When we moved earlier this year, I found was my stash of Macintosh boxes, beginning with my first one, a PowerBook 500. Today, I am writing this on my new MacBook Air. In between was an iBook, a couple of MacBook Pros and a first generation Air. There is a big Mac Pro sitting upstairs, but I rarely use it as my laptops mean I can curl up on the sofa, sprawl on the porch, or nestle in bed. Add the original iPod that I used to record all my dissertation interviews, the iPod touch that was my first introduction to apps and now the iPad, and I begin to realize what an impact that Steve Jobs and Apple has had on my own life.
Because these are more than just computers somehow…instead they paved the way to a mobile life that offers the chance to get beyond the cubicle and really work from anywhere and at anytime. Earlier this week, I as I took a break from a long drive, I sat in a Starbucks. Yesterday, my office was a chair in the School of Education. And on and on. Jobs was doing more than just reorganizing circuitry or rewriting code; he was fundamentally changing the way we connect to the world which means we can also fundamentally change the notion of what it means to work, disconnecting it from a schedule and a location and connecting it to the tasks that need to be completed, the contacts that need to be made. He didn’t create things like Twitter or Facebook but he made it easier to use them, using his creativity to combine resources from his own and others imaginations, something I think is the true mark of genius.
I am a little sad today as it seems like a particularly bright light has been extinguished. There is also the sense that I am not old enough that the icons who created the world in which I live are beginning to fall. But, I smiled a bit at the Toon Off over at Daryl Cagle’s cartoon website. Maybe you will too as we spend our first day without Steve.