Notes to Steve Jobs

Screen capture of Apple's memorial to Steve Jobs on the Apple website (Apple Computer / October 4, 2011)

A day after the death of Apple co-founder and technological visionary Steve Jobs, who died Wednesday, Oct. 5, after a long battle with cancer, it was business as usual at the Apple Store in Towson Town Center.

Dozens of customers and employees went about their business normally, and the only mention of Jobs was his obituary on the front page of a newspaper that one of the customers brought in.

But that's not to say he wasn't on everyone's mind.

Marie Bellatoni, 50, of Towson, had to go to the Apple Store Thursday because of a problem with her iPad, but had plenty to say about the man responsible for her iPhone, iPod and iPad.


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She still has her Apple II — featuring a then-revolutionary 4-inch screen, 4 megabyte hard drive and 250 megabytes of RAM — in her basement, and knowing what she does about Apple products, she's confident that it would still boot up and function 15 years later.

"It was exactly what Steve Jobs wanted it to be," Bellatoni said. "It was functional for the non-geek."

When she was in college, any computing had to be done in the computer science lab, which required a knowledge of how computers worked.

Jobs' personal computer was right up her alley.

"I don't want to know how computers work," she said. "I just want it to do my tasks. And if, as a reasonably bright person, I can't figure it out, then the programmer didn't do his job."

Elizabeth Coxe lives in Phoenix, and said she regularly brings her Apple desktop into the Towson store for one-on-one sessions.

Coxe found herself in the Apple store to have the new operating system, Lion, installed on her computer by what she called the "A-plus-plus" staff.

"People say he's a genius and emphasize what he's done, but he also cares about people," Coxe said of Jobs. She said that philosophy of care had been passed down through the Apple company to the people who served her Thursday.

"I don't know any company anywhere with customer service like Apple," Coxe said.

But just as big of a factor in customers' previous experiences with a Jobs-led Apple is the future.

Ann Weadock, 59 of Ruxton, another loyal Apple user who has an iPhone, iPad and a couple of iPods, said it won't be the next line of products that Jobs oversaw that will be the litmus test for Apple — but the following one that determines the company's future.

"It's all about what they do going forward," she said.

Still, that the Apple store in Towson looked demographically as it did the day after Jobs' passing — with dozens of customers who, to put it generously, might not normally be considered "tech savvy" — could be seen as a testament to Jobs' vision that everyone should be able to have and use a computer.

"He's only six years older than I am, and he changed the world," Bellatoni said. "What a loss."

What do you think? Do you think the world, and your life, is different or better because of the ideas that Steve Jobs helped create and promote? What do you think is his lasting impact? Share your thoughts in our comments section.