and edit photos, listen to and even create music, make video phone calls, and hopefully write a decent blog post, all without leaving my desk.

Yes, I am a Macophile, one of the legions of fans of Apple Inc. and all of its products who seem to be taking the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs on Wednesday even more personally than the rest of the world. I wasn’t always such a devotee. For a long time, I straddled the PC and Mac camps, but I finally jumped in with both feet a few years ago, chucking my PC desktop and my lame MP3 player that for some reason displayed words only in Danish and embracing the iMac, iPod, and iPad. (I’m eagerly anticipating my first iPhone, too, as soon as my Verizon Android contract is up next summer.) I love this streamlining of my digital life almost as much as I love my streamlined iStuff.

Apple is that rare company whose products deserve the highest marks for both form and function. And Steve Jobs was the rare CEO whose vision always took the needs of his end users into consideration. He built a network of Apple stores that offer training and face-to-face technical support to anyone who can get to them, essentially providing a kick-ass IT department for those of us who are self-employed. Of course, it’s a bit maddening for the budget-conscious that a visit to the Genius Bar requires a stroll past all the new and improved products that Apple has to offer, but who can fault Jobs for being a brilliant marketer?

It’s also noteworthy that Jobs was always known for his groundbreaking ideas, rather than his net worth. Although his success certainly would have earned him the title of business magnate—the Wikipedia entry for the term has a photograph of Bill Gates—his public image was as more of an iconoclast than a tycoon. It’s fitting, then, that yesterday while thousands of people in the Occupy Wall Street protests leveled criticism at corporate greed, hundreds of others laid tributes to Jobs in front of the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue some six miles away. We’ve all learned so much from Steve Jobs. Perhaps the other “captains of industry” should do the same.

*"Insanely Great": Steve Jobs' description for the Macintosh computer

1 comment:

Deborah Heiligman said...

Thanks for writing this, Sue. I was an early adopter of Apple products, and I've never left. There was just an article in the Times last week, I think, about how we love our iphones, and it's actually love. I didn't have to read the article! I sit here now with my iphone behind me, typing on my wireless keyboard, looking at my huge monitor, while the brains of my computer in in my lap top, which I can take anywhere, at any moment. My husband has even discovered that he can do "blank screening" by taking his wireless keyboard across the room, turning around, and writing like that. It's hard to even grasp how much has changed because of Steve Jobs. I wonder what will happen next with the company, with technology. Who will fill the space that he left? There's quite a tribute to him onThe Onion. I won't link to the original article only because there's the fbomb in the headline, but go look at it. It's actually... poignant.