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


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. ®

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