Friday, June 29, 2007

Happy iDay

Today is the day that Steve Jobs launches his latest revolutionary product – the iPhone – in the U.S. Tens of thousands of people are expected to line up at Apple Stores across the country today to get their hands on a piece of technological history and part with about 500 bucks.

I have no doubt that it will be revolutionary. Steve has a pretty good track record, having launched several revolutionary products in his time.

Steve and I go way back. More than 20 years, in fact. Well, actually, Steve wouldn’t know me from a bug on the sidewalk, but I’ve been greatly affected by three of his previous revolutions.

In 1984 I took a ten-week adult-ed course in computer programming. The instructor taught us to program in BASIC on an Apple IIe. Even then, Apple had the edge over its DOS-running counterparts in both the design of the machine and the simplicity of the Apple BASIC language. Little did I know about the next revolution that was launching even as I created and programmed a bunch of simple non-graphic computer games for my own amusement.

Exactly 20 years ago, I was a graphic designer with ten years of work experience in the advertising industry. Someone gave me a video about some new computer called the Macintosh and gushed about its ability to do in minutes what used to take hours in the studio. Something called a graphic computer interface made this possible. I watched the video and became fully convinced that the rules of graphic design were about to change. A lot. For the next four years, I made some strategic job changes just so I could work at places that used ever-better versions of Steve’s new revolution.

Between then and now I took note of what Steve did to revolutionize motion pictures. He did to animated films with Pixar what he had done for design and photography with the Mac. Completely changed the game. Which is what I’m sure he has in mind with his latest contraption. Oh yeah, there were those iMac and iPod things in there, too. Steve’s gadgets have opened new possibilities not only to the users of his machines, but altered the landscape to the extent that even his competitors had room to prosper.

I doubt that I'll ever have the worldwide impact that Steve has had with his ideas. But I do have ideas that can be nurtured. And who knows? Maybe with a little care and attention they may make their own impact in my own little corner of the world.

Plant photograph © 2007 James Jordan. Click on pictures to enlarge.


Wanda said...

I am so very sure they will!! You have aready impacted your corner of blogland! We come back every day, don't we?

JAM said...

The geek in me found it funny and interesting that some folks bought an iphone, carefully took it apart and identified all the pieces and chips and declared it was about $230 worth of parts. Of course that doesn't account for software engineering and other unseen expenses that went into this first version. In fact, after learning of the bill of materials, I was surprised that the cost was as low as it was on opening day.

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