As I was about to sit down and write my editorial last week, something happened. Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computer Inc., died. It didn't take more than a couple of minutes before my Twitter stream filled with an outpouring of sadness. We had just experienced a collective loss of a visionary leader. Whether you are an Apple/Jobs fan or not, you have been influenced by the vision of this extraordinary man.

While not invented at Apple, the windowing interfaces we use today come as a direct result of Apple's creation of the Macintosh computer.

Who would have ever thought we would be buying our music for 99 cents a song? Steve Jobs thought that and executed it with the creation of the iTunes Store.

Steve Jobs and Apple Inc. brought effective and useful tablet computing to the masses where other companies tried and failed.

Steve Jobs killed the floppy drive. We will soon see the extermination of CD/DVD drives too. The App Store is the start of the end of these drives.

Steve Jobs and Apple also changed the world of mobile phones. There would probably be no Droid or Windows Phone 7 if it was not for the iPhone.

And sometimes the vision of Steve Jobs saved lives. Here's one of my favorite stories.

When the original Macintosh computer was being developed, a discussion of slow boot time occurred between Steve Jobs and Larry Kenyon:

Larry Kenyon was the engineer working on the disk driver and file system. Steve came into his cubicle and started to exhort him. "The Macintosh boots too slowly. You've got to make it faster!"

Larry started to explain about some of the places where he thought that he could improve things, but Steve wasn't interested. He continued, "You know, I've been thinking about it. How many people are going to be using the Macintosh? A million? No, more than that. In a few years, I bet five million people will be booting up their Macintoshes at least once a day."

"Well, let's say you can shave 10 seconds off of the boot time. Multiply that by five million users and that's 50 million seconds, every single day. Over a year, that's probably dozens of lifetimes. So if you make it boot ten seconds faster, you've saved a dozen lives. That's really worth it, don't you think?"

Steve's influence has made its way into the next version of Microsoft Windows as well. One of the major improvements in Windows 8 is the amount of time it takes to boot. In the aforementioned story, Jobs talked about affecting five million users. There are hundreds of millions of Windows installations worldwide. How many lives will the faster boot feature save?

One of the best things that Steve Jobs brought to the world was the fact that he wanted to share his vision. He wanted to make the world better for people, especially when it comes to using technology. He reminded us all that design matters and that what you do can affect other people in numerous ways. He reminded us that we are all unique and should use whatever skills we have to make lives better. He wanted us to think different.

To help try and make the world a better place, I want to point out two organizations that CODE Magazine supports. The first is Numerous charitable organizations are in dire need of software and GiveCamp gives people a chance to help create solutions for these organizations. Please check out that website to see where you can pitch in and help.

CODE Magazine also supports Code Camps. Code Camps happen in cities across the nation frequently and deliver free one-day conferences to their respective software communities. If you would like free copies of CODE Magazine for your Code Camp, go to

There are numerous other ways you can help. You can teach a class for a community center, you can tutor at a school or you can help install software for people that cannot travel easily. You can make a difference. You can change people's lives.

I will end this editorial with a well-used but still wonderful statement from an Apple ad campaign

Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that's never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

We make tools for these kinds of people.

While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

So go out there and change the world. Steve would be proud.