Crossing Palms With Silver (7/17/01)

Well, most likely, this is it: our final episode before the Really Big Show tomorrow. In twenty-four hours' time we'll be filing into the Javits Center, trying desperately to achieve that Zen state of mind which is so receptive to the Truth-- "desperately," of course, being precisely the way not to be Zen, so the odds are we'll be failing quite miserably, but what the heck, it's worth a shot. In any case, we knew this would be our last chance to put in our two cents about what Steve might and might not announce tomorrow, so we took the liberty of consulting an authority on the subject last night-- namely, a Times Square fortune teller. Yes, folks, we passed up the chance to get a seven-minute caricature or to have our names painted in letters made out of flowers; instead, for a mere ten bucks, we got guaranteed 100% accurate keynote hardware news from a certified psychic. Who says Manhattan is expensive?

So here's what Madame Zola had to say: yes, there will be new iMacs, but no, they won't have LCD displays. Instead, they'll use the same old "Kihei" chassis in Indigo, Graphite, and Snow. (Yes, Snow is back.) Count on a low-end $799 model with a CD-ROM; pay a bit more and opt for CD-RW (no combo drive) models ranging from 500-700 MHz in speed-- and of course there'll be more RAM and bigger hard disks. As for the Power Macs, we've been told to expect speeds from 733-867 MHz (with a dual-800 in there for good measure) in the same exact enclosure, but with a lighter color scheme. Don't expect any changes under the hood other than the processor speeds; the bus and RAM are still going to be 133 MHz, though all but the lowest-price Power Macs will come equipped with a Superdrive.

Now, if Steve and his merry band of pranksters have even managed to fool the Manhattan fortune-telling community with disinformation, we'll be very impressed; that said, however, scads of viewers are writing in to point out the disquieting fact that shortly after posting a comprehensive Stevenote rumor round-up (predicting such heretical announcements as a DDR SDRAM Power Mac in an entirely new enclosure and "complex new iMac enclosure color schemes"), Mac OS Rumors went off the air. Coincidence, or an Apple campaign to suppress the truth? Madame Zola insists it's the former, but we may never know the real story.

Before you go putting all your faith in Madame Zola's predictions, however, we should note two important facts. The first is that she smelled like a brewery and was the only fortune teller we've ever seen wearing a Yankees t-shirt. The second is that faithful viewer Brian Pennington filled us in on an update over at Think Secret which makes note of Apple's unusually stringent security measures leading up to this keynote: "the company that normally does all of the translation of Apple press releases, etc., for Macworld and other Apple events has explicitly been excluded from Macworld New York," and Apple's doing all of its translation itself. Sounds like an extraordinary measure if all we're getting tomorrow is barely-updated iMacs and Power Macs in the same old case, doesn't it? Reportedly "the last time anything like this happened, it was the initial release of the iMac." So maybe we should be expecting something really big and completely off Madame Zola's radar-- or maybe even really small. (Don't worry, we won't explicitly invoke the eight-letter "H" word.) Hmmm... suppose Madame Zola will give us our money back if she missed something really important?

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The above scene was taken from the 7/17/01 episode:

July 17, 2001: Time for those last-minute Expo hardware predictions! Meanwhile, if you're not attending the keynote live, we've got a list of ways you can still join in the fun, and Apple finally agrees to replace all infinitely blinking AirPort Base Stations, whether under warranty or not...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3182: Stevenote Viewer's Guide (7/17/01)   Meanwhile, those of you who aren't blessed with the geographical and/or financial wherewithal to catch the Stevenote in person (or you just don't think you can drag your lazy butt out of bed that early to get in line), don't fret-- there are plenty of options whereby you can get your RDF fix remotely...

  • 3183: A New Cure For The Blinkies (7/17/01)   Finally, a little non-Expo-related subject matter to cleanse the palate, so to speak: remember how we, your friendly neighborhood AtAT staff, were subjected to the lurking psychological horrors of severe AirPort withdrawal last May?...

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