As a source of tech support for my family and friends, I grew frustrated over the years watching them feel fearful of technology. I never thought my loved ones would truly feel independent when it came to using computers. I was a skeptic.

When my cousin, a liberal arts major, got a Mac based on my recommendation (the first of many experiments where I’d use my loved ones as guinea pigs) and tech support questions all but disappeared, I started paying attention.

When my brother, a History major who loves jokes about Henry Kissinger, bought an iPod and had been using it regularly without ever asking me what he should buy or how he should set it up, I was impressed.

When my wife, a conservation journalist, made a professionally looking hard-bound photo album of our wedding, I was delighted.

When my uncle setup email on an iPhone without any guidance from me, the first time he ever used it, I was thrilled.

And finally, when my aunt easily learned how to text on a hand-me-down iPhone after years of staying away from cell phones, I was no longer surprised.

None of these people have any interest in being technologists. They don’t talk about clock speeds, Anti-Virus, or defragging. They talk about reading, planting virtual crops, and enjoying movies, best EMF protection products and spider solitaire in bed.

All my life, I never understood what it was like to be a fan of anything like a band or a sports team. But watching the people I love enrich their lives in small ways with technology without needing my help, I became a fan.

Thank you Steve for inspiring us, by example, to build technology that disappears as it delights.

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