Catching Up Is Hard To Do (10/22/01)

"Honey, I'm home!" Well, we're finally back from our self-imposed exile, ladies and germs, and what a glorious romp it was. We're talking two fun-filled weeks of roughing it in the Equatorial swamps and wetlands the natives call "Central London," the last natural habitat of the crab-scuttling beaver and an area world-renowned for its vibrant and entertaining array of waterborne insect larvae. Yes, we cheerfully indulged in ten straight days of blissful peace and intentional ignorance of any and all current affairs, Mac-related or otherwise; there was nothing to do but dig for marsh potatoes, swat at mosquitoes the size of smallish wiener dogs, and sweat out the malaria. Utter bliss!

While it was great getting away from it all for a bit, we do have to say that it's nice to be back. We haven't had a chance to catch up on current events just yet, because we've been too busy opening all of our accumulated snailmail. Someone apparently signed us up for the Talcum Powder of the Month Club, because a lot of these envelopes just seem to contain white powder. How thoughtful! We've taken several good whiffs of the stuff, and it sure smells exotic. Anyway, as we were saying, we're pretty lost when it comes to what's been in the news for the past couple of weeks. Did we miss anything while we were away?

Har har, just joshing, folks. Believe it or not, London isn't a swampland after all, but a sprawling metropolis teeming with both modern urban life and more history and culture than any city has a right to lay claim to. Really! You could have knocked us over with a feather when we got there. Imagine our dismay when we discovered that we really shouldn't have blown a couple of Bennies on customized pith helmets after all. Anyway, our point is, we weren't actually cut off from civilization at all; our televisual activity was split between snooker, Teletubbies, and CNN, so we know all about the anthrax scare (Laa-Laa told us all about it) and we promise to exercise due caution when we finally get a chance to pick up our mail.

By the same token, we also had (outrageously expensive) 'net access, so we also happen to know that a certain Cupertino-based computer company did get around to having that "mid-October" product update we'd been buzzing about recently. For those of you who rely upon AtAT for 100% of your Apple-related news-- and, you know, you really shouldn't do that-- you'll be pleased to hear that Apple finally put a little extra zing into its PowerBooks last week. As it turns out, that cryptic message from back in August was largely correct; the new PowerBooks come in 550 MHz and 667 MHz flavors, instead of 500 and 667 as we reported two months ago-- but the faster model does have a 133 MHz bus (sit on it, skeptics!), their hard drives do range in size from 20 GB to 48 GB, and the optical drives available are indeed DVD-ROM or CD-RW, with no combo drive option in sight. So last month we were wrong when we said we were probably wrong about the combo drive issue, because it turns out we were right, not wrong. Right?

Moving on: the new TiBooks also boast Radeon Mobility graphics, a heaping helping of RAM (at least, "heaping" as far as Apple is concerned), and-- perhaps best of all-- the same reduced pricing that we got back in August. Which means that today you can pick up a $2199 PowerBook that's more powerful than the $3499 model was just two months ago. Heck, the new high-end model even comes with a free AirPort card. Ain't life grand? Oh, and we'd be remiss to mention that the iBooks got a little extra spring in their step, too, with a speed boost to 600 MHz, a new 100 MHz system bus, bigger hard drives, and a $100 lower price tag for the top-of-the-line model. It's Portable Paradise!

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The above scene was taken from the 10/22/01 episode:

October 22, 2001: We're back! Say, we didn't miss anything about the PowerBook and iBook, did we? Meanwhile, Apple prepares to wow the press with a "breakthrough digital device" that's "not a Mac"...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3345: Dawn Of The Killer iPods (10/22/01)   As for the "something else" to which we alluded earlier in the month when discussing Apple's alleged mid-October product announcements, well, the revamped iBook wasn't it. That one took us slightly by surprise-- because even though we had mentioned the possibility of new iBooks accompanying the revised PowerBooks just a few days later, truth be told, we just didn't think it was all that likely...

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