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Eric Lange
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Cannot figure out how to change my profile information on G+.  It should be easier than this.

Austin Rivers!

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Fuji-san at sunset
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The death of Steve Jobs has affected me more than I thought it would.

I was 11 years old in 1982 when my dad brought the Apple ][+ home. This was the result of Steve’s first significant marketing success. My dad was the principal of Lowell Elementary School in south Lorain, Ohio. As part of Apple’s strategy of targeting education, the school was allotted at first one, and then eventually two Apple computers (the second, the Apple ][e). The school was located in an intercity neighborhood, and was the victim of frequent break ins (I remember this because my dad was called in every time it happened). To protect what was at the time very expensive equipment, he would bring the computer home for safe keeping on weekends and holidays. Thus began a love affair that would last a lifetime.

I learned to program on that computer. I learned how mathematics and science work together. I crossed the Oregon Trail a thousand times (even learning how to cheat via a signed/unsigned integer bug). I followed a maze of twisty little passages, exclaimed “XYZZY”, called -151, and learned all the tricks from Beagle Brothers. This is how I spent my weekends and summers (often forgetting to eat or sleep) until I owned my first real personal computer in 1989. At this point, I took my first break from Steve’s products and didn’t own another until I bought an iPod 15 years later. I look back on those first Apple years with great affection. They defined me. They introduced me to a profession that I never looked at as a means of income. It was then, continues to be, and always will be a passion. I simply never understood people who hated their jobs. I couldn’t relate. I got paid to do what I would do anyway on my own time. What could be better than that?

I never considered myself a fanboi. My 15 Steve-free years introduced me to openness, something that I couldn’t imagine living without. I learned about building ecosystems and preferred to live in a more democratic world. I have no fewer than four Linux machines at home, and several Android handsets. I grew tired of the smugness and closed “my way or the highway” attitude of Apple products. I had moved on. But did I really? As I take inventory of my obsession, my wife and I have one 15” Macbook Pro, one 11” MacBook Air (my favorite computer I’ve ever owned), one 13” MacBook, at least four iPods, and one iPad. My wife is on her third or fourth iPhone (I had one, but decided I prefer Android). And the coup de gras? I have one pristine, fully functional Apple ][e sitting plugged in on a desk in my garage. The location of this piece of history is no accident, nor is it a relegation to obsolescence. No, it is a tribute and a source of inspiration. It is a testament to what one can achieve in one own’s garage.

In Steve’s iconic commencement address at Stanford in 2005, he said "... I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” When I first heard that line, it gnawed at me. I think about it all the time. Since Steve’s passing, it is all I can think about.

Steve, you inspired me at 11, and continue to do so at 40. You introduced me to my first love; indeed you gave birth to her. You are who I’ve always wanted to be.

I know I need to change something.

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Sake bar in the ANA Lounge at Narita. Why not?
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I realize this is quite an anomaly for this part of the world, but it is almost comical that the earthquake made the news here in Tokyo.

Got this "international security alert" in my inbox:


"Japan: Further protests possible in Tokyo over television station's Korean programming schedule

Around 6,000 people demonstrated from midday (local time) on 21 August outside the offices of a television network in the capital Tokyo's Odaiba district, to protest against the airing of South Korean programming."

Definitely a first-world problem.

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Finally! More rye than you can shake a stick at. 
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Chromebook on display at SFO. I heard really positive feedback. 
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