A tribute to Steve Jobs

I am taking a break from the frustrating, scratch that, infuriating actions that Obama is done to weaken this great country the past two-plus years.  We are the “shining city on the hill” as Ronald Reagan once said.  I am so sick of worrying about the fate of this great country.  Will we have a country in a bit less than two years?  Will the GOP nominee win in 2012?  If so, will they cave like a wet suit which the GOP is known for?  For now, I am not going to worry about that.  I want to talk about Steve Jobs.

With his recent resignation from Apple, a company that he co-created, one can only imagine that his end from cancer is near.  I am a nurse, and have worked third shift most of my career.  It is in the grace of the early morning hours that I have sat with people who have just found out that they were dying, or in the process of dying.  It is the ultimate lesson in “Being.”  One needs to be very comfortable in their skin to just sit, in silence at times, and be there for the dying.  Paradoxically, it is one of the most rewarding acts of caring one human-being can do for another.  It is a sacred honor.  Education, income, political affiliation, status, no longer matters.  It is just human being to human being.

I just had a birthday and received a couple of Apple iTunes gift cards as Birthday presents.  Steve Jobs is a genius.  I am not saying anything that nobody already knows.  I just downloaded Pink Floyd”s “Animals.”  I know everyone raves about “The Wall,” but I like “Animals” better…but I digress.  What completely blows my mind is how listening to “Dogs” takes me back, an puts me in my first car, a 1972 Ford Torino with a 350-something cubic inch Super-Cobra Jet engine.  I was 19 or 20 again.  Amazing!  I no longer have to transfer the actual album to cassette as I had to back then, I download music from iTunes to my computer which I can manipulate it to multiple playlists.  I can even listen to it from my Apple TV.  I don’t have to concern myself with whether the album I just bought has a scratch in it, I know that the music I download will be scratch free.  I also realize, that anyone born after 1983 has no idea what I am talking about when I talk about “albums”.

Steve Jobs saved the music industry.  The music industry, and let me be clear, the RIAA, is a dirty, disgusting, reprehensible, greedy entity.  It is despised by both music lovers and musicians alike.  During the “free music” days of Napster, in the early 00,’ it was (and still is) illeagal to swap music with other users.  However, people were swapping music in the days of the album and CD, as friends swapped and copied albums to cassette tape.  The difference between then, and swapping music via the internet and computer; is that the RIAA could now TRACK who was doing it and then sue the hell out of them.  I understand why the RIAA went for big dollar settlements; they wanted to “make an example of” the downloading violators.  Yet, I believe that the RIAA was still fighting a loosing battle.  They would never be able to sue EVERYBODY.  It was Steve Jobs that suggested changing the music buying paradigm.  It was Steve Jobs that found the price point of ninty-nine cents per song.  Ninety-nine cents was the sweet spot where music lovers would pay for the song, rather than pirate it off the internet.  It was Steve Jobs that fought with the RIAA for that price point.  Make no mistake, the RIAA went along kicking-and-screaming.  How Steve Jobs got the RIAA to agree to the ninety-nine cent price point without putting a gun to someone’s head is beyond me.

Steve Jobs knew what we wanted BEFORE we knew we wanted it!  First it was the iPod, then the iPhone.  It was an insidious marketing plan.  Much like marijuana is considered the “gateway drug” that led to harder drugs, the iPod, led to the iPhone, the iPhone in turn led to the iMac/Mac book.  Why?  Because it all works!  Something that Bill Gates, and Microsoft never grasped.  Apple’s operating system and hardware are tight, elegant, an intuitive.  Have you seen and instruction manual for an Apple product?  They could put it on a postage stamp if  they needed to.  Even the packaging is a work of art.

Let me get back to the iPhone for a second.  Who ever thought that a “computer” company would create a cell phone?  I didn’t.  But Steve Jobs did.  Until Apple, computer companies made COMPUTERS, and software….not cell phones!  Who do they think they are?  And who would think that Apple would create a cell phone that is also a iPod?  Do they think they are a deity of some sort?  Don’t answer that.  To make this cell phone even more awesome it would have enough space for applications  that you could buy from Apple’s app store.  Just for kicks, they threw in GPS.  Microsoft could never create an iPhone.  If they had, it would probably cause your tires to fall off your car if you were driving while using their cell phone.

When Steve Jobs was removed from Apple, he invested in a start-up company called Pixar.  What Pixar did was lead in feature movie quality computer animated movies.  Pixar had to create it’s own software platforms (like rendering software) from scratch to make the computer generated characters come to life.  We would not have movies like “Toy Story,” among others if it was not for Steve Jobs.

It saddens me that such a creative, dynamic human being should see their life cut short.  Any life for that matter.   The materialistic, gadget-loving side of me wonders what Steve Jobs would have created if he had another 30 or 40 years?  But now, the most important thing is that he is a human being.  Steve has a wife and children.  No amount of wealth will bring their Husband and Father back.  That he is an icon, co-founder of Apple, billionaire, no longer matters.  All that stuff just gets in the way of where is is now going.  God speed Steve Jobs, you will be missed.