The Post-Purchase Combo (12/19/01)
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We know, we know... fate is a cruel mistress. After all, when you sold your left kidney to buy that shiny new 667 MHz PowerBook G4 three weeks ago, how were you to know that Apple planned to release two significant product revisions in the space of two short months? Lord knows we sure didn't see it coming. Of course, we also didn't go hocking our semiredundant body parts to fund our Mac addiction, but that's beside the point. We fully understand your plight; you shelled out several grand for the latest and greatest, and now suddenly it's only the almost-latest and nearly-greatest-- and most importantly of all, it doesn't have that DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive you'd been waiting for since the original PowerBook G4 shipped in January. Curse your tragically awful sense of timing!

But stop wailing, because soon you, too, will be able to burn discs and watch DVDs on the go without adding a cumbersome external drive-- and you won't even have to sell your current PowerBook and buy a new one to do it. Apple has announced a Combo Upgrade Program for owners like you who bought just a little bit too early; starting January 14th, you'll be able to call Apple to arrange a surgical drive swap-out via mail. (There's nothing quite like a little mail-order surgery!) And for those of you so geographically blessed, you'll also have the option of taking your PowerBook into your local Apple retail store to undergo the drive swap as an outpatient procedure performed by a licensed Mac Genius. Don't go asking for the upgrade before January 14th, though, or else you'll be branded as a pest.

The price of this miraculous improvement? A mere $299. Now, granted, if you had waited three weeks you could have paid the same exact price for your PowerBook (or $100 more, if you chintzed out and got the 550 MHz model) and you'd have the combo drive now-- but $299 is the going price for feature parity following your appallingly bad purchase timing. No, it's not particularly fair, but look at it this way: we're sure you have at least a few organs left for which medical science would be only too pleased to compensate you. If you decide that $299 is a small price to pay for such a useful upgrade, make sure you get in line right in mid-January, because the program only runs until March 30th.

As for you "Revision A" PowerBook G4 owners (as in, 400 or 500 MHz under the hood), sadly, you're not eligible for this upgrade at any cost. And before you rush off to organize a sit-in or a hunger strike or something, we should note that it's not a discrimination thing; it's just that the combo drive flat out doesn't fit in your 'Book. Sometimes even the heart's fiercest desires can't override the laws of physics. But look at it this way: at least you don't need to sell any body parts to pay for the upgrade.


 
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The above scene was taken from the 12/19/01 episode:

December 19, 2001: Owners of combo-less 550 and 667 MHz PowerBooks will soon have an upgrade path available. Meanwhile, Motorola lays off yet another 9,400 employees, mostly from its chipmaking business, and an arrested terrorist claims that Al Qaeda infiltrated Microsoft to introduce bugs into Windows XP...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3463: My, Those Slips Are Pink (12/19/01)   What can we say? The only appropriate response is a Charlie Brownian sigh of disillusionment. The startling repeatability of Motorola's cost-cutting layoffs used to be at least sort of funny (well, as funny as anything involving massive job loss can ever be), but now we have to assume that the company has officially plunged into a state of hardcore pitifulness so dense that not even mirth can escape...

  • 3464: We Kid Because We Love (12/19/01)   And this week's "Too Bizarre Not To Mention" plot development comes to you courtesy of faithful viewer Mark, who spotted a Newsbytes article that ponders a possible connection between Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda terrorist network and Microsoft...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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