Clarus Lives-- And Glows (5/29/01)

Hands up, who misses Clarus? Granted, the lovable dogcow isn't completely missing from Mac OS X (as we've noted in a previous episode), but a resource buried eighty levels deep and an obscure text-only "Moof" Easter egg don't exactly constitute prime time placement. Given the many years that Clarus has faithfully served the Mac community-- as the "z" in the Cairo font, the model in the Page Setup dialog box, and the cuddly mascot to legions of Mac developers-- surely she deserves some more air time, right? Well, certainly faithful viewer Mike Margolis thought so, because he was kind enough to write in about his own personal tribute to everyone's favorite moofer. Behold the glory of... the Dogcow iBook!

That's right, sports fans; Mike grabbed a screwdriver, popped the cover off his brand new iBook, slapped a printout of Clarus right over the Apple logo, and put everything back together. The result? Well, when the 'Book is off or sleeping, that crystal Apple logo looks pretty much the same as it used to-- but when the system is in use, Clarus Appears Magically As If From Nowhere™ to bathe happily in the soothing glow of Apple's logo. (Now if only we could find some way to get her tail a-waggin'...)

Of particular interest to us is Mike's note that he was using his moofBook while seated in the front row at the WWDC "fireside chat" last week-- and Steve Jobs saw his handiwork. Now, given the fact that Steve's obsession with preserving the sanctity of the Apple logo seems to border on the psychotic (the apocryphal tale of his hissy fit over some Apple watches is still a favorite bedtime story around the AtAT compound), we're mildly surprised that the man didn't fly into a paroxysm of blind fury, leap from the stage, and start throttling Mike right then and there while foaming at the mouth and speaking in tongues. Instead, though, Steve actually smiled. While we admit it's tough for a mere mortal to resist Clarus's charms, we're pleased to hear that even The Mighty Steve apparently has a soft spot in his heart for the dogcow. (It's possible that Steve was simply smiling as he contemplated how he would exact his terrible vengeance later on in a less public setting, but given that it's a week later and Mike's still alive enough to send email, we doubt it.)

We'd be remiss not to mention that pulling a stunt like Mike's and cracking open your iBook to mess with Apple's logo will cause your warranty to vanish with an audible popping sound, leaving behind nothing but a sad little puff of smoke; still, if you're willing to live warranty-free (and to risk Steve's wrath), the world can always use a few more dogcows. If we weren't such wussies about preserving warranties, we'd pry open our Pismo and slip a little label under its glowing Apple logo-- an arrow and some block text reading "THIS SIDE UP" to help counter the upside-down effect. Maybe once we make it past the one-year mark...

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The above scene was taken from the 5/29/01 episode:

May 29, 2001: Microsoft sinks to new lows by shipping its own software in a Mac OS X box. Meanwhile, the ghostly image of Saint Clarus miraculously appears within the Apple logo of a blessed iBook, and the New York Times mistakenly identifies "Think different" as a Redmond ad slogan...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3079: Now Shipping: Mac OS XP (5/29/01)   Okay, we know that there's plenty of controversy over whether or not Microsoft is trying to copy various aspects of Mac OS X with its upcoming Windows XP operating system. Many folks have looked askance at Microsoft's decision to break from its long-held protocol of naming its operating systems after the years in which they ship (or are supposed to ship) in favor of the "XP" moniker, right after Apple used an "X" in the name of its new operating system...

  • 3081: Bill Invented Everything (5/29/01)   Wow, just when we thought that Apple's branding efforts were paying off big-time, something had to come along and spoil the party. Given that it's been almost four years since its controversial debut in 1997, we figured that your average guy on the street would be able to attribute the phrase "Think different" to our lovable Mac-makers in Cupertino...

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