One day in 1981, my math teacher rolled a beige contraption into the classroom and introduced us to Oregon Trail on the Apple ][. We had very limited time playing with this new "toy", but I was captivated.
Not long after, my sister bought an Atari 400.
I spent the summer learning Logo and Basic, tediously saving my work on a tape cassette. I would play back the cassette on my walkman and listen to indecipherable beeps and whistling that reminded me of R2D2.
On christmas of 1984, my parents gave me an Apple IIc. With the help of Beagle Bros, I learned the intricacies of machine language. The computer stayed with me through junior high and high school. I also used it in my role as photographer and eventually photo editor to work on my high school yearbooks from 10-12th grade.
My Apple IIc followed me to Georgia Tech. It was woefully underpowered, but I found ways to make it do things it was never designed to do. It was an illuminating experience as I discovered that whatever limitations I faced, you just had to look a little harder to find a way around the problem.
Apple taught me to think different.
I've owned several dozen computers since - not all of them from Apple - but my future was set. From photography to publishing, video production to audio broadcast, computers became the center of my life as well as my livelihood.
And it all started with an Apple ][ - invented by two guys in a garage.
Thank you Steve Jobs. You are an inspiration, and you will be missed.
Related: Apple founder, Steve Jobs has died