My Turn

CyberDog Saves the Day

Phillip Blancher - 2001.11.23

My Turn is Low End Mac's column for reader-submitted articles. It's your turn to share your thoughts on all things Mac (or iPhone, iPod, etc.) and write for the Mac web. Email your submission to Dan Knight .

I was doing a service call at a customer's house one day recently when a tragedy occurred. My "GuruPhile" (name for my binder of service CDs - operating systems, Internet installers, and Mac utilities) was not to be found. In the rush to get to a client's house (75 miles away) I left the "GuruPhile" on the roof of my car - it ended up in the parking lot.

So here I was miles from home, and my safety net was gone. The customer (a 75 year old widowed shutin who's time was spent reading CNN and writing to his many grandkids) had an LC 575 in which the hard drive had died. Lucky for me he still had his OS install CD (7.6.1) and 500 SeriesSystem CD (7.5), so after replacing the drive (and watching the horror on his face as he saw the insides of his computer - "That's what's in there," he exclaimed), I started to install his OS and programs.

That's when the clinch hit. I saw in his pile of boxes Internet Connection Kit. I thought, "Great, I can get his Internet online, and he can talk to all his grandkids." Only there was no CD, and I had a 75 year old gentleman who I didn't want to disappoint. My CD's were who-knows-where.

I looked up and saw a superhero, a little dog from nowhere who saved the day. There on that OS 7.6 disk was CyberDog, Apple's attempt at a browser linked with the failed OpenDoc initiative. CyberDog saved the day, saved sadness in an elderly man, and saved me from a big embarrassment.

Using CyberDog, I was able to go onto Browsers.com and download Netscape (customer request) and his freeware games, and get his system up and running. A couple hours later, a $20 tip (in Canadian Funds, so about US$9.94) and a huge smile from a happy elderly man, I was off.

When I had returned home, I had found that my two-year-old daughter Tiffany had found my "GuruPhile" in the parking lot. So I earned my wings by flying without a net, and a little Dog, abandoned by most, earned a place in my world.

Thank you CyberDog!


Phillip Blancher is a 25 year old Web designer and Macintosh technician in Brockville, Ontario, the online editor of a daily newspaper, and father of one daughter who is already playing with her first Mac Classic at two years old.

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