One of the most important technology story of the last couple of weeks was the passing of Steve Jobs. Over that time media has been commenting on how this one man’s vision changed how our relationship with computers. Even if you never owned an Apple product you have benefited from his vision because Apple has been setting the standard for design since the second generation of iMacs came out about 10 or so years ago. Design is the legacy of Steve Jobs (though several news outlets make a point to say that this man invented stuff), moving it from an after thought to a core function of the product. He understood that useful, desired even needed technology was not being adopted because it was hard to use, and there was not a common vocabulary for interacting with it. Before Apple, technology had to come with HUGE manuals that had to be studied to learn and understand the features. Key strokes had to be memorized. Navigation was not obvious. Remember the keyboard template that came with Word Perfect software? Now a days most tech come with relatively thin manuals if any. Any marginally computer literate person can open most software packages, even ones he isn’t familiar with and “figure out” how to use the major features. Apple did that with its “user-friendly” interface. Microsoft’s ubiquity only aided in this effect when it copied this as part of Windows 3.1 and even more so as part of Windows95.
This is all to say, that if you LOVE your computer, you have this man to thank. As leader of Apple he made decisions that ONLY a man who dropped out of an Ivy League University so he could take calligraphy would make. On the face of it that seems insane but that is how the Universe works sometime. Serendipitous connections are made to produce wildly beautiful results.