Floppies With Rigor Mortis (10/4/01)

"They called us MAD at the university!!" Say, folks, remember all the teeth-gnashing that ensued back when the original iMac was introduced in May of '98? We seem to recall a fairly massive faction of pundits insisting that Apple was doomed due to its shortsighted and egocentric decision to ship the product sans old-style serial and SCSI ports, and-- this was the real blasphemy, here-- even without a floppy drive. Even a sizeable percentage of Mac users were a little unsure about Apple's "no legacy junk" strategy with the iMac, although today, of course, few of us still think that Apple had made a mistake. The last time we used a floppy disk here at AtAT, it was to bait a PC Dweeb trap in our basement. (Pesky little critters...)

Anyway, the floppy drive has been dead for years, and it looks like the rest of the industry is finally starting to notice. Sticking neatly to the age-old script of "Whither Apple Goeth, The Industry Followeth (Eventuallyeth)," the rest of the PC manufacturers are finally getting ready to ditch their legacy technology as well. Faithful viewer Stephanie informs us that The Register claims to have gotten its mitts on "confidential Intel documents" in which Chipzilla entreats all PC manufacturers to eliminate "classic" serial ports, PS/2 ports, and yes, even the venerable floppy drive from all of their shipping systems by "the latter half of 2002." Gee, and only four years after Apple took the lead! We're just so gosh-darned proud of those guys... (snif)

You may want to stock up on canned goods and ammo before Intel's fiat is enacted, however; we anticipate a massive uprising among a certain portion of the Wintel-using population, and you might want to stay indoors when the riots ensue. We can picture angry mobs descending upon PC makers' headquarters carrying hastily-made signs bearing phrases such as "YOU'LL TAKE MY FLOPPY WHEN YOU PRY IT FROM MY TECHNOLOGICALLY BACKWARD, NEO-LUDDITE FINGERS" and assaulting the buildings with catapults that fire old dot-matrix printers and 9-track open-reel tape drives. Intel will have to call in the Bunnymen and the Blue Man Group Special Forces to quell the riots. It won't be pretty... but hey, progress rarely is. Meanwhile, how's that new Mac workin' out for ya?

SceneLink (3342)
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The above scene was taken from the 10/4/01 episode:

October 4, 2001: New PowerBooks are probably coming sometime this month-- but will new iBooks be joining them? Meanwhile, the rest of the PC industry gets a clue and prepares to ditch the floppy drive, and as far as the entry-level iMac goes, Apple decides to charge students and teachers more money than the rest of us...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3341: New 'Books All Around? (10/4/01)   A few days ago, we reported our psychic premonition that Apple is gearing up for one of those momentous press events sometime in the middle of the month, and that the star of that show will be none other than the long-awaited PowerBook G4 revision that's got all the road warriors drooling...

  • 3343: The Education Surcharge (10/4/01)   Okay, ever since that new entry-level iMac we hinted at last week finally showed up this past Monday, we've gotten a ton of mail from people asking us just what the heck is up with the pricing on that unit...

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