(Welcome to the World of Endless Reruns! Two decades ago, As the Apple Turns (AtAT) was a daily web-based soap opera obsessively following the melodramatic ins and outs of all things Apple. Now the archives are broadcasting in syndication, so each day you can see what life was like 20 years ago when Apple was still the underdog, all in not-so-fabulous RetroVision™!)

TV-PGOctober 26, 2001: The Mac community discovers how to get an iPod for $30 off-- and yet another reason why you must own one. Meanwhile, Apple launches two new promotions that offer rebates and/or free gear to iMac and Power Mac customers, and the grand opening of the first New Jersey Apple retail store has been postponed for one more week...
There was no new episode broadcast on October 27, 2001, so we're still showing you the last episode broadcast before then. (October 26, 2001)
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Of Pods, Pricing, And Pong (10/26/01)

Three days after the product's introduction, the controversy surrounding the iPod has progressed from a bloody war of words (the likes of which the Mac community hasn't witnessed since the Great No-Floppy Flame Battles of 1998-- we're still waiting for our eyebrows to grow back) into a sort of calm consensus. Here's the description we're calling "the peacemaker": the iPod is by far the best MP3 player out there for Mac users, but while you get what you pay for, a lot of people just won't be able to afford the $399 price tag. Ta-daa! Everybody's happy, and we can all get on with our lives.

Actually, maybe it's something of an overstatement to say that everybody's happy, since the folks who want an iPod but who don't have four Bennies to spend on one surely aren't exactly jumping up and down in euphoric glee. Well, we're here to help. No, we're not giving away an iPod; if we actually had one, we'd be cramming it full of indie rock and Keely Smith, not handing it out in some ill-conceived promotional stunt (and if you seriously thought otherwise, you've got a dangerously inaccurate sense of the relative sizes of our technogeek lust and our commitment to the success of this little show, here). Nor are we giving out any cash to subsidize iPod purchases. What we can do, however, is 1) tell you how to save a few bucks when you finally submit to the irresistible urge to buy one of those sleek little suckers, and 2) give you yet another reason why the iPod is a must-have at any cost.

First, knocking that price down: well, first of all, if you live in England, move to the U.S. as quickly as possible. As reported by MacUser (and many, many UK-based faithful viewers), Apple actually raised the iPod's price by £20 on the first day it was released. At this rate, an iPod in the UK will cost more than a new car by the time the thing actually hits store shelves; sure, we've got anthrax in the mail over here, but hey, it's a small price to pay to get an iPod for a (more) reasonable price. Oh, and another thing: once you're here, enroll in school. It's been widely reported that Apple has knocked $30 off the iPod's price for educational purchasers-- which is a great thing, because whereas most starving college students could never justify spending $399 on a portable music player, virtually every last one of them will be snapping these things up at $369... a price so staggeringly low, it's virtually pocket change.

As for finding yet another reason why you absolutely need to buy an iPod (aside from being able to carry a hundred CDs' worth of music on it in your pocket, sync it effortlessly with iTunes, and even boot your Mac with it in FireWire disk mode), faithful viewer Rooser points out that our old buddy Niko Coucouvanis over at MacAddict stumbled upon the deciding factor: "if you select 'About' from the main menu, then hold the center button for a couple seconds, a mini Breakout! game appears on the screen." Yes, Breakout!, the game that took the Pong principle to exciting new levels. Niko's not joking; MacityNet has a photo of iPodOut in action. Game Boy, Shmame Boy; now that you've found out that you can actually play Breakout! on the iPod while you're jamming to your tunes, that $399 is looking downright cheap, isn't it?

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Allow Six To Eight Weeks (10/26/01)

Okay, so maybe you're not in the market for a $399 MP3 player. Could it be because you've been saving up for a whole new Mac, instead? Well, if so, then have we got news for you: faithful viewer Mark Czynski points out that, just in time for the holidays, Apple has just trotted out a new pair of promotions geared to get you plunking down the cash for a dollop or two of desktop-y goodness. (Sorry, portable customers; the PowerBook and iBook were both recently juiced up with faster processors, more storage, extra features, and the like-- so no rebates for you. Cry us a river.)

Promo number one, in classical Apple "let's make sure we pick a cute name so people don't notice that we're obviously clearing inventory" fashion, is called "Snap It Up," and it grants purchasers of 600 MHz and 700 MHz iMacs a choice of a free HP Photosmart 318xi digital camera or $150 back by mail. Note that the promo page just says you need to "buy an iMac," and even the mail-in coupon isn't clear about what constitutes a "qualifying" unit-- but if you click through from the Apple Store, it's plainly stated that only the $1299 and $1499 models rate for free stuff. So if you had your heart set on Indigo because it would offset the drapes in the den so perfectly, you're plumb out of luck. May we suggest a Snow model and a can of Krylon?

For those of you in the market for a little more oomph, Apple's second new promotion is called "Crystal Clear Savings"; just buy a Power Mac G4 together with any Apple display and you'll qualify for up to $500 back by mail-- or up to $500 off at purchase time, if you're buying online via the Apple Store. Interestingly enough, the size of your rebate is not determined by which display you buy (you get the same rebate whether you opt for the $499 15-inch Studio Display or you splurge on the intensely droolworthy $2499 Cinema Display), but rather by which Power Mac you purchase. A basic 733 MHz model gets you $100 off, an 867 MHz unit is worth a $300 savings, and only the big mother dual-processor 800 MHz Power Mac qualifies for the $500 rebate.

Both of these offers are valid on purchases made from now until the end of the year-- which is pretty standard fare, seeing as Macworld Expo commences just days later, and generally brings with it all manner of shiny new Macs. Last year at around this time, we had rebate offers on both Power Macs and PowerBooks-- and January brought us the PowerBook G4 and the first Power Mac G4s running at above 500 MHz. So, by extension, it's not an unreasonable thing to assume that we're not going to see any new iMacs until next year. Yes, it's a bummer, but hey, at least the uncertainty's gone, right? In the meantime, take advantage of these promos and never mind about what might be available in January; you can always just buy more later, right, Rockefeller?

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Hey, New Jersey: Sleep In (10/26/01)

Attention, all Jersey-area Mac fans: if you were expecting to attend the grand opening of the Tice's Corner Apple retail store tomorrow, either cancel your plans, or make sure you pack a sleeping bag and one big honkin' picnic basket. According to MacCentral, the event has officially been postponed for a week, so if you're getting in line early tomorrow morning, you're definitely going to want to be well-supplied for the seven-day wait. (At least you'll probably be first in line, though.)

While we don't think the Tice's Corner page on Apple's site ever listed an opening date in the first place, there's most certainly a new graphic showing up in Hot News that simply lists the store as "opening soon," so it seems this delay is legit. Reportedly Apple decided to postpone the opening until November 3rd because that date "is more in conjunction with the openings of the Apple store's fellow tenants." Waitaminnit, here... so New Jersey Macaholics have to sweat it out another week just because the other stores in the mall can't get their collective act together? Geez, that hardly seems fair. Still, since it doesn't inconvenience us directly, we'll let it go.

The other grand opening slated for tomorrow-- at the Westfarms Mall in Farmington, CT-- is apparently still a go, so those of you with elaborate plans to camp out overnight to ensure a good spot in line are encouraged to proceed normally. There's a slim chance that AtAT will be represented at this shindig by Jack, though Katie will definitely be absent due to a previous engagement. If you're going to the Westfarms hootenanny, keep an eye peeled for this guy; if he's there, say hi, because he'll be handing out stickers and selling t-shirts. Don't count on it, though, since getting up early on a Saturday is a rare and blasphemous act around the AtAT compound...

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Previously, on As the Apple Turns...

TV-PGOctober 25, 2001: Newsweek asks Steve Jobs what he thinks school will be like in the future-- and he starts talking about afternoon tea with dead men. Meanwhile, Sony and Toyota are working on a "pod" of their own, and Microsoft releases Windows XP to the strains of overwhelming indifference in the Mac community...

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