All Signs Point To Yes (10/6/99)
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Oh, sure, you may laugh at the scary-looking folks who wander around downtown carrying signs that say "The End Is Nigh." Heck, we laugh at them too, because who says "nigh" anymore? But we're no longer convinced that the whole world-is-gonna-end-on-January-1st-2000 fad is such a crazy idea anymore. All the signs are pointing to some sort of cataclysmic event coming soon. First of all, lots of the end-is-near crowd point to the recent rash of nasty earthquakes as a sign. To us, a bigger indication of the coming apocalypse is that it's already October of 1999, and against all probability, we haven't been inundated with inescapable playings of that old Prince song. And freakiest of all, longtime Mac-bashing Windows-using journalists are saying good things about the Mac. Sort of.

We were suspicious enough when the Boston Globe's Hiawatha Bray not only recanted his way-off prediction that the iMac would fail. We got a bit more nervous when he revealed that he actually used one on a regular basis. But things got downright scary when he recently praised FireWire and the Power Mac G4 to the skies, and went so far as to volunteer Mac-defending rebuttals to other columns as you saw here last month. Yeah, he still has lots of bad things to say about Apple and the Mac platform, but the degree to which he acknowledged the Mac's strong points was downright ominous.

At first we tried to comfort ourselves with the idea that Mr. Bray's new Mac-friendliness was simply a fluke, but then we came across Jesse Berst's new article, "Think Different? Why Jesse Wants an iMac." As Jesse himself admits, he's a "Windows user since the early days, founder of Windows Watcher newsletter, columnist for Windows Sources magazine and longtime Apple skeptic." Yet, despite the fact that he still doesn't "like Apple products very much," he's considering switching to an iMac because of all the ridiculous Windows-induced nightmares he's got to endure. Is the end of the world near? You'll have to decide for yourself, but we're not planning on starting any long novels... (By the way, if you read the Berst article, you may want to vote in the Quick Poll; at last check, most respondents said, yes, Jesse should switch to an iMac.)


 
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The above scene was taken from the 10/6/99 episode:

October 6, 1999: iMacs are just $599 with CompuServe strings attached, while FreeMac.com prepares to give away a million "free" iMacs as well. Meanwhile, another longtime Mac critic publicly ponders switching to an iMac due to Windows-induced trauma, and Microsoft's dirty little secret comes to light: their annual report was written on a Mac...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 1827: Strings For Everyone (10/6/99)   So Apple's finally got a sub-$1000 home computer: the new iMac, available now (for our viewers who aren't fluent in Jobsian, that means "in three weeks or so") for just $999. In fact, if you're the type that thrives on marketingspeak, you could even call the iMac a $599 computer; as noted by Jobs at Tuesday's unveiling and in an Apple press release, customers who buy an iMac at CompUSA or J & R ComputerWorld can sign up for three years of CompuServe Internet service get a $400 rebate...

  • 1829: Get Your Irony Here (10/6/99)   There's something that's just really gratifying about instances in which Apple's competitors are discovered to have used Apple products in the course of company business. Usually it's little things that are perfectly understandable, like finding that the animated GIFs on Microsoft's web site were created with GIFmaker, a Mac-only utility...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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