Which way is open

On Friday I had my second Covid booster shot. I know based on past experience that the day after the shot, you feel like crap for 24 hours. But later that day I was thinking I felt pretty good and maybe that was just the first shots. I wake up the next day and ... ugh... exhaustion, 101 fever, I won't be doing anything. Too tired to even walk the dog.

So it was a day of TV and movies. I started with bingeing Industry on HBO. Then on to a couple of the Bourne movies. Arrival came next. I got so much more out of that one this time around vs seeing it in the theatres. Then for some reason I saw Mel Gibson's What Women Want.

We don't need to discuss the whole movie or even what frame of mind I must have been in to watch it.... did I mention my temp was 101? There is a scene where the main character opens their laptop. It's an early MacBook and the logo was upside down. I thought that's weird, why did they do that.

Well, that was yesterday. I can't tell you much about the movie now, but I was still wondering about that logo. Why did they film it upside down. So I started searching.

The reason it looked that way??? Because Steve Jobs made the decision to orient the logo that way. What I thought was a mistake, and what IMDB confirms is a goof, was actually correct.

So according to Joe Moreno in his blog post from a decade ago, we learned that this was a researched decision from the Apple Design Group. Apparently the result of their investigations was that a user wouldn't understand how to open a laptop and would need to be reminded every time, with a Apple logo looking right at them. I find it hard to believe that a company like Apple would think so little of their customers that they need to hand hold them when they open their laptop.

But then again, for a lot of folks this probably would have been their first laptop, maybe even their first computer. Every computer before and for a long time after was the same boring box, and Apple made it exciting and beautiful. And so if this is the users first laptop, then it makes sense to think about what they probably know. They know which way to open a book because they can read the title. You opened your desk at school with the grafitti written in your direction. So it would make sense that they would open a laptop from the edge below the bottom of the logo.

The problem with that decision is obvious when you look at the laptop from the back. When using the desk at school, the lid is down and when reading a book, the cover is obscured by your hand or hidden by another object. The back of the laptop is out and open and ready to be seen. But there is the logo of a company trying to grow from their lowest point. When you see the American flag flown upside down it is a sign of distress. Apple at the time was working to get out of its lows.

Just a couple years earlier they took a major investment of $150 million dollars from Microsoft. Microsoft and Apple needed each other and needed each other to survive. Would Apple have gone under without that investment? Hard to say, but they wouldn't have done it if they didn't need the money. It is said that they were 90 days from declaring bankruptcy. At the time Apple publicly despised Microsoft. But that was done. The investment was 3 years before this movie and they are on the road to recovery at the time of filming. Do they still need to fly their logo signalling their distress?

It's obvious a moot discussion now as they fixed the logo a few years later. Apple is one of the richest companies in the world. Microsoft sold off its stake in Apple within a few years as Apple was recovering. At it's peak, Microsoft owned 6% of Apple. If they had kept the stock instead of selling it off, it would be worth over 127 billion dollars. Now when you are at a coffee shop and see a line of Macs, the logo is the right side up. Thankfully today, the orientation of the logo just makes sense.