Man Traded Kidney for PowerBook

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What do you give someone who gives you a kidney? A PowerBook, if that's what he asks for, and that's apparently what one family member wanted when he gave his sister one of his kidneys. The story comes to us from Phil Shapiro in a PC World column asking why Apple doesn't use more senior citizens in its advertising.

Mr. Shapiro was consulting with an older couple in the late 1990s when the wife said, "Why don't we show him the kidney PowerBook? Maybe he can answer some questions about that computer."

He asked why they call it the "kidney PowerBook," she said, "My husband donated one of his kidneys to his sister. She asked him what he'd like in return. Without hesitation, he said, 'I'd love a PowerBook.'"

She apparently loved him enough to get it for him.

Beyond the amusing anecdote, Mr. Shapiro's broader point was that there are a lot of older Americans using Macs, something that Apple doesn't usually acknowledge in its advertising.

It's something that we've acknowledged at The Mac Observer for more than ten years, however, which is how long we've been publishing Nancy Carroll Gravley's Computing with Bifocals column.

PowerBook G3
In 2000, would you have traded a kdiney for one of these?

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I had one of those.
Strangely enough I paid an arm and a leg for it.

Bryan Chaffin



Ouch… with so many Mac users missing various body parts, it’s no wonder the PC people think we’re weird.


I owned an Apple ][e and the very first Mac (still have it somewhere), and I was pretty much a wiz with the operating systems prior to OSX.  I shall be 66 next month, and while I don’t care one way or the other whether Apple acknowledges older users, I do bemoan the fact that I no longer have the energy or desire to tinker under the hood. 

Apple can’t fix this - it just comes with the territory.  I do wish however, that software developers would be kinder with the very young and the sort of old, with better directions, and explanations of some of the software preferences.  It’s one of the reasons I love SuperDuper so much.  When I first ran it, it told me step by step what was happening, and what was going to happen next.  I ignore all that now, but it sure meant a lot the first time.


iJack is right-on. While a macfan-atic since the beginning, I, too, (at 62) would appreciate a little more explanation when OS operational changes are not as intuitive as early Mac ops. Apple should not forget the loyalists that supported the platform through the lean years and make some accommodation (AppleCare senior discount?) for support needed by the longest serving members of the “rest of us.”

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