I don’t really know what to say about Steve Jobs’ passing last night, other than: it actually shocked me, and that surprised me. I was on a treadmill at the gym. I looked around frantically to see if anyone else’s reality had suddenly gotten a little weird. To my left, a woman coolly ignored the news of his passing at the bottom of a Fox News scroll; she was texting on her iPhone. In front of me, a man running next to his wife tapped her on the shoulder and pointed at the same scroll. She stopped dead in her tracks and looked stricken. That is how I felt.
I remember reading that in the early eighties, when I was in sixth grade, Apple piloted a campaign to get Apple machines into every American classroom. The goal was to essentially form a bond with younger users so that those of us who learned BASIC on the Apple II would be the same ones to buy them as adults. In my case, it worked—I’m one of those Apple people who’s never worked on Windows at all. Maybe that’s why I was so shocked yesterday, because he’s always sort of been in the back of my head. You just don’t think about an omnipresent entity suddenly going missing.
A lot of people have written a lot about Jobs’ death in the past day. Here are a couple of my favorites.
Brian Lam, who was a deputy editor at Gizmodo when I designed the site, had a lot of personal interaction with the man—most notably when Gizmodo got ahold of the prototype iPhone 4. Here’s his story about how that experience changed everything.
Harry Shum is a brilliant young dancer who you probably all know as Mike Chang on Glee. I first saw him in the Step Up films—but it turns out he’s been working for even longer, and was one of the original iPod silhouette dancers. Here’s his story.
And my friend Jonathan Hendry, a Mac developer, sent this tweet through shortly after news of Jobs’ death. It’s one of my favorites, and I have to say, totally in character from what we know of Jobs’ outspoken opinions.