The death of Steve Jobs, when I consider it from a purely selfish, personal level, feels like the death of John Hughes to me. It feels like the end of an era, and it's my era. I grew up on these computers. My brain is wired a certain way because of them. They are such intuitive, comfortable products that they don't seem like gadgets or accoutrements or "products," they just seem like logical extensions of what I want.
I can never bear to get rid of them. Each Mac is a monumental and significant part of my life when I'm using it, so I keep them around even when I'm not. Do you do that? I think about the papers written, the games played, the fonts selected, the avatar badges built pixel by pixel, the terrible Photoshopping attempted. The flight simulators. The desktop photos I have loved. With the iPod, the miles I've driven and run in its musical embrace. These products are alive--from the 512K to the iMac, from the iMac to the Mac mini, from the Mac mini to the MacBook (wait, I still use both of them, one is for sitting and one is for lounging in bed). I have to keep them, and other family members seem to feel the same. We collected all of the Apple products in the house and did a photo shoot.
Pictured, clockwise from left: MacBook, Macintosh 512K, Applewriter printer, a "dual G5 MacPro" (that silver thing isn't mine so I have no idea what it's called), a ruby iMac, in the middle 2 Mac minis and an iPod.
Not pictured: A blue iMac exactly like the ruby one on the right. An Apple Newton that we decided was un-Jobs. A Touch that is probably lost in a pile of papers somewhere.
The Macintosh 512 K is the most meaningful of these, and was the most useful and fun for years. Like 16 years. We got it in 1984, and this computer got me through high school, college, grad school, chef school, and 3 years after that, until I finally was given a new computer in 2000. (Thanks Mom!) The "p" key on the keyboard was not in good shape toward the end. The 512K still worked the last time I tried it, but I fear it doesn't work any more so I don't want to turn it on again and be crushed. My favorite thing to do on the Macintosh 512K was play this labyrinth game that I could never win. I played it for years and years. In college I also got a copy of Tetris. Of course everything had to be on disc because the thing only had 512K. That was a GREAT COMPUTER. (The printer was great, too.)