Truth Stranger Than Satire (10/3/01)
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See, here's one of the fundamental problems with AtAT: while it pulls in roughly twenty thousand viewers a day, its content is actually only targeted at about, maybe, six. What that means is that there are approximately 19,994 people out there who aren't fully attuned to our special blend of eleven herbs and spices. While most of those folks still pretty much "get it," there are always a few who were born without the irony gene. This unfortunate circumstance has led to situations like "The Great Ninja False Alarm of 1998," "The Great Microsoft-AtAT Buyout Scare of 2000," and-- most recently-- "A Few People Who Actually Thought We Were Serious When We Said That Mike Dell Is Now Working For Sony."

So we'd like to go on the record, here, and state that yesterday's report that Mike Dell had defected to Sony was a fictitious event fabricated entirely to illustrate a point: that Sony's new VAIO QR (as pictured at Go2Mac) looked suspiciously similar to a new iBook. In other words, in that picture, at least, it looked like enough of an Apple product ripoff to be worthy of Mike Dell himself. (Mr. Dell, as you may recall, is infamous for copying Apple's every move.) However, to the best of our knowledge ol' Mike is still safely tucked away in his padded office at Dell Headquarters, modelling the latest in pinstripe straitjackets and munching on his meds. In fact, faithful viewer Mark Hamilton sent us a link to more photos of the VAIO QR, and to have said it looks like an iBook was a grave insult to all iBooks for which we are sincerely sorry. Ewwwwww.

But wait; maybe there's some truth to the Dell-at-Sony gag after all. Faithful viewer David H Dennis pointed out a CNET article which indicates that Sony is "creating its own corrals in retail stores to separate its latest Vaio desktops from rival systems"; the first such displays will appear in Best Buy, and similar ones will show up later in Circuit City. Maybe it's just us, but that sounds an awful lot like a certain "store within a store" strategy that a certain Cupertino-based computer manufacturer may have implemented years ago with a certain national computer reseller chain known for dank stores, a radical redefinition of the term "sales help," and a name that once sent Mac users screaming for the hills (and now just sends them screaming for the nearest Apple retail store instead).

Now, clearly Mike Dell would have copied Steve's store-within-a-store initiative years ago, except for one teensy problem: Dell doesn't sell computers at retail. So maybe he did defect to Sony, simply to sate his nagging desire to copy the one Apple strategy he hadn't yet been able to achieve. Sick? Sure. But this is Mike Dell we're talking about, here; what do you expect, a gold star for mental health? Just be glad he's not running amuck with a chainsaw and a suit made out of human skin.


 
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From the writer/creator of AtAT, a Pandemic Dad Joke taken WAYYYYYY too far


 

The above scene was taken from the 10/3/01 episode:

October 3, 2001: After Palo Alto this weekend, set your retail phasers on Germantown and Albany. Meanwhile, we didn't really mean that Mike Dell had gone to work for Sony-- or did we? And one possible explanation emerges for the slightly sketchy free 10.1 upgrade program last weekend...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3338: Twice The Retaily Goodness (10/3/01)   And thus does AtAT's gradual transformation into "The Apple Retail Show" march ever forward; after yesterday's iffy hint at a Buffalo-area store opening this Saturday (which has since turned back into a pumpkin-- expect that store later in the month), Apple saw fit to tweak their retail page again. Faithful viewer Ben Snitkoff noted that the "Coming Soon" slot is starting to get mighty crowded these days; at some point yesterday, Palo Alto and Saddle Creek were joined by yet another location preparing for an imminent onslaught of Mac geeks: the Crossgates Mall in Albany, New York. So that's three in the on-deck circle...

  • 3340: "Spins A Web Any Size..." (10/3/01)   We know that some of you are still seething over the, shall we say, "less than smooth" implementation of the Mac OS X 10.1 "Instant Up-To-Date Program." For some people, what should have been a simple trip to the local Apple reseller to pick up a couple of free update CDs turned into a nightmare of long lines, missing shipments, and gory mayhem that was not unlike the expected result of Franz Kafka and Samuel Beckett teaming up to make a splatter movie...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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