Category Archives: steve jobs

Steve Jobs.

I think John Perry Barlow sums it up:

I’m still in shock, of course. And it’s a very strange feeling; I haven’t used Apple products for very long. I became an Apple user in June 2006. Ever since then, I’ve been hooked and never looked back.

I never knew Steve Jobs and yet I feel incredibly saddened by his death. And honestly, I find this perplexing.

This relationship I had (have?) with Steve is difficult to explain, and I’m sure other Mac users can share this sentiment; I feel so close to him, and yet he’s a stranger. At the end of the day, we will never meet – he will never know my name.

But this reminds me of what’s probably the closest connection I’ll have to Steve Jobs: in 2007, I my laptop died. It was a first generation Macbook I received as a graduation present. I used this laptop for everything – my classes, my illustrations – it was my life. The day my hard drive failed was also the same day the warranty expired. As a college student, I couldn’t afford the AppleCare renewal, so I thought all was for naught, and that I had lost all my work for good (I couldn’t afford an external hard drive then, so none of my work had been saved elsewhere).

So I wrote a desperate email to sjobs [at] apple [dot] com, a much-too-long letter explaining all the issues I had with my Macbook (affectionately named Sam – I don’t know, I was young?), detailing all the problems I had with it over the course of a year, including cracking palmrests, a faulty CD drive, battery failures, and frayed power adapter cords. I couldn’t imagine repurchasing a laptop after a mere year of using one. I wrote,

I know you probably have thousands of other emails to sift through and answer, but I sincerely hope you consider mine to be an honest message. I have nowhere else to turn to, and I believe that you can help me.

He somehow answered mine, indirectly. The next day I received an email from Nicholas Applewhite (not kidding about the name), a member of Apple’s Corporate Executive Relations, with the following message:

Dear Ms. Iris A. Febres,
Thank you for your email to the executive offices of Apple. Your correspondence concerns an issue that we believe would be better handled in a phone conversation.
Unfortunately, no telephone number was provided in your email below. I have summarized the contents of your letter in case number [XYZ]. If you have not yet resolved the issue, please contact me at [number] Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time, and reference the above case number.
You can also find service and support options to fit your individual needs at the AppleCare Support web site,
Thank you for taking the time to email us.

Long story short, this happened:

New laptop replacement, after this happened:

I think about that exchange now, and seeing “forwarded message” again after a good four years since opening that email that now sits in an ignored mailbox, and I’m left speechless. He obviously cared enough about my user experience – the one belonging to a college student without a dime – to forward the email to the right party, who in turn took care of my problem.

I still feel so perplexed. Using the products Steve Jobs created and spearheaded have been essentially second nature to me. I don’t think about my iPhone or my Macbook like I do my other devices; they’re just there. They are so integral to my day-to-day work, my interactions with my friends and family, my [future] career – essentially, and this may sound dramatic, the fibers of my being – that I can’t help but feel sad about Jobs’ passing.

He was the face of a technology that has helped me develop as an individual – academically, professionally, personally. I owe him a lot. And now he’s gone.

Thank you, Steve. Thank you for forwarding that email to Mr. Applewhite. Thank you for making my college experience richer. Thank you for helping me discover I want to make ebooks, as well as my love of tech. Thank you for changing the world.

Thank you, Steve.