Thursday Oct. 5, when computers were fired up around the globe, many thousands of them began showing a slide show of black-and-white images of Apple Computer founder, the late Steve Jobs.
This compelling memorial presentation — depicting highlights of his career on the one-year anniversary of his untimely death — transfixed many, including employees at Denton Publications.
Jobs has indeed exerted a remarkable influence in all of our lives. His innovations have granted us all incredible power, a connectedness and access that we couldn’t have imagined just decades ago.
Plenty has been said about how he made music personal — and transformed the music industry — with the iPod, or how he launched a new era of creativity in film and television animation through his work at Pixar.
But his crowning achievement was perhaps the iPhone — a truly revolutionary device. Combining a cell phone with an Internet communicator — and the ability for this remarkable, device to run apps — has changed the world forever.
Whether it’s the ability to use a handheld device to conduct instant financial transactions on-the-go, shooting and editing videos, or remotely controlling your home’s environment, it can all be done now, on-the-go, from anywhere on the globe on a handheld device. Its potential uses are virtually unlimited. Many of us at Denton’s depend on the device so we can best accomplish our daily work in a demanding industry.
Steve Jobs was the visionary that made it all happen — It has been said that Jobs knew what we all wanted and needed before we could even imagine it.
But all the recent attention on this latest device shouldn’t overshadow Jobs’ work in the late 1970s and early 1980s that was no less revolutionary — merging graphics with digital information.
Before Jobs’ innovations in this regard, computers only displayed little 1/8-inch-high numbers and letters on monochrome monitors.
Jobs’ commitment to personal computers’ graphical interface, mouse and WYSIWYG, or “What You See Is What You Get,” changed all our lives forever. Many of you can surely remember the early Internet, when only numbers and letters were transmitted from computer to a remote machine.
These developments changed dissemination of news forever, and those of us in the newspaper industry are acutely aware of Jobs’ influence.
Before Jobs and Apple computer, typesetting was accomplished by phototypesetters, hulking machines that cost $50,000 to $125,000 and suffered frequent breakdowns — requiring repairs that were likely to cost more than the purchase-price of a high-end desktop computer.
Reporters used typewriters to compose their articles, often typing them up several times in their entirety for a final draft.
When Denton Publications armed their employees with Apple computers — we were “early adopters” — our reporters and editors gained speed and creativity, as well as pursuing higher standards in our work. Those costly and unreliable phototypesetters were scrapped.
The Apple computers gave us remarkable capability to readily compete with the corporate giants in getting vital news out to the public on a timely basis.
Jobs’ innovation of a graphical interface, combined with the Internet a decade or so later, prompted a seismic shift in publishing, as people began obtaining news faster and more conveniently via the Internet.
A new generation has increasingly adopted this digital conduit as more convenient and satisfying.
We at Denton Publications embraced this trend early on — about a decade ago — delivering community news on an array of websites, when many other newspapers were depending solely on newsprint. Since then, we have continued our commitment to digital news delivery by continually enhancing our online offerings.
Also, we have the most advanced digital pre-press composition equipment that can deliver the highest-fidelity printed products — also an indirect result of Jobs’ remarkable vision.
We at Denton Publications are thankful for Steve Jobs’ incredible talent and imagination. Although he has passed on, his remarkable contributions to society — which are bringing us all closer together — live on through the innovations he left behind.
Comments should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org