Farewell to Steve
Late last night, I fired up my iPad for a final glance at my RSS feeds before hitting the sack – excellent, a new post from John Gruber at Daring Fireball. Gruber is the most perceptive Apple writer around, and he’s always worth reading, no matter how brief his posts.
And this one was very brief. “Damn,” was all it said. The headline was only slightly longer, but it was huge – “Steve Jobs Dies”.
I’ve admired the man and his achievements for so long, and I’ve been using Apple products since I was 10 or 12, since before Jobs’s prodigal return even, when there was no Ive factor to admire. Back then, being an Apple fan was a minority interest, a tribal identification, and one that frequently inspired scorn in others, for reasons I could never quite fathom. To see the last decade of success, where products that manifest a uniquely Jobsian devotion to good taste and a quest for perfection have become so ubiquitous and beloved, is to have that tribal identity vindicated. That loyalty proven right. The huge outpouring of emotion at the news of Jobs’ passing hints that it’s a pretty common feeling around the world, and yet it’s a bond that feels intensely personal, and one I doubt we’ll ever witness again in our lifetimes.
There has been some beautiful tributes online and around the world, here are some of the ones that caught my eye.
Apple’s home page is touchingly minimalist and classy and white, as we’d expect.
Wired have gone for an all-black equivalent, and it’s touching.
BoingBoing, well, it’s nostalgic and funny, so typical of them.
The developers at Panic have done a nice little tribute.
Some fond memories here from tech writers Brian Lam and Walt Mossberg, testaments to the guy’s inherent decency, despite that fierce, tyrannical reputation.
The Guardian have a gallery of photos of tributes from around the world here.
And Gruber has composed a touching farewell, a beautifully observed vignette. Read it, it’s what you’ll end up remembering about how Jobs faced the end of his life.
It was news I knew I didn’t want to hear, that I knew would be upsetting. But I find it comforting, somehow, that I found out from John Gruber on my iPad – a hint of Steve’s influence on my life, my interests, my priorities, my sense of self. Now time to go about staying young and staying foolish.