Definitely an 18/8 Man
By Peter Moore, Editor, Men’s Health
Here we are, stuck in an era of chronic joblessness, and we lose the most important one of all: A guy named Steve.
Millions of us learned of his death on user-pleasing machines his company designed, the machines his spirit inhabited. Now he’s gone, but the spirit lives on in the iPhone I use to connect with family and friends (OK, workmates too), in the iPad I read while eating my oatmeal breakfast every morning, in the cheery greeting my MacBook Pro gives me when I sign in for yet another workday.
But what is that Jobs spirit exactly?
My Apple-crazy son Jake, born in 1990, never lived in a Jobs-less world. I did. I can remember a trip I took to Bermuda with my soon-to-be fiancé in 1986. I was working on a novel at the time, so I brought my “portable” Kaypro with me to keep the words flowing. This proto-laptop looked like it fell to earth—with a giant thud—from a satellite built by the Soviet industrial complex. Sure it was high tech, but it weighed 40 pounds, and the type glowed nuclear orange on a tiny screen. No wonder I never finished that novel.
The pain here: I could have had an Apple. I was well aware of the revolution going on. The coolest people I knew were totally into Jobs’ first offerings. But I was locked into a mentality—it still persists today—that technology had to be ugly and difficult; that was part of the thrill of mastering it.
If it didn’t intimidate, how good could it be, really?
I’m sure Steve Jobs had a Kaypro at that time, if only to figure out why it was the “it” technology of the late 80s. And I can imagine that once he had it taken apart on his workbench, he would have quickly identified what was missing: there was no love in it.
Isn’t that the surprise we find as we root through Mac packaging, the killer app that’s missing nearly everywhere else in the technological world? Engineers can amp up speed and enable screens and shrink component sizes, but in the end all they have are differently configured machines. Until the Mac appeared, machines had no soul, so they were and are doomed to that “otherness” that alienated me from generations of computers. They were mechanized, electrified junk almost by the time I pulled them out of the packing peanuts. Nobody was a Kaypro person; Mac pr