Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thank you Steve Jobs and goodbye

Thank you Steve Jobs and goodbye... (photo via
It’s not a good day. We all knew it was coming, but maybe hoped that all our admiration and support could delay it…

Waking up to the news that Steve Jobs has left us is painful. We all “knew” him, one way or another. We all admired him. He is among those who indeed changed the world and the worlds of millions of people around the globe who were touched by his genius.

The first I heard about desktop computers and then something called Apple, with a colorful logo of a bitten apple, was in 1984, when I arrived in London. Coming out of 15 years of civil war in Lebanon, we had little time to worry about what was happening beyond our street. Don’t forget there was still no Internet, no Smartphones, and little communication with the outside world.

Setting up a newsletter in London took my boss and editor to an exhibition in Olympia, West London, to have a look at these new tools called “computers.”

The 1984 Apple Macintosh: It changed my professional life
Walking around, we stopped at a stand that had two machines that looked like an elongated square box. They were Apple Macintoshes.

The literature next to the machines said something about In-House Desktop Publishing. We were hooked. We left with them in the boot of the car, after much arm-twisting.

Steve Jobs released the Macintosh computer in January of 1984, with 128K RAM of memory. It had a 9-inch screen and operated with floppy discs. Before the Macintosh, all computers were 'text-based' -- you operated them by typing words onto the keyboard. You would run the Macintosh by activating pictures (icons) on the screen with a small hand-operated device called a "mouse." The Macintosh is thought to be the first commercially successful computer to use a Graphical User Interface (GUI).

But back at the office, we didn’t know what to do with our new acquisitions. So we spent a day looking at them. On the second day, I went to Apple’s then-small center in Knightsbridge for a one-day course just to learn the basics.

With our Apple Macintoshes, my company was then one of the first to go into In-House Publishing and indeed Apple “suits” came to watch the first issue of our newsletter “Mideast Mirror” roll out of our giant Kodak duplicator page by page in February 1985.

Those first Apples stayed with us for a good 15 years, without a single problem or breakdown. We haven’t looked back since.

Unfortunately, now I don’t own a MacBook, an iPod, iPhone, iPad or any “i,” but that’s only because I can’t afford them.

That first Apple changed my professional life, it led to an adventure in information that I am still travelling, thanks to the genius of one man – Steve Jobs.

Maybe one day, another brilliant mind can discover how to treat cancer, this awful disease that took him from the world so soon. 

Thank you, Mr. Jobs. Thank you for inspiring and revolutionizing the technology industry. Thank you for giving so much pleasure to so many people. Thank you… may you have found peace and goodbye.