Thursday, October 06, 2011

My favourite Apple moment

In light of today's news here's my favourite Mac, the original iBook.
In many ways, it wasn't the machine itself so grabbed me (cool as it was), it was the experience of unpacking it when it arrived in my office over a decade ago. In the box with the computer and the mains cord was a disc about the size of a hockey puck (on the right in the image above). I looked at it and wondered what on Earth it was. It looked like a giant yo-yo, with cable wrapped around instead of string. Then the penny dropped — it was the power supply. You plugged the mains cord into the yo-yo, then unwound just as much cord as you needed (oh, and when you connected it in to your iBook the plug glowed orange if the battery needed charging, green if it was fully charged). The child inside me squealed with delight (being a grown up I laughed out loud, rather than actually squealing).

The iBook still works (the battery is long dead, but plug the yo-yo into the mains and it still works), and it manages to run an early version of Mac OS X.

If anybody has to ask why people love Apple products, it's not because of the "brand", or the "exclusivity", it's because of the joy they can invoke. Someone cared enough to make the most mundane task — plugging a laptop into the mains — into a thing of beauty.