TV-PGOctober 22, 2001: We're back! Say, we didn't miss anything about the PowerBook and iBook, did we? Meanwhile, Apple prepares to wow the press with a "breakthrough digital device" that's "not a Mac"...
But First, A Word From Our Sponsors

Mash-ups and original music by AtAT's former Intern and Goddess-in-Training

Prim M at YouTube

Catching Up Is Hard To Do (10/22/01)

"Honey, I'm home!" Well, we're finally back from our self-imposed exile, ladies and germs, and what a glorious romp it was. We're talking two fun-filled weeks of roughing it in the Equatorial swamps and wetlands the natives call "Central London," the last natural habitat of the crab-scuttling beaver and an area world-renowned for its vibrant and entertaining array of waterborne insect larvae. Yes, we cheerfully indulged in ten straight days of blissful peace and intentional ignorance of any and all current affairs, Mac-related or otherwise; there was nothing to do but dig for marsh potatoes, swat at mosquitoes the size of smallish wiener dogs, and sweat out the malaria. Utter bliss!

While it was great getting away from it all for a bit, we do have to say that it's nice to be back. We haven't had a chance to catch up on current events just yet, because we've been too busy opening all of our accumulated snailmail. Someone apparently signed us up for the Talcum Powder of the Month Club, because a lot of these envelopes just seem to contain white powder. How thoughtful! We've taken several good whiffs of the stuff, and it sure smells exotic. Anyway, as we were saying, we're pretty lost when it comes to what's been in the news for the past couple of weeks. Did we miss anything while we were away?

Har har, just joshing, folks. Believe it or not, London isn't a swampland after all, but a sprawling metropolis teeming with both modern urban life and more history and culture than any city has a right to lay claim to. Really! You could have knocked us over with a feather when we got there. Imagine our dismay when we discovered that we really shouldn't have blown a couple of Bennies on customized pith helmets after all. Anyway, our point is, we weren't actually cut off from civilization at all; our televisual activity was split between snooker, Teletubbies, and CNN, so we know all about the anthrax scare (Laa-Laa told us all about it) and we promise to exercise due caution when we finally get a chance to pick up our mail.

By the same token, we also had (outrageously expensive) 'net access, so we also happen to know that a certain Cupertino-based computer company did get around to having that "mid-October" product update we'd been buzzing about recently. For those of you who rely upon AtAT for 100% of your Apple-related news-- and, you know, you really shouldn't do that-- you'll be pleased to hear that Apple finally put a little extra zing into its PowerBooks last week. As it turns out, that cryptic message from back in August was largely correct; the new PowerBooks come in 550 MHz and 667 MHz flavors, instead of 500 and 667 as we reported two months ago-- but the faster model does have a 133 MHz bus (sit on it, skeptics!), their hard drives do range in size from 20 GB to 48 GB, and the optical drives available are indeed DVD-ROM or CD-RW, with no combo drive option in sight. So last month we were wrong when we said we were probably wrong about the combo drive issue, because it turns out we were right, not wrong. Right?

Moving on: the new TiBooks also boast Radeon Mobility graphics, a heaping helping of RAM (at least, "heaping" as far as Apple is concerned), and-- perhaps best of all-- the same reduced pricing that we got back in August. Which means that today you can pick up a $2199 PowerBook that's more powerful than the $3499 model was just two months ago. Heck, the new high-end model even comes with a free AirPort card. Ain't life grand? Oh, and we'd be remiss to mention that the iBooks got a little extra spring in their step, too, with a speed boost to 600 MHz, a new 100 MHz system bus, bigger hard drives, and a $100 lower price tag for the top-of-the-line model. It's Portable Paradise!

SceneLink (3344)
Dawn Of The Killer iPods (10/22/01)

As for the "something else" to which we alluded earlier in the month when discussing Apple's alleged mid-October product announcements, well, the revamped iBook wasn't it. That one took us slightly by surprise-- because even though we had mentioned the possibility of new iBooks accompanying the revised PowerBooks just a few days later, truth be told, we just didn't think it was all that likely. No, the "something else" we saw was really something else-- something all-new and sparkly fresh. It may not have even been a Mac.

Of course, this is where you'd all gasp in shock and a few ladies from '30s movies would keel over in a dead faint, if you weren't all rumor addicts to whom this is now profoundly old news. As you all undoubtedly already know, at some point last week Apple invited a slew of press to a "special event" at which the company expects to unveil a completely new product; according to CNET, the invitations promise "the unveiling of a breakthrough digital device." Judging by the amount of email we got about this little development, the AtAT audience is not unaware of the irony of the situation: we spent years cultivating speculation about a new Apple handheld, and Apple chooses to announce a new "digital device" during our only planned broadcast hiatus in four years. Coincidence? Or is Steve just mocking us?

Actually, it probably was just a coincidence, because if this were really a grand scheme to make our heads explode with frustration, Apple would have held the press event last week, while we were too busy looking at poor ol' Lindow Man to wax melodramatic about this new Apple product that even Apple admits is "not a Mac." Instead, the fur actually flies tomorrow, so we'll get to ooooh and aaaah with the rest of you, even though we weren't actually invited to the unveiling. (Just for that, Steve, you're not welcome at our Thanksgiving dinner this year! No, wait, that's mean. You can come, but you can only have one helping of Tofurky.)

But what exactly is this non-Mac digital device? Well, most sources are reporting that it's some kind of music player. Wired goes so far as to claim it's called the "iPod," and it's allegedly pretty much a standard portable MP3 player with a twist: once you load your tunes into the iPod (presumably via USB/FireWire and iTunes), you can then somehow play that music on your regular stereo system or car stereo. Details are alarmingly sketchy, but Wired implies that AirPort plays a role. Whatever. Personally, we're hoping it's a little more "breakthrough" than that, because so far we're not overwhelmed. In fact, we're only just barely whelmed at all. Still, even a basic MP3 player graced with Apple's elegance and attention to detail might make for a nice Christmas gift this year. We'll know soon enough-- and Apple rarely disappoints.

SceneLink (3345)
← Previous Episode
Next Episode →
Vote Early, Vote Often!
Why did you tune in to this '90s relic of a soap opera?
Nostalgia is the next best thing to feeling alive
My name is Rip Van Winkle and I just woke up; what did I miss?
I'm trying to pretend the last 20 years never happened
I mean, if it worked for Friends, why not?
I came here looking for a receptacle in which to place the cremated remains of my deceased Java applets (think about it)

(1246 votes)

As an Amazon Associate, AtAT earns from qualifying purchases

DISCLAIMER: AtAT was not a news site any more than Inside Edition was a "real" news show. We made Dawson's Creek look like 60 Minutes. We engaged in rampant guesswork, wild speculation, and pure fabrication for the entertainment of our viewers. Sure, everything here was "inspired by actual events," but so was Amityville II: The Possession. So lighten up.

Site best viewed with a sense of humor. AtAT is not responsible for lost or stolen articles. Keep hands inside car at all times. The drinking of beverages while watching AtAT is strongly discouraged; AtAT is not responsible for damage, discomfort, or staining caused by spit-takes or "nosers."

Everything you see here that isn't attributed to other parties is copyright ©,1997-2024 J. Miller and may not be reproduced or rebroadcast without his explicit consent (or possibly the express written consent of Major League Baseball, but we doubt it).