I grew up with Apple. My father's company used Macs and that meant we had one in our house. Our first real personal computer was a Macintosh Plus, black-and-white screen and no hard drive. I remember switching 3.5-inch floppy disks back and forth…back and forth…just to play a baseball game that was no more than stick figures awkwardly sliding across the small screen. After a few years, we upgraded to a Macintosh Classic. Still no color, but at least it had a hard drive.
I got used to walking into video game shops and immediately finding the one or two shelves that had Macintosh-compatible games. There weren't very many. All the good games were PC-only. I was never much of a gamer, but this drove me crazy. Especially when we got our Macintosh Performa (aka "The PowerPC"). This was a big one. It had color and decent graphics. It had a microphone, a CD-ROM, and an internal modem (56k!). It had remote capabilities, which I guess never stuck around. It also came with Power Peter. FIRE IN THE HOLE!
By this time, Windows was in every household. All of my friends were learning about the magic of Windows 95. I always liked the Macs, but it was hard to defend it when nothing was compatible with it, no one knew how to use it, and apparently they were pretty darn expensive. Even my Dad's company converted to PCs, and the computer on the desk in our living room soon was a Hewlett Packard.
This was going into the early 00s. Napster was rocking. Facebook wasn't around yet. And now, 10 years later, you can really appreciate the comeback Apple and Steve Jobs made. It's quite unprecedented. Clearly a guy who wasn't going to compromise his ideals—and you see it in every one of his products—Jobs made his company the hippest thing since electric guitars.
Today, I use a Mac at work. I own an iPod. I love my iPod. I don't own a computer, but if I did, it'd be a Mac. (I can't got back…I won't.). And with millions of other creatives in the world searching for innovation, Steve Jobs achieved it many times in his 56 years. I've never been an Apple fanboy, but it's something to appreciate. Jobs is a man who has changed our culture in more ways than we can imagine, maybe even more so than Bill Gates or Henry Ford.
Like Apple's old ads said, "Think Different." Despite the poor grammar, it's something to keep in mind in everything we do. And it's something that can make our futures better, just like Mr. Jobs did.