I’m not going to add to the outpourings of Twitter grief over the passing of Steve Jobs. I didn’t know the man – only his products.
That said, I’ve known and enjoyed his products for a long time. The first 15,000 words or so of Game as Ned were written on one of the original Apple Macintosh computers, with a tiny (by today’s standards) black and white screen about 23cm wide. It cost a bomb so my brother and I bought it 50-50 between us. It was a great little machine though and kept us up late many a night, playing games my son would scoff at today as too primitive and ugly.
I’ve worked on many computers since but have always considered myself an Apple man. And each time I open the box of another Apple product I’m blown away by the attention to detail. Even the packaging is beautiful and functional. There’s none of the hacking into moulded plastic and mountains of polystyrene you get with other brands.
Thanks to Apple, I think we’re glimpsing a healthy new future for books, too. With apologies to my book-selling friends, I have probably read as many e-books as tree books in the past year. My only reservation on this conversion is whether the iPad will smash when I eventually fall asleep reading and drop it on the floor.
So why is there such a fuss today over the passing of an entrepreneur? Probably because Mr Jobs did change the world. If you have a portable music player, mobile phone or computer, I guarantee it has been influenced by Apple designers. And let’s not forget Pixar, the animation company that sets such high standards for children’s films. That’s quite a legacy.
So what does Mr Jobs have to say on making an impact? In the clip below he says, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” It’s sound advice.
Snatched a couple of hours to see Ponyo (click for trailer) with the Little Dragon last week. Beautiful. Lush, old fashioned 2-D animation. A treat for the eyes.
Having seen Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle, I feared Ponyo might be a tad dark for the Little Monkey (5, going on 35). Not so. The central characters are both five-year-olds and the story was certainly accessible to five and ups. Go for the English language version though, if it’s an option, as the little people won’t cope with subtitles.
Like Pixar’s Up, there’s a senior citizens’ sub-plot, and therefore broad audience appeal. To my mind, this is better than Up. Check it out.