"All pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important."
When I was about 7, I saw a PBS documentary called "The Machine that Changed the World", on the history of computation. In the Apple chapter they showed a promo video about some imagined handheld devices for students that beamed HD video wirelessly to a huge screen at the front of the room, interactive handheld libraries.
In computing class the next day, I wrote a letter (on a greenscreen Apple //) to Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple Computer, letting them know that I thought their ideas were really cool, and that if they would be so kind as to let me play with these magical devices, I would be much obliged.
I never got a response, even a form letter from 1 Infinite Loop, but now, nearly 20 years later, Steve and co. have brought me some of that magic. iMovie and the iMac turned my schooling into a constant act of creation. The square-jawed 20GB iPod was a more companion than contraption, singing me through psychedelica and sex; the PowerBook G4 I dumped 125 shares of Apple stock for in 2004 kickstarted my career, and brought me far more than money ever could.
I type this on that device I wished for so ardently in second grade: a Star Trek tricorder of pocket size and endless information, made real and in its reality more amazing than any imagined magic.
Steve's work has shaped me as much as the great books or near-death experiences. We are called to each confront and conceive the future so clearly and forcefully.
I'm really going to miss Steve.
Reposted from Google+, August 24