Welcome to Macintosh

The Hats and Feets Uprising

- 2007.08.17

Bong! . . . :-) . . . Welcome to Macintosh!

Shhh! Listen.

Do you hear that?

Listen closely. Look, off in the distance. There's a crowd full of people marching.

The uprising is coming. There are two people leading the charge. They're holding up signs.

The uprising is coming. The signs say in bold letters, "We want Hats and Feets!"

Another sign says, "The revolution is at hand! Hats and Feets are here!" Yet another sign in the crowd says, "Got Feets?"

The uprising is coming. They chant in unison, "Hats and Feets! Hats and Feets! Hats and Feets!"

They're now lined up at the door of The Lounge waiting for the man who brought part of this revolution to light. On this day, his halo effect eclipses that of Apple and Steve Jobs. All the big names in the Mac press are here. Even some of the folks from Macworld magazine are here to cover the big event.

There are some unconfirmed reports that The Steve is watching this announcement from Apple headquarters. As I look over to the left, I spot The Woz. He's passing out T-shirts saying, "Woz loves The Hat and Feets."

The crowd continues their thunderous chanting at the door of The Lounge, growing louder in unison, "We want Hats and Feets! We want Hats and Feets! We want Hats and Feets!"

A hush falls over the crowd as the door is opened by Tom Levens. He ushers everyone into The Lounge. For this once in a lifetime event, The Lounge has been converted into a miniature stage with a curtain draped in front, creating more intrigue. The crowd takes their seats.

Who is this crowd? None other than the 68K Macintosh Liberation Army. The two who led them to The Lounge today are Cinemafia and LCGuy. They're singing a familiar tune which tells of "bad news sellin' freaky blues."

Today is a big day for the 68kMLA, and soon the world will know. It is a day many thought would never come, yet some hoped. A day which has brought an aura of anticipation and glee. For this is the day that an announcement about the legendary Hat and Feets is expected.

The room is dimly lit as the crowd goes silent. The curtain is raised, and we see two chairs. Two people walk on stage with microphones in hand. I am one of them, and the other is the man of the hour, TheNeil. The crowd gathers here today as I give this interview in which said announcement will in fact be announced. The lights go to full power as I step up to the podium to introduce TheNeil:

Tommy: I'd like to welcome the 68kMLA to today's interview. Today is a special day. A day where we shall find out how The Hat and Feets began - and a very special announcement will be made toward the end of the interview.

The HatNow, I'd like to introduce the man who made The Hat possible. Put your hands together for our friend and fellow 68kMLA'er, TheNeil!


Tommy: It's great to get to talk to the man of the hour! Let's get to the meat in the sandwich. How was the idea of The Hat and Feets born?

TheNeil: Oh, time to set the way-back-o-meter to February 2002. The 'Feets' started off as a discussion on 68kMLA between JT and Danamania about the Quadra 605's case design and the way that it has what look like 'feet' sticking out of the bottom. This then spread and went ballistic up to the point where everybody was talking about 'Mac Feets', throwing ideas around about things to do with them, etc. Kind of happened before I signed up though.

Tommy: JT and Danamania are both in the crowd in the front row. Stand up you both! Let's give them a round of applause!


Tommy: Tell us about how the idea of The Hat was born...

TheNeil: Hats on the other hand were my handy work. iMac600 had posted a topic about a 'secret project' that was being worked on, and I asked whether the 'secret project' was, in fact, a hat. He said 'no'. I then asked whether he was sure.

It bounced back and forth a few times with me asking stupid variations on the hat idea (Is it a cyber-hat? Is it a garment worn on the head? etc.), and it seemed that the other forumites seemed to be far more interested in the idea of a hat than of a 'secret project' (any talk of 'special projects' seemed to get blasted as people seemed to prefer the hat).

Tommy: What was the concept in your mind for such eloquence and taste?

TheNeil: Possibly mind-altering drugs, possibly boredom, possibly insanity. It's going back a few years now, but I probably thought, "What's the least IT related project that anyone could be working on that they'd call a 'secret project'?" How much further from a 68K Mac can you get than a hat?

As to the hat itself, I had very little in the way of sartorial styling in mind and merely floated the concept (possibly with a Trilby or something worn at a rakish angle in my head). It was only when the other 68kMLA-ers started kicking ideas around that delusions of grandeur started, and 'the hat' went from being a common or garden hat to some sort of ornate headdress. My own personal fave is for a clear perspex top hat with a rotating SE/30 inside (yeah it'd be heavy, but what a hat that would be).

Tommy: When did you feel like this would really catch on to the masses?

TheNeil: To be honest, I never thought it would. It was just a throwaway moment of madness that seemed to capture people's imagination. If I had to pin it down, I think it would be the moment when iMac600 revealed what the 'secret project' actually was (it wasn't a hat, by the way), and the next post simply said, 'But what about the hat?'

The people had spoken, and 'the hat' had passed from insane rantings of an English dude into something that the whole world could share (or laugh at, anyway). Even now some people get it, and some people don't.

Tommy: When did it all come together?

TheNeil: I wish I could remember. Sadly, the original posts got lost when the 68kMLA server went down. My black hole of a memory keeps telling me that it was funny though.

Tommy: Was there ever a point where you started doubting whether The Hat could change the world?

TheNeil: Has it changed the world?

Tommy: According to numerous reports around the Web and around the world, there are a lot of people who've reportedly taken an interest in wanting a Hat and Feets of their very own.

Did you have any special promoters that really got behind The Hat? If so, are they here in the crowd today?

TheNeil: So far any sort of promotion of 'the hat' is kind of nonexistent (I'm still waiting for Apple to contact me or just go ahead and release an iHat of their own). In many ways, 'the hat' is merely a concept rather than a commodity and is many things to many people. To some, a beacon of hope, to others, a symbol of unification, a talisman, a defining badge of honor, an unobtainable item of perfection that symbolizes the union of man and Mac.

To me, it's something to keep my head warm and spread madness.

Tommy: What if I told you that all this will change in just a moment?

(walks back up to the podium)

Tommy: I'd like to welcome Tom Levens, 68kMLA's Sys-Ops Commander up on stage. Tom would like to make a special announcement to the 68kMLA'ers and the world. Come on up Tom!


Tom: Thank you, Tommy and TheNeil. Thank you, fellow 68kMLA members, for being here today for this momentous occasion. TheNeil eloquently spoke of The Hat being a concept rather than a commodity.

I'm proud to say once and for all, that ends today. After months of secret prototypes and after months of speculation amongst the 68kMLA, I'm proud to announce that The Hat and Feets are being released to the public today via CafePress! We even have free samples to give away to all in attendance today!


Oh my God! You're not gonna believe this. The crowd is so eager to get their hands on free samples of The Hat & Feets that a security detail has been brought on stage to restrain the crowd from attacking TheNeil, Tom, and myself. It's complete and utter pandemonium!

A fellow 68kMLA'er and LEM writer, iamdigitalman, just knocked the microphone out of my hands and started yelling, "Hats & Feets, baby, YEAH, WOOHOO!" As I look behind me amidst the chaos, I notice that some 68kMLA'ers are being led out of The Lounge due to excessive violence. I recognize one of them, Gobabushka. I can hear him yelling, "I shall not rest until The Hat & Feets are mine, ahahahahahahah!"

Whew! I just barely managed to get out of the room! I kept trying to find TheNeil after the crowd managed to break through the security detail, but the last I saw of him was his arm with a thumbs up. I never saw Tom, I just hope he's okay.

Wow! That's the most exciting announcement I've seen since the iPhone. It's one of those moments where you just had to be there to see if for yourself.

To find out more about The Hat & Feets, or for plenty of old-fashioned Classic Mac goodness, head on over to The 68k Macintosh Liberation Army. Please contact TheNeil himself with any inquiries you may have about The Hat by PM'ing him on the 68kMLA or at this address: TheNeil2001 (at) yahoo (dot) co (dot) uk. Be sure to check out his website at http://www.theneil.plus.com.

You can contact Danamania with any inquiries about Feets by PM'ing her at the 68kMLA.

If you have any questions or comments to send my way, send them to thomas (at) lowendmac (dot)com. Thank you for attending today's interview. We can't wait to hear from you.

The uprising is here! :-) LEM

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