Tangerine Fusion

The Voom Factor

- 1999.08.25

In case you don't remember, Voom is the stuff under Little Cat Z's hat in The Cat In The Hat Comes Back, by Dr. Seuss. It cleaned up all the snow and turned it back to its original snow white color.

"So what?" you might ask. "What does that have to do with computer sales?"

Well it's quite simple: Apple Computer, which was once almost invisible to the computer purchaser, has cleaned up the computer industry just like Voom, from the microscopic Little Cat Z, cleaned up the snow. eOneMajor PC manufacturers like Compaq have laid off thousands; eMachines has ripped off the iMac's industrial design with its eOne and is facing a lawsuit; Hewlett-Packard, Compaq, Packard Bell, and others have copied Apple by offering several translucent colors for their machines with color coordinated peripherals; and it was the Apple iMac that popularized Intel's USB standard because (1) it sold like hotcakes and (2) it had no other ports to compete with the USB's.

I am reminded of a current ad for the Swiffer, a dust mop that uses static cling to pull the dust in and make it stick to the mop. The voice-over says: "Once Swiffer arrives on the scene, the scene will be much easier to clean."

This also reflects one feature of Apple's new computers: they clean up their surroundings. This effect comes for two reasons:

  1. An owner of a new Apple computer is inclined to perfectionistically clean up the area where it is located, and
  2. a messy desk looks a whole lot cleaner with, say a Lime iMac than with a gray IBM Aptiva.

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