RIP, Steve

Whoa. I can’t say I was surprised at the announcement this week, but I was surprised by my reaction. First, the disclaimer: I’m not quite an Apple fanboy, but I’m pretty close. Still, while I appreciated the role Steve Jobs played in the Apple mystique, I feel I’ve always been pretty centered in the sense that I knew Apple was more than simply an outlet for Steve’s creative energy. There are lots of very smart people there, empowered to some extent by the single-minded attention to the experience that was promulgated by their CEO, granted, but there’s more than one voice contributing to that chorus. I continue to have faith.
But the announcement, and later contemplation, brought tears. For someone I’d never met, never dreamed of meeting. Someone about whom I’d heard both good and bad, about the creative genius and the autocratic despot. In Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game series, the main character becomes a “Speaker for the Dead”, someone who speaks the truth about the departed, good and bad, without regard for politics or social subtleties. To accomplish that end, the Speaker had to become intimately familiar with who the deceased truly was, a sometimes awkward and even painful exercise. But the catharsis, the clarity, provided by this feat, simultaneously epic and humble, incorporated an intrinsic value: truth. I hope we have Speakers to remind us who this flawed and yet amazing person really was.

Steve and I share a birthday. There’s a year between us, but it’s still strange to see that date in print, to grasp that he’s gone, to mourn the loss and at the same time appreciate the life he led and the impact he had. Indulging in a bit of geeking out, I watched the original iPhone keynote, re-experiencing the feeling that the earth was moving, just a little bit, as he described those capabilities that are now considered table stakes.

I look forward to feeling the earth move again, to be surprised and inspired. I have a taste for it now.

Thanks Steve.

iPhone 4.0: Calendar FAIL

Test driving the 4.0 iPhone OS. Overall, cool – occasionally very cool. Except the calendar.
The calendar.

An app I rely heavily on, an app that wasn’t supposed to have much in the way of changes for 4.0.

Well, it does.

Calendar now alerts you to appointments as before – with the added benefit of alerts for appointments long past. Even a couple of years past. And it seems to be able to loop, reminding you of the same event numerous times (I’ve seen as many as 4 reminders for one event. In the past.).

‘And of course, while you’re pressing the Close or View button over and over (and over…), the phone isn’t usable.

(And, as I subsequently found out, checking the box in the iCal preferences on my Macbook to purge all events older than 90 days does just that – with the bonus of sending out “Declined” for every purged event. In my case, that was over 450 of ’em. But I suppose it at least renewed my correspondence with a (largish) number of people.)

And the iPhone 4.0 calendar seems to be unable to sync invitations that have been accepted, so now I need to accept an event on my mac and on my iphone independently. And accepting an invite from the invites list does not, apparently, do the same thing as accepting an invite by tapping it in the calendar view. So now I accept invites 3 times?

Please.