(Welcome to the World of Endless Reruns! A quarter of a century 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 25 years ago when Apple was still the underdog, all in not-so-fabulous RetroVision™!)

TV-PGJune 9, 1998: AtAT's faithful viewers never disappoint; the casting suggestions for the Apple miniseries are coming in fast and furious. Meanwhile, Apple divests itself from the Santa Clara real estate market, and USB should be pretty trouble-free (especially since you've got a Mac)...
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Casting Call Free-For-All (6/9/98)

Well, just as we expected, yesterday's idle suggestion that HBO should consider casting Anthony Edwards to play Steve Jobs in the upcoming "history of Apple" miniseries elicited a virtual avalanche of email. (The picture of Steve that we were looking at when we thought of Anthony Edwards is at the right, and we still say he could pull it off.) Here's a sample of the incredibly varied casting choices recommended by our faithful viewers:

There's g.seto's vote for Kevin Costner to play Jobs, which we find intriguing. Gary Carpenter says, "Steven Jobs? Steven Seagal! They even look alike. I might go so far as suggesting that they've never been seen together in the same room..." Whereas Steve "Duke" Duca suggests, "how about David Duchovny as Steve Jobs for the HBO series? Duchovny is the right age, he does the goofy/snotty thing pretty well, and the word is that he's bored with The X-Files." (I guess we could always use a little more Mulder-style paranoia in the Mac world.) Or consider Casey Leichter's take on the situation: "Tom Hanks as Steve Jobs? No way... Fischer Stevens has always struck me as being at least a little Steve-ish; wonder how he'd look in black hair. Or Jim Carrey, for that goofy-intensity-with-a-malevolent-side aspect."

But wait, there's more... Lyle Timetraveler says, "Appearance wise, Kurt Russell is Steve Jobs, but I'm often not sure if those people are really actors, or if they just play actors on TV/movies." Tom Hofheinz may have come closest, appearance-wise, when he proposes, "About the perfect actor for Steve Jobs...it's obvious. It's William Hurt. Darken his hair and he's a dead ringer for jobs, complete with the handsome, charming, slightly sociopathic aura they both share." But what might be the most provocative casting suggestion of all comes from Jeffrey Barbose, who proposes, "Who to play Steve Jobs? Maybe no one. Maybe Pixar's Next Big Thing is photorealism. Maybe a vSteve will play steve. ;) And if steve creates vSteve in his own image, how big will vSteve's head be? :)"

We simply don't have space to list all of the suggestions in a daily episode, but we hope to put up a virtual casting call this weekend to tabulate our viewers' suggestions-- not just for actors to play Steve, but for the other big figures in Apple's history. Incidentally, until now the only basis for thinking that HBO is really planning a "history of Apple" miniseries was a quick mention in a Variety article-- but just today, those well-connected folks over at MacCentral quote an "industry source" as stating that the project "IS happening. And it will commemorate Apple's 'return to greatness.'" According to this mystery source, Tom Hanks is indeed involved with the project; in fact, the whole idea is reportedly a collaboration between Hanks (who, you'll recall, is the voice of Woody from Pixar's "Toy Story") and Jobs (who is the CEO of Pixar). Don't expect to see the miniseries for quite a while, though; you know how these things go.

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Century 21 They Ain't (6/9/98)

While the press paints an ever-rosier picture of Apple's future, you just know somebody's going to leap on this bit of news for contrast, so we figure we'll go first. In a move that some may construe as further evidence that Apple just keeps cutting and cutting to make a profit, Apple is pulling out of the real estate market. (For what it's worth, we never even knew they were in the real estate market, but hey.) The Business Journal has more on this surprising development.

It seems that Apple "established a presence" in the Santa Clara real estate market a few years back, but now confirms that it will "withdraw completely." Apple is working on subleasing its three buildings in that area, as it plans to consolidate itself geographically in Cupertino. All of which means that Apple won't be giving Century 21 a run for its money anytime soon.

What a shame... First Apple pulls out of the CyberCafé business, and now this. Nuts to this "focusing all their energy on Macs and the Mac OS" nonsense! We want to close on a three-bedroom colonial with a six-color "For Sale" sign out front, and then celebrate down at the Apple Café with a tall decaf vegan double Macaccino® with nutmeg and cocoa. Is that so wrong?

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Jazzed Up For USB (6/9/98)

Yesterday's bit on USB provoked a lot of reaction, and almost all of it was positive. People seem pretty excited about Apple moving to a new standard and leaving ADB and standard serial behind. In particular, it really opens the doors to a whole new level of peripheral availability, since USB is a standard on the Wintel side already. A peripherals manufacturer no longer needs to create a whole separate ADB version of its new joystick if it wants to sell into the Mac market, for example; it's just a matter of software and support.

The bottom line on the whole USB migration thing is that it should go pretty darn smoothly for us Mac users. If you have a new Mac and legacy peripherals, you can buy products from Newer Technology that will give your USB-equipped iMac older-style serial and ADB ports. If you've got a legacy (though fairly-recent and PCI-based) Mac and new USB peripherals, you can add USB to your system for under $100 with Keyspan's recently-announced card. Heck, just today ADS Technologies announced their own PCI card that provides two USB ports for only $49. It really should be a pretty easy migration.

Of course, if you want to read about the kinds of headaches even a simple plug-and-play architecture like USB can cause on the Wintel side of the fence, you might want to take a look at Connectix's USB troubleshooting page. Adjusting jumpers on the motherboard? Enabling USB in the BIOS? We sincerely hope that stuff like that isn't in store for us here in Mac-land-- and we're fairly confident it isn't. ;-)

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Previously, on As the Apple Turns...

TV-PGJune 8, 1998: We're back! And just in time, too, judging by the upcoming competition; HBO reportedly plans a miniseries on the history of Apple starring Tom Hanks. Meanwhile, not content with taking on Microsoft, the government saddles up against Intel, and Keyspan announces a product which may ease our transition to the USB standard...

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