Today: Apr 21, 2024

A job well done: Jobs inspired to ‘think different’

Photo courtesy pursuitist.comCHRIS CARRIONStaff Writer

My father, years ago, was an art teacher at Wilbur Cross High School in Bridgeport, Conn. During his 16 years there, he was a very respected member of the faculty, not to mention very involved in the Bridgeport Public Schools system as a whole. Board of Education members became very familiar with my father and his teaching history. In the years leading up to his retirement, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone in Bridgeport who didn’t know the name Fred Carrion (or “Mr. Carrion,” as he was known to his students).

One day, when I was 7 or 8, my father brought home a gift from one of his teacher friends: a computer. My first computer! It was an Apple IIe. This behemoth machine came with a heavy green-hued monitor with thick cables that protruded from the back and refused to budge. Also included were two disk drives which accepted ancient floppy disks. Floppy, as in, they flop—they were these huge black disks that must have been approximately the same size as a record album cover. The disks slid into the drive and were held in by a black lock that you had to physically flip down until it “clicked.” The computer itself buzzed and hummed loudly under the calm whir of its processor fan, the combined sound of which was reminiscent of a refrigerator. The computer came with the most basic word processor imaginable, a dot-matrix printer (one of those printers that uses stacks of folded paper with holes punched all down the sides,) and games that made an Atari look like seven Wiis. The green-hued monitor displayed all of this in one color—green. The mouse was a perfect cube with a grey rubber ball underneath.  The computer was hard to move and even harder to lift. It was truly an antiquated machine that had, without a doubt, seen better days.

That Apple IIe was my best friend in the whole wide world.

I drew crude pictures and printed them on the old dot-matrix printer before giving them to my mom or putting them on the fridge. I played games, made music, became a space explorer, went to the moon, learned my times tables—all on that green monitor. My parents and I got closer with each other while playing games on that computer, from Monopoly to Jeopardy to Oregon Trail. I learned about computers from this old, wizened master device. Without it, I don’t know how long it would have been until I was able to even type this for you now.

Today, after all those years, I am the proud owner of a MacBook and iPod touch. I edit videos, make promos for the campus radio station, write essays, check my Facebook, play Scrabble—basically, I live my life on devices brought into the world through the genius vision of the man known as Steve Jobs. For years, he has blessed the tech world with his creative prowess and forever changed the game in terms of electronics. Steve Jobs was one of the greatest thinkers to ever walk the earth, and whether you know it or not, he changed your life, as well as everyone else’s.

The jokes that were birthed on the Internet by the world (myself included) about this man, I believe, were created out of love—love for Steve Jobs and the creations he’s blessed our lives with. I don’t know if there will exist anybody as visionary as him. I hope we are that lucky.

Rest in peace to Steve Jobs, the man who encouraged all of us to think different.

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