While this is one of my favorite Apple stories, it’s probably one of those “you had to be there” kind of things. Anyways, here goes.
Our senior VP at the time this happened was Bertrand Serlet. His hair could be quite spikey and windswept. Combined with the fact that he was tall and thin led to the inevitable comparison to Beaker from The Muppets.
At Apple we had a server where everyone had a “user picture” stored. When you received an email from someone, it would look for a picture on that server and if it was there, it would display it in the upper right corner of the email. Very cool.
One of the people who had access to this server decided to play a practical joke and replace Bertrand’s picture, which indicated that he may have been a member of Duran Duran. The new image was the one of Beaker above. So, that was pretty hilarious. But I had not yet seen it in the wild.
At the time, I worked on Mail and worked just down the hall from Bertrand. He came rushing towards my office on that day. He had a recognizable urgent fast-walker-runner gait, so I could usually tell he was on his way. He burst into my office and shouted “I am Beaker!” – he could tell I was puzzled so he said “Bring up an email from me!” — which I did, and I saw the Beaker picture.
“Look, see, I am Beaker!” he excitedly reported to me.
For this reason and a thousand more, I miss working for Bertrand.