Mac’s ‘Spinning Wheel of Death’ makes a swell pillow


spinning wheel icon
Insufficient RAM or insufficient sleep?
Photo: Throwboy

It’s a wait cursor, colorful and spinning, that means your Mac is thinking. But few of us are patient nor amused by its animation, so we give it names like the spinning wheel or beachball “of death.”

Now you can assign the infamous icon a new function – throw pillow.

The public relations boost comes courtesy of Throwboy, which currently has a Kickstarter campaign featuring throw pillows that look like Apple’s most iconic personal computing devices, from the Bondi blue iMac to the first iPhone.

‘Spinning Wheel of Death,’ a Kickstarter extra

Since Throwboy shot past its funding goals, founder and pillow designer Roberto Hoyos has added the spinning wheel pillow as a campaign extra that can be purchased for $20.

Throwboy began 10 years ago after Hoyos made hand-made pillows of Mac desktop icons as a Christmas gift to a girlfriend. Her pictures of the pillows went viral and the requests for pillows turned into a company that sells throw pillows representing the wired life, especially emoji, around the globe.

Hoyos’ fondness for Apple frequently appears in several of his products. The current campaign, featuring likenesses of the Apple II, the first Macintosh, the colorful iMac, and first-gen iPod and iPhone, has raised close to $64,000. Each pillow is $39 or $195 for the set.

Iconic hardware never looked so soft.
Photo: Throwboy

The spinning wheel is also available as a combo with the pillow or pillows of your choice starting at $59.

Throwboy is using its current production process and facility to make the new pillows so it should avoid some of the risks that befall other Kickstarter campaigns.

The pillows are available for the next 10 days on Kickstarter and will be shipped to backers by February.

The spinning wait cursor can indicate a lot of things. It may spin for a few seconds or several minutes depending on the issue.

Often, it means you’ve asked your machine to do too many tasks at once. It could spin when an application is frozen and sent away by Force Quitting the app.

The wheel could also signal an issue with hardware or indicate insufficient RAM.

If you’re staring at the spinning wheel pillow on your couch for more than a few seconds, you are experiencing insufficient sleep. Force Quit and go lie down.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.