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One More Thing
by Jon on Sunday, October 9, 2011 file under: Technology

The first computer I had growing up with an Apple //c with a color monitor, tri-color ribbon printer, and an external 5" floppy drive. I used the computer to play games, write papers, draw pictures, make banners and birthday cards (with The Print Shop). I even learned to write simple programs using the built in BASIC interpreter and the Apple II Basic Programming Manual.

While I always had an interest in computers, it really wasn't until high school that I thought I might pursue a career in programming. I fell away from Apple computers for several years, but when faced with the opportunity to get a new laptop in 2003, jumped at the opportunity to get a Titanium PowerBook. I was a heavy Linux user at the time and thought having a commercially supported UNIX would be interesting. What I didn't realize was OS X would become my operating system of choice.

Earlier that year I also picked up an iPod. This was when iPods still used FireWire cables, had hard drives (5GB!), and grayscale screens. It was brilliant. My previous CD+MP3 player could store about 10 hours of music on a CD, but this iPod could store all of my music.

Since then I've become an avid iPhone user and written software for Macs, iPhones, and iPads. We've had more iPods in our house than people and currently have four Macs for just the two of us. A trip to the mall meant a trip to the Apple store, whether or not we were in the market for new gadgets or not.

It was always exciting to see what Apple would announce next, and powering it all, a magic polish which made everything insanely great.

And behind it all, Steve Jobs. He brought Apple back from irrelevance into not only the biggest company, by market cap, but also one of the most engaging, opinionated, detail oriented, and customer focussed companies in America.

It's sad to think there will never be another Jobs keynote. We'll never hear "BOOM!", about "magical" new features, or "one more thing" again.

And at the same time, the sorrow of his death should be a catalyst to seize life and remember that "all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important".

In Jobs' now famous 2005 commencement address, he states, "[Death] is life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new." Sometimes we're not ready for that change, though. But that change is inevitable and we must accept it or be paralyzed by it.

This summer we were shocked by the sudden discovery of advanced lymphoma in my brother-in-law. In a matter of weeks, he went from leading teenagers at Young Life camp to a medically induced coma. He's now in the process of recovering, but events like this shouldn't be necessary to shake us into an awareness that we can all do so much more.

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