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I want to join the rest of the world in mourning the loss of Steve Jobs and offering my condolences to his family. Like so many of us who are in technology-related work, or who love elegant, well designed devices that just work, my life and the world I live in has been indelibly changed by Steve Jobs.
I have been immersed in the world of technology since before I can remember. I learned to tell time with one computer game and did reading comprehension exercises with another one; I was reading lines of code before I could write my name in cursive. However, even though I’ve never lived in a world without computers, I have lived in a world where technology was unfriendly, hard to use, and not for the uninitiated; a time and place where people were turned off by the mysterious and challenging pre-reqs for leveraging the technology’s power. It’s a wondrous thing, then, to look around and see a world where grandmothers take it for granted that they can use FaceTime to see their grandchildren’s baby steps, where toddlers are tracing out their ABCs on an iPad, and where the technologically unsophisticated of any age can install an application on a mobile device and use it to make their lives more productive, more efficient, or even just more fun. In short, many of us have access to technology that really does enable us to live life as depicted in a sappy Apple commercial – and the progress we’ve made has without doubt been furthered by Steve Jobs. I count myself lucky to have seen the world before and after him and the technologies he brought to the mass market, to have seen the impact of elegant, accessible design, and the impact of even a little bit of competition on staid marketplaces. He has truly lived a magical, revolutionary life and I’m grateful for every minute he was here.