TV-PGSeptember 27, 1997:
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Merry Christmas After All (9/27/97)

As if in response to our wonderings yesterday, MacWeek tells us that the new Gossamer PowerMacs should be debuting in November just in time for the Christmas season, which has us jumping for joy at AtAT. (We had posted this earlier today in a News Flash.) It gets better, though-- the new mid-range systems will feature PPC 750's running at 250 and 266 MHz, a 66 MHz system bus (finally!), 512K of cache running at a 2:1 processor speed ratio, faster SDRAM, and support for Apple's new personality cards, all while costing in the $2000-$3000 range. Oh, our cup runneth over.

And those are the midrange models. The new high-end series, code-named Power Express, will be available in early 1998 and will feature faster processors, faster hard disks (ultra SCSI instead of IDE), bigger and faster cache, and more PCI slots.

Keep saving them nickels! But for a little perspective, keep in mind that if the cloners had been allowed to ship their own 750 models, we'd have even faster machines (the PowerTower Pro G3 had a 275 MHz chip, for example), and we'd have them now. Okay, okay, we'll shut up now... To quote Space Ghost, "You're bringin' me down, man!"

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Powering Down... (9/27/97)

The troubles continue for beleagured computer manufacturer Power Computing. (Thought we were going to say "Apple," didn'tcha?) The Austin American-Statesman has an interesting story about PCC selling off its 154 acres of Georgetown, TX land and closing its manufacturing plant. About 100 layoffs will accompany the plant's final shutdown, not counting temporary workers. Power's new PowerTrip notebook, its debut into the Wintel market, is being manufactured by a Taiwanese company called Twinhead, in a plant in Fremont, CA.

Meanwhile, the fire sale continues on Power's Mac clones. Several models (such as the PowerCenter 180 and 210) are sold out, and others are going fast. It stings to see siblings of our eight-month-old PowerTower Pro being sold with a 13% faster processor, six times the RAM, twice the CD-ROM speed, and twice the VRAM-- for $500 less than we paid. But them's the breaks.

Thanx to MacSurfer for pointing us to the story, and we are honored and indebted to them for including us in their list of Mac links.

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"A MAC?! You're Crazy!" (9/27/97)

If you've ever gone to a large-chain computer store like Circuit City or CompUSA looking for a new Mac, you already know what Apple's just found out: the salespeople try their darnedest to steer you away from Macs and towards the Wintel offerings. Techweb's got the scoop.

What's interesting is the way in which Apple confirmed this ugly practice, which involved the use of a top secret underground task force. Secret Apple agents disguised as mere mortals visited lots of stores and pretended to be interested in buying a Mac. (Shades of the Mod Squad!) More often than not, the infiltrators were dissuaded from making such a heinous purchasing error. ("How about a nice Sony VAIO instead?")

AtAT staff occasionally asks salespeople about Macs just for the hell of it, and has, on more than one occasion, been told that Apple has gone out of business. We recommend this hobby to all Macophiles. You will be amazed and entertained by the misinformation you get. Start soon, though, because the sport may not last long; this task force was Steve's idea, and sources say the Big Guy has plans for the retailers who aren't playing fair. One of the spicy bits in Techweb's story is how Greg Rhine, the Apple VP of channel and sales, resigned a few days after the task force reported its findings. Coincidence? Iron Fist of Jobs? You decide.

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