A Grim Day in Cupertino

Yesterday was a very grim day.

First my wife warned me, even before I left for work in Cupertino, that the road I normally take was closed because of police activity. Some wacko had shot up a cement plant where he worked, killing three people and wounding six others.

Then when I got to the office the story got scarier.  Completely across town the same guy shot a woman in the Hewlett-Packard parking lot trying to carjack her car.  Now people started getting really freaked.  He could be anywhere and his rampage didn’t appear to be
over.  They closed all the schools in both Cupertino and Sunnyvale. Where I work, they told us not to go between buildings.  They had lunch brought in so we wouldn’t have to go out.  (Sucks for the poor delivery guy, but nothing bad happened to him.)  They locked down the
elevators so we had to use our card keys to go from floor to floor.

There was no further news from the crazed shooter.

But in the late afternoon my iPhone beeped and I saw the message on the screen,  from ABC News, “Steve Jobs has died.”  Of course that wasn’t related to the shooter; Jobs had been sick with cancer for almost ten years.  He had resigned as CEO of Apple in August because of
failing health, so I guess we should have seen it coming.  But, still, it was a shock to me.  In a few minutes everyone had heard the news.  It brought work in our office to a complete stop, something the crazed shooter had not been able to accomplish.

Somehow the news of Jobs’s passing affected me, affected us all, much more than the crazed shooter.  It brought tears to my eyes then, and does again as I write about it.

I usually listen to music on the way to work but today I listened to the news radio station to hear of developments concerning the crazed shooter.  The police had shot and killed him.  The danger is over.

So now things can go back to normal.  Normal but not the same.

I mourn the loss of all those killed yesterday.  But somehow I mourn the loss of Steve Jobs more.  I remember hearing a long time ago, “Microsoft wants to rule the world;  Apple wants to change the world.”  Microsoft has not succeeded.  Apple–largely through the inovation
and drive of Steve jobs–surely has succeeded.  It is telling–and ironic–that I learned the news of his death on my iPhone.