What a life. Now it will be – what a legacy. I admire Steve Jobs for his ruthless nature with details. Very few people are both adamant and right. Steve Jobs was. He has been right about a lot of things and there are many things I see now which I think now as a customer to Apple has placed me in the right place too. I know that from open source point of view – Apple isn’t all saintly. But whatever it is, it was the making of Steve Jobs. No where it is possible to be a company like Apple.
I have been digesting his passing away since yesterday. It feels weird and I have 2 things to write about.
1. How I came to know about Macs: When I finished my college I took one year off to study and prepare for IIMs – the prestigious management institution. People spend a year to prep for the entrance test because if you get into IIM your life won’t be same again. During that period – this was 1995, I came across a newspaper ad about how there is a Macintosh computer expo in one of the 5 star hotel. I didn’t know what a Macintosh is but looking at the picture, it looked like a standard PC and I was interested in anything that is remotely like a PC.
At that time I was really wanting to own my very own computer – which was really pricey to have but I went in to check Macs out. It was awesome. The computer smiled when you turn them on and the way it looked was beautiful. Then I saw the price tag – I was like shit. It was like 2500$ even back then. There is no way I can ever afford to buy one. I spent about an hour there wandering and looking at all the models.
I knew I couldn’t buy a mac, but my interest in a mac was spiked up. So, I went straight from there to a book store and bought a Mac for Dummies book. I studied it from end to end and there was an end to that story. After I came to US in 2001 – I have always had an eye on Mac. I checked the apple site often and always looked at the price tag and felt bad about spending so much money on something which I wasn’t sure would be useful for my work.
Finally in 2007 we were about to move to India for a year, my job was ending, we got rid of all the stuff we had and I had just enough savings to buy one. I bought my first Mac Book Pro on June 29th 2007 just 4 days before I left for India. It also happened to be the day iPhone got released and the store was mobbed and I probably was the only guy buying a laptop that day. I remember on that day we were going to our friends place for dinner straight from the store and I was just waiting to get back home and checkout my very own Mac.
I was a Ubuntu Linux user till then and after a painful incidents of my computer stalling and my win PC not working like the way I wanted it to – I made the switch. I had too many gripes about macs – like no right click button, not higher resolution that win pc etc – but all that were gone once I started to use it. No matter what you say about Mac’s closed nature – the hardware rocks. I have never had any serious issues with my mac ever. After that – all I bought was macs. Sangita uses Mac Pro, we have a Mac Mini running as our media center. Airport for wireless. iPod for music etc. Mac gave me peace of mind.
2. Detached Sadness: How could it be my blog post without me feeling something. I have been feeling bummed for his death. I have no personal great incidents with SJ or anything but all this thinking about his death – has made me reflect on couple of things.
a. I noticed that how weird my thinking is that all the time Steve was alive, when I looked at his pics in media or his talk all I thought was what media was telling me. It never occurred to me that there was a person behind that monster character that media is portraying him as. Just 2 day back I saw an article about how SJ parks in handicap spots and that too occupying 2 spots. And I thought what a jerk. But I totally missed how he is a person behind all that noise. A rather warm person. Just goes to show how swayed I am by the stupid media.
b. I was talking to JD last night about this and I was saying how death kinda gives me no place to stand. Like my mind goes into this gaping void where I am speechless and can’t think of anything else. As we talked I realized that I am not that afraid of my own death but I am afraid of far greater thing than that. I think I am afraid that I would die without realizing my purpose in life. That was kinda crazy as it occurred to me.
I think Steve Jobs was all about that – single minded purpose. And he marched to his own band – that made him epic. And my greatest fear came to me that I would die with the music stuck inside me – never getting a chance to realize my purpose. It’s still reverberating in my heart and I am still pondering on it.
It does make me sad.
It’s been said that long time back in 1973 he traveled to India to visit Neem Karoli Baba but just missed him by few days. Neem Karoli Baba passed away few days before Steve arrived. It’s the same Baba whose disciples are Ram Dass and Krishna Das and I think it’s a fitting tribute – a bhajan by Krishna Das on Baba.