TV-PGNovember 5, 2002: The littlest AtAT staff member seems to think that imminent SuperDrive PowerBooks are still a distinct possibility. Meanwhile, Apple posts its Holiday Gift Guide, and rumors of rumors of an Apple buyout by Sun have surfaced once again...
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Out Of The Mouths Of Babes (11/5/02)

Disaster-- pestilence has struck the AtAT compound! Well, okay, actually it's just a cheesy little cold. But given the extremely delicate production schedule dictated by our current circumstances, trust us when we tell you that even the mildest case of the sniffles can completely derail our chewing-gum-and-chicken-wire writing process. Heck, these days something as simple as an usually lumpy bowl of oatmeal could probably blindside us for a week. AtAT: proudly redefining the phrase "half-assed" for the new millennium!

So, given the fact that the whole compound is in a state of mucusy higgledy-piggledy and our intern and resident goddess-in-training is stubbornly refusing to act even vaguely sleepy at the unholy hour of five o'clock in the morning, we figure, hey, what the heck-- she's been here for over six months and she's demonstrated on numerous occasions that she knows how to kick the living bejeezus out of a keyboard, so why not let her write a scene for once? So without further ado, we give you (insert trumpet fanfare here) Anya's First Scene™:

,l;drgmgb rgnkl rzl zdrg jizdh iozdh zs s sdf oweiorerti PowerBook dg g ogbfb i 800 MHz org rg ibfni 1 GHz grs @ Q ni! mg grz ioz,. zhg zhriouyr w/SuperDrive o657er s8 g 90d i9 iuj 89 g tb cvb j cfbnfj nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnb bui buindb fbcfbn nj n n! rgzn nfb bd nmi ni nibdfni nio vsszei8hth8yu ggb bsebsdssssssssss h fseh 89vsd sernj.

Uh... yyyyyeah. Well, there you have it, folks; at least one person (small and inexperienced though she may be) appears still to be expecting actual SuperDrives in the upcoming PowerBooks rumored to surface tomorrow, despite the fact that the entire Mac rumor community thinks otherwise. Ah, the wide-eyed naïveté of youth, yeah? Anya's apparent prediction of speeds of 800 MHz and 1 GHz are also slightly on the high side of the watercooler consensus, but it's the SuperDrive prediction that's so darned precious; it's almost like she's asking Santa to bring her one for Christmas. Awwwwww.

Of course, if she actually turns out to be right and the new PowerBooks do come with SuperDrives, well, we're going to have to set up a side business renting her out to the cops as a crime scene psychic or something. And let her at the keyboard more often.

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Switcher Stocking Stuffer (11/5/02)

Hey, speaking of Santa (we did mention him, it's a valid segue!), you do realize that we're barrelling towards the thick of the holiday shopping season at enormous velocity, right? Oh, sure, some of you may think that early November is far too early to start worrying about Christmas shopping and the like, and believe us, speaking as people who have in the past done all their gift-buying at The Alley on Christmas Day, we can relate. But given the fact that we recall spotting Christmas gear at the mall in September-- just a week or two before we unstrung last year's lights from the AtAT compound bushes, in fact-- clearly 'tis the season, at least from a purely capitalist standpoint. So it's time to think about running up some serious debt in the name of peace on earth and goodwill toward men.

But if you're at a loss as to what to buy for your Mac-loving friends and family, fret not; Apple's lending a helping hand by publishing its annual Holiday Gift Guide, which suggests plenty of presents chock full of spendy goodness and conveniently helps you blow all kinds of crazy money at the online Apple Store. Just to get a sense of the mood over there, consider that the absolute cheapest thing in Apple list of "Top Ten Gifts" is a $99.95 .Mac subscription. Economy, Shmeconomy-- it's the holidays, dagnabbit!

For what it's worth, though, our own personal favorite Gift Guide item is the newly-released Move2Mac by Detto Technologies. Have you heard about this yet? It's a $59.95 software package that comes with a specialized USB file transfer cable, and it's all designed to pull files and settings from a soon-to-be-junked Windows PC into a new Mac running Mac OS X 10.2. The idea is that you can bring home your new iMac, plug it into your old Dell, click a few buttons, and whammo-- soon the iMac has all your files, your Internet settings, a Mail application configured for your existing account, etc. (Personally, we think Apple should bundle a free copy with every Mac sold to Wintel users, because we suspect the lure of a free and easy migration tool might get a lot of potential switchers off the fence-- but we digress.)

And why do we like the idea of Move2Mac as a gift so much, aside from the fact that it sounds like a perfectly nifty product in its own right? Simple: every Mac user has at least one person on his or her list that uses that "other" platform-- the market share stats make it sort of hard to avoid. Well, is there anything more fun than a gift that's perfectly useless unless the recipient shells out another grand or two to use it? So you just give your Wintel-using friend a copy of Move2Mac, secure in the knowledge that he'll rush right out and buy a new iMac just so's not to waste your thoughtful gift. It's a foolproof plan to boost the Switcher population!

Or, uh, he'll return it and put the credit toward a Microsoft wireless mouse. Whatever. Still, it's worth a shot, right?

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One Apple, Sunny Side Up (11/5/02)

This one's going to be a quickie, because there really just isn't a whole lot to say about it (it stands proudly on its own merits), but at the same time it's way too cool not to point out: a faithful viewer who wishes to remain nameless stumbled across a FORTUNE newsletter which mentions that there's a rumor floating around in Silicon Valley that-- are you ready, Boots?-- Apple is about to be bought out by none other than Sun. The buzz, such as it is, is that Sun is looking to swallow Apple whole in order to acquire a desktop UNIX that people might actually use-- Mac OS X, natch.

Now, your first reaction might be that, given the company's recent stock performance (or lack thereof), a Sun buyout of anything more expensive than a dozen Krispy Kremes is a financial impossibility; in truth, though, while the company's stock is indeed hovering in the $3-per-share range, Sun probably could pull off an Apple purchase if it really wanted to. At broadcast time, Apple's market cap (as reported by Yahoo! Finance) was just over $6 billion, whereas Sun's was about $10 billion. So yeah, it probably could be done. The question is, does anyone actually want it to?

We can't help but flash back to the Dark Days of the mid-'90s, when a Sun buyout of Apple reportedly almost did happen, and the only thing that scotched the deal was that Sun felt Apple's asking price was way too high. But that was a distinctly pre-Jobsian transaction, and we just can't imagine Steve letting Apple become a department/wholly-owned subsidiary of Sun. Then again, he let Apple buy NeXT-- and not long after, most observers agree that NeXT wound up possessing Apple from within. Could Steve be planning a similar stealth takeover of Sun, wherein Apple gets bought out and within a matter of months Sun's Scott McNealy is supplanted by Steve himself? Ooooo, intrigue-y!

Of course, there's also the distinct possibility that they're doing some really interesting drugs in the Valley and this rumor's nothing more than somebody's freaky mind trip. But that's what makes this business special.

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