“Those women folk, they always want a computer that matches their decor.”
My cab driver snorts derisively as he says this.
Rainbows of brightly colored computer cases were a common sight at this
I am on my way to my first Comdex show, and this is my first trip
to Las Vegas.
I have been an assistant editor at
for three months. And here
I am, minutes from the show floor, arguing with my cab driver, defending the
fact that colored computers are not girly. I suddenly become painfully aware
of the fact that I am wearing an iMac-blueberry blue dress. I match
my G3 desktop
perfectly. This is not on purpose, and I’m about to tell him so, but I stop
“Men, they don’t care about that kind of stuff,” he says. “I
mean, a pink computer?! You’ve got to be kidding.” He shakes his
“Actually, a lot of men seem to like the iMac,” I say. I shut my
mouth about the iBook.
“Yeah, right,” he grumbles, but I detect a note of uncertainty.
“Really,” I say. “They even came out with a computer that’s
transparent. The men seem to love it.”
“A clear computer, shit,” he says. “I mean, it’s not like it
works any different, right? Who cares what it looks like?” He throws his
shoulders back in a little manly-man gesture. But at this point, I can tell
|Eupa’s angel and devil speakers are sooooo cuuuuute!
I arrive at the show. The floor is filled with manly men. Manly men typing
on transparent keyboards; manly men handling blue, green, purple, and orange
mice; manly men getting visibly excited by yellow, blue, and even
cases. But these computers aren’t Macs, so it’s okay.
“This is a PC company, sweetheart,” a manly booth man tells me when
I inquire whether his translucent mauve USB mouse is
Mac-compatible. He emphasizes
“PC,” as in “PC, a real computer.” This is a phrase I’ll
here often at Comdex. “We make PC products,” he repeats. “But
aren’t they pretty?”
|An Intel booth displays some wild designs.
“Yeah, real pretty.” I turn towards a booth filled with blueberry,
grape, tangerine, lime, and strawberry computer cases.
“I call them iMac-alikes,” the man says with a wink. Personally,
I call them cease-and-desist orders, but I return his wink with a chuckle and
shuffle on down the aisle.
I am at the Sands Convention Center, where the OEMs (Original
to the uninitiated) show their stuff. And this year, it’s all about color and
fun. Intel has a booth right outside the floor, and it’s filled
inspired computers. A Taiwanese company called Eupa has a pair of
to look like an angel and a devil. Cute. But most of the designs
seem to spring
directly from the Apple lineage, even using the exact same colors (see ”
Separated at Birth.” The strange thing is, while men complain
about girly iMac colors and iBooks they say look like purses, it seems okay
for them to like a colored PC, and they’re all acting like this is the latest
thing. And here I thought color was last year’s news.
Change your mood, change your color. Snap-on computer cases are as fun
as it gets!
All of a sudden I’m reminded of the days before Windows, the days
mocked the Mac OS. “Aw, how cute,” they’d say mockingly, “the
little files actually look like little file folders.” They’d turn back
to their PCs, secure with the notion that typing obscure lines of code like
C:>dir /s /w | more
” made them worthy of The Machine.
And then Windows came out, and suddenly little file folders actually made the
computer easier to use and that was okay. And now colored PCs are here, and
it’s okay to touch a purple mouse.
No, really, it’s okay.
Assistant Editor FRITH BREITZER covers displays, imaging, and
systems for Macworld.