In the year 2000 my computer was going through a phase of what can only be compared to Hollywood celebrity worship: it was born a Dell but yearned to be something more beautiful, more feminine and sharp-shooting.
I dressed it up as best I could, bless it’s soul, with Stardock’s WindowBlinds giving it a makeover to make Windows look like the Mac OS, but my computer (and I) suffered from ideas above our station. It looked like Groucho Marx, but yearned to look like Johnny Depp.
In my computer’s case, it was the case. I could make the operating system look pretty, but that beige box needed more than concealer. The comedy moustache just kept growing back. And so we tucked it away and pretended that my computer was really the G3 iBook.
I loved the iBook. Everybody did. In a world of sober squares its clamshell curves were gorgeous, its colours bright and beautiful. I bought the day to night option, the Graphite one, but I secretly yearned for the Tangerine model. It didn’t matter, though, because no matter which colour you went for – it came in Blueberry, Indigo and Key Lime, too – it always turned heads.
The iBook didn’t just look amazing. It was amazing. It was beautiful to touch, its keys soft and supple compared to the corporate clickiness of PC keyboards. It had an air of mystery too, the magical ability to connect to the internet without any visible support. You knew there was an antenna somewhere, but you certainly couldn’t see its outline.
The clamshell iBook made Wi-Fi mainstream and influenced the design of countless items, but its time in the spotlight was short: the first one appeared in June 1999, and it was replaced with the “snow” model in 2001. The iBook may not have been around for long, but it was never anything
less than fabulous.