That Day Steve Jobs Left Us
- Andrew Stone @twittelator Oct 11, 2011 Eve of iOS 5 Release
Three really cool interesting events happened to me when Steve Jobs died six days ago. Death is no stranger to any of us now, and it's not what it seems like exactly, but most importantly, it has a lot to teach the Living.
It came to me to work with Death over the last 16 years, and I've come to expect these special energies when great souls tear the thin veil between the here and The There which mystics call The Here.
My life has been blessed in that I have worked with Steve Jobs for 23 uninterrupted years as one of the original independent software developers for the NeXT (TextArt, Create, DataPhile, 3DReality) on through Rhapsody, Mac OS X, and now to the iPhone and iPad with Twittelator.
In March 1989, I saw my first NeXT machine - part Mac, part UNIX, part LaserWriter. I fell in love with that 1 foot cube of magnesium and had a productive career writing software and throwing really cool raves in San Francisco.
I stuck with NeXT as it twisted and turned and went from hardware to software, never giving up on Steve or the Dream, taking our software to each new architecture that NeXTStep was ported to: HPPA, SPARC, INTEL. And then came OpenStep On Solaris. I had the only available commercial software for that release from Sun!
But I slogged and blogged on (we called them essays back in '96), evangelizing the benefits of object-oriented software and showing how easy it was to create really cool apps. Basically, I had been left holding the torch. We all had torches together at first but all of a sudden, it was a kind of lonely place.
But in late December 1996, Christmas came early. Apple "acquires" NeXT for 400 million. Someone asks me, what does this mean, Andrew? "I think it means I just got a raise. And there's been a reverse takeover".
And back at the MotherShip Apple we trod, only a bit unwelcome by the MacOS 8'ers. It would be five years before we brought the object oriented NeXTStep from the late '80's to ship as Mac OS X 1.0 in 2001, which morphed into the iOS5 of 2011: the same original ideas, only much, much more mature.
And since I believe the ultimate nature of reality is One, these experiences seem to weave in nicely to an already multidimensional tapestry:
Before the news broke, I was preparing for the drop dead finish day because we had to submit Wednesday October 5th. So, as is my wont, I began my hour of Ashtanga yoga to calm my hyperactive mind so I can be a samurai coder with a clear sharp mind during the day.
Midway through is the Crane - you tuck up a leg behind your back and grab around your back with the opposite hand to hold up the bent leg, and bend over all the way touching the floor with the other hand, putting your chin on your shin. It's hard, and fun, and has this hidden side benefit: you get this tremendous rush when you are done and bring your head up again.
Well, over the years, I've learned to relax and watch the content of my brain when I get one of those hydrostatically induced rushes. And instantly, I can perceive the underlying matrix that we all inhabit. There's a scientific explanation to this experience as well, but I'm using them to propel me outside my normal waking consciousness, quite handily.
But this Wednesday, it kept on going. I had the full break through to the other side where the perceiver is the perceived and no other exists. Wow, I thought, yoga is really cool! It wasn't until the late afternoon before I heard the news, but that was a really cool experience too, oddly enough.
We'd been working Steve-style for the last 120 days - a non-stop marathon to recreate the Twitter Experience on an iPhone. And I had brought Apple in on the betas because I wanted Steve to see it and oh how I knew time was pressing. I had felt this urgency all day that the only way to make the iOS5 Launch was to ship it that day at noon. Well, by 4:20PM, we had a wrap on it. Submitted to the Apple Store, TXT'd my oldest friend at Apple that 'it is done', and the IPA's were cracked. Ah!
"Ah" was so short lived, as per "When life looks like easy street, there is danger at your door". My wife is busy testing the Twittelator Neue on the iPad 2 - tricked out to run at 2X. She looks at her timeline, she grabs me, steadying me, and says, “Stop, Listen to me."
Ouch, that's the look you know you'd better be listening to what comes next. Then she said,"Steve died today".
Me, and probably most of everyone who ever admired that man, fell apart right then. But then I stopped and realized, OMG, what a blessing! How fortuitous to ship at such a holy moment! We held an impromptu wake to hold the energy, sip the energy, release the energy.
A few nights later I had one of those surreal dreams which you remember vividly upon waking:
It's right now in the present, it's right before an Apple Keynote, and I'm backstage, near a doorway that opens directly into a wide open space, no stairs or anything.
Steve's about to go on - I can hear him pacing and then he comes into the room overlooking the open doorway.
But here's the key to the dream: his face is carefully painted in alternating, pixelated white and black squares. And he describes to me this new technology he's about to demo where the ideas of people about him are broadcast onto this white & black paint and they then can perceive their own beliefs and understandings.
I'll be thinking about this one for awhile I think. Be well, friends.