(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-PGApril 24, 2002: Apple actually had the gall to hold its annual shareholders' meeting without us. Meanwhile, more rumors swirl about speed-bumped PowerBooks possibly materializing this coming Tuesday, and some absolute monster reportedly broke into an Apple retail store and swiped a whole boatload of easy-to-carry gear...
There was no new episode broadcast on May 20, 2002, so we're still showing you the last episode broadcast before then. (April 24, 2002)
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Never Marked The Calendar (4/24/02)

Wait a minute, it's not the 24th already, is it? Aw, man-- we just totally spaced on the Apple shareholders' meeting! This was finally going to be the year when we hitchhiked cross-country taking the scenic route, meandering along the highways and byways of this great land, immersing ourselves in the true American experience, bonding spiritually with the people, and broadening our horizons... all with the eventual goal of completing a circuitous pilgrimage to the Holy Land that is Cupertino, attending the annual meeting with our stockholding brethren, and finally getting a chance to ask Steve Jobs point-blank what he puts on his Not Dogs-- in other words, whether he's a mustard man, a ketchup man, or a mustard and ketchup man. (It's a question that's been plaguing us for decades.)

It wasn't a total loss, however, since we spent the last couple of weeks engaged in the next best activity on the list of mind-expanding, life-enriching activities:TiVo. And while we may have missed the meeting today, it's no biggie; we can always catch up by scoping out Think Secret's notes from the shindig, which lean heavily towards summarizing Apple's answers to shareholders' questions. That's always a hoot and a half, since it's often the only chance we ever get to hear Apple's take on all this drama we find ourselves wading through day after day. True, sometimes getting the story straight from the horse's mouth provides far less entertaining results than building rampant speculation on a foundation of nothing more than whispered half-truths from shadowy and dubious "sources close to the company," but hey, once a year ain't gonna kill ya.

So squeak your eyeballs across those notes once or twice, because it's actually pretty refreshing to get a second-hand report of Apple's official stance on some of the plot twists that have recently dominated our airwaves. That whole issue of fuller Mac OS X support for older ATI graphics hardware? It's purely a technical issue with old video technology not being able to support Mac OS X's advanced feature set. (Of course, that doesn't exactly explain why those chips can support OpenGL and speedy QuickTime in Mac OS 9 but not in Mac OS X, but whatever.) What about that nasty dust-up involving Finlay Dobbie, the seventeen-year-old developer who was allegedly booted from the Apple Developer Connection because of his age? Not so, said Steve, who called the news reports about the incident "untrue" and trotted out Apple's top mouthpiece Nancy Heinen to state that underage developers can participate with the consent of a legal guardian; Steve reportedly wouldn't make with the details, but indicated that Finlay was dropped because he "did not follow certain rules."

There's plenty of other good stuff in there, including "Steve Speaks" info nuggets on FireWire and Bluetooth for digital cameras, why we can't rotate the iMac's screen into portrait mode, and Mac OS X for Intel (shockingly enough, the official answer to that time-honored issue is a stifled snort of derisive laughter and the dismissive phrase "no plans"). Sadly, however, it seems that the condiment issue never came up (what were these people thinking?), so the Jobsian Mustard-vs.-Ketchup question may well remain a mystery for the ages. Or until we finally manage to drag our hinders out to the mothership in time for next year's hoedown...

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Tuesday (Expo, Shmexpo) (4/24/02)

Heads up, folks, because it's really starting to look like maybe there's something to the PowerBook rumors we mentioned yesterday after all. Provided you're a regular viewer and you aren't the guy from Memento, you probably recall that a sudden alleged return of hundreds of unsold wholesale TiBooks to Apple sparked off some speculation that new PowerBook models are due for imminent release, most likely at the Worldwide Developers Conference in a week and a half. That's rather at odds with the "SuperDrive PowerBooks at Expo" vibe we've been feeling for the past several weeks, but heck, who are we to argue if it means we might get new hardware two months sooner?

Well, here's the bad news: based on a few sketchy reports flitting hither and thither across the ether, the two-months-early WWDC intro date seems incorrect after all. But the good news is that the Magic Date now appears to be April 30th, otherwise known as this coming Tuesday. So now we might get new gear a week earlier than two months sooner? Maybe, Sparky-- maybe. All we know is that we've got a really strong feeling that something's coming this Tuesday, but unfortunately we lack the psychic ability to discern whether it's a new PowerBook, a 20 GB iPod, or something slightly more catastrophic-- like maybe a moon-sized meteor colliding with our planet and wiping out all life on earth, or Carrot Top making an unscheduled guest appearance on Letterman. But as faithful viewer Tuner Equalizer reports, the PowerPage claims to have "confirmed" that on Tuesday the PowerBooks will indeed get bumped to 667 MHz and 800 MHz-- and that the prices of the new models will also creep up by $200 apiece. (Allegedly that extra couple of hundred clams will get you a dramatic boost in graphics performance, too, thanks to some spiffy new video circuitry, so it might be a justifiable price hike if it does indeed come to pass.)

What we haven't seen anywhere is any mention that these alleged Tuesday PowerBooks will pack those long-fabled slot-loading SuperDrives that has all the road warriors panting in anticipation. So we're inclined to believe that if this Tuesday intro does turn out to be new PowerBooks, we'll be looking at strictly a speed-bump affair-- faster processors and maybe new video chips, but no SuperDrives or other major improvements until summer. But that's just our best guess based on the Farmer's Almanac and the current state of the tides, so don't hold us to it, or anything.

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Throw The 'Book At Them! (4/24/02)

Is nothing sacred anymore? Forgive us if we're mired in a funk, but our faith in humanity's a little shaken today, because we just heard about the shameful desecration of a holy place. We can't reveal specifics because we don't want to instill widespread panic or cause outbreaks of indiscriminate vigilante sack-beatings as outraged individuals take to the streets to find and punish the culprits by any means necessary, but we feel that the public has a right to know at least the broad strokes of this despicable act so that they can be alert and take preventive measures. A little extra vigilance might help ensure that your own communities aren't struck by such a hateful act. What we're getting at is this: some scoundrels recently broke into one of the Apple retail stores. (Boooo! Hiss!)

It's true, folks-- at least, according to an anonymous source allegedly connected with the local police department in the afflicted community. Apparently somebody with absolutely no sense of reverence whatsoever smashed in one of those giant display windows late one night, ran in, grabbed a slew of portables and expensive third party "digital hub" gizmos, and then hoofed it before The Steve had a chance to strike them down with a bolt of retaliatory lightning hurled all the way from Palo Alto. Looks like someone was looking to amass a huge pile of bad karma in a real hurry. Theft and vandalism in an Apple retail store? We can only assume that the perpetrator was somehow ignorant of the sanctity of the Retail Paradise that represents Mac shopping nirvana to legions upon legions of the faithful. Sheesh, what do you suppose the perp (or perps) did for an encore? We're thinking it must have involved setting fire to puppies, or something like that.

We haven't received word on whether or not the authorities have any leads in the case (for all we know, they've already nabbed the sick deviants), but we urge all AtAT viewers who live within fifty miles of an Apple retail store to keep an eye out for suspicious characters. For example, a guy on the street who approaches you furtively and asks if you'd care to buy a couple of PowerBooks and maybe a shiny new PDA at a low, low price because all the serial numbers were accidentally filed off in a freak manicure accident? That guy qualifies as "suspicious." Alert the authorities.

If you're even more fired up to help, consider organizing a local Apple Retail Defense Corps, in which you all take turns patrolling and guarding the perimeter of your local Apple boutique outside of regular business hours. Sure, it's a fairly hefty time commitment and a significant personal sacrifice on your part, but hey, the retail paradise you save may be your own.

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Previously, on As the Apple Turns...

TV-PGApril 23, 2002: Finally, a cheaper iPod-- as long as you're willing to pay more to get it. Meanwhile, strange things afoot in Apple's wholesale channel hint at a possible PowerBook revision just around the corner, and Bill Gates takes the stand on "Redmond Justice" and brings the house down...

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