Wall Writings
My Mac Magazine #32, Dec. ’97

It’s nice and cold, with bitter winds. There’s a thick blanket of snow covering the ground. There are lights up all over the place. All of this can only mean one thing: it’s football playoff season in Iowa.

OK, I’m telling a half-truth. As I write this, it is football playoff season for both high school and area college teams here in Iowa. By the time you read this, though, it’ll be deep into the Christmas season. Either way, the above description is accurate!

Anyway, it IS Christmas season, and that means one thing for this underpaid columnist: as always, I’m on the lookout for easy column ideas, and so it’s time for the Second Annual Wall Writings Christmas Wish List. (Insert wild applause here.)

Here we go:

1. I want Windows computers to look past the floppy drive when restarting. You know how you can keep a floppy disk inserted in the floppy drive of a Mac during startup? The Mac automatically looks to the floppy drive first for a valid System folder, but if it doesn’t find one, it moves on. No big deal. Not the case with Windows machines, however. Let me give you a real-life example:

I’m busy working on a C++ program for one of my college classes. Upon compiling and running my program, however, I find that it contains a wonderful infinite loop. Of course, the only way out of this loop is to restart the machine. So I hit the “Reset” button and off I go. Only problem is, I had my floppy disk in the drive, never took it out, and the computer is now telling me that the disk in the floppy drive is not a bootable disk. (Well, duh!) So, what must I do? Restart again, this time taking the floppy disk out. Big time pain in the rear end.

2. I wish I could kill the talking paper clip that keeps on bugging me when I use Office 97 on the campus Windows computers. No, I don’t mean just turn him off or delete him, I mean kill him. Slowly and painfully. Anyone who uses Office 97 knows what I’m talking about. And if you don’t, consider yourself lucky.

3. I wish I had a Mac that could run Mac OS 8. ‘Nuff said.

4. OK, this one is more a suggestion than a wish, but now that Apple has pretty much killed the clone manufacturers, can we just start referring to everything in terms of “Macintosh” again instead of “Mac OS Computer?” Thank you. Now, I’m going to restart my computer, look at the “Welcome to Macintosh” splash screen, and then open the “About This Macintosh” box, OK? 🙂

5. I wish I could introduce all of the members of the Apple-bashing press to the starting unit of our college football team. Even better, let’s scrimmage… full contact!

6. I wish I had Kansas City Chiefs season tickets. (Just to show you that not everything on this list has to be computer-oriented! 🙂 )

7. And finally, I wish I could think of something else to make this column less cheesy. But, my brain is fried, I have semester finals to study for, and it’s just not gonna happen. Not all of your wishes can come true, I guess…

So, to all of you out there, Merry Christmas! May all of your wishes come true… even if mine don’t!

Mike Wallinga (mlwall@mtcnet.net)

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