Suckier Side of Sears (10/7/99)
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So I just happen to be at the local mall to pick up a tux for a friend's wedding, and I figure, "Hey, let's wander up to the Sears computer department and check out the iGoods." Way back when Sears jumped into the whole iMac game, I recall finding a lovely blue iMac prominently displayed on a shelf at the end of the aisle, clearly visible and drawing the attention of anyone shopping for home stereo equipment, TVs, refrigerators, or washer/dryers. It was then that I had high hopes for Sears' re-entry into the Mac sales family-- and I was especially confident once Sears broadcast its own commercial pushing the iMac. I figured the Sears deal was a Good Thing™.

Sadly, Good Things™ often don't last very long. When I returned to that same Sears a few weeks later, the iMac no longer had the sweet end-cap position; a bulgy Compaq unit had taken its place. Instead, the iMac was relegated to the main computer aisle, all the way at the far end; unless you were looking for it, you probably wouldn't ever see it. So of course I was a little wary when I rode the escalator upstairs yesterday, in hopes of finding the iBook on display. I glanced towards the formerly-iMac-inhabited end-cap shelf, only to find-- a CD player. Not a computer in sight. Puzzled, I walked up and down the aisles for a while, trying to find where the computers were. Eventually I found them, lining up along one side of a single aisle. The iMac was still on the far end, and this time it was off. Then again, so was every other computer on display, so I suppose I shouldn't feel like the iMac was particularly misused.

Sighing, I did another walk of the aisles, trying to find any sign of an iBook. What I finally found was another end-cap display, this time at the end of the next aisle, far from the madding crowd. Sitting on the shelf on the left side was a little translucent document dispenser bearing the Apple logo in Tangerine, about half-full with iBook brochures. On the right was another document dispenser bearing the slogan "Intel Inside" and filled with Pentium III brochures. And smack-dab in the middle was a Compaq Presario 1685 notebook computer, complete with an Intel mousepad. And that, faithful viewers, is how the iBook is represented at our local Sears. Raise your hand if "Eeeyeew." So much for Good Things™...


 
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The above scene was taken from the 10/7/99 episode:

October 7, 1999: Sure, the iMac's still generating all the buzz, but Mac OS 9 attracts a little attention with news of rebates and special deals for recent Mac buyers. Meanwhile, our local Sears proves that nothing good lasts forever, and Larry Ellison displays a surprising reluctance to describe Apple's new handheld in detail, complete with blueprints and white papers...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 1830: Second Fiddle No More (10/7/99)   One thing about the iMac: it's a scene-stealer. Remember the surprise unveiling of the original iMac way back in May of last year? That was at the same event at which Steve took the wraps off the "Wall Street" Powerbook G3-- the sleekest, sexiest, curviest laptop around...

  • 1832: Larry Clams Up A Bit (10/7/99)   Ah, good old Larry Ellison. What's not to like about this fine fellow? He's a member of the Apple board of directors. He's Steve Jobs' best friend. He's a vocal anti-Microsoft crusader. And in some photographs, he looks like he should play a diabolical villain named "Zodiac" in an upcoming James Bond movie...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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