Walt Hates Graffiti (6/19/00)

Other than the enormously entertaining fallout of the Microsoft Empire's most recent extension into Mac territory, this is shaping up to be one slow week for Apple watchers. Is it possible that we've drifted into the traditional pre-Expo doldrums already? We sincerely hope not, since there's a solid month left before Uncle Steve addresses the faithful and (we hope) knocks our collective socks off with some huge consumer-oriented product surprise. We figure the rumor mill will kick into high gear about a week before the event, as per the usual, but if we're really sitting in the calm before the storm, we've got three deadly weeks of boredom to deal with before the sparks start flying.

Thank goodness for the classics, right? Nothing sustains us in the lean days like a rumor that's so old it's wearing an "I LIKE IKE" button. But just to pace ourselves in this drought, we're going to save up the classic "Disney's Buying Apple" rumor and draw your attention to another long-standing nugget of questionable Apple lore: your friend and mine, the Apple handheld. It seems like the Apple-Palm variant of this pipe dream has gone into hibernation of late, due no doubt in part to the fact that an Apple-branded Palm has been rumored to be "just around the corner" for over a year now; we remember going to last year's Expo and hoping against hope we'd be able to buy an Apple PDA there.

So here's the latest on Apple's long-awaited handheld computer: apparently Apple's going to replace the Newton with-- are you ready for this?-- the Newton. See, Macworld's running one of those slow-news-day stories about how the Newton has sustained its popularity two years after its cancellation, but it was Applelinks who pointed out a very interesting "talkbalk" comment a reader appended to the article. Titled "NEW NEWTON IN 2001," its author makes the bold claim that the printer for which he works "just got an order from Apple for new Newton boxes." So there you have it, friends-- the uncontestable truth. The Newton wasn't killed; it was cryogenically frozen to be revived when the market caught up to its ahead-of-its-time feature set and design. Cryogenically frozen like a certain supposedly-deceased animator we could name? Hmmm, and just a couple of weeks ago faithful viewer J. Lot personally witnessed "three managerial Disney employees in two different theme parks walking around with Apple Newton MP2000s." We should have known that the handheld rumors and the Disney rumors were connected...

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The above scene was taken from the 6/19/00 episode:

June 19, 2000: The AtAT staff needs sarcasm lessons in a bad way. Meanwhile, a tantalizing hint at the Newton's rebirth surfaces in the form of a Macworld reader comment, and the Appeals Court still shows signs of being a Redmond sympathizer as it strikes down the government's latest request...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2365: Reality Check Redux (6/19/00)   Don't mind us; we at AtAT are just thumbing through the night course catalog from the local community college. We figure it's high time we took an extension class or two to shore up the sagging quality of the show's writing...

  • 2367: The Wind's A-Changin' (6/19/00)   In "Redmond Justice" news, we think it's safe to say that the tables have turned. In Judge Jackson's courtroom, Microsoft's legal team quickly pigeonholed itself as a pack of inept clowns, and Smilin' David Boies and the rest of the Justice Department mopped the floor with them for two solid years, to the delight and amusement of the entire viewing audience...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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