Sure, he’s a competitor, but some things trump business.

Sad news about Steve Jobs’ health today, as what was described last week as a “relatively simple and straightforward” hormone imbalance is now “more complex than.. originally thought.”  I know a little bit about being stuck in the hospital dealing with confused doctors when you’d rather be spending time with your family and your colleagues, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.  Mr. Jobs is a survivor of pancreatic cancer, the disease which took a great mentor and friend of mine, Wes Contryman, in 1991.  I know we all hope and pray that this news doesn’t reflect a relapse of this awful disease.

My first job in this business that wasn’t facilitated by nepotism involved eight hours a day in front of an Apple II with a nine inch 80x24 green CRT monitor.  It was an exciting time, when a zoology major could hire an urban and regional planning major to write software on one of the first computers ever made that didn’t require a dedicated room.

Heady times indeed.  While I worked at that company, I read InfoWorld’s first review of Lotus 1-2-3 for the IBM PC (by this time, we had put a Digital Research CP/M card in our Apple II, so we could write under MS-DOS).  Paraphrasing, the review said, “This is a great piece of software.  It might event be ‘the killer app.’  But it requires 64K of RAM!  Who in their right mind is going to put 64K of RAM in a personal computer?  You could never use it all!”

I wish I’d saved that review.

How far we’ve all come since then.  And, of course, we’re not done.

I hope Mr. Jobs will be back at work soon, and I wish him all the best.

Let this remind us once again, gentle reader, that nothing is promised..

-wp