Saturday, October 8, 2011

The 21st Century ... The World According To Jobs

When I was about eight years old, my friend Harry Jensen and I made a tin can telephone. My friend Harry was wonderful; we were both born on the same day in the same hospital, and he was like a kindred spirit. Harry taught me all the secret things of the "boy's world" ~~ how to do arm-pit farts, how to set off a whole strip of caps from a cap gun, how to whistle with a piece of grass, how to make ~~ and throw ~~ the perfect snowball, and so much more. But the tin can telephone was my favourite. Harry lived in the house just behind ours, and the string on the tin can telephone was just long enough so that we could chat between his kitchen and my kitchen. Of course, we were shouting so loud, we could probably hear each other anyway. The tin can telephone was great fun.

When I became a teenager, my parents gave me a Princess Telephone for Christmas. I could chat with my friends, and my very first boyfriend, who always called me on my Princess Telephone so I could help him with his homework.  I thought my Princess Telephone was just The . Best . Thing I could ever have received.  It was my doorway to my independent world.  My parents allowed me to talk on the telephone, in my bedroom with the door closed.  I now officially had my own life and my own secrets that I shared with my friends without my Parental Units being involved. 

My other prized possession was my very own radio, which I kept beside my bed, and I could listen to radio stations as far away as California. To me, California was the centre of the universe. It was where everything was happening ~~ movies, beaches, music, rock and roll. To be listening to a radio station live from California was to have finally arrived in the land of cool.  I was a fully paid-up teenager with my own telephone, my own friends, my own radio and my own music.  Did it get any better than that?

Omigoodness, have we come a long way...?  When Steve Jobs passed away the other day, I began reading about some of his innovations.  He was a true visionary, and he changed the way we live ~~ forever.  Now, our lives are completely portable.  Everything we have, know, need, listen to or communicate with, is in a little device we carry in our pockets.  This device has revolutionized the world in ways that we wouldn't have thought possible a generation ago.   Absolutely everything ~~ everything ~~ is connected, and we can take it with us when we leave the house.  It makes me dizzy...  And the thing that impressed me most about Steve Jobs is what an amazing marketer he was.  He created devices that we didn't know we needed, and then he showed us how much we could not live without them, and then he sold them to us.  We had a truly symbiotic relationship with Steve Jobs and the devices he created for us.  Is that genius, or what?

I'm wondering what other visionaries there are waiting in the wings, creating wonderful things that we don't even know yet that we need, we cannot live without did we ever live without...


Leslie: said...

So tragic that he finally died, but amazing that he lived so long with grace and courage. I love what he said to the Stanford graduates about not listening to the noises of others and to follow their own dreams. Rest in peace, Steve Jobs.

Jo said...

Leslie, yes, he hung in there for a long time with that awful disease. His address to the Stanford graduates was very inspiring.

Russell said...

I confess. I do not own an iPhone nor an iPad nor an iPod or anything else by Apple. I have a lot of respect for these products but still have not purchased any of them for my use. I have purchased these products for my daughter and I know she would be lost without her iPhone, iPad, iTouch and iPod.

I do recall the Princess phone in my home - ours was green and I thought we were pretty modern.

I just moved to a different house and noticed a phone jack in the kitchen. I am going to get a REAL phone for my house because I like them.

God bless Steve Jobs and all the wonderful things he and his company invented. They are wonderful.

But I still like my good old fashioned REAL phone and a REAL radio next to my bed.

Now where did I put my hearing aids and walking stick ....?

Sextant said...

Steve Jobs was one of the generation that was in the right place at the right time with regards to the advent of the microcomputer. No doubt he has a visionary and a great marketeer, but he was also capable of some mistakes. Jobs said the Amazon Kindle would fail because:

“It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore. Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.”

Two and half years later he released the iPad and started a bookstore at Apple.

I like Russell do not own any of Apples products, mostly due to expense and they exceed my needs. All I want a cell phone to do is make calls. I would like to go back to three phones ago. It was big and clunky and I could push the buttons easily. I have a Kindle and I love it. I don't need anything more. But even an old curmudgeon such as I, can say that Steve Jobs was a great innovator and the world lost something with his passing.

joanne said...

he certainly left his mark on the world and did it with incredible strength and courage. We have all been changed by a man who dared to dream big and then make those dreams come true. God speed.

joanne said...

And, a Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Paula said...

Like Russell and Sextant, I appreciate that Jobs was a great technical revolutionary, but he didn't revolutionize me, either. Finally making peace with the computer about three and a half years ago is as far as I go. I still proudly use a real phone, a real stereo system, read real books, and subscribe to real magazines and newspapers. Being hunted down and available 24/7, no matter where I am or what I'm doing, holds no appeal for me. Being able to access any newspaper in the world on line sometimes has it's uses, but nothing can take the place of walking down to the road for the morning paper and settling down on the porch with it to have my coffee. Nothing can take the place of the feel and smell of real books and the sight of them on the shelf, the memories each triggers of the time in my life when I first read it.

He was a brilliant man and should be admired. His world and mine are parallel universes, though.

SparkleFarkel said...

Mr. Jobs' passing is so very sad. We can't thank him enough, can we? Rest in peace. My prayers go out to his family.

SparkleFarkel said...

P.S. Happy holiday! By the by: Does Candian turkey taste the same as the American birds that will be cooked up and ate up, come November? Enquiring minds want to know. LOL!

Have a great Gobble-Gobble Day!

Cloudia said...

This post is just wonderfully conceived and written!

You have SHOWN the impact of tech on your generation in a meaningful way that is illuminating and engaging.

Warm Aloha from Honolulu, JO;

Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Such a great post, Jo. Steve Jobs was an amazing man, a rare example of someone who truly was his own person, and my life is immeasurably better because of him. I can't imagine not having my Apple computers, etc.

Brian Miller, my next door neighbor and classmate and I had a tin can telephone strung between our bedrooms, too, but we used it to pass notes across the clothesline "cable." We could as easily have shouted, but it was so much more exciting being spies on a secret mission.

Unknown said...

The world will miss him as he is truly a unique visionary that have affected the life of many. He have left us a company that I hope will follow his credo and thrived to build products that enrich our lives. RIP Steve.

Jo said...

Russell, LOL...! I don't think you're quite ready for hearing aids or a walking stick yet. And you are one ahead of me ~~ you have a cell phone. :-)

Sextant, " I would like to go back to three phones ago. It was big and clunky and I could push the buttons easily." Did you ever see Wall Street with Michael Douglas? He had a portable phone that looked like a brick. Now, that's my kinda phone. All the other doo-dads and thingamajigs are just too small for me, no matter how innovative they are.

JoJo, yes, that is one thing Steve Jobs did have was a lot of courage. It takes courage to be a visionary like that. (And, thank you...! :-)

Paula, "I still proudly use a real phone, a real stereo system, read real books, and subscribe to real magazines and newspapers." Me too...! There is something so relaxing about the tangible world, isn't there? And being hunted down is just what it feels like, with instant communication. Even at home, people from work can reach me.

Sparkle, Hi...! Yes, turkey dinner and all the trimmings is the same here. Lots of stuffing with cranberries and my favourite ~~ brussel sprouts...! And of course, pumpkin pie. Oh, gosh, I gain weight just thinking about it. :-)

Cloudia, oh yes, from tin can phones to instant mobility in my lifetime. It's mind-boggling, isn't it?

Susan, weren't tin can phones wonderful? I would still love to have one today. :-) I have never owned an Apple product, but just the imagination that went into creating them is amazing. Jobs will go down in history as a pioneer.

Raymond, yes, hopefully the company will continue on in his trajectory with his ideas. The world of technology changes so much, even from month to month, doesn't it?

Tom said...

Nice post. And I so hope you are right, that other visionaries are waiting in the wings to create the next wonderful things that we don't even know we need yet, that we won't be able to live without.

JeannetteLS said...

Apple changed my life. I was on disability and my husband had left, but I had been in marketing and PR before my raft of operations. I'd used a word processor and was excited at THAT, so what the bleep? I went to my first computer class, with the little bitty Macs and we had to plug them in and then turn them on and learn.

I also had my first computer graphics classes--PhotoShop 1.0, Illlustrator 1.0, Quark. ALL the programs on a Mac. Yes, they were more expensive than the Windows PC's--a profound blunder from Apple-- but what they could do for a graphics designer!

Because of Steve Jobs, I was able to work again for another decade or more. I don't have iPhones or an iPad. But that's okay. I would like one, but I save my money. I love the idea of storing some of the classics and saving space.

But, no, for me there will always be books I want to touch, to leaf through, to OWN. My wealth is having full bookcases, I confess.

But he changed lives, some for better, some perhaps not so much. We all wonder about the drawbacks of instant communications.

What an interesting post, Jo, as always. And I hope your Thanksgiving is terrific.

Sextant said...

Ahhh, yes being hunted down. I had an astounding cell phone plan. Here is your phone. It should be on 24 / 7. You can use if for personal use, just don't go overboard. Zero cost, zero monthly payments. I never owned a cell phone until I retired, but I carried one since the late 90's. Before that I had a pager. Some times it went off 3 AM.

Them: "Hey the stator failed the helium test."
Me: "OK."
Them: "What should we do?"
Me: "What did you do the last time one failed?"
Them: "Tear it apart and find out where it is leaking."
Me: "Sounds like a plan. Thanks for calling."

It was part of that open drum of pooh I talked about over on my blog.

Jo said...

Jeanette, I'm so glad you're doing better now. And yes, Steve Jobs changed so many lives. He was a genius, really. He didn't just change lives, he changed the world ~~ forever.

Sextant, okay, that made me laugh out loud. I think most of the stuff that people e-mail, text, phone, page ... is all dribble. Have you ever read the stuff on Twitter? Oh . My. Gawd. Is that what the human race has been reduced to? It's very sad. :-)

Paula Slade said...

Thanks Jo for the trip down Memory Lane. The Princess Phone was very cool!

Jobs left his signature on much of society as we know it today, and it is my understanding he drafted at least four more years of product ideas that are in the pipeline.

A true visionary.

Jo said...

Paula, oh, I'm sure he had more products in the works. I can hardly wait to see them. :-)