T Minus 6 Months & Counting (4/6/01)

Remember SkyCorp, the company that's planning on deploying a constellation of low earth orbit satellites housing Macs as web servers? The last we'd heard, the first test system was going to be launched sometime this year, boldly going where no web server has gone before. Well, as faithful viewer Dale Rodgie points out, a new article on Apple's Science & Technology site firms up that date a little; it now appears that the mission is slated for this October. Start the countdown!

But wait a minute, here-- something's changed. According to the article, the lucky Mac destined for space flight is a Power Mac G4. Just three months ago, it was going to be a Cube (thus inspiring much rejoicing, since 544 Cubes for SkyCorp would mean someone was buying the things). Personally, we'd have figured the Cube to be a natural choice, since you just have to figure that there's a limited amount of room in a satellite. Oh, well... this wouldn't be the first time that a Cube was passed over in favor of a Power Mac.

At least Mac OS X will be sharing the spotlight, though-- or Mac OS X Server, at any rate. That's the operating system chosen to drive the spacebound Power Mac when it makes its fateful trip this fall. We are, however, a little suspicious of the way that Apple implies that Mac OS X Server is "certified by the U.S. Army as being secure enough for classified missions"; somehow we sorely doubt that any operating system with UNIX at its core and built-in support for telnet is actually rated that high on the security scale. The classic Mac OS, sure, which is why that's what the Army is using to serve its web site. But Mac OS X Server? We'll need confirmation before we'll swallow that one.

It doesn't really matter, though-- the mission is a go, and just six months from now you'll be able to gaze up at the night sky secure in the knowledge that somewhere up there in the heavens there's a G4 smiling down on you. We know we'll sleep better from then on...

SceneLink (2975)
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The above scene was taken from the 4/6/01 episode:

April 6, 2001: Hey, lookee-- Mike Dell's predicting Apple's imminent demise again. Meanwhile, the RAM disabled by Apple's latest firmware update isn't bad, it's just misunderstood, and the "Mac in Space" project is still a go, slated for a launch this October...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2973: Some Things Never Change (4/6/01)   Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please! AtAT is pleased to offer this vivid illustration of "Progress in the Wonderful World of Michael Dell's Brain." The old-timers among you will recall that way back in 1997, Mr. Dell publicly voiced his opinion that Steve Jobs should shut Apple down and give the money back to the stockholders, because the company was beyond saving...

  • 2974: Chicken Soup For The DIMMs (4/6/01)   Were you one of the unfortunate multitude who blithely installed Apple's new firmware update a couple of weeks ago, only to discover that some or all of your third-party RAM evaporated into thin air? If so, we feel for you-- but if history has taught us anything, it's that firmware updates from Apple are best left to breathe for a few days while the less wary jump in and install with reckless abandon...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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