Getting Back To Basics (9/27/01)
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You all know, of course, that journalism has no place here at AtAT, seeing as this is a soap opera and not the nightly news. As such, the very notion of "journalistic integrity" means less to us than a textbook on European macroeconomics that's been translated into Swahili. Still, when deciding what sort of content makes it into our scripts, we're aware of the potential ramifications of producing a wide-audience TV show, so we've always tried to apply a rigid moral code and an underlying sense of responsibility to the mmmmpppphhhhHHHAAAHAA HAA HA HA HA HA HA! Sorry, we actually thought we could get through that with a straight face. Oh, well. Now comes the part where we irresponsibly spread a rumor so potentially upsetting that, as soon as this hits the airwaves, we're fully expecting to hear a moist popping sound from all directions heralding the imminent arrival of headlines to the effect of "MAC USERS' HEADS EXPLODE." Ready?

First, the good news, otherwise known as "the setup for the fall": our off-the-cuff mention of the missing-in-inaction LCD iMac yesterday got us thinking, so we figured it couldn't hurt to consult the stars. Well, check it out: according to our star chart, a massive confluence of cosmic events in conjunction with a favorable alignment of the heavenly bodies indicates that the time of a new iMac's arrival is nearly upon us. Indeed, as best as we can make out, this spiffy convergence of the stars and planets will take place in just two days' time, this Saturday. We're usually not ones to put much stock in astrology, but hey, every once in a while you need to take a leap of faith.

Now for the bad news: if we're reading this thing right, the "new" iMac that may suddenly materialize in a glow of cosmic radiance this Saturday isn't actually new at all; it looks to us like Apple's planning on pulling sort of a repeat performance of last July's Stevenote. By "sort of," we mean that the existing iMacs won't change a hair-- they're just gaining a sibling. The stars say to expect a fourth non-LCD iMac configuration, with a decidedly lackluster array of specs: a 500 MHz G3, a mere 64 MB of RAM, a 20 GB hard drive, and a bare-bones CD-ROM drive. What is new is the price: $799. Wait, no-- that's not new, either. But at least Apple finally has a sub-$999 iMac again that's more suitable in these troubled financial times.

There are two particularly interesting things about this scenario. The first is that the specs on this alleged new iMac are completely identical to those of the low-end iMac currently only available via the education channel, which has been around since the Expo at an $849 price point. The second is that there was only really one wrong item in all of the pre-Expo predictions we got off a Times Square fortune teller last July, and that was her vision of "a low-end $799 [iMac] with a CD-ROM"-- which may finally come true this Saturday, meaning she was just early, and not actually wrong. Man, if it does come to pass, we're going to feel really bad about hunting her down after the keynote and stealing her wallet...


 
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The above scene was taken from the 9/27/01 episode:

September 27, 2001: Saddle Creek's still on hold, but the opening of the Palo Alto Apple store is just nine days away. Meanwhile, the $799 bare-bones iMac may be returning to Apple's product line-up this Saturday, and Mac OS Rumors denies the New York Post's report that Avie Tevanian has one foot out the door...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3326: Hitting Too Close To Home (9/27/01)   Okay, folks, get your retail mojo workin' again-- while Apple has indefinitely postponed the opening of its Saddle Creek store while it continues to try to worm around Germantown's excessive signage restrictions, the company has added the long-awaited Palo Alto store to the on-deck circle; this latest Gap-for-Mac-lovers location is slated to open on October 6th...

  • 3328: He's Staying-- Probably (9/27/01)   We close today with one of life's greatest conundrums; ideally, this issue would have arisen on a Friday, so we could leave you baffled for the entire weekend, but sadly, it was not to be. Anyway, as regular viewers will recall, a couple of days ago we mentioned rumors that Avie Tevanian, Apple's software guru and long the DynaGirl to Steve's ElectraWoman, was preparing to bail...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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