Here I am, days after I was born, being held by my father in front of the family Macintosh.
Our family has spent an enormous amount of time and effort growing with Apple. My brother and I spent years playing with Kid Pix and Shufflepuck Café. We stayed up late reading through the manuals for Myst and plotting our progress in the provided journal. We collected the bunnies in Power Pete.
My dad bought the iLife suite as soon as it came out. It was a regular joke at home that we were "living the iLIFE!" I made videos for class. We started saving photos on the computer and sharing them with family. Recently, my dad finished scanning all our family photos and videos. It's an invaluable gift to be able to smoothly find photos of my parents' wedding, or to watch my brother being silly at the kitchen table before a cub scout meeting.
When I chose to go to boarding school in northern Maine for my last two years of high school, I bought my first iMac to celebrate. I would never have survived the unexpected challenges of living with a hundred other students surrounded by fifteen feet of snow had I not been able to retreat online and to talk to my mom on iChat on a daily basis. I still IM my mom nearly every day.
And when things went wrong, it was okay to expect perfection from Apple. They made things right for us, every time. We knew Steve– through his company –would take care of us. They replaced computers for us, gave us time and space at the stores when we needed it, and patiently answered our questions or let us vent. When I was too far away to bring my computer into a store, they sent a repairman straight to my bedroom to fix it there. Three times.
I have long felt the details and deep thought that goes into these experiences. This guided experience has made me appreciate technology and business for what it can be, and the good beyond itself that it can do. This touch towards the better and the flexibility and tools for others to expand upon it. The reassurance that someone I trust has held everything to the highest standard. I value this even more now that I work with tech professionally.
Last night the employees at the 1 Stockton Street Apple Store gave me space to mourn, and a place at their table to upload my photos so I could share that process with Boing Boing's Twitter followers. I am deeply grateful to them for that. I am also enormously grateful to Boing Boing for helping me to see my idol, a man I consider practically a family member although I never said one word to him, the last few times he appeared publicly.
I return Boing Boing back to its normal design now, and as a company we end our vigil. Now we must all pick up that uncompromising care for beauty and excellence and push the world forward ourselves.