Made on a Mac

The internet is filled with remembrance of Steve Jobs since the announcement of his death from pancreatic cancer yesterday. I posted on Twitter when I heard, but despite my intention not to join the flood of content about Jobs today, I found myself dwelling over the past 24 hours on just how much my life was affected by his work. It felt somehow churlish not to recognize it publicly.

That graphic up there: “Made on a Mac.” That’s pretty much my career.

My first home computer was a used Apple II — where, between bouts of Bilestoad, I did my first non-longhand writing. I went on from there to an Apple IIc, bought second-hand from a friend in 1990. More writing, and moving into graphic design and art. In the early-t0-mid-90s, I dabbled in Amiga and then in Windows-based PC — as I moved out onto the burgeoning internet and into the birth of the world wide web (whose code was written by Tim Berners-Lee on a NeXTcube, created by the company that Steve Jobs launched when he left Apple). Yet even through this dabbling, I continued to use Macs — at school, and with friends.

It was a Mac that provided the desktop publishing tools that allowed Aaron Rosenberg, Matt Harrop and I to produce our first RPG, Periphery, clustered around the Mac in Aaron’s bedroom. In the late 90s, I used Pagemaker (a program I had learned on the Mac) on my Windows machine to do graphic design and layout for other games — Hong Kong Action Theatre!, for example. The program was the same, but I never really liked the not-quite-right feeling of its use on my PC.

In 2000, I returned to Apple — and haven’t left since. Synister Creative Systems was run on Macs — G4 PowerMac with dual monitors as the graphic design desktop , and a blueberry iBook for me, able to be used in-office or remotely. Jobs was back at Apple, and the iMac and iBook were the first products in his new vision for the company. A vision that, as the Colorado Springs Gazette said today, liberated the creative class.

I am a part of that creative class. I create on products spearheaded by Jobs, that are consumed on products either spearheaded by Jobs or products emulating those he spearheaded. I reach my audience directly, via a world-wide network that was created on a product spearheaded by Jobs.

I owe the man a debt that is staggering in its scope. My life, my career, my calling — all of it:

Made on a Mac.

5 Replies to “Made on a Mac”

  1. Thanks.

    When people criticize me as a “cultist” or an “Apple fanboy”, my response is: wouldn’t YOU be, if they had given you the tools and the ability to do what you love with your life?

  2. Needless to say, MWP has been using Macs since I first started working for them, and we’ve had a Mac in our house since 1996 when I first moved to the US. A trusty charcoal grey PowerBook that belonged to Jess and which she referred to as the Toaster, followed by a shiny charcoal G4 PowerPC tower which the kids still use, and then Jess’ aluminum G4 PowerBook.

    When I started working FT with MWP, the company bought me a MacBook, which I’m using right now and which I wrote my novel on. And there are iPods, my iPod touch and iPad 2, and Jess’ iPhone 3G all in constant use. Creative, communication-primed, everything working seamlessly on an Airport network. I love Apple and I love using Macs for creative work.

  3. SCS folded. Jaffe Bros. are doing well — I’ll be meeting up with them when I’m at NYCC next week. Sean is working in film, comics, and videogames, and Josh works for Apple and plays bass for The SmashUp.

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