Post #432

Laptops as social aids

9th July 2004, evening time | Comments (29)

17in Apple laptops aren’t useful just for web development and meeting geeky chicks; they can also help bring healthy, vibrant people (like you and I) into contact with those less fortunate, gutter-dwelling members of society.

For example, I’m sitting in Dolores Park Cafe, listening to a five-piece band perform (*pauses to clap at the end of a song*), and Mr Bowman, playing the part of a house-bound invalid, is listening to the very same band over the internet, courtesy of iChat and the little microphone on my computer.

By combining sexy technology and a Mother Teresa-like need to do good, I've brought a smile to Doug’s face and temporarily eased his pain.

So, do your civic duty, people; buy a Powerbook, and bring a little sunshine into the life of a cripple.

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Comments (29)

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  1. Tom:

    Can I buy an iBook instead? The powerbooks are out of my price range... :)

    Posted 10 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Dunstan
  2. Dunstan:

    Yes, Tom, you may buy an iBook, but that means you'll only able to help injured people, not full-on cripples.

    Still, every little helps; so go out and Rendezvous among the poor...

    Posted 16 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Tom
    Inspired: ↓ Tom, ↓ Aryan
  3. Tom:

    Oh good. I'll order next weekend then. :)

    Posted 22 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Dunstan
  4. Daniel:

    Dunstan, your making my 'desktop' look like an appliance :/

    Good on ya for bring about some cheer, it brings more than just one smile :D

    Posted 2 hours, 17 minutes after the fact
  5. Doug:

    I was actually pretty impressed with the sound quality. I could actually make out each of the instruments, and the words being sung as the band played each song. Of course, what helped this clarity is a fact which Dunstan did not reveal:

    That he was sitting just in front of the band (thus the good reception by his laptop's microphone which had sound reflecting from the screen). While everyone else was attentively facing the band appreciating the music, Dunstan was the only one facing away from them working on a bright, 17" glowing laptop.

    The thought of that sight was too funny to pass up.

    I'm surprised you even paused to clap, Dunstan. I would have pretended I was a sound guy or something, looked back at them and nodded every now and then, followed by a thumbs up once in a while...

    Posted 2 hours, 17 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Adrian, ↓ Faruk Ates, ↓ Kitta, ↓ Niket
  6. Adrian:

    To imagine what they must have been thinking during their performance! "What's up with that fellow?! Hunched over that thing with the eerie light reflecting off his face. <pause> Let's see what he's surfing..."

    But then and again, they could also be thinking, "Damn. Gotta get me one of those!"


    Posted 2 hours, 47 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Doug
    Inspired: ↓ Rob Mientjes
  7. Rob Mientjes:

    I personally think it was the latter.

    That's my opinion too. But no way I'm ever going to get that lot of money in about - say - 6 weeks :(

    Posted 3 hours, 35 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Adrian
  8. Faruk Ates:

    Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant :)

    Now there's something I'd have liked to see a picture of, oh yeah. Dunstan sitting there and everything, oh that's just too funny.

    Thanks for that tidbit of facts, Doug!

    Posted 4 hours, 40 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Doug
  9. Kitta:

    Doug, you and I should hang out and chat about lower back pain management and treatments.

    If anyone else with a Powerbook feels like helping another cripple, keep me in mind, I'm having a flare up today. :o(

    Posted 5 hours, 53 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Doug
    Inspired: ↓ Niket
  10. [m]:

    .. could I just go out and buy* OSX? I already have a laptop, and with a swift download of an OSX-in-windows app. I can do my part for and with society!

    *and with buy I mean download it free of some p2p network, obviously.

    Posted 9 hours, 56 minutes after the fact
  11. David:

    Of course, you could also use Icecast to serve an Ogg Vorbis stream that many people could listen to at the same time, and it doesn't trap you into using a Mac. You could also use regular Shoutcast, which isn't as flexible but is more mature.

    Posted 13 hours, 32 minutes after the fact
  12. Robert Lofthouse:

    They probably just presumed you were a journalist :P Either that or they thought you were from a record company - playing the music to some top producer.
    I used to take my laptop with me to interviews, so it's possible :P

    I shall be investing in a powerbook at some point - one must aid his fellow men in fighting for the cause.

    Posted 20 hours, 8 minutes after the fact
  13. Sweet N Sassy:

    I would like to.... no.... I will not lower myself to wish that upon anyone. Have you ever stopped to think you just might have someone who is house bound and can not walk that reads your blog. Most likely not. you do make one good point for many people, it is their only means of a social life. I have Multiple Sclerosis and am not yet at that stage but I do know and visit many who are.

    Posted 21 hours, 23 minutes after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Dunstan
  14. Aryan:

    Hey Dunstan I'm guessing you bought a PowerBook. If I were you I would have had held my horses back for at least a while.
    Right now doesn't seem like a good time to buy a laptop from Apple, at least wait until the Paris Expo is over to see what they'll be releasing.
    I'm guessing you already know about this site but in case you don't know:

    Man talking about PowerBooks, those things are hot. Every few weeks I stop by my local electronics store just to use those 17" PowerBooks for at least 10 minutes. I'm saving up some for a Mac thought.

    Posted 22 hours, 11 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Dunstan
    Inspired: ↓ Dunstan, ↓ Zach
  15. Dunstan:

    Victoria, I know that a few people with disabilities read my site, but I don't know if anyone who is permanently house bound does, I guess the odds would suggest not, but I'd be interested to hear if that's not the case.

    That aside, please remember that the writing here is an irreverent look at life; if you start taking anything I write too seriously it won't take you long to get in a bit of a tiz. Still, I'm sorry if I upset you.

    Posted 22 hours, 49 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Sweet N Sassy
  16. Dunstan:

    Thanks for the tip, Aryan, but I bought one about two and a half months ago, so I've had good use out of it already:

    Posted 22 hours, 56 minutes after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Aryan
    Inspired: ↓ Aryan
  17. Aryan:

    Interesting, didn't know that.
    Now that's what the whole article is about, Social Aid. I get it now. ;)

    Posted 1 day, 2 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Dunstan
  18. Niket:

    Last time I had slight pain in my lower back, the doctor advised me to stop using the laptop on my lap-top :-) My posture used to be really bad when I worked with the laptop on my lap.

    A friend of mine who has some problems with the vertebra/spinal cord was told to stand up and walk for 5 minutes at every 25 minute interval. Sitting in the same position for hours together may be bad if the chair is not "well designed."

    Posted 1 day, 12 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Doug, ↑ Kitta
  19. Ethan:

    Fascinating theory you have there about Doug being one of the "less fortunate, gutter-dwelling members of society."

    Social iDarwinism, eh?

    Posted 1 day, 19 hours after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Dunstan
  20. Dunstan:

    He is! He only has a 12in Powerbook! ;o)

    Posted 1 day, 20 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Ethan
    Inspired: ↓ Ethan
  21. Ethan:

    Now, now — it's not the size of the laptop that counts. It's how well you flash your PRAM.


    Posted 1 day, 23 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Dunstan
    Inspired: ↓ Kitta
  22. Kitta:

    Sorry to break it to you Ethan, but size is the only thing that the ladies care about. ;o)

    Posted 2 days, 11 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Ethan
  23. Dinah Sanders:

    Well, I will admit to caring a bit about size in the case of laptops, but it's the small ones that turn my head. "Oo, baby, it's so small!"

    Posted 2 days, 14 hours after the fact
  24. Sweet N Sassy:

    Thank you for your kind comment last week after my rude outburst. It just happened to have been a day that was more difficult than most. I should have done as I normally would and said nothing. I come here because I love the humour I find here, yet that is what I responded to in a very negative manner. I ask that you forgive me for having been so rude. One of my very best friends that I lost two years ago secondary to Multiple Sclerosis used humour as his number one tool to dealing with the disease. Even today I often do the same so I am not sure why I reacted as I did last week but I do know it was very much out of character for me so please accept my apology.

    Posted 3 days, 20 hours after the fact
    Inspired: ↓ Dunstan
  25. Dunstan:

    Not a problem, I'm glad you came back and weren't upset too much.

    Thanks for the kind note :o)

    Posted 3 days, 20 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Sweet N Sassy
  26. Zach:

    Looks like the Powerbook is in Neutral Mid-Cycle. Why wait? I'll go get one now... well, the money issue...

    Posted 4 days, 3 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Aryan
    Inspired: ↓ Aryan
  27. Aryan:

    Well, it's really your choice but if you ask me I would hold off at least for 6 months. Yah you may say it's too much but that's me. But hey you can always buy it now and sell it on eBay if Apple comes out with something new.

    Posted 4 days, 4 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Zach
    Inspired: ↓ Zach
  28. Zach:

    For me, it's a college thing, which I need to buy now. Either I go down the dark path and continue my Windows XP usage with a PC laptop, or put out the bucks to get an Apple Powerbook. I have figured out a solution to get a nice setup for pretty cheap, so I may do that pretty soon.

    Posted 4 days, 12 hours after the fact
    Inspired by: ↑ Aryan
  29. Jeremy Flint:

    I am a bit of an audiophile, and download live concerts taped by audience members. These used to be done on DAT or MiniDisc, but I am seeing more and more people using laptops for recording purposes (after running the mics into some type of digital converter (MiniMe) and maybe a -20db bass roll off).

    They sound really great, and with hard drives getting bigger and bigger, they don't have to worry about tape flips.

    Posted 2 weeks, 4 days after the fact

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