This is the 512K (kilobytes) computer that I typed my Masters thesis on in 1988. It was the latest thing, and a substantial upgrade from the 128K macs with an 8 MHz CPU. I still have all the 3 inch floppies that both my thesis and PhD dissertation are on. (It’s about 20 floppy disks, total, including the data files).
In case you are curious, 512K is 0.5 Megabytes, or 0.00049 Gigabytes.
I am typing this on a 2.4 GHz Intel Core Macbook, with a Terabyte of memory if you include my second hard drive.
I’m thankful that Steve Jobs had the vision to imagine a world where usability was important. It’s not enough for software or hardware to be good at computation; it should also be easy to use, intuitive, and beautiful. That is what Mr. Jobs brought to the table.
He was only a few years older than me, but had a tremendous impact on the daily lives of Americans. I really liked what Wired had to say:
A visionary inventor and entrepreneur, it would be impossible to overstate Steve Jobs’ impact on technology and how we use it. Apple’s mercurial, mysterious leader did more than reshape his entire industry: he completely changed how we interact with technology. He made gadgets easy to use, gorgeous to behold and essential to own. He made things we absolutely wanted, long before we even knew we wanted them.
He may not have been an easy person to work for; some of the stories I’ve heard suggest a bit of micromanaging. But damn, did he get results.
You will be missed Mr. Jobs, and my thoughts are with your friends and family.
From a 2005 commencement address at Stanford University:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life,” Jobs said. “Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”