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ATPM 18.01
January 2012

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MacMuser

by Mark Tennent, http://www.tennent.co.uk

It’s Got No Blinking Light

Ever since we can remember, before going to bed or going out for a while, we always check around the house and office. In the daytime, it’s to shut the doors so that, when burglars break in, opening a door will damage their eardrums as our alarms set off a cacophony of deafening bells. At night, it’s to make sure the Macs are behaving themselves.

Looking into the office, we see at least 25 neon lights glowing from all the little boxes of electronics. Some pulse slowly as if the devices they’re attached to are snoring; others blink rapidly as an iPhone or iPad checks for mail. We have always wondered what the cumulative effect of 25 or so consumers of milliamps will be to our carbon footprint, but they all stay lit unless we go on holiday.

Recently, we checked the office and both felt something wasn’t right. There was a subtle difference that eluded us, but neither admitted it to the other until a chance remark in a conversation about a film we were watching. The movie concerned the mysterious goings-on at a school where a “malevolent presence” roamed around, bumping off people one-by-one.

Of course, none of the victims ran away when they entered the room containing the “presence.” Instead, they stood awaiting their fate as the camera focused over their shoulder onto the slowly solidifying mist.

It was the same with our office. Something was wrong, but we couldn’t tell what. We could stand looking around the room, checking under desks to where the snakes live or into the corners where the spiders hang out. But nothing showed up. Then realization came to us.

The new iMacs have no blinking light.

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