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Archive for March, 2012

Steve Jobs was not a big fan of the corporate market.

I’ve spent the whole of my working life in the IT industry. 34 years in fact. When I studied computer science, as it was called then, at University of Queensland, I was one of the first students to actually study in the field.

So it probably doesn’t surprise you that I’m not as passionate about the IT industry as others might be. What goes around, comes around. If you think “cloud” is something unique, you’d better put your head back in the sand. We used to call them bureaus.

As a result, I’ve never spent a lot of time meticulously studying how our industry has evolved. I’ve pretty much taken it for granted and just rolled with the flow. Of course I know who Gates and Jobs are and what they’ve done, but it’s never really fascinated me as some people think it might or should.

I did feel a great sense of loss when Steve Jobs passed away though. I even changed my Facebook profile picture to the silhouetted Apple logo with his face etched into the bite. I love my iPod and my iPad, and I would prefer to have an iPhone, than the Windows phone that my employer gives me.

Some people would argue that, given I work for, and rely on my income from, a Microsoft partner, I shouldn’t be so supportive of the Apple products. But that’s bullshit. Those people need to stick there heads in the sand with the cloudites.

So given my love for the Apple products and my sense of loss at Steve’s passing, I realised I really needed to get to know the bloke better. So I bought Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson, ironically reading it on the Kindle client of my iPad.

In short, it’s a great read. I love Isaacson’s writing style and have downloaded previews of his other biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein. I might give Henry Kissinger a miss though.

Given Jobs’ controlling nature at Apple, it would not be unreasonable to expect he would have taken control of what went into the biography. But this is clearly not the case. At the end of the book, he has the opportunity to articulate the Steve Jobs view of the world. However, Issacson also covers many aspects of Jobs’ life that clearly do not paint him in the best light.

So what do I think about the man, having reading the Isaacson biography? This excerpt sums it up for me.

 

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Anyone one knows me, or has spent any time reading some of my outbursts on social media, will know of my passion for volunteering, particularly in the emergency services.

I get really frustrated with people who seem to want to take, take, take, but never give anything back. I get particularly frustrated with the industry in which I work (IT), where people are pretty well paid for what they do, but generally speaking, don’t feel compelled to give anything back to the community. Those of you IT folk that do, you rock!

To put a positive spin on all this, I was really proud of the folks from my State Emergency Service (SES) unit yesterday. How’s this for involvement?

  • 4 members (including our controller) with 2 vehicles and a pump trailer assisting with the flood in the north-east of the state;
  • 8 members involved in storm-related jobs or being on stand by as duty officers within our own area (the southern half of the City of Kingston);
  • 7 members (or thereabouts) with 2 boats, providing support to the Chelsea Yacht Club for an event;
  • 4 members doing storm training at Broadmeadows.

All of this was after 11 members dealt with 14 jobs locally, during the winds on Friday afternoon and evening. And you know what? They’ll be doing it all again today.

Chelsea SES – you rock!

If you’re reading this and you don’t actively give anything back to your community as a volunteer, why don’t you have a good think about how you can change that?

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