iPod Nano 3G
iPod Nano 3G
Name: Jared Castiglione
Profession: Network design engineer
Current town: Lowell, Mass.
Age: 32

As a kid, some of my most prized possessions would be dismissed as silly gadgets by adults who couldn't understand what made it so important to me. Pocket-sized trinkets and toys spoke to me more so than other larger ones. My first radio wasn't a boom box, but a small AM/FM tuner the size of a deck of cards. It was mine, all mine!

And for me, that's what Apple's products are. Something I can claim as mine. It's often a small, fun toy that's been disguised as something important and necessary. My iPod has all the innocence that my Donkey Kong II handheld did back in the late 1980s. The iPod gives us the means to imagine and to inspire ourselves; to be creative and embellish the reality around us.

The iPod was first released just a month after 9/11, and it gave us all a reminder that things will be okay; to remember the good in life and to be hopeful of better days to come. The iPod was exactly what we, as Americans, needed -- even if we didn't know it. And that comfort is what I will miss most now.

I have admired Steve Jobs for as long as I can remember. I've had an Apple something or other in my life since my freshman year of high school, all the way back in 1993. I cheered when he returned, I laughed when he unveiled the new "iMac G4" just moments before the real one was unveiled, and I was hopeful for his recovery.

Today, my admiration continues. By stepping down as CEO, Steve has shown us all how human he really is. He's successfully separated himself from Apple at a time in his life other than his death. As Michael Stipe once said, "don't confuse the singer with the song."


Last updated August 25 2011: 4:34 PM ET
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Apple's empire

As Steve Jobs steps down, Tim Cook takes over a tech giant in the best financial shape of its 35-year history.

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