Last year (2010) I got an e-mail out of the blue from a woman purporting to be a Graphic Designer with Apple wanting a full resolution deep-sky image for a presentation she was giving in a few hours. Yeah like right I have just got off the boat. So I told her that I don’t respond to e-mails out of the blue from someone I’ve never heard of before by giving out full resolution copies of my images. She responded by sending her phone number to check her out. I asked Noel Carboni to do this and she checked out o.k. but I still wasn’t going to send a full resolution image out and who in their right mind asks for something as important as that just hours before a presentation is due? It just didn’t make sense so basically I told her to clear off and forgot about the whole thing.
Then a few months later my son who is into anything to do with Apple showed me the background to the latest MAC OS X Lion which was Rob Gendler’s M31 – oops. Looks like that phone call was kosher after all. Can it possibly get any worse than that? Yep it can.
With the recent sad loss of Steve Jobs I just recalled today an e-mail I sent to Steve some time during 2005. I had just read the book ICon (which I thoroughly enjoyed) and had also just read his 2005 Stanford address where he stressed the importance of “doing what you love”. This statement both inspired and annoyed the hell out of me. Yes I would very much like to do what I love (Deep-Sky Imaging) but like most “normal” folk I actually have to hold down a day job that I don’t particularly like in order to pay the bills and feed the family. So, having thoroughly disgruntled me with his “do what you love” mantra I sent him an e-mail basically saying “yes, very good idea, how exactly in the Hell are you meant to do that?”. I told him what I loved and sent a couple of Deep-Sky images along to show him what I was talking about. Of course I heard nothing back (who would want to reply to the original grumpy old man) and I thought nothing more about it.
I am now informed by my son that background Deep-Sky images began with MAC OS X Leopard which according to Wikipedia was released on the 26th October 2007, and that Deep-Sky backgrounds have been the theme up until the most recent Lion release.
Was Steve prompted by my e-mail to use Deep-Sky images for these backgrounds? I guess I’ll never know. Even more worrying – did the Graphics Designer e-mail me at Steve’s request? I don’t believe in coincidences (I’ve experienced far too many “coincidences” like this that weren’t). So I’m guessing that yes, she was prompted by Steve to mail me and get some images for future MAC OS X releases. Am I gutted?? You bet I am.
Postscript: In September 2010 I took early retirement and have been “doing what I love” full-time ever since (completing the construction of the revolutionary mini-WASP array during this period). So Steve Jobs not only got it right but I also managed to do it without even realising it – what a very strange world!!