Just Out Of Reach (10/5/99)
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We had about as much luck tuning into the live QuickTime webcast of today's festivities as we did trying to figure out why the chihuahua and those cops want that guy to drop the Chalupa-- in short, none. Well, okay, we were slightly more successful than that; we went and grabbed a stream nice and early, about forty minutes before the show, and patiently watched the test pattern and the "coming up next" caption. Once the music started to play, we noticed the audio was decidedly choppy, and it got progressively worse the closer it got to showtime. And then, five minutes before the whole thing was scheduled to start, the entire system came crashing down hard. Of course, by the time we restarted, Apple's servers were so overloaded we couldn't even load the word "event," let alone an actual video stream of the real thing. And we kept trying for an hour and a half.

So, since Apple apparently decided to stream the video from an old Performa 475 they pulled out of the back of a closet or something, we at AtAT were relegated to the time-honored fallback of scrounging for third-hand knowledge posted elsewhere on the 'net. We found bits and pieces here and there, most notably at O'Grady's PowerPage and the XClave. But lots of the stuff posted was vague, or confusing, or contradictory, and so by about 3 PM EDT we decided it might be late enough for Apple to have posted info at their web site about all the new goodies. But what did we find when we tried to load <http://www.apple.com/>? A realm authentication box, requesting a username and password for "The Secret."

That's right, "The Secret." Don't believe us? That's why we grabbed a screenshot. Unfortunately, our attempts to gain access via brute-force guesswork and sheer dumb luck failed utterly, and shortly thereafter, the main Apple page was restored, with a new splash graphic featuring the Graphite curves of the iMac DV Special Edition. So was "The Secret" just a temporary glitch brought on by a newbie webmaster intern? Hardly. Had we been able to guess Steve Jobs' personal login and password (we were sure we'd get in with "RDFdude" and "billgshairisstupid"!) we're quite certain we'd have had access to all kinds of privileged information, like who was on the grassy knoll, which government agencies are wholly controlled by the Freemasons, and what illegal substance UPN was putting in Chris Carter's morning coffee to make the sixth season of The X-Files so relatively lame.

By the way, the event is now available via streamed QuickTime 4 video-on-demand, in case you missed out like us. It probably won't contain any data on the CIA's secret MKUltra mind-control project, but it's full of cool iMac and Mac OS 9 info nonetheless. Now all we need is the actual time to sit down and watch the whole thing... All these black helicopters buzzing our headquarters aren't making things any easier.


 
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The above scene was taken from the 10/5/99 episode:

October 5, 1999: It's here, it's clear, get used to it: Steve unveils three new iMacs calculated to separate you from your hard-earned cash. Meanwhile, a bizarre ripple in the time-space continuum temporarily transforms the Apple home page into a realm-protected gateway into the mysteries of the unknown, and Motorola is tired of being the megahertz whipping boy, so the next G4 revision is designed to boost clock speed...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 1824: And Silence Is Golden (10/5/99)   So there weren't any shocker announcements at today's Apple event that took us by surprise; there's no Apple-branded Palm device that doubles as a sphygmomanometer, Apple isn't buying eBay and renaming it iBay, and Steve Jobs isn't resigning his iCEO post to return to his home planet in the galaxy of Andromeda...

  • 1826: MHz Wars: Another Shot (10/5/99)   Now that there's this incredibly rockin' new iMac, Apple's victory in the battle for consumer market share is all but assured, right? Think again. There's still that little matter of price-performance to consider...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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