Video: A Laptop Like You

This is a video I made for Jonathan Coulton‘s song ‘A Laptop Like You‘. It stars my trusty PowerBook G4, which I bought in early 2005, just before moving from New Zealand to Geneva. I recently replaced it with a MacBook Pro, but my PowerBook wanted to become an internet superstar before retiring, and I just can’t say no to that sweet little thing. I love the song, I love my Mac, and I have all the right props, so I knew I had to make this video.

The song in the credits is ‘When You Go‘, also by Jonathan Coulton. His song ‘Code Monkey‘ is also referred to in this video, and a few other songs directly or tangentially related to Jonathan Coulton are referenced in the Skype userlist. Bram Tant, who valiantly confronted various Vista hassles in order to pretend to be my not-really-love-interest for about 50 seconds, and then unexpectedly got a MacBook Pro on the day he filmed his part, also makes music. He hopes his new laptop will help him record songs for the Masters of Song Fu competition.

Somewhat interesting facts and bloopers:

  • There’s another video for this song on YouTube, which also features a large Swiss flag on a wall.
  • My MacBook Pro actually weighs 42g more than the PowerBook.
  • This is the 42nd video I’ve uploaded to YouTube.
  • I filmed so many takes of the ‘break it in two pieces’ scene that I think I ruined the contacts or something; my PowerBook’s battery doesn’t charge any more, as you can see in the close-ups of the menu bar in the end credits.
  • The grey T-shirt is from Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference 2004. I originally intended to zoom out to show the back of it (which says ‘WWDC 2004’) after the video chat, so that it would be clear what year we were in (and perhaps amusing when the same T-shirt is used to sleep in years later) but the video chat ran a bit longer than I had anticipated.
  • The opening sequence was filmed on the MacBook Pro, and you can see a few icons there for things which didn’t exist when I got the PowerBook.
  • The Calendar Dashboard widget shown did not exist in that form when I got the PowerBook G4. I did have a Dashboard at the time, since I had a beta of Mac OS X 10.4, but the calendar didn’t look like that until 10.5.
  • All of the effects shown in the video chat are possible on the PowerBook G4, using CamTwist. However, Bram had problems starting a video chat in Skype (he was on Vista at the time) so we ended up faking the video chat. Since it was fake anyway, I recorded it on the MacBook Pro.
  • You can see this in the short fake video chat in the credits, where I forgot to hook up the iSight to the PowerBook, and put the PowerBook somewhere where it would not have seen me with that background anyway. It was late. I guess I could have had the iSight in the right place to see me from that angle… that is, not on the PowerBook’s screen.

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  1. #1 by John Zimmer on December 3, 2009 - 10:19 pm

    Excellent, Angela. I really enjoyed this!



  2. #2 by Jakup Bjarkhamar on December 15, 2009 - 4:55 pm

    nice song never heard it before


  3. #3 by MissionaryK on March 28, 2010 - 3:35 pm

    LOL, this is a cool video. The song is funny. Mac Rocks!


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