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The "why did I do that" iBook

Clamshell iBook (Tangerine) / Laptop / Acquired 2010 (no longer own)


This iBook has a very interesting nickname. You'll see why soon.

One day, I was exploring what was underneath my parents' bed. Random tapes, CDs, a few shoeboxes... and an iBook. What? No one told me there was another computer in the house, besides Sapling and my dad's iMac (later my iMac). What was it doing here?

So I dug it (and its charger) out from underneath the cat-hair-caked bedframe, and my mom and I decided to explore it a bit together. My dad joined in and explained that it was found by his uncle in someone's trash. His uncle used it for a while, gave it to my dad, and my dad never ended up using it. So I ended up getting to keep it.

By 2010 it wasn't very useful, but I got a lot of enjoyment out of it. I got a copy of Kid Pix Deluxe 4 from the library and installed it, and it was one of the only things I used the iBook for. I would bring it to my friend's house and use the text-to-speech feature to have it repeat the "fun" vocabulary we had learned from 2010-era YouTube at the time (YTPs were in their peak!).

Going back to the computer itself, its battery never held a charge; I was always tethered to an outlet when using it. Not surprising, considering I've yet to see a portable Mac of that vintage that has a working, original battery. I actually had the research skills needed to figure out which AirPort card the iBook was able to take, and had my dad order one from eBay. I installed it, and was even able to get it on our home network... But I was too young to understand why nothing on the modern internet would work with IE5. Oops!

Okay, onto the nickname I bestowed upon this iBook.

One day, I was sitting in the basement. Bored. I was on the iBook, and decided to conduct a little experiment; what if I dragged the System Folder onto the desktop and rebooted the iBook? Mac OS shows an error when trying to do this, giving a big helpful "Cancel" button, but funnily enough it also provides a "do it anyway" button in the same exact dialog box. So, ignoring the error, I moved the System Folder to the desktop, clicked on Special > Restart, and...

Blinking question mark.

Well, there's my answer! I was a little upset, but not by much. I still had Sapling to play with. And into the trash it went.

Now, you're probably thinking: "Seriously?! You got rid of a perfectly good iBook when you could have–"

Yes. I know. And I'm still kicking myself for that to this day. For those unaware- like I was back in 2010- if I had burnt an install CD for Mac OS 9 (or even OS X), I could have continued using the iBook; something I didn't learn how to do until 2 years later, when I burnt my first Linux discs. In some alternate reality, I was smart enough to figure that out earlier, and still have the iBook among my arsenal of G3 Macs. But this isn't that reality. Oh well.