RIP Steve

For decades I have made a living as a publisher, journalist, author, photographer, web designer and blogger.

At the heart of all these ventures for the last quarter of a century were my Macintosh computers — starting with the Mac Plus in 1986 with its 8Mhz processor, 800Kb floppy drive and tiny mono screen.

Over the years many iconic Macs came and went through my small enterprises and all played a major role. They made the ventures viable and profitable, and were always a joy to use.

Today, they are still essential tools as I travel full-time across Australia. They include the MacBook Air, a stunning lightweight powerhouse, the iPad 2 (a wonderful machine for web browsing, reading, email, and a multitude of other tasks made possible by magical apps), and my iPhone 3GS — a miniature computer with more power than the computers that sent man to the moon.

The genius who made them possible was Steve Jobs, the enigmatic CEO of Apple who sadly died this week at the young age of 56.

The wonderful products he inspired were more than technical marvels of the computer age — they were magical for their users, powerful creative tools … agents of change.

In Steve’s own words:

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

And a prescient quote from his famous commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life.

It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.

And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

The logo silhouette of Steve Jobs was created by Jonathan Mak, 19, a Hong Kong student.

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