I still have the t-shirt handed out at the unveiling of Apple’s Macintosh on January 30, 1984. It was the monthly meeting of the Boston Computer Society. The stage at the John Hancock Hall was empty except for a small table with a piece of cloth over an item about the size of an upright toaster oven. The theme from Flashdance blasted from two large speakers, and the audience began to clap. We stood on our chairs, singing along, and, as the music stopped, and Steve Jobs appeared, we cheered.
“Now it’s time to meet Mac in person” he said, and proceeded to plug it in, turn it on, and insert a 3 ½ inch disk. The audience was enthralled when a playful, robotic voice, coming right from the machine, described MacWrite and MacPaint, gave an impressive graphics show, and ended with “Never trust a computer you can’t lift.”
Earlier, in 1980, I had enrolled in the Lesley University Computers in Education masters degree program, where we worked in a lab of Apple 2s, the first personal computers, and the first to show promise in classrooms. It was a life changing move for me, one that would result in a career change and a fulfilling role doing what I love – teaching, working with ever changing technology, and envisioning a future for children, where their creativity can be cultivated using the gadgets and Internet resources of the day.
Steve Jobs was an innovative visionary who changed many lives. For the past 30 years Apple’s products have made more than just “a dent” in my life. They have inspired me to enhance my teaching, supported my creative efforts, and continually provided me with an exhilarating, child like enthusiasm for the next new product and the promise it held. To a man who has left a far reaching and impressive legacy and an impact on the future that we can only imagine: iThankyou.