Amstrad CPC464 Green ScreenThe first thing I saw when I picked up my current-bun this morning was the sad news that Steve Jobs had died. Steve was a co-founder of the huge and very popular company Apple. Apparently he’d died of cancer, and I recall a few weeks back he’d quit the company to spend time with his family, presumably in the knowledge his remaining days were few. My only surprise was that I didn’t read about his untimely death on one of his own products, it was the good old-fashioned morning paper.

I know nothing about Steve Jobs, other than the fact his company make some of the best electronic gadgets I’ve ever seen. Apple make Ipods, Iphones, Ipads and Macs, I think that is pretty much the size of their product base, and they are brilliant, except the Mac, I could never get on with that.
In our house we own lots of Apple products (burglars please stop reading) including an Ipad, 2 Iphones and a selection of Ipods. My wife and eldest daughter own the iphones, and my youngest daughter and I have blackberries. Yes, a 13 and 10-year-old have these mobile phone gadgets, and to make matters worse, my eldest is still not happy as she only has the Iphone 3 and now wants the Iphone 4 like her Mum. Now I read they are bringing out an Iphone 4S (no idea what the S stands for?) and I expect she’ll put that on her Christmas list. I myself own two Ipods, the Touch and Classic versions, one for videos, games and music on the train, the other for music in the gym.

That’s the thing with kids, technology never seems to keep them entertained for too long these days, they always look towards the next thing.
Back in the 80’s I recall my Dad buying some shares in Apple. I remember seeing their logo on some paper work, all he said was they were a computer company. My Dad knew nothing about computers, he knows even less now, but I assume someone had advised him that Apple were going to be big, I have no idea if he still owns Apple shares, I guess probably not.

My Dad’s other 80’s computer investment was to buy us an Amstrad CPC464. In the 80’s Amstrad started their PC business around the same time as Apple launched their MacIntosh, and when I saw the box for our CPC464 I was the happiest kid in the world. The only issue was I had to share it with my two brothers.
The point I’m making is that my daughter has one of Steve Jobs brilliant Iphones, all to herself, no need to share, she can chat to her mates, play games, listen to music and send emails and texts from this brilliant gizmo in her pocket. Yet she moans it’s not good enough and wants the latest version.
Me, I had to share my brilliant gadget when I was her age, it sat on a home-made desk and even some weekend mornings when I got up early and tip-toed down the stairs to ensure I got there first, only to find my big brother already loading up the football manager cassette.

Ours was a green screen, something that will mean nothing to kids today, Amstrad brought out a colour screen version which a mate of mine had, but I didn’t care, as far as I was concerned it didn’t matter at all. This again proves my point about today’s kids, whatever they have, they want the next best thing. My CPC464 didn’t connect to the internet, couldn’t play movies and games took 10 – 15 minutes to load, which was the equivalent of today’s kids waiting 10 years.

Steve Jobs may well have been one of the greatest businessmen and innovators of our time, and Apple’s products are brilliant, but I wonder how long they’ll continue to be popular now that the great man has gone, and kids like my Daughter just want the next best thing all the time. Rest in peace Mr Jobs, you seem like a great man, but in my eyes, Mr Sugar and his CPC464 had the edge on you when it mattered the most to me.