My Salute to Steve Jobs

Before becoming a writer and life coach, I practiced veterinary medicine in High Point, North Carolina. In 1984, I began hearing about a new computer called the Macintosh. Being an Apple computer enthusiast, I decided one Saturday to visit the local Apple store and check out this new toy. Twenty minutes later, thanks to a nice (and very attractive) sales lady (no her name wasn’t Fate), I strolled out with my first Macintosh, a printer, and a new credit card with the entire purchase on the account.

One of the First 1000 Macs

My Macintosh was one of the first 1,000 machines off the assembly line, and only two programs were available for it —MacPaint and MacWrite. It didn’t take long for me to realize it’s next to impossible to draw anything useful with a mouse. Fun, yes. Useful, no. By Monday morning, with a good case of buyer’s remorse setting in, I became frantic to find some way to justify this irrational and spontaneous buying spree.

Finally, I decided the Macintosh was a sign. After all, I had been telling myself for years that one day I would try my hand at writing, right? After glancing at the calendar and my charge card bill, I realized that “one day” had arrived.

I set about writing my first article, a short piece about the reasons for spaying your cat, which I promptly sent off to Purrrrr! (I remember to this day that the title of the magazine is spelled with five R’s), a newsletter for cat lovers published in Maine. A month or so later, I received my first check in the mail for $50. I was thrilled and delighted.

As they say, the rest is history.

Since 1984 I’m sure I’ve written millions of words on a Mac. I’ve even managed to chain some of them together well enough to sell the completed pieces to regional, national and international magazines.  (I quit counting sold articles around 300, so I know the count is well beyond that.)  I’ve also written all my books on a Mac, numerous short stories, newsletter articles in the hundreds, and gigabytes of other material…all on a Mac.

My wife and I founded Life On Purpose Institute over 15 years ago and have reached around the world, all from a small mountain village in North Carolina.  I’m clear I couldn’t have done that without my Macs. While I might have done these things on a PC, I’m sure I wouldn’t have been as creative nor would I have had nearly as much fun in the process.

It’s been a strange day for me, this Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011, and I’m just now realizing why.  I’m saddened by the death of Steve Jobs.  Part of me says that it’s silly to be so sad about the loss of someone I never met and really don’t know personally, but the other part of me says it’s really okay. That part of me knows how much of a difference Steve made in my life over these past 27 years.  And don’t even get me started on how much I’ve learned and how much fun I’ve had with my iTouch.

Thank you Steve.  Your creativity, innovation and leadership will be missed.

2 Responses to My Salute to Steve Jobs

  • Nick says:

    Brad,

    That machine is awesome! Definitely a collectors item. In some way Steve has impacted my life by making videos easy to edit and publish. He also inspired me through Pixar- for their company aligns with my values.

    I recommend watching Pixar's documentary. You'll love it. Inspiring. Sad. Loving. Hope.

    -Nick

    • bradswift says:

      I think I've held onto the vintage Mac for sentimental reasons (and bragging rights <G>) as much as anything. Every time I go through my garage for a 'purposeful purge' which I do at least 1-2 times per year, I consider whether to give it away, junk it or try to sell it. None of those options win out. It's always, keep it at least until the next purge.
      I'll check into the Pixar documentary. Sounds interesting.

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