Mr. Jobs, Bring Me A Dream (6/15/01)

Well, it's Friday-- and now we've got proof that dreams can come true. Two days ago, we put on our Seer Hats and advised those of you who were about to buy a PowerBook G4 to wait until today, based solely on some wacky fever-dreams that hinted vaguely at a special offer to come. Well, guess what? By an astonishing and utterly mind-blowing coincidence, it just so happens that faithful viewer David Nagler awoke this morning to discover that a new PowerBook promo has materialized on Apple's web site: from now until September 3rd, any qualifying purchase of Apple's titanium wonder includes a free SmartDisk VST FireWire CD-RW drive, thus making the PowerBook the final Apple product line to gain "Power To Burn"-- albeit via a third-party solution.

If there's a catch (and isn't there always a catch?), it's that the spiffy free CD-RW drive doesn't actually come with the PowerBook; customers have to download a special form, fill it out, and mail it in with an "itemized dated sales receipt" and the UPC code cut from the PowerBook's box. After you jump through those hoops, you're expected to wait "eight to ten weeks" for your drive to show up in the mail. (We should note, however, that in the past we've found Apple's estimated ship dates on special offers to be extremely overcautious; we wouldn't be surprised if some people got their gear in a week or so.)

Now, seeing as this promotion is obviously a thinly-veiled attempt to clear out Apple's PowerBook inventory, we'd be fools not to expect a refreshed model coming soon-- but "soon" is a relative concept. Since this promotion runs until September 3rd, it seems highly unlikely that Apple will ship a new titanium sex machine before then. Our groundless speculation is that the PowerBook will remain unchanged at next month's Macworld Expo, and will instead get a makeover in mid-September; we're banking on an internal CD-RW option, as well as some other under-the-hood improvements-- and possibly a choice of anodized colors. Personally, though, if we were in the market for a PowerBook (which we're not), we'd probably buy a current model now and take the free FireWire CD-RW drive instead. We can't see ourselves having much of a need to burn CDs on the road, and we could use the external drive on any FireWire-equipped Mac. Your mileage may vary.

Oh, and before anyone asks, the recipe for that experimental strawberry-and-Tabasco sorbet which brought on such vivid and prescient visions was accidentally dropped behind the fridge, smudged with water, eaten by a crow, set on fire, shot into geosynchronous orbit, and sent forward in time to the year 2525. Oops! Sorry about that.

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The above scene was taken from the 6/15/01 episode:

June 15, 2001: Dreams can come true: Apple hands out free FireWire CD-RW drives with every PowerBook G4 purchase from now until September 3rd. Meanwhile, at least one outfit thinks that the iMac may debut as early as Steve's June 25th NECC 2001 keynote, and Larry Ellison unveils Oracle 9i-- but why is his "9" exactly like Steve's?...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3119: iMac: Earlybird Special? (6/15/01)   Hey, if Apple's new promotion indicates that there won't be a new PowerBook G4 at next month's Stevenote, then what does Fearless Leader have up his sleeve? Forget about a new iBook; the current model's barely been shipping for a month yet...

  • 3120: "Number 9... Number 9..." (6/15/01)   Finally, we leave you with a quickie to send you reeling into a weekend filled with dark and feverish conspiracy theories. You all know, of course, that Larry Ellison and Steve Jobs are the Bobbsey Twins of the high-tech CEO set; at least according to Larry (who, not so coincidentally, just happens to be a member of Apple's board of directors), the two are bestest buddies and lifelong pals...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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