by Dennis Portello
Farewell Steve, you touched my life in so many ways and inspired me. I’ve always appreciated your brutal approach to everything you do, because it was done with passion. You knew that the best things were never compromised. While all of your products weren’t for everyone, they generally hit a note with most. I used your products designed by Woz (can’t take all the credit) as I attended school in California in the 80s. I used to argue with my teachers about Apple Basic, yes, “?” is a correct shortcut for print, only fools type out the whole command. I learned to type on an AppleII. The original Macs wowed me. You also inspired my older brother John (RIP) who once was part of the home brew club, and was trying to design a computer of his own. Recently your business acumen was the most inspiring. See the rise of Apple from near death with you at the helm was astonishing. Not every product you made was a success, but like the best minds, you took your failures as lessons, and made sure your folks knew the level of failure, to not repeat it. Yes, sometimes you tried past failures again, like the Cube, that was so NeXT.
I even had my hands on a NeXT for some time. It was that machine that made me want to study computer science seriously. It was also the NeXT that brought us the first web browser with the amazing developer friendly development environment. Sun tried to one-up you with Java, but never came as close. That OS and environment lived on to be OSX when Apple begged you to come back after their own next gen OS failed. Those dev tools became XCode, and now they’re widely used. No you didn’t invent Objective-C, some nice chap named Dennis Cox did that and hardly got recognition, but at least I got to know him through the BBEdit user list since he was an avid Mac fan.
I will miss you greatly like a loss in my own family. I will not shed a tear though, I knew this was coming for a long time. I’d rather remember the best things you’ve done. I suppose if were an Apple employee getting their ass chewed out by you I might think differently.