This iBrotha article was originally published at MacAddict.com by Rodney O. Lain. In honor of Rodney’s death, a good friend and contributor, we are reposting here with the permission of MacAddict. We would like to thank them for their generosity in allowing us to remember Rodney by keeping this archive of his work.
On OS X (DR3): “What does ‘funk’ sound like?”
Introducing “Mac Daddy” (dedicated to Langston Hughes and Mike Royko, who did this first…and best)
“Being a columnist is like being married to a nymphomaniac: for the first couple of weeks, it’s fun.”
— Lewis Grizzard, A Great American
Every now and then, I like to stop by the local CompUSA and visit with my friend “Mac Daddy,” the store’s resident Mac evangelist.
When I’m lucky, I can find him not being mobbed by customers eager to talk with him and get the latest feel-good vibe about all things Macintosh. Today was a lucky day. He seemed more high-strung than usual.
“Man, you won’t believe what happened to me today!”
“You know I work at Big Mac Software Company, right? Well, peep this: we got our developer’s copy of Mac OS X DR3 today! This is the real deal — not that GUI-less DR2 we’d been playing with for the last few months. It has the Aqua GUI, the protected memory and a bag of chips. After they installed it on our iMac test machine, no one got any work done, we were playing with it so much!”
You’re lying. You always lie about stuff like that, trying to impress me. Remember last week when you said that “Pismo” would have a clam-shell appearance, á la the iBook? They announced it yesterday, and I didn’t see any clams, ace.
“Okay, I got that one feature wrong.”
“One feature”? You also said that it would have new, colored plastics…
“Look, punk, are you here to buy somethin’ or what?”
Oh, so you get defensive when someone punches holes through your Mac-hismo, hunh? But everyone’s supposed to sit and listen to your rambling, like last time I was here, and you were bragging about having been interviewed on The Mac Show. Boy, everyone’s been on that show. It’s nothing but “Jerry Springer” for Mac users, anyway. Why, every week, somebody gets into verbal fisticuffs. It was funny the way John Farr and Martellaro got to playing the dozen, taking about each other’s mama. And you? You spent more time promoting your writings than talking about Mac stuff.
Always wanting to brag about how you’re not like those “rabid Mac addicts” that you love to excoriate. Yeah, you’re not like the Mac addicts; you’re worse!
“Man, Mac Daddy is not like those punk-ass cheese eaters!”
I knew he had stopped being defensive, when I heard him fall into his self-referential-speak. The only other people I know who refer to themselves in the third person are egomaniacs. This guy’s got a bad case of egomania, to be sure…
Okay, Mac Daddy, let’s just assume that you’re telling the truth: you really do have a test copy of OS X at work. So, placate my Missouri-bred skepticism, and tell me the skinny on this much-ballyhooed “next-generation Operating System.”
“Man, all I can say is that it looks gooooood.”
With that, he made an ugly face that signified his getting into the groove of some unheard R&B song.
“Man, that thing is tight. But you know I can’t tell you anything without breaking my employer’s Non-Disclosure Agreement.”
Then why the hell did you even mention it? If you were a girl, you’d be called a tease.
“Man, you know how hard it is to keep this a secret? It’s like having Vanessa Williams come and give you a whole night of freaky-circus sex — every night — and make you swear that you’ll die if you tell anyone, knowhutImean?”
Whatever. Are you gonna tell me or not?
“No, but I will say that it works just like the version that Steve Jobs demoed at Macworld. I didn’t expect that. I thought he was running a smoke-and-mirrors demo that had nothing but a couple of features enabled or hacked to appear they were enabled. This has it all: the transparent drop-down menus work as advertised. The application dock functionality by itself made a few QA guys swoon. Most of us had to go and smoke a cigarette after we finished playing with it, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. And I don’t even smoke!
But the coolest thing was…hey, you’re not gonna write about this, are you? I saw how you did Sinbad last month, writing about your private conversation with him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he found you, jerked your skinny butt out of your pants and laid the smack down on ya.”
Hey, I apologized to him — even though he hasn’t written me back…
“I wouldn’t write you back, either. Yo’ punk ass…”
Hey, look, you need to at least tell me something so I can let the readers know what to expect out of the new OS.
“I ain’t sayin’ a thing. The last thing I need is to have Apple’s lawyers calling me, reminding me of the NDA.”
Oh, come on, man. You know you can’t keep a secret. You can’t hold spit in your mouth. You’re gonna tell me sooner or later. Make it sooner.
“Okay, I’ll tell you a couple of things, but you gotta promise not to write about it.”
I promise. Cross my heart, hope to die and go to hell where I’ll be forced to install Windows NT on PCs for all eternity.
“Um, yeah. Anyway. Here’s a tidbit for you, boy: there aren’t any more control panels and extensions in the new OS. Everything is now considered an application, it seems, and ends with the .app extension…”
Anyone who has read any news report over the last two years has known that since day one! Come on, dude. Gimme some dirt!
“Okay, well…of course you know that the Unix command-line interface is a nice feature for getting under the OS hood, so to speak — if you’re into arcana. But the greatest thing I saw probably won’t impress you and the other geeks in Mac-Web Land…what’s that? Oh, no, ma’am. This guy isn’t a customer. He’s a friend. Let me get rid of him and then I can talk to you about the best-selling computer in CompUSA’s history. Yes, ma’am. I’m talking about that iMac right over there…Now, Lain, you go and write your little column; I’ve got to go and preach the gospel to the heathen. But that’s all the info you’re getting from me. I do know what you should be writing about. You should tell people that when they install Mac OS X, they will find out how the funk sounds on a computer, and they will have Apple to thank for it.”
“The Funk. You know…>singing< ‘I just want to…thank you…for lettin’ me…be myself.’ Apple has introduced some new system sounds and one of them is called ‘funk.’ I can’t describe it, but it sounds cool. A couple of guys at work started bopping their heads to the beat when they heard it. Apple, as always, has paid attention to the details, the same details that Microsoft has bastardized into the clunky slop of code known as Windows. Based on what I’ve seen, Apple will be on top again, even if it’s on looks alone. Think about that, and then go and write your column, media boy.”
You know, it’s secretive “sources” like you who make column writing such a chore at times.
>holding up his hand to my face< “Talk to the hand! Or get out of here. And next time you come in, why don’t you buy something, ‘kay? My boss is starting to think you’re my boyfriend or sump’n. Now, get out of here wit’ your punk ass.”