In 1992 I was a lonely idealist (okay, I wasn't really lonely), working for Apple, trying to convince a college campus that they wanted to use Macintoshes instead of PC's. At the time Apple had a few great things, and they had a few not so great things. These were the years that Jobs was off founding NExT, he wouldn't return for years. But when he did, he'd take those thing that Apple had -- the weird idea that you'd want to have a sort of electronic Rolodex you'd carry around, that you can take notes on, that would schedule your appointments, the idea that you'd want to be able to talk to your computer and have it do things, the idea that a computer didn't sit on your desk, but that it belonged in your pocket, the idea that you could read a book on your computer and it could have sound and it could have video -- he took those things and he made them work.
And all these years later, I still have the Powerbook 145 I bought that year (and I still have my Newton message pad that I won for convincing the most people that cake was better than being punched in the face) and the crazy thing is, that when I need to write without distraction, I still take my Powerbook off the shelf and take it to the coffee shop and use it, even though it's 20 years old -- it doesn't really seem like I'm behind the curve.
That's what Apple has been to me, something you could reach back two decades and bring home with you and it still feels innovative.