On the Passing of Steve Jobs

I am not an Apple fanboy. I’ve never owned an Apple computer or an iAnything. But make no mistake, Steve Jobs had a significant, positive impact on my life. I am very sorry to see him go.

The very first computer I ever learned to program on was an Apple II running BASIC at River Dell Senior High. My family ended up purchasing an IBM PC a few months later and I’ve used and owned DOS/Windows machines pretty much ever since. However, it would be the height of ignorance to fail to acknowledge that many of the developments in computer hardware and software over that time owe a deep debt to the innovations that Steve Jobs pioneered at Apple.

Nevertheless, there is one piece of Apple software has made a more direct impact on my life – Quicktime VR. It was Phil Brown‘s QTVR Virtual Field Trip to Parfrey’s Glen that captured my imagination while I was a graduate student at UW-Madison and started me down the path of creating virtual field experiences, initially with QTVR, then Google Earth, and now GigaPan.

Queens Garden Trail, Bryce Canyon National Park, June 16, 2005

Thank you, Steve. You will be missed.

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