Fans of Jill Sobule — musician, singer, songwriter — teamed up to buy her an iBook. It seems that Sobule was very good about keeping in touch with her fans — until her PC laptop bit the dust.
The portable passed on some time around the summer of 1999. Before this, the musician showed up frequently in the Happytown Discussion List — an Internet/e-mail discussion group for fans of Sobule’s work (and named after one of her albums). She would “drop in” to say hi, update fans on how she’s doing, or to ask for their ideas and suggestions.
After the PC croaked, one of the discussion group members suggested getting Sobule a new laptop. And being people of good taste, they knew a Mac would be best.
“We determined that Jill rather fancied Blueberry iBooks, so that’s what we decided to get her,” according to a note on the ”
An iBook for Jill
” Web site. “Why did we do this? Well, yes, we did it because we hoped to see Jill back on the Net again. But more than that, we did it just because we like Jill and wanted to do something nice for her. And that seemed like a good enough reason to us.”
How did they know Sobule would like an iBook? She once told one of the Happytown discussers, Cheryl Graham, that she hoped to have one some day. So the group raised US$1,972 for an iBook, some additional memory, and a three-year service plan. The musician received the Apple portable in January. And, yes, the fans knew that Sobule could afford to buy it herself. That wasn’t the point.
“It might have been a little about time (Jill’s was pretty busy touring and putting finishing touches on her new album, so there wasn’t really lots of time for iBook shopping),” they said. “But that’s really not it, either. Really it was mostly about doing a nice thing for someone we like and respect. It was as simple as that.”
Sobule’s latest album is “I Never Learned to Swim.” You can learn more about her at
her Web site, which, unfortunately, prefers Real Audio over QuickTime. Perhaps that will change now that the singer-songwriter has gone Mac. (Thanks to MacCentral reader David Camporesi for the heads-up on this one.)