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Doggone! Icons are axed

AIn another sign of Steve Jobs "thinking different", Apple's sculpture garden at its Cupertino headquarters is to be dismantled, bringing an end to the crazy figures that have graced it since 1993.

For the axe are icons representing the paintbrush, the watch, and Clarus the DogCow also known as "the Moof". The icons represented the user-friendly, off-the-wall style of the early Apple Computer, from the days of Steve Job's first tenure as boss.

But it is the same man who has now signed the death warrant for these illustrations of Apple's hippy past. Recently, Jobs also dismantled employee reward schemes, banned smoking on Apple premises and banned employees from bringing pets to work.

Apple's historical library has been turned over to Stanford University and the famous six-colour Apple logo is now monochrome.

The icons idea was sparked by a long-ago planning condition, that decreed Apple must include "art" in the public park fronting its building. Apple now claims that the statues were in need of repair. "They went up when we built the campus," said Apple spokeswoman Rhona Hamilton. "We wanted to update the park."

Apple employees and supporters are divided on the move. Some see it as a denial of Apple's "golden age", while others view the removal as a smart and timely act.

Whatever the reaction at Apple, Cupertino authorities still regard the planning condition as binding. News of new artwork is expected soon.

For those who wish to preserve the memory of the Dogcow and friends Jory's Apple Icon Garden Adventure Web site (icongarden.jory.org) provides a virtual tour round the sculptures.


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