Waiting Out The Eyesore (1/16/00)

The Clone Wars, Take Two. The first Clone Wars in which Apple fought took place a few years back, as Mac OS licensees cannibalized Apple's own Mac sales and Steve Jobs ended the struggle with a display of carnage so startling, no one was unaffected. More recently, though, Apple's been fighting a different clone battle-- against Wintel manufacturers who chose to clone the iMac's design to capitalize on its runaway success. First there was the E-Power by Future Power, and then the eOne by Sotec (sold in this country by eMachines). And while Apple's legal strides against the iMac copiers have been generally pretty positive so far, the fact remains that when we hit the local computer stores, we still have to see that blue and white eOne on display-- and occasionally we even see one getting purchased. It breaks our hearts.

Now, our understanding was that eMachines is simply selling eOnes manufactured and exported by Sotec, but these days we're not so sure. After all, Apple Japan won a preliminary injunction against Sotec months ago, which prevented the company from making, selling, or exporting any more of the clones. We would have thought that eMachines would have run out of eOnes by now with its Japanese source cut off, but we still see these eOnes getting sold. Apple's suit against eMachines still hasn't borne fruit, and so as long as eOnes exist, we'll have to endure their ugly swoops and angles every time we go in to drool over the iMac DV Special Edition.

Well, let's see if this makes any difference: according to The Register, Sotec has finally settled the Apple Japan suit. The terms of the settlement are that Sotec will pay Apple ten million yen in damages and will stop making the blue and white eOne. Is that a monumental settlement? Well, consider first that Sotec was already barred from making eOnes due to the preliminary injunction-- this just makes the change permanent. Then note that ten million yen is only about $94,000. So basically it doesn't sound like this settlement changes things all that much. But we're wondering how long we'll have to wait until those eOnes disappear from the local store shelves...

SceneLink (2034)
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The above scene was taken from the 1/16/00 episode:

January 16, 2000: We're back! (Mostly.) The flu plays havoc with the finely-tuned routines established at AtAT headquarters. Meanwhile, Nike tries to use technology to get folks off their couches, but Apple's technology renders that attack useless, and Sotec finally caves on the whole eOne issue, but we still see them sold at the corner computer store...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2032: Back From The Dead (1/16/00)   We're back! Neither rain nor snow nor dead of night will keep us from our appointed rounds, but a fever of 102.5° will knock me flat on my ass just as quick as the next guy. Yes, originally I was lucky enough only to have been saddled with a bad cold, but like a dork I had to go and push things-- and that flu that's been beating up half the western hemisphere decided to do a happy little tap-dance on the tattered shreds of my immune system.....

  • 2033: Couch Preservation (1/16/00)   Ah, technology-- our cruel master and willing slave. Technology's greatest promise is not to extend the human life span, or cure all disease, or create a really fine-tasting low-fat potato chip. No, the real goal of technology, the one that keeps all these advances rolling forward, is this: to make it unnecessary for us human beings ever to have to leave the couch again...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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