If you've ever been in one of the new Apple stores then you know they aren't among the homiest places. Glass, grey and black. Lots of brushed stainless and a committed open space floor plan. I would call it sterile and Zen-Spartan, but that would be unfair to Japanese hospitals.
Myself, dog and Daughter needed to get her little G3 iBook back up and running, so Apple's repair facility was the obvious place to go. My previous trips to the Mac Mecca seemed like shopping in a very tastefully decorated police state. This time it would be different.
While waiting for our turn at the "Genius Bar" (Steve Jobs never was understated) a man struck up a conversation with my Dog Tilly. This is not at all odd. People who otherwise wouldn't talk to me feel free to act all silly and chatty with the Dog. The person talking to Tilly I noticed was wearing a yellow plastic hard hat and fatigue jacket. Meet the iBum. I was in Seattle, and binldestiffs are an every street-corner, but this was a singular gent.
I didn't catch his name, so I'll just call him the iBum. His bindle was piled up next to an outlet between the Big Brother screen and Mac software section. He was recharging his MacBook. Looking him face on, he had very few incisors left, and a skin condition that looked a lot like grease and dirt. I'm no doctor, so I don't know what his skin condition is called.
I have met the Cyber Hobo. The Wifi Wino. A new social has been was born, and I was there to see it happen. He seemed like a nice guy, down on his luck, but carrying a $1200 laptop. It still would be cheaper than wine, and easier on one's constitution.
I cannot complement the guy at the "Genius Bar" highly enough. He fixed the little laptop, and there was no charge! Lucky for him nobody reads this blog, so Jobs won't fire the guy. If this free support thing is company policy, Woz must have thought it up.
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