Yep, you're totally unique: That one very special user and their very special problem

Register reader finds that some Apple fans are... not very bright?


On Call The weekend is upon us, and we can think of no better time to celebrate the efforts of those courageous individuals tasked with sorting the problems of users. Be they Mac or PC-based. Welcome to On Call.

Today's contributor, Regomised as "Philip", was the resident "PC guru" for a major computer manufacturer. It was the mid to late 1980s, and Marty McFly had only recently undertaken his jaunt to the 1950s.

Fun fact – a Back To The Future of today would send the Delorean to the 1990s, after the events of Philip's story.

Blade Runner 2049: Back to the Future – the movies that showed us what's to come

READ MORE

Despite the company policy being the purchase of IBM PC compatible hardware, somebody in the adjacent office to Philip had managed to get his hands on a new Apple computer. "He was on the publicity side of things," sighed Philip, "so he got away with it I guess."

We're all too familiar with those special types who need exotic – and expensive – kit in order to change the font on a company mail-out. And yes, the inevitable soon happened.

"Having unboxed the thing, plugged it in and switched it on, as per instructions," explained Philip, "he was awaiting 'something' to happen..."

An hour passed as the proto-fanboi gazed expectantly at the magical beige box of Jobs. But no windows, icons, menus or pointers appeared. The screen remained resolutely blank. How could this be? How could a company that would one day be lauded for its legendary quality send out a duff bit of kit?

An Apple III might have responded to a gentle drop on the desk, but this screen seemed totally dead. Had he turned it on wrong? Maybe he using it wrong? Was he just looking at it wrong? Perhaps he needed to buy (on expenses, of course) some special Apple spectacle accessories to actually see the marvels on the display.

Ah, the dilemma of the fanboi when presented with a misbehaving Apple device.

Eventually pride was swallowed and the PC guru consulted.

Philip was not familiar with Apple's operating system, nor the hardware contained within the strange-looking box.

He was, however, very familiar with a control on the front of the screen marked "Brightness."

"You can guess the rest..."

We've all had to deal with that very special user and their special demands, but have you encountered one whose specialness did not extend to fiddling with a brightness knob? Or finding that pesky power switch? Share your special call with an email to On Call. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Robotics and 5G to spur growth of SoC industry – report
    Big OEMs hogging production and COVID causing supply issues

    The system-on-chip (SoC) side of the semiconductor industry is poised for growth between now and 2026, when it's predicted to be worth $6.85 billion, according to an analyst's report. 

    Chances are good that there's an SoC-powered device within arm's reach of you: the tiny integrated circuits contain everything needed for a basic computer, leading to their proliferation in mobile, IoT and smart devices. 

    The report predicting the growth comes from advisory biz Technavio, which looked at a long list of companies in the SoC market. Vendors it analyzed include Apple, Broadcom, Intel, Nvidia, TSMC, Toshiba, and more. The company predicts that much of the growth between now and 2026 will stem primarily from robotics and 5G. 

    Continue reading
  • Deepfake attacks can easily trick live facial recognition systems online
    Plus: Next PyTorch release will support Apple GPUs so devs can train neural networks on their own laptops

    In brief Miscreants can easily steal someone else's identity by tricking live facial recognition software using deepfakes, according to a new report.

    Sensity AI, a startup focused on tackling identity fraud, carried out a series of pretend attacks. Engineers scanned the image of someone from an ID card, and mapped their likeness onto another person's face. Sensity then tested whether they could breach live facial recognition systems by tricking them into believing the pretend attacker is a real user.

    So-called "liveness tests" try to authenticate identities in real-time, relying on images or video streams from cameras like face recognition used to unlock mobile phones, for example. Nine out of ten vendors failed Sensity's live deepfake attacks.

    Continue reading
  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022