Saturday, October 15, 2011

Steve Jobs - My Tribute

By Manuwant Choudhary

God is definitely not Steve Jobs.

God is more likely to be someone like Bill Gates and so we have all the bacteria and viruses floating around. And Cancer.

Steve Jobs passed away recently and so this is my tribute to a great individual whom I never met and know him only through his gadgets I use.

I am not a techie nor do I care much about Silicon Valley.

Yet, computers have become a part of our lives in a way much like electricity.

I am more like the man on the street in rural India scared of technology and when they work I simply marvel.

Of course, I must be among the really privileged to use computers at St. Joseph's College, North Point, Darjeeling, way back in the eighties. We solved some very simple Mathematical problems on them and played some games!

But I would not say it was enough to take the fear out of me.

The first time I really felt how important computers had become when I went to apply for a trainee job at The Afternoon Despatch & Courier newspaper in Bombay and the editor Mr. Behram Contractor asked me, "Do you know how to use a computer?"

I replied, "Well. err, errr, I did something way back in school but no."

Editor, "Do you know how to use a typewriter?"

And I replied No.

Editor, "Then please go and learn how to type on a computer. Remember no notes, just think from your head and type straight onto the keyboard."

I joined a computer course for a month and still have no clue about softwares and hardwares and what all they explained. But after classes I would just type my love letters from my head.

Thats how I got my first job.

Occasionally as a reporter we would hear of Shammi Kapoor trying to promote the internet in Bombay and I wondered why. Was it because of him having some stake in Yahoo !

Chahe koi mujhe junglee kahe ...Yahoooo! is a song which was more famous than computers and the internet and search engines.

Once in a while someone would mention Apple and we would say What?

Among our friends Anurag Sharma was considered just next to Bill Gates in understanding computers.

Yet, as a reporter my editor once gave me an invite to cover a public meet. "Here, here go Manu Bill Gates is coming."

For me it was just another assignment until my Malabar Hill friends began calling up for extra passes.

And when I passed on some I was doing them a favour greater than India's Prime Minister.

So as I walked towards Navy Nagar with my `jhola' and a pen, hundreds of Mercs whizzed past me.

Only then did I realise that Bill Gates was the richest man in the world.

His talk was quite ordinary and at the end he announced that he would be donating a few hundred computers to poor school children perhaps to please shifty Congress politicians like Murli Deora.

I just reported.

My report was as ordinary as the talk.

What was brilliant was my editor Busybee's take on it all in his daily column Round & About on how Bill Gates went to meet his friend on the 21st Floor (Who was richer than Bill Gates).

Later while studying in the UK I decided to buy myself a computer after saving every penny.

So I go to the Computer Advisor on how to buy a laptop. And his advice was `Don't buy."

But I pleaded but why?

And he insisted that laptops don't work, they are not reliable, why don't you buy a desktop.

But how do I take a desktop back to India with me.

I just went and bought a Compaq laptop with a Windows 95 software.

It had a one-month guarantee. I was too busy with studies and when I used it first I realised there was a problem.

And then many long walks to the Computer Store.

The one month guarantee had lapsed.

They had a one year worldwide warranty and the Store explained how I had to call the helpline (international charges would apply)

Its only when I called and called and finally shouted that they gave me a new laptop.

And I walk back.

And the new computer also had the same problem. Windows would just not save!

I tell you how much I hate Bill Gates.

And then the viruses that would stare you in the face while you worked on the more serious threats to society - our politicians.

So when my compaq laptop finally died I did not buy a new one immediately.

I just did not feel like it until one day I see this MacBook Pro.

And so this tribute.

Thank you Steve.

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