Posts Tagged ‘Apple


Slide to Unlock

slide to unlockTechnology has a funny way of making us into little trained monkeys. I can’t let an hour go by without checking my email. I can’t wait to tell everyone what I ate for lunch via Facebook status! I don’t bother to wear a watch, because my cell phone tells me the time just fine, and more accurately.

And now that I have an iPhone, I have been introduced to a new mantra. In order to perform any of the above essential life functions, I now must pass the gatekeeper: “slide to unlock.” It is the new automatic motion. The new reflex. The new magic. The new go-to for all life’s conundrums. Missed the bus? Slide to unlock. Credit card denied? Slide to unlock. Your gym is overcrowded? Got into a fender bender? Spilled coffee down the front of your shirt? Slide to unlock.



    iPod Generation 3 ... dead
A fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.

Last week, walking to work one morning, in the first 30 seconds of “Big Wheel” by Tori Amos, my iPod suddenly shut off. When I turned it on, it had registered half battery life, so I tried firing it up again. But it wouldn’t start up. It just cycled through the reboot and never got through to the menu screen. The battery had been acting up for well over a year, so I assumed it would shut off on its own, as usual, and I would just charge it up again at work.

When I pulled it out later to charge it, it was still running. It was still rebooting. Over and over and over. And it was hot to the touch. I held the Menu and the Play/Pause buttons to reset it, but it never got past its opening screen. Click, whirrrrrr, bzzzzz… pause. Click, whirrrrrr, bzzzzz… pause. Click, whirrrrrr, bzzzzz… pause.

I began to panic and went to the Apple Web site, but I couldn’t do anything about it with my work PC. I needed my Mac at home. Eventually it puttered out and stopped spinning. Safe … for now.

That night I couldn’t even get it to mount to the desktop; nor could I get iTunes to recognize it — so I could do absolutely nothing to reset or restore. No amount of troubleshooting would help.

After five years, my iPod’s number is up. His little ticker has finally gone out. Long will I remember the countless hours of Madonna, Tori Amos, Cyndi Lauper, Indigo Girls, Gorillaz, ’80s playlists, the Wicked soundtrack. I will be forever grateful for years of encouragement on the Bally’s treadmill with Ultimate Kylie and Confessions on a Dancefloor. Those days are over.

My iPod was Generation 3, the last model before the display went color. Before the click wheel. Before the 30GB model. Before video.

He filled my heart with joy, but at 20 GB — five times the size of my first Mac G3 desktop machine, mind you &8212; he had not yet been filled with music.

Now he has gone to Abraham’s bosom. He’s bitten the big one, the biscuit, the dust. He’s kicked the bucket. He’s bought the farm, cashed in (or cached, for the geeks) his chips, checked out, climbed the golden staircase. He’s cooking for the Kennedys. He is passing over Jordan. He is gathered to his fathers. He has met his maker. He has joined the ancestors. He’s croaked. He’s snuffed it. He’s toast. He’s dead meat. He’s given an obolus to Charon, crossed the river on the Stygian ferry — to the undiscovered country, fallen into the dreamless sleep. He is at journey’s end. He is sailing on the grey ships. He’s done like dinner. He’s flat-lined. It’s curtains for my poor iPod. It’s Taps. He is information superhighway roadkill. He’s feeding the fishes. He’s worm food. He’s going home feet first, toes up. Therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for my iPod. He’s shuffled off his mortal coil. He’s shit the bed. He’s gone to his just reward, his last home, his rest, his last account, the last roundup, the sweet hereafter, the happy hunting ground. He is sowing the Elysian Fields. He’s met the grim ferryman, the grim reaper, the great leveller. He’s hung up his tack. He’s picking up his harp. He has left the building. He has been launched into eternity. He’s on the road to nowhere. He’s paid the piper. Pegged out. Pulled the plug. He’s given up the ghost. He’s pushing up daisies, singing with the angels, sleeping with the fishes. He’s six feet under.

I’m gonna miss you, little guy.

(Special thanks to Dead & Buried.)


Ethereal Apple Logo at 59th and 5th

Let us worship it …
[<a href="
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I’m new to New York City, but I’m pretty sure this is not what they mean by “The Big Apple.”

I don’t know why I’m remembering this now, but when I was approaching the southeast corner of Central Park on the morning of the New York AIDS Walk this year, I saw something near the corner of 59th and 5th Avenue that gave me the creeps yet filled me with a sense of materialistic wonder.

There is a house-sized glass cube parked in front of a building there, inside of which seems to float an enormous, white, glowing Apple logo.

Like the glass-pyramid entrance to the Louvre, I have learned, this is (or will be) the entrance to a flagship Apple Store in Manhattan. A glass box in 21st century Manhattan is not quite as incongruous as a glass pyramid in the garden of a 12th century French palace. It follows more closely Apple’s current design aesthetic. (They haven’t tried a pyramidal shape for any of their hardward yet, have they? Not yet, anyway.)

It’s very minimalistic. (Can minimalism be expressed in terms of quantity if it is meant to be an expression of the littlest possible? This reminds me of the impossible “very unique.”) But the implied worshipfulness seems spooky to me. I don’t deny the existence of the Cult of Mac. I am a proud member. Treating this logo as an object to showcase in itself turns it from a simple storefront sign into something exalted. It’s like a golden calf, raised high so we may gaze up at it, like the star that led the Magi to Bethlehem.

the untallied hours