Follow Your Heart
I’ve been reading the Steve Jobs book by Walter Isaacson. It’s very interesting – well, at least to me. I grew up with and was fascinated by computers from an early age right through to my university degree – yes, I have a computer science degree.
My earliest memories are of my dad bringing home these magical, massive – new at the time – computer terminals on wheels. They looked like super large 100 pound suitcases. Inside were these Frankenstein IBM Selectric typewriters with an “extra” section on the back easily bigger than the typewriter part and a couple rubber cups to attach your telephone handset to.
My brother and sister and I used to play text based lunar lander and hangman on them – think reams of tractor fed, fanfold paper. We soon discovered screaming into the rubber cups caused it to spastically type random characters. Loads of fun on a Saturday morning. This was high tech compared to the punch cards I later started programming with in high school.
I’ve seen and experienced the gamut of computers from mainframes of many stripe and manufacturer – IBM, DEC, Amdahl, Tandem – to personal computers – Heathkit, Commodore Pet/64, Sun Workstation, IBM/clone PC’s, Apple Mac, PowerMac, MacPro, MacBook, AppleTV, iPhone and all the many operating systems they engendered – MVS, VSE, VM, VMS, NONstop, SunOS, DOS, Unix, OS/2, Windows 3, 95, NT, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, Linux, MacOS OSX and IOS.
At this time and after all that, I can safely say OSX/IOS and Ubuntu Linux are my current favourites. OS/2 Warp was my favourite years ago. Listing this out I’m surprised at the depth of computers and OSes I’ve worked with over the years. Surprisingly, I can identify with and remember all the stages of development Steve Jobs went through in the computer industry.
The thing that struck me most in the biography after last week’s post about fear, was something Steve wrote in his Stanford commencement address about remembering that he’ll be dead soon. That it was the most important tool to help him make big choices in life – that all fear of embarrassment or failure just falls away in the face of death. As he said “there is no reason not to follow your heart”.
I have to remember this.