Steve Jobs, Greater Than I Knew – We Need More Hammer Throwers

I never purchased an Apple computer. The magazines and publishers I dealt with preferred PC-based formats, so i have chugged along with tolerable machines over the decades (except for the last Dell piece of @#$#@#$@ I bought).

I use computers mostly for simple stuff – glorified word processing – so I didn’t feel a need to splurge on Apple products.

Yet, reading about Steve Jobs over the last few days – he was far more impressive than I realized. I especially love his quote: “Why join the Navy when you can be a pirate?”

Likewise, his quote from a May 1998 Business Week interview is a diamond-cutter:

Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

I re-watched the famous 1984 ad for Macintosh computers this eve, and its message is now more relevant than ever.

We need more hammer throwers.


10 Responses to Steve Jobs, Greater Than I Knew – We Need More Hammer Throwers

  1. Nicolas October 7, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

    I’ve been an Apple user since ’84, but I didn’t take stock of the immensity of Jobs’ contributions to life on Earth until his illness was made public. His Stanford Commencement speech was awesome.

    One of the best things about Apple is that Jobs never made it a major federal government contractor. He was no Jack Welch, thankfully. His target was consumers, not taxpayers.

  2. W Baker October 7, 2011 at 11:38 pm #


    Come and join us. (Have been using Apple exclusively since the Apple II aside from a brief stint in academe where I was forced to go to the other side!) It’s cozy and comfy over here in Apple fanboy land!

    And sure has made my life easier. Never owned a piece of antivirus software since OS X (what you know as Windows 7) hit the market 10 years ago!

  3. Jim October 8, 2011 at 7:38 am #

    OK, well, maybe I should convert. The Windows 7 computer I bought was the biggest fraud since the last presidential election.

  4. Jim October 8, 2011 at 7:38 am #

    Nicolas – thanks for the link to that Stanford speech. Steve Jobs would be considered an alien being inside the Beltway – he had far too much class.

  5. Nicolas October 8, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    There are few file formats used in the Windows world that are not also available on Macs. If need be you can also run Windows in emulation within the Mac OS, or just as you would on a PC in a discrete partition.

    I stopped upgrading most expensive software long ago. For a minimum $10 every 6 months you can use NeoOffice, which is a competent substitute for MS-Office. Apple’s pioneering App Store is pushing down the cost of software in general.

    While I’ve owned a lot of Macs, I’m not a slavish user. If PCs were better I’d switch. But I bought a couple of PC laptops and sent them back both times. There were just too many error messages.

    Mac users lived at the frayed margins for years, but that is no longer the case. One article about Apple after Jobs estimates that there are 65 million Macs in use, and their connection to the huge iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) environment will keep them thriving. If anything Apple will eventually kill the Mac through its own innovation, just as Jobs would have wanted it. Apple is projected to sell a breathtaking 65 million iPads in 2011, and vastly more in coming years. Apple has sold more than 250 million of all the iOS products combined (but none to me).

    Jobs admirably declined Bill Gates’ invitation to donate most of his wealth to philanthropy.

  6. Alpowolf October 9, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    My first computer was an Apple IIc. That was a fine little machine in its day. The IBM PCjr just couldn’t compare.

  7. Jim Babb October 9, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

    I like his quote “Real artists ship.” Although I think he was commenting on the need to meet production deadlines, I see it as commentary on the benefits of meeting customers needs as a measure of success. If you aren’t shipping, your art might not be so good after all.

    PS: As a pirate, you deserve a nice mac Jim, or maybe an iPad so you can write on the beach of a tropical island.

  8. Jim October 9, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

    That’s a great quote! I might print it out and tape it to my computer monitor.

    That’s a nice thought about writing on the beach on a tropical island – but I try not to have too many pointed distractions when I’m whittlin’ out paragraphs.

  9. Pat Hines October 10, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    In the early 90’s Bill Clinton made an edict that all government computers would be PC’s, because the then Apple CEO was a well known Republican supporter that opposed Clinton’s first election. My VA hospital was all Macintosh at the time, so had to dump almost 1000 Macs, NASA Houston had over 7000 Macs. Houston refused, at first, to make the switch because it had written custom software for their projects. Clinton prevailed, and that’s why their are no Macs in the US government.


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