Mr Jobs

It is no great secret that I don’t like Apple products. But that doesn’t stop me wanting to pause for a moment to remember Steve Jobs and acknowledge the impact he had. Quite simply, he changed the way the western world works and the way it plays. He may even be responsible for some of the blurring between work and play which is part of who we are becoming. Even though most of my gadgets are not Apple gadgets, I can see in their design responses to his vision.

I’m intrigued by the influence of his interest in Zen on these minimalist objects. Was he the greatest proponent of a Zen mindset to the West. Or did he simply exploit a Zen aesthetic for his own ends? I don’t actually know the answer to that.

I’ve only one of his machines – an iPod Classic. I bought it reluctantly when I lost my 40G iRiver (not an Apple) MP3 player and couldn’t replace it. The iPod really is a classic. I love the shape and feel. I love the fact that it came with almost no instructions because almost none were needed. And I hate iTunes – the software you use to put music onto it, with a passion. iTunes works as Steve Jobs wanted it to work and not as I want it to work. Therein lies all that I admire about the man and much that I dislike about what he made.

Yet, the world is the richer for Steve Jobs and I find myself curiously sad at his early parting.