I first encountered an Apple computer–the first computer I had encountered–when as a beginning undergrad in my 30s, I had my first paying academic job as a bibliographical assistant to a professor compiling A Companion to Melville Studies. Every day I would go to the library and work on an Apple IIe and had no idea that there were any other types of computers, really.
My then boyfriend/future spouse bought one of the first Macintosh computers after having some kind of computer clone from Radio Shack that just didn’t do the trick. I remember having to install Microsoft Word with a stack of floppy disks that took forever, and that’s pretty much how you saved your content as well. He ended up writing his whole dissertation on that little Macintosh box. I wonder if that screen was the size of the iPad?
When I eventually went on to grad school at Penn State in the late 1980s, most of us trudged down to type our papers into the main frame computer, which was a great bore that sucked all the creativity out of you. But then the English department acquired Macintoshes for all the teaching assistant offices, meaning I only had to share it with one other person.
Working on my doctorate at the U of Arkansas was a lucky break, as they had a Macintosh lab in the writing center and that’s where I wrote my comprehensive exams.
Since then we have had a bunch of Macs; right now I’m typing on my iMac while my iPad and iPod are charging and my MacBook is still in my book bag. So, as you have surmised, I am one of the evangelists for Apple products, but enough about me.
What I want to say here is that Steve Jobs really had a handle on how technology could delight people and I think his products are why I’m so happy tapping these keys and producing content every day or teaching online or helping faculty use technology–even when I have to deal with those other computers. I’m not qualified to write his obituary; there are enough out there doing that. I just want to say thank you, Mr. Jobs, for your vision.