Mourning the machine

Charles Cowling


Posted by our technology correspondent, Richard Rawlinson


Congratulations to Sir Jonathan Ive, creative head of Apple, for his knighthood this week. The Brit behind the superb styling of iPod, iPhone and iPad is perhaps the world’s most influential designer. Part of his brilliance in making his gadgets so alluring is the way he virtually anthropomorphises them: the MacBook laptop has a status light that pulsates gently when the computer is sleeping, mimicking the rhythm of breathing. Dell tried to copy this psychologically appealing characteristic but its result was closer to heavy breathing during exercise, not so calming.

No wonder we feel loss when our MacBooks breathe their last. It’s more than the inconvenience of being denied our instant online fix. It’s more than the expense of buying a new one. Are we indignant that the product of such a hallowed brand is mortal?

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gloria mundi

That’ll be
“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Well, you’re quite pretty except first thing in the morning…”
will it Charles?
Evelyn has it – it’s ardour, nothing less. The purest essence of consumption.
OK, moving on to something less revealing and more grown-up…


Only a bit of kit? Only A Bit Of Kit?? Oh Charles, anything with an i in front of its name is a seductive, charmed and poisoned chalice and once you have sipped from it or even touched one you are driven by lust and desire until you possess …….or are possessed in turn.


Great Scott, it’s only a bit of kit isn’t it, chaps? This is all getting a bit ‘Can I compare thee…’


My preciousssssssss

Richard Rawlinson
Richard Rawlinson

The apple of our eyes!

gloria mundi

I’ve just spent about three hours grappling with password/ID problems on my iMac/iPad/iPhone (OK, I know, it’s reached problem status in my psychological profile) and I still think them just about the loveliest bits of consumer tech ever created. They must be, or else why would we spend such a huge premium over functional PCs that can do what we need? Ah, but not what we want! I mourn for my old iMac (screen on a stalk, works in a lovely neat hemisphere, two little spherical speakers) frequently, lovely thing but “our programme will not work on your computer’s architecture… Read more »


Oh nooooooo! Do they, do they, you know, stop being there sometimes? If there’s a tomorrow when we’re not together I can’t imagine what I should do…