TV-PGFebruary 7, 1998: Rumors of a Rhapsody mob-hit have concerned parties searching frantically for the next-generation OS. Meanwhile, Intel's none too pleased about how their Pentium II is slipping in the speed races, no matter how many dancing bunnymen they stick in front of it, and AppleScript may get its second wind at the next Seybold...
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Requiem for Rhapsody? (2/7/98)

Can it be? After Copland got deep-sixed and Apple finally bought out NeXT, we all thought the future of the Mac OS was going to be based on the NEXTSTEP operating system. After all, Apple had paid $400 million of NeXT's technologies, and stated in a press release that "the integration of NEXTSTEP technology in future versions of Mac OS will result in a robust, next generation OS that provides customers and developers with a multimedia-rich and Internet-savvy platform." But recently, Apple's made it very clear that Rhapsody, the OS that is based on NEXT technologies, will not be a replacement for the Mac OS; instead it'll be a "server" OS; and much has been made of the way Apple's been talking up the Mac OS in the past months, implying that we'll be using it for years and years to come. Some of us find that "repositioning" of Rhapsody a mite worrisome, but not nearly as worrisome as the rumors flying around that Rhapsody is being canned outright.

That's right; sites like Apple Recon have hinted that Rhapsody is on the chopping block. The rumors are no doubt fueled by Apple's lack of public support for the OS, which didn't even receive a mention in the last two U.S. MacWorld Expo keynotes. Mac OS Rumors, however, reports that as far as they can tell, there's no basis to those rumors whatsoever.

But if, just if, the rumors of Rhapsody's demise turn out to be true, what did Apple get for its $400 mil? Answer: Steve Jobs. So was it worth it?

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Think Fast. Real Fast. (2/7/98)

The "Pentium II Snail" commercial seems to have kicked up a bit of a ruckus out here in Macland, as Apple watchers worldwide still recover from the shock of having seen "hard advertising" emerge from Cupertino. (Have you registered your opinion in our survey yet?) But the naysayers cry "foul," taking issue with Apple's claim that "the chip inside every new Power Macintosh G3 is up to twice as fast" as a Pentium II.

Of course, Apple's got a page backing up their claim, showing BYTEmark scores for a 333 MHz PII system from Compaq scoring 51% the speed of a Powermac G3 266, but some people are never satisfied. So it's unfortunate that the Photoshop benchmarks mentioned by Mac the Knife have apparently been buried by Intel, never to be seen again. Apparently Apple ran some Photoshop tests that showed the Powermac G3 leaving Pentium II systems choking in the dust. Some Intel engineers phoned Adobe to take issue with those results; they demanded a rematch, to be done independently of Apple. Adobe obliged.

Guess what? Adobe's results showed the G3 beating the Pentium II by an even larger margin than Apple's tests did. Bet you won't see that fact touted by the shiny dancing bunnymen. However, we hope we will hear those numbers in an upcoming Apple commercial-- perhaps one in the series of which the snail ad is just the beginning. Remember, Apple's trying to retain its core market of content creators now, to whom speed is everything; expect a different kind of campaign later this summer, when Apple expects to go after the long-ignored home market.

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AppleScript Comes Alive (2/7/98)

Hands up, who here uses AppleScript? Well, if you don't, you're missing out on one heck of a timesaver. And those of you that do, you might be interested in this Apple article on AppleScript's product manager, Sal Soghoian. It's mostly a fluff piece that alternately touts the wonderful things that Apple's system-wide scripting architecture makes possible every day, and paints Sal as a loveable goofball who's seen the light and spreads the gospel. But right at the end, Sal makes a cryptic comment about the future: "Watch what we do at Seybold, man. We're gonna blow those cats away with the new stuff we're doing for AppleScript."

New stuff? Could this be the long-rumored, long-awaited-for PowerPC-native version of AppleScript? Yes, AppleScript is wonderful in its flexibility and ease of use, but its speed leaves a little to be desired; a PPC-native version could breathe a whole new life into the architecture. Regardless of what it is, it's nice to hear that Apple plans to show something at the next Seybold, after their virtual no-show at the last one; skipping the biggest publishing show of the year hardly seems like a good strategy for a company trying to target the content creation market. This time, however, Steve Jobs is slated to deliver a keynote address on March 17th, the first day of the New York Expo, and we're expecting a big Apple presence.

Incidentally, your friendly neighborhood AtAT staff rises each morning, faces Cupertino, and kneels to the Gods of AppleScript, without whose blessing this show wouldn't be on the air.

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