When I was a child, I was diagnosed with severe learning disabilities. They made it very difficult for me to write and think like my peers. I could not get my ideas onto paper. My first experiences with a computer were games. When I applied them to school work, everything blew up. My first big typed paper was eaten by the IBM machine, I nearly failed 5th grade as a result.
It took me 10 years to learn to deal with my challenges. And a big part of my ability to learn was my Macintosh. I got my first Apple product as a cast-off Apple IIe, but my first Mac came to me in my last year of middle school. Performa 475. To only think what that machine was worth to me. Unlike some of my friends, my computer did not get in the way of my needs, it filled them. I got better grades almost from the day I got it. I could read better on the screen scrolling at my own pace, I could write better, able to edit and fix on the fly, I could review and learn more. Slowly, but surely, I overtook a lot of my friends. I went from fearing school, hating it, to embracing its challenges. I embraced friends I never knew via the Internet. I heard ideas. I expanded. I adapted. I grew because of my Macintosh.
Today, I have three degrees, in History, Education and my Masters in Library Science. Now I'm strongly considering a fourth. I credit them partly to a man who chose to see what others saw as a mere tool as a machine for art, and learning, and the masses. Without my Mac, I would not be here now. I would have been festering in some third-rate education program that would have tracked me into a job I wouldn't have loved.
What Carnegie saw with Steel, and Rockefeller Oil, Steve Jobs saw in Information, and in the computers to carry that information. Like those other men, he build everything around it. Carnegie bought railroads to carry iron and coal, Rockefeller built service stations for cars, and Jobs made Apple Stores and iClouds. Everything to make it work.
And as a result, we live in a better world. Was everything perfect? No. Was he a personable, nice guy? No. Did he get things wrong? Occasionally. But he did good. He made the world better.
Thank you for my Life, Steve, I can't ever thank you. Comfort to your family, peace to your friends and honor to your name. I shall always think of you every time I need to think different. I swear I'll try to live up to it.