Thursday, October 6, 2011

Written On A Mac, Part II

When I first went to buy a computer I didn't know the difference between a PC and a Mac but there they were and even though Mac, at the time, was sort of a joke because it wasn't STUDLY or something and it was too EASY, like a toy, I went directly towards those non-studly Macs and I wanted one and then I saw the silly Dogcow and I breathed easier and laughed and suddenly, I knew that with my new Mac and my Macs For Dummies I could do this. I could use a computer.

And so I did and so I have and so I do and so I will.

From the first my Macs have been less machine and more extension of my very soul and if that sounds ridiculous well, fuck it, it's true.

I do not know what was in Steve Job's mind when he was inventing the Mac but maybe there was some sliver of how it would be for a non-technologically-minded woman with children who wanted to write and who would some day be able to write about her children and her chickens and her struggles and her joys and her loves and her everything, everything, and post pictures of Sharon and Elvis and Owen and her children dancing in the hallway of a house over 150 years old and how all of that made the woman feel. Maybe. Maybe not.
But that's what happened.

I told my husband we should buy Apple stock but he, like every one else, couldn't see it at the time. I had a feeling. An intuition. I would look at the instructions for installing a printer or some software and the PC instructions would have like fourteen steps and the Apple instructions would have like three steps.
Didn't take a genius to know that those Mac Guys were on to something. Not everyone who wanted to use a computer wanted to be a geek, fuck that function key.

Then came the iPod. Whoa. Are you kidding me?
Then came the iPhone. Still don't have one. Sort of want one.
Then came the iPad. Really do want one. Don't even know why.

Here's the thing for me. Not for you, maybe, but for me:
Each device from Apple seems to come with a bit of magic. I think that's what Steve Job's main gift to us was. He was somehow able to incorporate magic into his devices, his operating systems. It is like...Beatle magic.

It's like- okay, all you people who just need a computer to do your business, you go ahead and use a PC with Windows but for those of you who want to create, to dream, to make art, to make's your tool. Here is your tool.
Open the box. Plug it in. The rest is up to you.

I don't know. Maybe I've just bought the hype. But I don't think so. I think that a man who had a powerful dream created a machine that helped others further their own powerful dreams. Or small dreams.

Steve Jobs was adopted. He didn't finish college. He was a Buddhist. He was known to be profane at times.
He wove art and science together and delivered it over and over again.

He created.

He died yesterday but that's not the important part of his story. The important part is that he was born and he lived and he listened to the voices inside of his own head and he created over and over again and he gave wings to so many of us.

Deceptively simple elegant wings.

And a dogcow.

I am so grateful.

Thanks for the magic, Steve Jobs. Thanks for your gifts which you shared.


  1. Amen sister... I loved the dogcow. I started on a mac plus. Dreams indeed... he sold us dreams and we turned it into reality.

  2. You're so right about the magic. Like a flying typewriter with a child piloting it up, up and away.

  3. Yes. I don't even own a Mac, and I feel weepy about his death -- and life and all that magic. I do know that the iPad IS magic for kids like Sophie.

  4. You're right Mary. I had a Mac way way way before the intertubes as they are today, existed. I had it for eight years and it never once crashed or had problems it just got a wee bit behind technology was as everything does now.

    I don't have an iAnything right now but I would love an iPhone but I don't even use the tiny dumbphone I have. But those iPads ahhhh. Yep I want one of those.

    Remember that add the first Apple advert during superbowl? That's when I knew something bloody wonderful was going to happen.


    ps. I worked at Microsoft for two years and they use Macs in their art department.

  5. our lives are forever different because of his visions. We got our first computer, well, actually two, one for us and one for the kids, in the mid 80s. both apples and we have been macs ever since. let's see, currently we have 2 iMacs, 2 iPods, 1 iPhone and 1 iPad.

    he will be sorely missed. who knows what else he would have thought of had he lived longer.

  6. Steve Jobs was a great man, but I'm a PC person and probably always will be. For one thing, Macs cost way too much for me to be able to afford one.

  7. I sort of wish you'd sent that to him before he died :(

  8. Photocat- I agree. I do.

    Mary LA- Exactly!

    Elizabeth- I was thinking of that. How amazing that is. Lots of magic there.

    Madame King- I always heard that about the Macs in the Microsoft art department. And now we know for sure.
    Yes. Bloody wonderful.

    Ellen Abbott- I'm going to just focus on what he DID bring us with his vision. Can't ask for much more than that.

    Rubye Jack- I see people buy PC after PC while I"m still on the same Mac. I think it all evens out in the end, cost-wise. I really do. But yes, the initial out-lay is more. No doubt.

    Jo- Well, he wouldn't have read it. I think he knew what he did, though. It was what he envisioned doing and he made it happen.

  9. love this. i've had an ipod forever and it's my favorite thing in the world. but i just got the iphone, switching from another smartphone that i liked well enough and i was like oooooh, magic, i get it now. i almost got goosebumps, it's art.

  10. He would have loved to read this. I have not had a Mac crash on me, had a motherboard go down. We have an obligatory PC laptop that I hardly use. I am Mac through and through. Actually, my wife had to fight to use the first one at the lab. You would have thought she was asking for the moon. But she eventually did get her Mac and now almost everyone at the Lab has one.

  11. Bill Gates' wife and kids use iPhones.

    The first computer I ever had in the house was not mine, but my nonverbal, handicapped daughter's---her Powerbook. She doesn't like presents, per se, and she doesn't ask for very much, but when I took her to the (tiny, low-key) Mac store well over a decade ago and showed her the Powerbook, her face just lit up. I got it for her instantly, and it changed her life.

  12. Really saddened by his death (typing this on my iPad while me three year old watches Telly on a Mac mini hooked up to our TV). Macs are different, somehow more human, and all our hats off to a man who bought us many such visions. Thanks for this post xo

  13. As I said earlier tonight: everything you love about computers was invented by Steve Jobs.

  14. Bethany- Art. That is it. And people who have only ever used PC's and Windows products have no idea.

    Syd- I am proud of your wife.

    Selene- We have no idea of the influence he had. I wonder if we ever will.

    DTG- You nailed it. You know it. I love you. You know me so well.

  15. I just got the iPhone4 today (which you totally should get - you would love it, too, I reckon) and it made me think of Steve Jobs the whole time. I want a Macbook next. I've always had PCs, but you convinced me a while back that really I wanted the other kind even though it's more expensive. If you say it's better, it must be.

  16. Bought an iphone4 when it was released on Verizon due to my sister and her constant hoopla at it being this glorious thing. I didnt want to love it.
    I call it my bible now, oh yes it replaced God. Lol
    It has changed me.
    You must get one!


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