In 1976, when I was all of 5 years old, Steve Jobs c0-created Apple. And on April Fool's Day of that year a legend was born.
The all consuming dream of two techno geeks would end up the most valuable technology company in the world with a value of over $350 BILLION.
The Apple II was launched in 1977 and became the first mass market computer and revenue reached $1 MILLION.
Steve Jobs was worth $100 by age 25. Not bad.
I will never forget the excitement of typing on that HUGE, CLUNKY but WONDERFUL keyboard in my elementary school's computer lab. The first computer that I ever used in my life was an Apple IIe.
Without much effort, I can still hear that floppy drive whirring, loading up what was then a phenomenal amount of data. We felt that we were the wizards of technology and when I got my very first computer--an Apple IIc, I was the most excited kid on earth.
After school, I would hit the streets of San Francisco with two best friends and we'd buy up blank, unformatted floppy disks to load programs and games on. Long before World of Warcraft, we had the Ultima series of adventure games. As limited as the data was back then, we lost ourselves in what seemed an endless world of wizardry and wonder.
In 1985, the Machintosh was introduced. The iMac came in 1998 and quadrupled the company's share price.
The iPod many of us love and cherish was born in 2001 and has become a staple media player for countless millions.
I broke the news of the death of Steve Jobs on my radio show seconds after it crossed the wires. My tech producer Rick whispered in my headset "Steve Jobs has died."
The words took a second to register but when they did they struck me with sorrow and loss. One of the biggest technology innovators and pioneers of my lifetime was dead. A man who had literally changed the face of my childhood and adulthood for the better.
You don't have to be an Apple fan to feel the loss with his passing. The world has lost a creative genius and true visionary.
I feel a hole in my heart as I write this. Such a tremendous feeling of loss.
But the wondrous part of this otherwise sad news is that his legacy will live on forever in the symbol of a chomped apple and the products that will reflect his spirit for kids and adults alike, hopefully for many years to come.
My dusty old Apple IIc still sits on my desk in my old room in San Francisco. The room I grew up in.
And it makes me smile to think how back then happiness was a tiny green or orange monochrome screen and a 300 baud modem if you were lucky enough to have one. We didn't have the Internet. We had bulletin boards and that was enough.
My kids will never be able to identify the sound of a dial up connection or even know what a giant floppy disk is.
But I am so glad I can. Brings back seemingly simpler times to me. Times I will cherish forever.
Steve Jobs, you will be missed.
The American, California, and Apple flags fly at half staff today at Apple Headquarters in Cupertino, California in remembrance of your life and accomplishments. A list of accomplishments that extend far beyond the short time you had with us.
It's truly the end of an era.