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RIP Steve Jobs. You, and your Homebrew Computer cohort and Apple Computer, fundamentally changed our lives, through technology. Multiple times. You and Apple made magic with gadgets. I literally gasped the first time I picked up the current MacBook Air. Not a lot of consumer technology makes me gasp.

When I got my pre-ordered iPad 1, the FedEx driver who brought it to my door was itching with curiosity as I signed for it. We had never exchanged more than a “hello” and “thanks.” I finished and she turned to leave. But then she blurted out: “What is that!?” (like she was breaking some sort of company policy about asking people what was in their boxes). When I told her, she totally let down her guard and gushed: “OMG! How cool! I SO want one of those!” She was completely lit up like a kid at Christmas. “Please tell what you think about it. So exciting.” She was still smiling as she walked away. As I, equally excited, went back into the house to open it, I wondered: “Do you think Microsoft or Dell or even Sony products generate this kind of excitement where delivery people can’t help but ask what’s in the box?” Rarely, if ever, I bet.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. -Arthur C. Clarke

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do… -Steve Jobs 1955-2011

Thanks for the magic and for showing us how far a group of makers can take their inspired ideas.

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.

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