What Steve Jobs Ment To Me

Steve JobsIn 1997, I found myself, along with three very close friends of mine, huddled together looking at the glowing screen of an Apple Power Macintosh 5000 series computer in our high school graphic arts class. We where all very different from one another. Brought together because of our shared interests in computers and technology. That glowing computer screen held for me, the most earth shattering and amazing news I had ever read. Steve Jobs was returning to Apple as Interim CEO. The Co-founder of the greatest computer company to ever exist was back to lead the company he help start, and save it from what some where saying at the time was Apple Computer’s last days.

I was really very fortunate to have such great friends like this in high school. While other people our age had their respective hobbies, my three friends and I spent our free time at each others respective houses geeking out at the latest technology news or fiddling with some new piece of hardware we got our hands on.  I have very fond memories of that time.

Steve Jobs’s passing has really affecting me. Much more than I ever though it would. We all knew this day was coming. We all prepared ourselves mentally for it. I have thought long and hard about whether or not I would write a blog post about this. I almost didn’t write anything at all. I didn’t want to come off as too emotional. I thought I could just sit this one out quietly and wait for the moment to pass. But I can’t.

Steve JobsThe news sites have been showing images of people grieving for a man most of them have never met. (I, however was lucky enough to have been in the same room as him.) Flowers and tokens of remembrance have been left outside of Apple’s stores around the world and outside Steve’s home in California. All these people have had a chance to grieve in one way or another. I have not.

Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Apple inc. have directly or indirectly forever changed the world we live in and the technology we use. For me that impact is a personal one. I have always admired Apple and the people who founded the company. From the time I could afford to buy my first computer I have always used Apple products. Steve Jobs was able to take the very ugly world of technology and make it beautiful. He was able to make it easy to use, and user-friendly, and in a world mired with technological chaos, he was able to make it user-friendly for people.

The thought of Steve Jobs no longer over seeing the company that I have grown to love and admire. The thought of the world no longer being able to benefit from his in site and influences leaves me weeping.

I have lost a man I have admired and looked up to all of my life. The world has lost a unique soul that wont soon be replaced.

All I have wanted to do since Steve Jobs passed is to call up my three good friends from high school and take them all out to dinner. I want to have an evening where I can sit down with them and talk about technology and the future just like we used to do in high school. And hopefully be reassured that even though we have all lost an important person in our lives, the fait of the company he help start will live on as faithfully as it ever has.

The Time I Got Inside Apple’s Headquarters

Back in September of 2003 I was working with my dad in Cupertino, California selling oriental rugs. We where staying in a condo apartment just a few blocks from Apple’s Headquarters. On one of my days off I decided to apply for a job at Apple and check out the company store. Below is a blog post I wrote on September 4 2003 about my experience from an older version of my blog that is no longer on-line. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did rereading it.

Labor Day Weekend was busy for my dad and I. We had a lot of people coming in to our store to pick up rugs. We sold some very pretty Bokhara rugs. These are rugs that are very shiny and soft to the touch. The wool that is used for them comes from the neck and chest of sheep because it is softer.

Ok, so this rug thing is rubbing off on me a little.

But it was a good weekend. Dad used to be a cook so when we come home from work around 8:30pm he starts cooking dinner and I will put on my jeans and a t-shirt and watch some Futurama. All in all things are going well. I miss Washington state and my friends., but I am having fun here to.

Yesterday fucking rocked thought! After I woke up I got dressed and headed across the street to one of the Apple offices and I dropped off my resume. It was a very quick process. but then I headed down a few more blocks to the Apple headquarters.

Let me tell you this place was elite. For one, all around the perimeter of the Apple Head Quarters where guards. If you took one step off the sidewalk in the direction of the Apple campus you would find your self face-to-face with one of the Apple guards and asked to show your badge. When you’re not able to present one, such as in my case you are asked to “please step back on the sidewalk”.

So I did as I was asked. Even though at this point I am just so happy to be this close to the main Head Quarters, getting shot by am Apple guard would just be plain cool.

So I walked around the campus. The street name is “1 infinite loop”. I came to the campus store. Which is for normal people to enter. So I went in and took a couple of pictures of the place. It was cool.

What made it a cooler than normal was that today was the first day that any of the Apple stores had the new G5’s to show to it’s customers. As I was checking out the new G5 so where Apple employees. I over heard one guy talking about the locking feature on the back of the case.

This is just plain cool how they did this don’t you think? I don’t get to see this kind of stuff in the prototype department. But you would think I would? Nope I have to wait for it to come out just like everyone else to see these little extras they add on.

I found out that this is also the only Apple store that sells Apple branded merchandise like Shirts, pens, caps, jackets, notebooks, etc. So I picked up a few little things. I asked the guy at the cash register if their was any way to get in to the main Apple building or get a tour. He told me no. I asked if it was ok to at least continue you my walk around the campus. He said yes. So I took my bag and started walking around.

Not long after I started, a man comes up from behind me.

“Hello” he says

“How you doing?” I ask.

“You still want that tour?” He asked me

“What? Really? Sure!” I say.

“Then come here” and I follow him up to one of the doors and he lets me in and gets me a visitors badge that I put it on my shirt. We went straight though another set of doors and where outside again. This time on the Apple Campus grounds. People are walking everywhere. Some are going from one office to another. Other people are having lunch, others where playing volleyball, some where even playing Frisbee.

We had a seat at the nearest bench and he told me what he did at Apple. Lets just leave it at, he works on hardware. I don’t want to get anyone in trouble since what he did for me, getting me in Apple was bending the rules a bit.

After that he took me to the main lobby where Apple employees sit and talk about work. This was a cool building. It is three stories with trees inside of it. On one wall you could see there Grammy award as well as their to Emmy awards for fire wire. their was also a free snack kitchen. On the other side you could see offices and some nice chairs people could sit and talk.

At this point I asked him if he ever sees Steve Jobs around the area. He told me that normally around this time you can find him in the cafeteria if he is even here today. He also told me that if I wanted to that I could take some pictures. I took one picture of the Emmy award but then sat back down to talk with him. We talked about what he did their and how restricted the place was. That he could not be in a different department than his own without good resin. Which is understandable. “They get in your face if you don’t have a real resin to be in a different department then your own”

At this point he told me that he had to get back to his office. But he told me it would be O.K. for me to just hang out in the inner lobby for a little bit. Just not to try and go anywhere other than leaving when I was done. I told him thank you so much. That this was so cool and that i really appreciated it. He just smiled and said, “Hey, i understand. I remember what it was like for me the first time I came in here”. And with that he left.

I sat down in one of the couches and looked around for about 10 minutes. I pulled out my camera and took three pictures before a security guard asked me to stop because they had a no photo policy. I was surprised he did not kick me out because I was by myself.

Another 5 minutes passed and I called my Friend Lyle. “Dude I’m inside Apple Computers!!!!” We talked for a few minutes and then I tried calling a few other friends but none of them where home.

Another 5 minutes passed… and then it happened. Steve Jobs himself walked in the main doors along with Jonathan Ive. They both looked at me for a second but continued walking past me talking, lost in their own conversation. They got on an Elevator opposite of me and took it to the third floor and walked cross the bridge to the side of the building I was sitting on.

I then noticed that the security was starting to really eye me down and they where getting ready to do something about me being their all alone. So with that I did not want to push my luck. I got up and left. But I was still questioned about how I got in and why I was their in the first place.

It was just fucking cool! It made my week that is for sure.

The only sad thing in all of this is that I have misplaced my USB camera cable. So until I find it again I will not be able to post any of the pictures I took. If i can’t find it soon I will go get a new cable.

Well as you can tell I did eventually find the USB cable to my camera and I was able to post the photos. It was quite an exciting experience for me to get inside Apple’s headquarters. One I will never forget.

Steve Jobs Quote

For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would i want to do what i am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something… almost everything – 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. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to loose.

Steve Jobs, college dropout and CEO of Apple Computer, Stanford University Commencement, 2005