TV-PGFebruary 14, 2000: It's a big, fat valentine from Bill to Steve, courtesy of one of the Billster's old girlfriends. Meanwhile, the utter lack of scheduled webcasts and satellite broadcasts from the Macworld Expo Tokyo keynote probably has a few rumormongers squirming, and when viewed in light of Windows 2000's thirty million lines of code, a mere 63,000 bugs doesn't sound all that bad...
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Imitation, Flattery, Etc. (2/14/00)

Aw, what a sweet valentine! It's like a great big smooch from Bill to Steve; an article in The Register notes that one of Bill Gates's old girlfriends, Ann Winblad, recalls his hopeless crush on the Macintosh. While the article doesn't say when this fling with good taste occurred, Ann is quoted as saying, "we all bought Macs. Bill bought a Mac. Bill was using a Mac. Bill was using a Macintosh. Not a PC." See? Bill does have a modicum of style in his soul. Of course, it wasn't quite enough to bleed over into Windows, but it shows that at least Bill wanted his product to be stylish like the Mac. Yeah, yeah, good intentions, road to hell, yadda yadda yadda. All we're saying is, it's not like Bill didn't try to make a classy copy of the Mac. From a style perspective, he just failed miserably, that's all.

But what's truly smoochworthy about this Valentine's Day surprise isn't even that Bill spent his own filthy lucre on a Macintosh. The real kicker is that Bill reportedly admires Steve personally to an almost embarrassing degree. Ann says that when watching Steve give one of his famous public addresses, Bill turned to her and said, "some day I'll be as good a public speaker as he is. How do I do that? I'm going to work on that." (Note to Bill: keep working.) It may not compare to the stalker-level Jobs obsession that Mike Dell's trying to keep under control, but it's sweet nonetheless; Bill's admiration is more "Twins," while Mike's definitely got a scarier "Single White Female" vibe going on.

So Happy Valentine's Day to one and all, and especially to Bill and Steve-- a match made in... well, maybe purgatory. Oh, sure, Bill ripped Steve off by copying the Mac's interface and all that, but hey, that's just business. We bet they still sent valentines to each other-- maybe even Hallmarks, if they cared enough to send the very best. Or at least they sent iCards...

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We Don't Sweat; We Glow (2/14/00)

Nervous yet? The rumors sites probably are. Here we are, scant days away from Steve Jobs's Macworld Expo keynote, and there's been no word of an official webcast of the event. See, here's the thing; damn near everyone predicted that a slew of new hardware would surface at last month's Expo keynote-- at least the new "Pismo" PowerBook, and probably speed-bumped G4s, too. Some people went so far as to predict the appearance of an Apple-Palm hybrid, a 17" iMac, and a Graphite iBook DV. Instead, what we got was zilch. (Well, okay, not exactly zilch; there was the Internet strategy and Mac OS X, but from a hardware perspective, we're talking "empty set," here.)

So of course, after that, there was the mad scramble by the rumors sites to explain away Pismo's no-show in an attempt to retain some credibility. Maybe Pismo was pulled at the last second due to problems with Mac OS 9.0.1, or continuing overheating problems, or whatever-- but the bottom line was this: no Pismo, sites looked foolish. So what's got everyone furrowing their brows is the whole "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, I'm a real dork" thing. Pismo is such a lock for a Tokyo debut, everyone's staked their reputations on it. So what happens if Pismo is absent once again? Hoo boy...

Now, what's got people squirming is this: on top of the fact that Apple has pretty much never announced major new hardware at an overseas event, Mac OS Rumors has confirmed that there will be no official webcasts or satellite broadcasts of the keynote. Now really, what are the odds that Apple would trot out Pismo for a grand debut in Japan and not even give the U.S. market an option to witness the event live? Doesn't sound likely, does it? Yes, we still think that Pismo will be introduced, but the suspense sure is giving some people's antiperspirants a workout. Heck, we can imagine Steve yanking Pismo just to make the rumors sites sweat.

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New! Windows 63,000® (2/14/00)

Once upon a time, we joked that Windows 2000 was so named because it had that many bugs in it. Microsoft sure made us look stupid; we were way off. But now we take it all back-- everything we said about Microsoft's own count of 63,000 bugs in Windows 2000. We decided to look at it another way. Faithful viewer Russell Maggio was kind enough to point out a Reuters article about Redmond's long-awaited and much-ballyhooed NT upgrade due to ship in a few days, in which it's revealed that Windows 2000 has over thirty million lines of code. That means there's only one bug per each 476 lines of code; that sounds pretty darn good to us. Kudos to Microsoft; we feel that Windows 2000 should be judged on its code size-to-bug ratio, not some bizarre measure like how many problems a customer's likely to have when using the product.

In fact, in the words of Craig Bellinson, the Win2K lead product manager, "Windows 2000 is the most thoroughly tested operating system in history." Indeed, they've uncovered more bugs in Win2K than in any other OS ever. Fixing them's another matter, of course, but Win2K is the most thoroughly tested. That's the important thing. (In memory of the late Charles Schultz, may we quote Lucy? "If we can identify your problem, we can label it.")

That said, we must admit, the early reviews of Win2K are pretty darn positive. Rob Enderle, an analyst with a technology research firm, calls Windows 2000 "arguably the best product Microsoft has ever built. It is extremely stable." Which shows just how good Microsoft's programmers really are. If Win2K's the best product ever to come out of the code mines of Redmond, just imagine how amazing the operating system could be if they can someday get the bug count down to only four digits. Why, there'll be no stopping them!

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