My first experience with an Apple goes as far back as 6th grade. Our computer lab, as it were, was equipped with a lot of Apple IIs (E series, I believe), green monitors, and big floppy drives. While we had a computer at home that was running Windows 95, I always loved the hour in computer class for one reason: I got to use something different.
We learned a lot on those machines. BASIC programming, typing, simple games and math software. It wasn't glitzy, flashy, or glamorous- it didn't really need to be. There was a lot of charm to the Apple II and for a lot of people, it still is.
In 9th grade, our school labs had Power Macs running Mac OS 8. This was an important year. Not only was I creating interactive movies with programs like HyperCard and publishing simple newsletters with Adobe PageMaker, it was the first time I got to truely experience the internet with a then little-known browser called Netscape 1.0. We sent our first emails, had our first chat.
Those were exciting times. The future was laid out in front of us, a sign of things to come, and Apple was there.
Apple changed my life again with the release of the iPod. In a little under an hour, I was free of CD players, CDs, junky Flash players and mountains of burned mixes. I was playing tracks for friends anywhere. My library, in my pocket. The iPod got me through college, late nights, work, sick days and more.
Apple changed everything. It wasn't just about the software, or the hardware. It was design, user experience. If you had to think about how, then it wasn't polished. Apple made technology transcend boxed, windowed interfaces into seamless UI where user intuition and typeface was tantamount and as important as what happened under the hood. It changed our industry, and most likely changed yours too.
Look around today. Websites, new products, advertisements, marketing - everyone wants to emulate the 'Apple' way, including Microsoft.
Make it work, make it make sense, don't make us think too hard. Be bold, change lives.
Thanks Steve, and goodbye.