The Rabid Fan Perspective (7/20/01)

Okay, enough keynote-bashing; we think we've gotten it out of our systems, and it was all in good fun anyway. We at AtAT are not actually nearly as bitter as the irony-impaired may have deduced from our most recent episodes, and in fact, despite everyone's high expectations for this Macworld Expo (Apple employees and CEO included, we're sure), the Cupertino crew has been working its collective heinie off for a ridiculously long time. Given all the cool stuff that Apple has brought us this year alone, the fact that new iMacs and a zippier version of Mac OS X are still at least a couple of months away is no reason to start making a teeny little black turtleneck sweater for your voodoo doll and reaching for the hatpins. Since the beginning of the year, Apple has released the titanium PowerBook G4, the Power Mac with SuperDrive, the new iBook, iTunes, iDVD and DVD Studio Pro, the long-awaited launch of Mac OS X, the first Apple retail stores, and probably a dozen other things we've forgotten to mention. What have you accomplished in the past seven months? All we did was work on the butt grooves in our couch.

At least some part of us looks at the current state of the economy and is glad that Apple isn't quite ready for The Big Push to all-new iMacs running Mac OS X 10.1. Frankly, right now the market sucks for an introduction like that. According to The Register, worldwide shipments of personal computers actually declined for the first time in fifteen years last quarter. No Apple handheld? Sure, we may want a PDA that can put the others to shame, but have you seen Palm's and Handspring's stock prices lately? You can bet that Apple wouldn't have posted a $61 million quarterly profit if it had been competing in the cutthroat PDA market as well. (According to MacNN, in response to an analyst question about Apple's intentions in the handheld market, Steve replied, "I'm not sure that's the funnest place to be right now." Talk about a master of understatement.)

Even the Expo itself is a reflection of how difficult things are out there right now; we keep hearing about record-breaking attendance, and that's as may be, but as far as exhibitors go, this has got to be the smallest Expo on the books. When even Adobe can't afford a booth, clearly times are tough-- and this is the first year we can remember when Apple isn't tossing t-shirts out to the crowd. Further cost-savings measures, perhaps? So here's our real, honest-to-goodness, no-irony-here, bottom-line take on the Big Keynote Letdown of 2001: cut the company a break. Apple is making an insane amount of progress despite a terrible market and economy, so try to remember what the company has managed to pull off against all odds.

Does this make us Apple apologists? You're damn skippy we're Apple apologists. Any company that's made our lives so much better over the years deserves a little partiality and special consideration when it stumbles a bit. Apple employees-- every single last one of 'em, from Steve Almighty to the part-time staff at the Apple retail stores-- are our heroes, plain and simple... because no matter how much the naysayers whine about the G4's lagging clock speed and how tired the current iMac design is looking, the simple fact of the matter is that while Dell is mindlessly building boxes and Microsoft is finding new and entertaining ways to violate antitrust statutes, Apple employees are changing the world, plain and simple.

This has been a public service announcement on behalf of the Save The Steve Foundation. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program of smart-ass remarks...

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The above scene was taken from the 7/20/01 episode:

July 20, 2001: We're done with the keynote-bashing; a little perspective works wonders. Meanwhile, Apple reveals a little more data regarding its first two retail stores, and Mike Dell wins "CEO of the Year"...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3189: Seven Weeks In Heaven (7/20/01)   Part of the irony of Macworld Expo is this: during the very week when AtAT should be shining its brightest, the show actually broadcasts some of its worst episodes ever. They're short, or they're late (make that later), or they come across like they've been slapped together while the producers are sitting on a bus stuck in crosstown traffic...

  • 3190: Wait, He Won WHAT?! (7/20/01)   What the...?! Geez, we can't turn our backs for a second; we go on the road for a week, and before we know it, faithful viewer Rachel Azima is notifying us that the coveted "CEO of the Year" award has been given to none other than Mike Dell. This is no joke, people. Well, okay, yes, it is a joke-- but it's not a very funny one, and it's still true...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

Vote Early, Vote Often!
Why did you tune in to this '90s relic of a soap opera?
Nostalgia is the next best thing to feeling alive
My name is Rip Van Winkle and I just woke up; what did I miss?
I'm trying to pretend the last 20 years never happened
I mean, if it worked for Friends, why not?
I came here looking for a receptacle in which to place the cremated remains of my deceased Java applets (think about it)

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