Hey folks, Harry here... this just sucks. I mean that.
I'm lucky enough to have literally been PERSONALLY converted to APPLE by Steve Jobs. Years ago Steve and I had an interaction over a copy of TOY STORY 2's screenplay that I had. At the time I was not a fan. Like most kids, I couldn't afford APPLE growing up. I had friends with these miraculous devices, but I started off with a TI, then I had a Commodore 64, a SuperPET... then there were those horrible High School classes with Macs, where I was indocrinated, while having a PC at home. This was before Jobs re-seized control of APPLE and turned it into the biggest company on the planet Earth.
Honestly - at the time that Steve Jobs called me, I was far more impressed that he was involved with PIXAR. Pixar had one film to their name, TOY STORY. It was beyond impressive. A perfect film for the perfect format. Up until that film, Computers were a cold medium. TOY STORY, for me, made computers magic. The film was immaculately crafted and designed to such a level that you didn't look for the stitches. You simply let the warmth of the characters and the story sweep you away. TOY STORY, for me, was Steve Jobs' rebirth. He was no longer Bill Gates' joke in my PC mind. I loved TOY STORY so much that at the time, at the foot of my bed was a big standee of Buzz Lightyear. If you read news stories with photos from back then, Buzz was in nearly every photo with me. I loved the film. When the TOY STORY 2 script showed up on my rolling desk, I was in the camp that thought there was no fucking way in the world that there should be a sequel. TOY STORY was perfect. Disney had announced that TOY STORY 2 was going straight to video, so when this script hit my desk... the buzz couldn't have been worse. But I was a fan, I had to read it. I lost my mind for it. Insisted that it had to be in theaters. The script was brilliant, I reviewed it. The very next day Disney announced it was going to be theatrically released. Now, my review of the script had nothing to do with that. They had planned to announce that for weeks at that point, but my review just happened to fall at an incredibly opportune moment. That very next day I was sitting with Dad in our living room. My sister was in my room talking to a friend when call waiting beeped. She clicked over, annoyed she told her friend it was for her brother, came out and said, "Some guy named Steve Jobs is on the phone." I had such a smile.
Steve called to personally shake me down regarding the TOY STORY 2 script. He was that kind of guy. He'd call you out. But I wasn't scared. The whole origin of the PC is something any good geek should be familiar with - and the theft of ideas and use of the term fair use - was pretty epic. But the conversation I had with Steve was pretty epic. He wanted me to burn the script, I told him I was burning it with a smile. After that he asked me what kind of computer I had. I had a fighting mad 75mhz Pentium powered PC with a half gig of hard drive and about 32 megs of RAM. That computer fought with me. Got sick. Cost me untold amounts of writing due to crashes. But I loved it. I thought that's what computers were. Beasts to be tamed by a steady hand. I did not yet know the sweet love of a modern mac. Steve suddenly told me he was going to outfit the entire AICN family with Macs. It was a really great time to be AICN related. Steve wanted to meet me and told me he was flying me to the A BUG'S LIFE premiere in Cupertino, California. So I flew out. Drove a hot mustang they rented me to drive. Ultimately I preferred and still prefer Dreamworks' ANTZ to A BUG'S LIFE... but meeting Steve and trash talking the Apple's he set AICN up was some of the most pure geeky fun I'd ever had. I would get periodic calls from Steve asking how the computers were working. I'd complain about the problems with expanding hard drives and program compatibility issues. Never really saying, IT JUST WORKS. I just never felt I could give him that. I miss some of those fights with my early computers. Yes, its nostalgic masochism. But I really don't. I'm a total convert. The announcement yesterday finally meant I was going to be getting an iPhone, since SPRINT is now getting them. But I have 3 iPads, an Apple TV, 2 MacBook Pros, another Mac Laptop, Ipods, Ipod Nanos... and I'm on board with their future.
But I'll never forget when Steve Jobs personally told me that AICN could never truly be cool, till it was being done on Apples, then made it happen. Since that night 15 years ago, I've watched Steve Jobs just flat out take over the world. And I couldn't be happier. Steve Jobs' success felt right to me. Sure he called up wanting to threaten me with lawsuits, but he was also the kind of man who would listen and appreciate a different perspective - and instead of fighting, we had a friendship.
Every day of my life I take my iPad2 to rehab... I place it in front of me as I watch FISH STORY and pedal for some miles. I listen to music on it, go through emails as we drive in traffic. Read books before screenings. Check weather radar. Film an intro to a movie. It is changing how we access everything. I love that device. It Just Works.
Hearing that Steve was stepping down at Apple... I couldn't help but be sad. On twitter I joked that he was gonna run for President. I can't even imagine how perfectly he would have shaped this country. That's the kind of faith he instilled. Watching how Lassiter bloomed under him. How Pixar outDisney'd Disney.
I hate knowing I'll never again get a call from Steve, but I'm APPLE for life thanks to him. I look forward to every PIXAR film. He has very definitely made the world a better place. Thanks Steve!