TV-PGDecember 12, 1997:
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From the writer/creator of AtAT, a Pandemic Dad Joke taken WAYYYYYY too far

Apple CEO: Stalemate (12/12/97)

Oy vey... It seems that Steve Jobs has Apple in a bit of a pickle. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Apple's having a tough time finding a permanent CEO and is highly unlikely to fill the slot before their "expected" date of January 1st.

So why is this Steve's fault? Because he wants to have his cake and eat it too. He doesn't want the responsibility of the full-time CEO position himself, but he wants to be chairman of the board so he can pull the strings of whomever takes the position-- and anyone smart enough to save Apple is too smart to take full responsibility yet have no real authority. Case in point: Ed Zander, a Sun exec, who was reportedly offered the job but turned it down when Jobs wouldn't agree to leave the board. Apple now reportedly has no one left on its list of candidates. In short, Steve has painted Apple into a corner-- The only way to break the stalemate is for Steve either to take the CEO job himself, or to leave the board. Meanwhile, MacOS Rumors reports that the latter scenario may be closer to happening than we'd have expected; one of their sources says that Steve not only threatened to leave Apple, but actually began "clearing out his office" before Larry Ellison convinced him to stay.

(By the way, we should mention that we were startled to see a link labeled "As the Apple turns" in the middle of the on-line Chronicle article. Unfortunately it doesn't link to our little show, but rather to some discussion forum. Darn.)

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Apple NC's Still On (12/12/97)

And while Larry Ellison is very busy talking friends out of leaving Cupertino and dealing with a 30% stock drop in Oracle, he still has time to blab to an audience at Harvard about Apple's NC's. Just yesterday, Apple's PR firm Niehaus-Ryan was officially denying that Apple would announce NC's at next month's MacWorld Expo-- yet in Cambridge, Larry claimed that the Apple-branded network computers would ship in April.

According to thessaSOURCE, Larry went on to say that the Apple NC's would include a 300 MHz processor (presumably a G3, based on earlier reports), on-board ethernet, maybe FireWire, and a 17-inch monitor. In a deviation from Larry's idea of an NC, the Apple version will allow the addition of a local hard disk, though it will ship diskless by default. And happily, the NC will run the Mac OS. Incidentally, Mac the Knife had posted an artist's conception of the Apple NC that had been circling the 'net in the past couple of weeks (but a faithful viewer points out that it's just been removed). Curvy!

Has anyone else noticed that Larry Ellison has become the single biggest source of Apple news?

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Falling Market Share (12/12/97)

The news just keeps getting worse. A article reports that according to market research firm IDC, Apple's sales market share has fallen yet again, dragging Apple from fifth place to eighth among U.S. computer manufacturers. Unsurprisingly, IDC blames the change on "public skepticism about the company's future." (Well, duh.)

We won't recount the litany of figures because they all say the same thing-- Apple's sales are falling at a time when the computer market itself is growing. And once again, we're left looking at the vicious circle of a self-fulfilling prophesy. Apple has some trouble, the press reports the worst of it, the public buys less from Apple, Apple's numbers get worse, the press says "see, we told you so," the public buys even less from Apple, etc.

So the question your tired AtAT producers put forth to you, our faithful viewers, is this: How can we break this cycle? If someone has a magic wand, we wish you'd go ahead and wave it, already...

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