Thursday, October 06, 2011

Thanks Steve!

ER co-founder Lou "The Gonster" Goncey and I hard at work on ER #2 in front on my Mac. And a pair of Pee-wee Herman Giant Underpants. (Photo by Nancy Rokos from a Burlington County Times article, October 1986.)
I'd be remiss if I didn't take a moment to acknowledge the passing of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Were it not for Jobs and the Apple Macintosh I'm not 100% sure you'd be reading this blog.

In the summer of 1984 I was getting ready to start my freshman year at Drexel University in Philadelphia. It wasn't where I wanted to go to college but my parents hadn't given me much choice. On top of that they were making me commute from our home in New Jersey and the school was making me buy some stupid computer.

We had a computer at our house, I reasoned. A big, boxy PC thing that took floppy disks the size of 45 RPM singles, made a colossal amount of noise, displayed green type on a black screen, and couldn't compete with my Atari 2600 as far as gaming was concerned.

Why did I need another computer?

Actually, I believe my exact words – as I pulled the computer from its box – were, "What the f#*k am I supposed to do with this thing?"

It would take a few years before I really figured out what I was supposed to do, but it's safe to say that the discovery that I could take that thing – which had been "upgraded" to 512K with an external floppy drive – and make publications was pretty eye-opening.

Pretty soon my friends and I were writing, editing and publishing our own drive-in movie newsletter, getting written up in local papers, major dailies and national magazines, receiving movies and mail from all over the world... and just starting to see the potential held in that little box sitting on my desk in the photo above.

Publishing a zine led to a job in an ad agency which led to freelancing which led to creating catalogs which led to designing web sites which led to starting my own company which led to starting another company and, well, you get the idea.

For the last ten years my "office" has been wherever I set up shop and since 2007 I've been able to be home every day to help raise my daughter while I juggled everything from design and writing to on-line retailing.

All in front of a Mac.

Maybe if Jobs and the Mac hadn't come along somebody else would have invented something that made dreams and aspirations I didn't even know I had a reality. Perhaps. But for the ways he affected my life and the world around us, all I can say is, "Thanks Steve".

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