Mac-Guyver: the Macintosh house call
about the paperclip and MacGyver
(Caution, puns explained.)

Early Macs had a little hole next to the floppy disk slot, and later next to the CD slot or tray. The purpose of the hole was to let you get your disk back if the computer had swallowed it and wouldn't let it go. The instruction book said to take a paper clip, straighten it out, and push one end into the hole firmly. This would release the disk manually. I thought an unbent paperclip was a nice metaphor for fixing Macs. I understand that the paperclip is now the perfect tool to get the SIM card out of an iPhone.

The Mac came out in 1984. In 1985 the TV series MacGyver started. In it, the hero, played by Richard Dean Anderson, went from place to place nonviolently foiling bad guys' plans and rescuing damsels using scotch tape, a tube of toothpaste, a broken-off stick, and his wits. For fans, the name MacGyver became synonymous with this sort of improvising. An episode of Anderson's later show Stargate SG-1 had the line, "Can't we just MacGyver something?"

In 2002, fishing for a name for this business, I was saying to myself, Mac Man, Mac Guy... and so Mac-Guyver (note hypen and spelling) was it.

There was a series of toys produced in Brasil based on the MacGyver show, and someone in the last couple years photoshopped this one up: