TV-PGSeptember 21, 1997: (Sorry—this was before we started writing intro text for each episode!)
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New (Chiat-)Day Rising (9/21/97)

Well, we've all been screaming for years for Apple to start advertising in a real way, and while there's been moderate progress in the past few months (for instance, the Mac OS 8 radio and print ads, and the New Mac Road Show), the same question we've been asking for years still applies: Where are the TV commercials?

Sit tight, because Mac the Knife reports that a major Apple advertising blitz is secretly being prepared, including TV commercials, that may be winning public mindshare as early as next month. This campaign marks Chiat-Day's return to the Apple account; you'll remember them as the agency that created the famous "1984" ad, directed by Ridley Scott.

AtAT will be grateful for ANY Apple presence on the tube, short of more lukewarm Performa infomercials. Yecch. Let's hope Chiat-Day's up to the task... They've had some questionable campaigns lately, like the yellow "duh" ABC television ads. But C-D's also had some pretty unquestionable winners, like the Energizer Bunny. The best-case scenario would be as successful as their current French Wonderbra campaign. I guess we'll see when the campaign hits the airwaves.

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The Cuts Continue (9/21/97)

By now you've probably already heard about the next round of Apple layoffs. Last time, under the sweeping hand of then-CEO Gil Amelio, we effectively lost OpenDoc and Game Sprockets, as well as some other technologies. Now, under Jobs, it appears that the Advanced Technology Group and the Human Interface department will each go the way of the dodo.

Just take a look at the email posted over at MacOS Rumors for one HI guy's take on things. AtAT will miss the ATG, even though many of its cool technologies never get released (like the 3D Finder). But cutting the HI department is what scares the bejeezus out of us. When you compare Macs and PCs these days, it's not a pretty sight for the Mac-faithful: Macs are still more expensive for equivalent systems, the PowerPC still hasn't blazed past the Intel offerings (Apple squelching the PPC 750 and CHRP machines hasn't helped), PC's still have more software... So where do Macs come out ahead? Useability. And where does that useability edge come from? Human interface. Yes, I'd rather use a slower, more expensive Mac than switch to Windows, because of the interface. It's the Mac's one huge advantage right now.

So why is Jobs axing the department?

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NC's on the Front Burner (9/21/97)

"It's Steve's baby," according to a MacWeek source. Which baby is that? Why, it's the Apple Network Computer, rumored to be on track for a January Expo unveiling. These puppies will reportedly run a PPC 750 chip at 266MHZ and will run Mac OS 8. The price? About $800. Ready to buy one? Not so fast... it's an NC, so you need a Rhapsody server to use it. Pricing on those hasn't been discussed. Basically, these NC's are useless for the consumer-level user. Steve's going after the corporate buyers on this one.

Suppose we'll ever get to buy a standalone 750 machine, Steve? With the demise of PCC's PowerTower Pro G3 and Motorola's StarMax 6000 CHRP box-- both Clone War casualties-- there are exactly ZERO 750 machines available for purchase. Newer Technology to the rescue! Their kickass MAXpower Pro upgrade cards are the only 750 option available.

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Crackdown on Leaks (9/21/97)

Can we expect our favorite rumors sites to start drying up? Mac the Knife reports that Ironfisted Jobs has commanded tighter control over the company's secrets, prompted by the leaking of his own email messages outside the Cupertino walls. AtAT highly doubts that such leaks are really hurting Apple, but we wonder about what such strongarm tactics will do to Jobs' already-tarnished image.

You'd think that a guy who's already alienated half of the Mac-using world by killing the clone market would be a little more careful about heaping even more negative karma on his public image, but maybe he's shooting for that Stalinesque vibe, "lead by strength," etc. Or more likely, he's doing what he thinks he needs to do, and doesn't care at all about what people think. Whatever.

AtAT's official stance on Jobs? He's a smart, smart man, charismatic as hell, and we think he's got an ace up his sleeve. Either that, or he's totally insane... but we'll stick with the former for now.

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