I have been an Apple fan ever since my parents purchased an Apple IIe in the early 1980's. I had AppleWorks, games and over a hundred 5.25" floppy disks. A short while later my brother bought an Apple IIc and in 1986 I put all of my money together and bought my own Apple IIGS. The IIGS was absolutely amazing, had really good graphics and sound and I am quite proud to say that mine is a Woz limited edition. I scraped together some more money to buy a memory expansion card (the IIGS had a lot of expansion slots). After adding some chips to the card, I went all the way up to ...... wait for it... 768K!!!! Castle Wolfenstein never looked better. I had hundreds of 3.5" disks, ran my own banner printing business (ok, 10-20 or so total), and got a 300 baud modem to begin exploring the world.
Like many of the articles written recently about Steve Jobs retiring I also admire and respect him immensely. It's really a "Steve" at Apple thing though, as I think both Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak are brilliant - for different reasons. Woz is a technical genius and can have a fair amount of the personal computer revolution attributed to him - from the numerous Apple contributions he has made, and what he continues to be involved in today. Steve Jobs had the vision, the drive and incredible insight to know what products were needed, how to lead his company and how to innovate like no other. In 1988 I read the book about Steve, where the title says it all -- The Journey is the Reward.
On a recent business trip to Santa Clara I went to Cupertino and took my second-ever trip to 1 Infinite Loop. I didn't have a reason to visit, or go inside any of the buildings - it was just to say I was there. Like the first time there, Apple security chased me off the campus. I do wish I would have bought this shirt though - "I visited the Apple campus. But that's all I'm allowed to say".
Today I use a combination of Mac and Windows, but in my basement I have an original Mac, a Quadra, the Apple IIe, my Apple IIGS and an Imagewriter printer. As a self-proclaimed packrat, I also - for whatever reason - kept a fair number of magazines I was reading throughout the 1980's and 90's. I'll post those pictures below -- and after that a nice NY Times video by John Markoff that highlights Steve's legacy.