Washington Apple Pi

A Community of Apple iPad, iPhone and Mac Users

Virtual Tour

Transparent Cables for Ubiquitous Computing

Apple's forthcoming iMac has a translucent case, and everyone seems to know that. Some are even aware that the keyboard and mouse are translucent, and a smaller number are aware that the keycaps on the keyboard are, themselves, translucent. But until Apple visited Washington Apple Pi, most of us were unaware that the cables -- keyboard cable, mouse cable, power cable -- were also translucent.

"Transparent computing" has long been a goal of computer scientists: make the computer so much a part of the problem solving process that the user isn't aware they are using a computer. Apple is pioneering another approach while leading the way toward the original goal.

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iMac transparent keyboard, mouse

Despite widespread rumors to the contrary, the iMac mouse does not light up. Nor does the iMac computer itself. At the May 1998 introduction of the iMac, the machine on display was mounted on a pedestal with a translucent top and a spotlight mounted inside, and the resulting "glowing" iMac stories proved, once again, the value of good showmanship.
Photo by Lawrence I. Charters

Revised May 25, 1998 Lawrence I. Charters
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