The first time I saw a computer – an Apple ][+ in my elementary school’s library.
The first time I made the turtle move in Logo.
The day the guidance counselor nervously asked my mother, “Do you know how many floppy disks your son has?”
The first time they kicked me out of the local library for cheering too loudly while playing Karateka on their Apple //e.
The excitement of the day we brought home my first computer, an Apple //c.
The time I cut the end off of a phone cable, stuffed the wires into the serial port, wrote a simple program to parrot-back canned dialog, and used the whole setup to trick a friend into thinking I was pulling a real-life “Wargames”.
The hours spent exploring local BBSs with my 1200 baud modem. The excitement of downloading illicit software, 140KB at a time.
The day my parents bought me an Apple IIGS for Christmas. (Later, my attempts to mask my disappointment at realizing they had neglected to also purchase an Apple 3.5" drive, thus relegating said computer to the role of a slightly-faster Apple //c.)
The many years of tinkering, exploration, and happiness that computer ultimately gave me.
On this sad day my spirits are somewhat lifted by the realization that I can trace much of my life’s trajectory back to these early experiences. I am the person I am today in no small part due to Steve’s work. And I am profoundly grateful.
Oh, and that first computer? I’ve still got it. I think that says it all.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go fire up Karateka.
Steve Jobs: 1955 - 2011