Thursday, March 20, 2008

Will Someone Please Call Security

Today I visited the "Apple Compatibility Labs" in the Apple campus in Cupertino, CA. If you are a paying member of Apple's "Developer Connection", you are allowed to visit this lab, free of charge, and use their rather large collection of Mac computers for whatever nefarious purpose you see fit.

They have several labs in the main building -- I was placed in one called "Field of Dreams". Kevin Costner was not on hand to greet me. The lab itself was impeccably maintained, and filled with models of Mac computers I had never seen before. The lab manager who let me into the lab was particularly proud of this one (apologies for the fuzzy camera-phone pictures):

This is a "Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh", a very limited run machine that was over-priced and under-powered. It now serves as a nice-looking CD player for the lab (in the picture, you can see it sitting on top of a cabinet filled with one of nearly every laptop Apple has ever made). It did have a strange allure, more so than the lonely Mac Cube sitting in a corner. Between doing actual work, I would pass by the "TAM" and try running various bits of it's software. One icon said "Explore the Internet". I should have taken this as a warning, but I clicked on it anyway, and was greeted by this:

Actually, it's even worse than that. That picture is from a second attempt -- the first time I tried "Exploring the Internet", the Internet Explorer splash screen came up, and the entire machine froze. It was as though the machine was embarrassed to have to run an ancient version of Internet Explorer as its default browser. I had to quickly re-boot the TAM while the lab manager wasn't looking.

The rest of my time at the Lab was relatively uneventful. Steve Jobs did not stop by and fire me. I visited the Apple Store and bought some pencils. The only other thing worth noting is the following funny sign in the men's bathroom:

No, I do not know why I brought my camera phone into the bathroom.


Ken said...

Two things amuse me about the first photo:

1) The keyboard looks like they lopped off the monitor on a Blackbird.

B) The color sorted O'Reilly books.

Also, you went to the store and didn't get me anything?

Drew Olbrich said...

Dave Burgess had a TAM at PDI/DW for a while.