Steve Jobs Who?

I shouldn’t be surprised, but…While in Apple Store the other day making a purchase, I chatted with the staffer helping me about the retail shop’s legacy. I don’t remember what influenced me to mention being at the original store’s opening in May 2001, which I covered for CNET News. “In Virginia?” She asked. I affirmed, Tysons Corner. “I have a picture”.

After which I fumbled like an old fart bringing up the image above from Flickr on my phone. She politely suggested the app, which wasn’t installed, as I clumsily used the browser. When I finally got the image on screen she asked, with some giddiness: “Is that Tim Cook?” Not cofounder Steve Jobs, who sits next to Apple’s current CEO. 

Her reaction surprised because I am so used to people fawning over Steve Jobs—the icon. But he’s dead, and Tim Cook is the company’s new rock star—and her boss, quite a few times removed. She called over a coworker. “Look, it’s Tim”. Not Steve. Tim.

The exchange says something about legacy and passing it on. Why shouldn’t she be excited about seeing the younger Tim Cook, under whose leadership Apple became the most successful tech company ever? The past is, well, the past. Change is inevitable.

On an unrelated note, five days ago I posted about my summer sojourn testing OS X 10.11 and iOS 9. Last night, I reverted iPad Air 2 and MacBook Pro to the older operating systems. The developer builds are just too buggy. Performance problems are more than I expected when anticipating public previews coming in July.

Interestingly, on both platforms mail proved to be the biggest hardship. Frequent crashes and inability to empty spam and trash folders were among the problems. Chrome kept launching whenever restarting MacBook Pro, despite being removed as a startup item, which shouldn’t have been but blame Google for the sneakiness. Overall performance was laggy, which is to be expected for this kind of beta, but overall too annoying.

I’m used to testing prerelease software on my production machines—been doing it for more than 15 years. I might have sucked it up and persevered but with the public previews so close and perhaps better developer builds coming, refreshing appealed to my sense of productivity in the moment. My overall reaction to both platforms is positive, and 12 hours later I do miss them.