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20th of September, 2017

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The iPod, ca. 2001


The iPod is now 5 years old, and in that time has become a cultural icon, something that everyone knows. As an ambassador for the world of Apple, it’s performed admirably. People have gotten used to Apple’s leadership role as a hardware company, and also as a design house, largely due to the styling of the little white brick that everyone loves.


Take a look at this picture from the unveiling of the iPod in 2001.


Picture 5-1


The styles haven’t really changed much. The first-generation iPod’s screen and finish is no different from my own fourth-generation model, and The Steve himself was a little chubbier, and a little less grey, but looks pretty much the same as our current third-generation model. But let’s pull the camera back a little bit.


Picture 7


What the..? What’s up with the presentation? Is that an overhead projector off to the left? And what’s that...font? Do I detect the lighthearted whimsiness of Comic Sans, perhaps? Is this whole presentation running on fucking PowerPoint?


I believe the next slide was that picture of the duck crushing his computer with a hammer.


Image7


What I’d never noticed about that picture (which, along with Comic Sans MS, has appeared in at least 65% of all PowerPoint-built presentations since its introduction in 1995), is that he’s about to crush a somewhat microcephalic Macintosh II.


When you take this presentation, which incidentally also looks like it was shot in somebody’s unfinished basement with the sound of Mexicans pounding up dry-wall heard faintly in the distance, and compare it to the elegant flashiness of the modern “One more thing...” era, you can see what a cultural impact something as simple as a presentation package can have on a community.


Picture 8

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