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. Sure, he's been promising to add better Mac support for Oracle for what seems like eons, now, but hey-- pobody's nerfect.

And the best thing of all, Larry's about as good at keeping secrets as Bill Gates is good at clipping coupons. If loose lips sink ships, Larry's lips are probably responsible for the Bermuda Triangle. Many's the time Larry has let slip some tantalizing Apple-flavored morsel during an interview, and we're always grateful for the hints. For instance, take this CNET interview, kindly pointed out by faithful viewer Bill Walsh, in which the loquacious Mr. Ellison voices his opinion that "Apple is going to be the great digital appliance company." That was in response to a point-blank inquiry about Apple's plans to compete in the handheld market. (By the way, look at the picture of Larry over at CNET-- see what we mean about the "Bond villain" crack?)

What surprises us, though, is how little Larry's given us this time. His answer was vague, explicitly stated as his "opinion," and prefaced with the qualifier that "Steve doesn't like to pre-announce things." That's a far cry from the old days, when he'd start reciting unannounced product specs at the drop of a hat. Did Steve possibly smack him around after the last big bean-spilling? Oh, well; hints of an Apple-branded handheld are good enough, we suppose, but we would have liked actual details. We'd also like to hear him say, "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die."

SceneLink (1832)
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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...

  • 1831: Suckier Side of Sears (10/7/99)   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...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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