The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Thursday, 07 December 2006]

The MacBook and the Apple curse

Back in Ice Age when I was a kid, we didn’t have remote controls for our TVs. You wanted to change the channel, you got your ass off the couch and pushed the analog button on the TV.

Too tired to get up? You’re watching whatever comes on after your show.

When remote controls first came on the scene, I scoffed. Scoffed, I say. “Who is that lazy?” I asked myself.

But of course things change and after a while what used to be a frivolous luxury becomes a necessity.

Which brings us to Apple. When they brought out the Aluminum PowerBooks they came with what were surely the most baroque “improvements” ever: A backlit keyboard and a light sensor that adjusts the screen brightness according to the ambient light.

I figured the backlit keyboard could, perhaps, be useful for typing on airplanes or if you’re hiding from the zombies in a darkened bunker in the burned out waste land that is all that remains of civilization, or something like that. But for everyday use? Sheesh. Real men touch type.

Now I’m testing a MacBook Amateur (i. e., not Pro†) for work, and was geeking out on the couch at home as the sun set. And then, as the room got darker, my display was too bright and I couldn’t see the keys!

The horror, the horror.

So, thanks, Apple, for raising yet another bar.

†I believe there ought to be a law that if you release a product with the word “professional” in the name, you should also be forced to release one called “amateur;” if you release a product with “advanced” in the name, you should also be forced to release one called “simple.”

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