Tangerine Travels #2: The Name Game

This week I decided to take it upon myself to sit down and name my iMac. Simply calling it "my tangerine buddy" seems fitting, but so does "Let's get a cup of coffee while it reboots." And I find "Brett's iMac" a bit too routine.

No, friends, instead I chose to go with something more useful, more compelling, more likely to elicit cries of "You named your computer what? " Like everything I've ever tried to do, there is a story that goes along with it, and in the interests of your eyes and my hands, I'll keep it brief.

My father, Bruce Larson, worked for Apple Computer from 1983 to 1994. When he first got a Macintosh with a built-in hard drive, the support department at Apple named it "Larsony." And so I name this iMac Larsony II. Someone break a bottle of champagne--just not on the iMac, please!

Get Funky!

Yes, friends, the rumors are true. The ungodly union of the Hamster Dance and Mahir has produced offspring. The result is called the Mahir Dance --not nearly as clever a name as Larsony II, if I do say so myself.

Watch as Mahir dances, plays the accordion, plays a game of table tennis with a dancing hamster, taps his foot to Isaac Hayes' "Shaft," and has a severe medical problem involving his Speedo. Although it is about as stimulating--and just as annoying over a long period of time as the Hamster Dance itself--it certainly gives you one more reason to justify spending money on an internet account and avoiding the world of Must-See TV.

Fair warning: Although the Dancing Mahir site is the best thing to come down my Internet pipe in some time, it's not for the timid. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Ask Brett...

Nov. 11, 1999

You're Mac The Knife, aren't you.

Fess up.

--Josh Goldberg

Dear Josh,

Alright, I'll fess up.

No.

Enough said. Keep sending your Dear Brett letters to brett_larson@macworld.com. Or for real advice, head to the Dear Abby Web site . At least you can ask her the hard questions, like "Is online gambling the same thing as gambling?"

Keep 'Em Coming!

I am not a member of any organized Macintosh user group. However, I would like to encourage any Macintosh user group to send me their e-mail or snail-mail newsletter whenever they'd like.

That's because I recently received the newsletter of the North Jersey Mac Apple User Group. Weighing in at a whopping 15 pages, I was impressed with their coverage of the recent release of OS 9, and discussion of the Power Mac G4. But one word of advice: upgrade your comic pages. I couldn't read a word. No reading, no laughing.

However, a reader suggests a place I can go to fulfill my comics jones: Off The Mark . It's got all of the comics you'd want, and they're a bit more readable than those in my user group newsletter.

Also, for you other Mac user groups out there: If there's some important item you would ever like me to highlight, or give my opinion to make it seem more legit, please send it my way. Brett Larson of Macworld.com raves, "It reminded me of a time when I was a child..."

Reader Site of the Week

Since my first column, I've gotten a lot of e-mail. Sure, some of it accused me of being Mac the Knife. But there were also Web-site suggestions in there. Lots of them.

You know, this Internet thing is pretty big! I think it might catch on after all.

When xdude.com was recommended to me, I was a bit concerned by the name. Like the Internet needs another pornography site.

Now that I've visited it, I can tell you that it's most definitely not porno. I'm really not sure what the hell it is, but whatever it's trying to do, it's using Macromedia's Flash technology in a really cool way, and that's reason enough to pay it a visit. And if you're interested in learning more about Flash--a great way to make crazy animated stuff on the Web--the Dude does provide a wealth of information via his list of frequently-asked questions .

I only have one request: Once you've become a master of Flash, please don't use your great powers for evil. One Mahir Dance site on the Web is plenty, thank you very much.

Next Week...

Download Macromedia's Flash Player plug-in now so you too can enjoy animated shorts and video games you can play at your desk! Until then, happy web browsing to you...

Previous Columns

Brett Larson writes children's books in his free time. He is the author of The Little Engine that Couldn't, So He Just Gave Up and That's My Toy, Give It! Send him your Web-surfing suggestions via brett_larson@macworld.com.

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