Bursting At The Seams (9/12/00)
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Hands up, who remembers the "Cracked Ice" subplot? To recap, back in March, a whole lot of iBook owners confirmed a phenomenon that we had witnessed ourselves: multiple "stress fractures" visible in the Ice plastics surrounding the keyboard and trackpad. At first people thought this was a quality control debacle on par with Apple's finest, but soon it became apparent that the cracks weren't cracks at all-- they were "mold lines," which occur when two flows of plastic come together. In other words, they're a normal, though somewhat unattractive, result of the manufacturing process. Most molded plastic parts with holes in them have these lines, though they're not nearly as noticeable in opaque plastics. (We can see them in the beige casing of the Power Mac 7500 broadcasting our show, for instance, but we've really got to look hard.)

Anyway, we closed the books on that story with this statement: "if these hairline imperfections turn out to be real cracks after all, the drama fiends among you will have a field day when iBooks start falling apart at the seams." Well, there hasn't yet been a mass iBook disintegration to the best of our knowledge, but the issue of mold lines has come up again-- this time in reference to the G4 Cube. According to Think Secret, visible mold lines are enough of an issue with the Cube that Apple has circulated an official document among its service providers to explain the issue: "Mold lines are not cracks, and do not represent a weakness or defect in the plastic."

That's all well and good, provided that it's true. But Think Secret's sources report that "over 50 different technical professionals have reported cases of actual open cracks along these mold lines" in the G4 Cube. Yikes! We should have known that when Apple stuffed nearly a whole Power Mac G4 into a cube one quarter the size, something had to give. Clearly these Cube enclosures are literally splitting at the seams. Quick, does anyone have a safety pin?


 
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The above scene was taken from the 9/12/00 episode:

September 12, 2000: Eleventh-hour peace talks have gone and wrecked our fun, and the Expo protest is off. Meanwhile, last-minute details of the Mac OS X public beta leak out just prior to the big day, and it seems that some G4 Cubes are cracking along their mold lines-- Jenny Craig, anyone?...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2541: A Kindler, Gentler Keynote (9/12/00)   We suppose there are two reactions we could have to the news, first reported to us by faithful viewer GORDYmac, that the Apple Expo keynote protest has been called off. The more mature and rational approach would be to rejoice at the prospects of an uninterrupted and unsullied introduction of the Mac OS X public beta, as well as whatever else Uncle Steve's got up his big, baggy sleeves...

  • 2542: The Hour Draws Nigh (9/12/00)   The countdown continues: in less than twenty-four hours, the public beta version of Mac OS X will be a reality. Depending on how Apple chooses to make it available, eager Mac fans will be test-driving the future of the platform anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks later...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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