It’s a classic winter day in Aspen. Snow is falling like heavy cotton as photographer Jeffrey Aaronson sits hunched over his light table, editing film. As he lowers his loupe and glances up from his slides for a moment, he suddenly notices a flash of brown amidst all the white outside his window. A UPS truck is pulling up in front of his studio. Jeffrey isn’t expecting a package, so curiosity immediately tickles his frontal lobe.
In a matter of minutes Jeffrey finds himself staring at a large white box sitting on his studio floor. He can do little more than shake his head and smile when he sees the word Macintosh printed on its side, along with its signature apple design.
Inside the box he finds a brand new Apple Macintosh 128K computer along with a keyboard and a new thing called a mouse. He also finds a handwritten note from Steve Jobs. It simply reads:
“Be a part of the future—Steve”
At that moment, Jeffrey knows he has just opened up more than a computer box; he has opened up his entire world—a world in which anything is possible. Not because of the machine per se, but because of the impact the machine’s creator has had on him. The computer is merely a symbol of all that is possible when a brilliant imagination is supported by hard work and fearlessness. Jeffrey smiles at the boldness of his friend’s characteristically minimal note, and is stunned by his generosity. But then again, not really. In the past month, Steve Jobs has bowled him over countless times.
Jeffrey’s improbable journey with the man who changed our modern world started with a call he received from Newsweek in early January 1984.