About 22 years ago I was a cub reporter, the new kid covering provincial politics from the Press Gallery at the BC Legislature.
Computers, being in their infancy, were pretty rudimentary. My PC blinked at me each morning from within its CRT Monitor, the kind with orange text on black backing. The text was what it was, illuminated and plain. It did the job.
I met some friends during those years who had a Studio in Fernwood called Softa Codeworks, a group of talented guys who had just taken up with these strange computers called Macs. They looked outright goofy, these Macs, all square and boxy. But… the screen… the soft white background, their dramatically graphic and friendly faces, and that mouse thing?
I had computer envy.
I wanted fonts. I liked that mouse, and secretly.. I wanted a little trash can on my screen for deleting stuff.
Mike and Dave Dlugos, and Bill Code, were true Pioneers. Softa Codeworks was one of the first North American stashes of those crazy Macs, and the place became home to 24 x 24 hour production of awe inspiring stuff previously left to union typesetters and graphics industry professionals. Wild and suddenly free imaginations were unleashed, bringing forward bold and brilliant computer aided designs, illustrations, animations and most of all… ideas. These original pixel cowboys were unwittingly busy triggering the downfall of entire professions.
But… I had computer envy. The more I hung around that studio.. the more I had to; just to see these Mac things in action, to see these guys make them shine.
I just got my new PC, so I didn’t run out and get a Mac. But I did find, soon after.. a program on the store shelf called Windows. I saw that neat mouse arrow, the fonts, paint screens and that… cute trash can. I was home.
Mac or PC… my move to this friendly “make stuff” inspiring screen would mean the end of my career as a reporter. It made way for an uncontrollable appetite for computer based creation, for e-fabrication of any kind. My new “imagination based pursuit” lead to work, and life, in the most spectacular places and fascinating times.
The boys at Softa drew, from that goofy little box called Mac, the power of ten thousand Davincis in every artistic, inventive and exploratory sense. They rolled up their sleeves FIRST, and created a future for so many, including me. At Softa Codeworks I met, and fired up my inner Davinci; I’ve created, invented and explored ever since.
When some of us say thanks to Steve, even though we didn’t know him, it’s because we know this would all be different if it weren’t for him. It might also be good, but it wouldn’t be Softa Codeworks, and there may have been no inner Davinci for me.
Bill, Mike, Dave; while Steve did put forth that goofy box, it was you guys that brought it to life. It was you that rocked the damn thing with more piss n vinegar than I’ve ever seen since, and it was you that sparked my curiosity and will to learn… it turned my life, and so many others, into an outright adventure.
Thank you guys. Thank you Softa. And yah, thank you Steve.