For many years, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has complained and put
tight restrictions on photography during his appearances. More recently, the
once total ban on flash photography has been lifted at his Macworld Expo
keynote to allow the pool of media photogs to snap away during the first
several minutes of the event. Any further flashes were met with stern warnings
from Apple personnel to knock it off.
Now it appears Jobs & Company want to further
micromanage the media’s behavior. Ahead of Thursday morning’s iPhone SDK event
on the Apple campus, I received a call from an Apple PR guy wanting to make
sure I was clear on the logistics for the event and asking if I would be
covering it for news. When I said I would be, he said Apple’s going to have
power outlets in the back of the small auditorium for all the reporters with notebooks.
When I said, I didn’t need the power outlet he said all the people with
notebooks we’re going to be asked to sit in the back, rather than up front, so
the “clickety-clack of typing” won’t be a distraction.
Which of course brought back memories of Hal Glatzer. Hal
who? Hal was one of the first reporters to use the Tandy Model 100 portable computer
at press events. We’re talking Wayback Machine here, the 1980s. Everyone else
was still using paper notebooks or tape recorders.
But Hal soon tired of the stares and glares in response to
the clickety-clack of his typing at these events. So he came up with an
ingenious idea. Hal inserted those tiny rubber elastic bands used in braces, under the keys on the Model 100 to soften the sound.
Worked like a charm, though portable computers soon became
so common at press events the sound of typing ceased to bother anyone.