Reflections of a True Believer
Steve Jobs is gone.
In the days since the death of Apple's co-founder, a lot has been written on his vision, his genius, and how he changed the world. It’s all true.
My relationship with Steve is much simpler and more personal. It’s really a relationship with an idea: The Mac. The Mac was designed to be the "computer for the rest of us,” and I was one of them. I became a True Believer the first time I picked up a mouse, and I’ve been one ever since.
My first computer was a Mac 512 plus with – are you ready for this – a hard drive! That was unheard of! I didn’t have a clue on how to write code and didn’t intend to learn. I was totally intimidated by the command line. White letters on a blue screen were hard to read. If you did try to format a document (change fonts, margins, etc.), you didn’t have any idea what the final product was going to look like until you printed it. I’d rather chew off an arm than call tech support. Well, maybe that’s a stretch, but not too much of one.
I had just started a new job at a large state university in the Midwest. Our tech guy, who happened to be a student, provided tech support for our publishing systems. He saw the genius of the Mac, and the impact it would have on our business, and started pushing the printing department toward Macs. And man was he right.
The Mac was intuitive – it made sense, and it didn’t take a lot of training to use. MacDraw and MacWrite came standard. We had a networked Laser Writer II down the hall, and the pages that came out of it looked just like the images on the screen. Imagine that!
Ray Chambers, CGCM, MBA, has invested over 30 years managing and directing printing plants, copy centers, mail centers and award-winning document management facilities in higher education and government.
Most recently, Chambers served as vice president and chief information officer at Juniata College. Chambers is currently a doctoral candidate studying Higher Education Administration at the Pennsylvania State University (PSU). His research interests include outsourcing in higher education and its impact on support services in higher education and managing support services. He also consults (Chambers Management Group) with leaders in both the public and private sectors to help them understand and improve in-plant printing and document services operations.