And Super-Size It, Please (7/17/02)

Okay, so today we found out that our formerly free iTools accounts have just turned into subscription-based .mac accounts. On top of that, we were also told that we're going to have to shell out a full $129 if we want to upgrade to Mac OS X 10.2 come August 24th; as faithful viewer Mike Harris notes, there's no special upgrade price, so the only way to upgrade your existing copies is to buy completely new full-price licenses. Don't believe us? Then you might want to call Apple's Mac OS X Up-To-Date program at (800) 335-9258 just to hear it from an Apple rep's lips. But remember, if you then choose to express your dissatisfaction with this bizarre and expensive situation, keep in mind that the nice person on the other end of the line probably didn't set the policy. Please be polite, because shooting the messenger is wicked bad karma. Maybe the Mac OS X Feedback page is a better place to vent?

Anyway, that's a digression we'll let the rest of the planet rant about for a while. True, what with having to spend $49 on a year of .mac, $129 on Mac OS X 10.2, and $30 on a new QuickTime Pro license (the QuickTime 5 codes don't work with QuickTime 6), these have proven to be an expensive few days for many of us in Macville-- but being generally positive people, we'd like to point out that there was at least one super deal unveiled this morning. Did you happen to catch that new 17-inch iMac? Sure, we all knew it was coming, but the widescreen aspect ratio is a nice touch-- and maybe it's just us, but we think the new screen just looks so much better perched atop that big white dome.

So why is this thing such a steal? Well, aesthetic issues aside, think about it for a minute. Yesterday, $1899 for a top-of-the-line iMac was a great deal; you'd get a zippy G4-powered all-in-one system complete with a gorgeous 15-inch flat-panel display and the reads-and-burns-almost-everything-out-there SuperDrive. Today, for just $100 more, you can instead buy that same system with a 17-inch widescreen LCD (with 65% more pixels, for screen real estate encroaching on $2499 Cinema Display territory), a faster GeForce4 MX graphics subsystem, and an extra 20 GB of hard disk space. Seriously, that is one incredible value for an extra hundred clams. When Steve-o was rattling off the specs, we expected a price tag of $2399 or thereabouts. Such a deal!

If you're more of a 15-inch screen sort of person, though, fret not; there's good news for you, too. Apple's playing Follow The Bouncing Price Tag again, and the original 15-inch SuperDrive model which debuted at $1799 and soon went up to $1899 is now-- you guessed it-- back down to $1799 again. Our advice? If you're at all in the market for that particular machine, order it now, before Apple decides to kick it back up to $1899 again. Because who knows how long this particular window will stay open?

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The above scene was taken from the 7/17/02 episode:

July 17, 2002: Another Stevenote has come and gone, and while this one didn't pack too many surprises, there were at least a few points worth chewing on. Meanwhile, the sudden shift from free iTools accounts to for-pay .mac subscriptions is sure to have at least some users crying foul, but the new 17-inch iMac represents a value too good for mere mortals to pass up...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3738: Debriefing Ruminations (7/17/02)   Ahhh... Pardon us while we bask in our traditional post-Stevenote glow. Granted, we didn't get to attend in person this time around, so we weren't subjected to the full, unfiltered force of a close-proximity unadulterated Reality Distortion Field, but it's surprising how much of a buzz still comes through from a QuickTime webcast piped through a Pismo's S-video port onto the living room TV set...

  • 3739: The End Of The Free Ride (7/17/02)   Proof that even Steve Jobs's infamous Reality Distortion Field has its limitations: was it just us, or was the whole room suffused with a deafening silence when His Mercurialness announced that iTools-- er, we mean .mac-- now suddenly costs $99 a year?...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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