This week marked the passing of a Silicon Valley legend, whose inventive mind, creative spirit and drive made a world wide impact for the last three decades. Steve Jobs was one of the founders of Apple Computers, now known simply as APPLE.
When I was in high school in rural Minnesota (my graduating class was 30 people, 15 of whom started and finished together) in 1979, our math teacher (a visionary herself) convinced the school administration to purchase an Apple II computer for the school. She even convinced them that that computer needed its own dedicated room. In her upper level math classes every year she spent a few weeks teaching a unit on BASIC programming. We would write very simple programs and thereby learn about algorithms and programming languages and what calculating and graphical capabilities computers had. This one computer was shared among four math classes. She even managed to convince the administration to purchase another Apple II the following year, so our little school had two computers. Now my schoolmates' children (maybe even grandchildren) take for granted the presence of computers in school.
Steve Job's influence is seen everywhere--iPhones, iPad, Nanos, desktop and laptop computers simply referred to as "Macs." How many people own one of these devices or at least know someone who does? He even founded Pixar Studios in Emeryville and, through that studio, produced such titles as Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo, UP, Cars, The Incredibles, Monsters, Inc. and many more, setting the bar for Computer Generated Imagery (CGI). I recall passing that studio many times when I lived in Emeryville when I first moved to California, not knowing until I had lived there 4 months, that that was the home of Pixar.
The library world has certainly benefited from his innovations. You can access the SJPL Library website from your iPhone and iPad, and many electronic materials may be downloaded onto iPods and iPads.
In a 2005 commencement address at Stanford University he told the graduates to go after their dreams and not be discouraged by life's setbacks. To see his address, click on the video below.