Congratulations! Welcome to the public test drive of Car OS X. As you know, we at Apple Automotive generally work the bugs out of our new car designs on a private track with crash-test dummies. But now, for the first time, we've decided to let you - our living, breathing public - pay to help us discover the design defects in this brand-new concept car.
We think you'll find Car OS X, even in its prototype form, to be the most attractive, speedy, and stable vehicle available today. If this new design proves successful, we have no doubt that Microsoft Motors will be scrambling to imitate it for years to come.
Before you begin your test drive, read this booklet to learn how Car OS X differs from the cars you're used to (henceforth called Classic cars).
Do not attempt to park Car OS X until you are sure you can meet the minimum storage and fuel requirements. Car OS X should be filled with 128 gallons of gas, and it requires a garage with at least 5,000 square feet.
( TIP: You can keep your old car in the same garage, but only if you first parti-tion the garage using the Home Depot Temporary Wall utility.)
Inside the Car
You may notice that the interior of Car OS X is strikingly clean and bare. We've done away with confusing storage cubbies such as the glove compartment, trunk, cup holders, and side pockets.
Instead, whenever you'd like to use an object inside Car OS X (such as a map, soda can, or food wrapper), simply drag it down onto what's called the Floor . Your belongings will remain fully visible on the Floor at all times.
As you put more and more items onto the Floor, previously Floored items move aside to make room. If the Floor gets very cluttered, your belongings will shrink to fit within the Floor's space. ( TIP: If you're having trouble identifying an individual object when your Floor has become full, simply slide your foot through the items on the Floor. As you disturb the other items lying there, you can rotate the object in question enough to read its label, if available.)
The Car OS X Window-Control Scheme
When he unveiled Car OS X at the Carworld Expo in Detroit last year, Apple Automotive's visionary Chief Design Officer Steve Jobs described the confusion most car owners feel when confronted with the chaos of multiple open windows. For this reason, your new Car OS X vehicle only lets you look out of one window at a time.
If you've been looking through the windshield, you can look out a side or back window simply by double-rapping on it. The windshield will disappear, and the window you rapped on will become available. ( TIP: By pressing the option pedal as you double-rap a window, you can look through more than one at a time.)
Driving Car OS X
You'll discover that Car OS X gives you an extremely smooth ride; in fact, because it's based on a powerful BSD 32-valve engine, it features full crash protection. Even if bad paving causes another car on the road to crash, you can continue driving Car OS X, unaffected.
Note, however, that Car OS X is crash proof only when you drive on roads that have been specially repaved ( Carbonized ). Over 200 municipalities worldwide have announced that they'll Carbonize selected streets for Car OS X compatibility.
But you're not limited to driving on Carbonized roads. Our engineers have built a special Classic Car chassis, right into your vehicle, that allows you to drive on any existing road - even those that haven't been updated for Car OS X compatibility.
To use this feature, simply drive your vehicle onto any older road. You may experience a considerable delay as Car OS X prepares the new chassis, which sits on top of the Car OS X chassis. Bear in mind that, on these non-Carbonized roads, you won't enjoy Car OS X advantages such as crash protection: if a pothole or drunken driver destabilizes your car, your vehicle may well crash. Even then, however, you don't have to buy a new car; you'll just find yourself back in your Car OS X vehicle, at the intersection from which you first turned onto un-updated roads.
Thank you for participating in the public test of Car OS X. Please note that Car OS X expires May 15, 2001 - if you haven't expired first.
DAVID POGUE ( www.davidpogue.com ) is the author of Mac OS 9: The Missing Manual (Pogue Press/O'Reilly, 2000).