Article: Introducing the Apple ShyMac and ShyBook

by on August 8, 2002

Hurrah! Colored computers and fancy optical mice aplenty. Chant that ‘Think Different’ mantra, don’t bathe and go wandering free in that glorious reality distortion field. Been there, seen it, bought the Mac. Now help me out here; after all this, my Macs are chronically shy!

They know me. They understand me. They might even like me. I never taught them not to speak to strangers, and I don’t leave them in the same room as the TV, so it’s not like they can switch it on while I sleep and watch scary police dramas. Yet I only have to invite a guest to come take a look at them, and the Macs take every opportunity they can to freeze, lock, hang and whatever else they can as quickly as possible, while proudly sporting the big Apple logo. This never bodes well.

The amount of times I have been working away happily on the machine, only to have someone turn up, have a quick glance and ‘BANG’, instant lock up quicker than I can blink.

I use a clamshell iBook. Now its bad enough that people have so frequently referred to it as a toilet seat, or a big purse as I carry it. However, my most embarrassing moment came only last weekend. I decided to take it to a friends house, to display my many photos of a recent holiday that I had saved to the Hard Drive (“Very high tech” I thought to myself). When I arrived, I took out the ‘Book, felt the derisory glances and powered up. ‘BANG’ instant problem. The infamous 640×480 resolution at startup problem, with no known cure (that I was aware of). So, I politely made small talk and quickly restarted the machine. ‘BANG’, it happened again. More hasty small-talk, wait for startup and restart once more. By the third time my friends were bored of the wait and complaining to me that, “Why the hell did you get a Mac?” and, “Does it take THAT long just to start up?”

I have owned the iBook for just over a year, and in all that time, the lower screen res startup issue had only happened to me three times, with many months separating the occurrences. This time I had it happen three times in succession, in front of many people! So embarrassing, especially considering how I’ve been telling people how I love my Macs. Aarrrgh!

Of course while typing this article, I have had the good thought to simply go into the control panels and access the iBook’s monitor resolution that way, one click, and all is well.

In the words of Homer: “D’oh!”

My moniker is decidedly apt, don’t you think?

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