Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Steve Jobs-Annoying Genius

I am aware that arguing with dead people is fruitless.  But electronic stuff is dearer to some than others.  The first computer I came in contact with was in 1983 when my school received two and they were sitting in their boxes in the office.
I asked the principal what he was going to do with them.  He said he didn't know...nobody knew anything about them.  So I went to the PX and bought one just like it and signed up for a computer class.  The librarian agreed to take the class with me.  So I told the principal that the sixth grade (my class) should get one and the library should get the other since we were interested to the point of buying one just like the ones the school had, and we would take a computer class.  He agreed.
I worked with the PTA to get computers in each classroom and printers.  Our little school had more computers than any other.  Those were Atari 500s.  The computer class used TRS 80s and had a couple in their "lab."  We had to look up everything to translate how to do something on the Atari that was presented to us on the TRS 80.  There wasn't a computer in the classroom.  All of the instruction was with the textbook and chalkboard.
So the school started with Atari 500s.  The next thing the system did was buy Apples to run software.  So if we were teaching writing, the students would work on one computer, if they were doing educational software, they would use another.  The same computers wouldn't do the same thing. 
I wanted the same computer at home as we had at school because it would be easier to make a file and move it.
The school eventually went to IBM clones and threw the Apples away...some still in the original packages.  So I bought an IBM clone so I could work at home and move files.
So Steve Jobs made wonderful products, but not products the school system supported even though individuals at school who were wonderful with computers had Apple computers, or Macs, for themselves.
The whole closed product from beginning to end was his concept, but it was a pain at school. 
At the end of the book (and his life) he was discussing education with Pres. Obama and decried the state of the educational system and said computers and technology wasn't being used optimally (as well as not stressing teaching electronics).  I wonder if he would have worked on that next.  There are some good programs for education, but they still haven't integrated it as I hope they will one day.

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