Open Letters

An Open Letter to Steve Jobs

Dear Steve Jobs,

I learned how to type on the Apple IIe. I got a blueberry iBook on my 17th birthday. Now, my iPhone 4 serves as my computer on-the-go. But the computer I remember with love more than any other is the Apple Centris 650.

The Apple Centris 650 was fairly uncommon among my peer group. I don’t know that I had any other friends with an Apple computer, in fact. I thought my family was special — while everyone else plugged away on incomprehensible-looking PCs, I had a father who worked in advertising, and as I understood it then, people who worked in advertising were people who used Apple computers.  (It wasn’t like it is now, when everyone in every Starbucks is tip-tap-typing away on their sleek-looking MacBook Airs).  For me, all I knew was Apple. It was on my beloved Apple Centris 650 that I developed an intuitive understanding of computers. I grew to understand how they worked, how to use shortcuts for efficiency, how to think intuitively when problem-solving, how to animate drawings on Kid Pix and buy a new wagon wheel on Oregon Trail. I fought battles on Risk and watched my brother toil away at Prince of Persia while I waited to write stories and send friends instant messages on America Online. I learned what Lemmings were.

Do you remember the Apple Centris 650? It was big and clunky and when we finally got rid of it for the tangerine iMac my brother and I considered converting it into an aquarium. We never did. I don’t know, I guess that would have been sacrilege, in a way.

Last week, I bought a new MacBook Pro. It’s the first computer I have ever bought with my own money. It’s the computer I’m using to write this letter. It’s the computer I’m probably going to use for the next five years. I imagine I will cherish it as much as I cherished my Apple Centris 650, and every other Apple product I’ve had since then.

Thank you for inspiring me, for teaching me and for giving me the tools that helped to shape my childhood and drive me toward a better future. Thank you for giving this possibility to all of us.

Sincere Regards,


Featured Image via

  • Mabel Peralta


  • Jenny Lazo


  • Eridani Francis Milly Baker

    Looking back it’s easy to connect the dots. I wonder who asked him to give the Stanford commencement speech. And I wonder if he had lived to old age, would so many people have seen it? You’ve got to find what you love. Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

  • Mimi Nguyen

    Yes. Kid pix and Oregon Trail.

  • Mike Haden

    What a nice letter. We all need to write thank you letters like this, but send them while the people are still living. Thanks for sharing!

  • Didit Miftahul Rodiya

    Very very very appreciate!!!

  • Carbón DeCeti

    Oh man, I remember my centrus growing up. Those things were boss. I learned to interface with computers on mine as well.

  • Jodi Styner

    In Steve Jobs’ words: stay hungry, stay foolish and always follow your curiosity and intuition because we’re all going to die, so we’ve got nothing to lose.

  • Jenn Kriscunas

    Very sweet.
    And YES, Kid Pix rocked my WORLD.

  • Maria Jose Araya

    Oregon Trail was a staple of my childhood. Learned what “diphtheria” was because of Oregon Trail. Thank you for everything, Mr. Jobs.

  • Elisenda Llinares

    Hi, you know what’s really sweet? I’m from Brazil, but somehow I could have written that exactly same letter. I grew up with Apple computers because my father is an illustrator. In my school while everyone had a 486 PC, I was using a Macintosh. Kids used to look at me weird like “what the hell is that?”. I have never owned a PC. My father bought his first Apple computer when I was 5 (I’m 28 now). I don’t even understand how my dad came across an Apple computer in the 80s in freaking Brazil!! Really, having a Mac here is still considered “weird”. It’s for the advertising and design folks. Most of the people I know didn’t even know what Apple was until Mr. Jobs came up with the iPod! Not that long ago! I still get into PC x Mac battles. I love when that happens. I will always have something to say if someone is undecided between getting one or the other. Oh well, what I mean to say is I’m very thankful for Steve Jobs’ work. “Looking back it’s easy to connect the dots.” May Apple continue to be this tour de force in technology and design. May Steve’s work outlive him for generations to come. He’ll be missed. And YES! LEMMINGS!

  • Livi Flynn

    Another parallel growing up story here, this time in Ireland. My Dad works in the computer centre in our city’s university and used to bring home computers they no longer needed, and that was how at eight years old I got my first Mac.. It was one of those awesome boxy ones with the big old floppy disk drive in the front. I loved that machine, it had a wicked little programme (a forerunner to the Apps we now know, for all intents and purposes) that gave random Simpsons quotes when you clicked on Homer’s face on the desktop. A few years passed and I inhereted a blue iMac. I put dolphin stickers on it. It was my first experience of chatrooms (perhaps not a great thing but you take the good with the bad). I got a green iPod mini for my 15th birthday, a white iPod classic for my 18th, a MacBook for my 19th/starting university, and last month I bought my sister’s old iPhone 3G (the economic times, they are a-changing). These products have never failed me beyond a simple basic solution found within minutes online. We are a Mac family. Thank you Steve Jobs for allowing the diaspora of my clan keep in contact, from New York to Ireland to the French Alps.

  • Astrid Lund

    I was exactly the same! I had those experiences on the iMac, dark blue. We still have it, and it still works.
    Proof how ace Apple is. 😀

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