Remembering Steve Jobs

by Dana H. P'Simer

Wed, Oct 5, 2011

I was 12 years old in 1980 when I first saw an Apple computer. It was at a friends house. He showed me some games, used a synthesizer program to create some music and showed me a program he had written and I was hooked. I went home that night with a recording of the music and played it for my father. I said, if we had an Apple II we could do things like that. I really wanted it. Well my dad, being an electrical engineer, was into electronic gadgets and I guess he thought it would be good to have a computer in the family, so he bought one! We got the Language Card with it so that we would have an extra 16KB of memory and UCSD Pascal.

I remember playing a ton of games on that thing. I also learned to program in AppleSoft BASIC, Pascal, and 6502 Assembler. I loved computer graphics so I tried to write a Space Invaders clone in UCSD Pascal. That did not work well. The UCSD p-System was just too slow. So I learned how to do it in 6502 Assembler. I got pretty far with it but eventually, I eventually gave it up. I wrote other things and continued to learn.

I remember learning just about everything about that computer. I knew all the peek and poke addresses to do all kinds of stuff. I knew how the disk format was laid out so I could better understand how software was copy protected. I think I explored just about every aspect of that computer.

I remember reading about the 2 men who started Apple Computers, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. I remember Steve Jobs as the dynamic spokesman. He was inspiring then.

Late in the 80’s I moved away from my Apple roots and started using IBM’s & Microsoft’s products. There were some interesting times then. Businesses were using micro computers more and more and there was a lot of money to be made writing software for them. I am not ashamed to say that I took not a small piece of that pie.

When he returned to Apple I was excited to hear it. I wanted them to do well but I had drifted away. I could not go back to Apple when all my business was on PCs. It wasn’t until I started looking for a UNIX that ran well on a laptop that I came back to Apple in 2006. Since then I have not looked back. The products that Steve Jobs brought into this world have not just revolutionized the industry they, more importantly, have revolutionized my life and my relationship with my computers. For the longest time I struggled to make Windows do what I want and now my computer does what I want. One of the reasons I became a computer programmer was because I loved making them do what I wanted.

After that, he kept coming out with new stuff that I loved. I have an iPhone, an iPad, an AppleTV, and a MacBook Pro. My wife has a MacBook Pro, my son a Mac Mini, and my daughter a MacBook.

Thanks, Steve, for the great ride and inspiration. You will be missed.