Accuracy Is Overrated (10/23/02)

Several viewers have noticed that our typical broadcast time these days hovers right around 5 AM EDT, and have written to us wondering why we've chosen to produce AtAT during such ungodly hours. Well, friends, the reason is simple: when slapping the show together that late at night, we're prone to make all sorts of entertainingly goofy mistakes which we can then correct on slow news days in fun-filled retraction scenes like this one. (Hey, it beats trying to squeeze any drama out of Fred Anderson joining the board of directors of an "information management software company." Thanks for the tip-off, faithful viewer Pastor Mac, but frankly, we're just not up to the challenge these days. Maybe when we're averaging more than forty minutes of sleep a night.)

For example, let's take yesterday's scene about IDC's apparent undercounting of Macs sold during the third calendar quarter. Faithful viewer Tony Leggett was the first of about eleventy-seventy individuals more well-rested than us to point out that the seeming discrepancy between Apple's reported number of units shipped (734,000) and IDC's claimed number of Macs sold (462,000) is easily explained by the simple fact that IDC was counting Mac sales only in the U.S., whereas Apple tallied up Macs shipped all over this nifty lil' planet. Oops!

As it turns out, we were thrown because we forgot that this U.S.-or-worldwide factor wouldn't come into play with Gateway, who ran screaming from the overseas markets in August of 2001, so Gateway's total sales and U.S. sales are one and the same. Anyway, it appears that IDC's Psychic Chicken™ was likely right on the money, which means that, yes, Apple probably does have a measly 3.8 percent share of the U.S. market-- and even less worldwide. But on the plus side, at least Apple sold more computers than Gateway overall and still isn't doing anywhere near poorly enough to have to pull up stakes overseas. So neener neener neener.

Speaking of pulling out of foreign markets, remember that bit about Quark sacking almost all of its staff in England and bolting from the UK as if it were fleeing a Viking attack? Way-ell, this isn't so much our retraction as it is Macworld UK's, but faithful viewer David Poves noticed that whereas yesterday that august publication reported that "all but two" UK Quarkers had been sent packing, today that very same mag-- indeed, that very same URL-- suddenly states that the actual number of pink-slipped workers was, um, well... two. (Unless Quark only had four UK staffers, there's a slight difference, there.) A Quark rep has also gone on record to deny that his company is ditching the UK, the Mac platform, the desktop market, or fuzzy baby ducks.

While we're at it, we should probably also mention that we were incorrect last week when we implied that Canadian high school teachers didn't qualify for the free Mac OS X promotion. Several Great White Northerners (commencing with faithful viewer Dan McKay) noted that a page on Apple's own web site clearly states that "this offer is valid in Canada." However, we don't feel we can accept all the blame, here, since at broadcast time today, another page on Apple's site still states that the offer "is valid only in the United States (50 states and District of Columbia)." So either Apple made a boo-boo, or we totally missed it when Canada became one of the fifty states. (Which one did we get rid of to make room? We're guessing it was Delaware.)

Lastly, we may have mentioned in passing recently that "submerging your Power Mac in molten lava is an excellent way to defragment all internal hard disks, burn away troublesome dust, and restore the unit's original showroom luster." Please be advised that this was a typographical error; it should have read "domesticated howler monkeys make excellent house pets when proper training commences no later than two months of age." We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused anybody. Our bad.

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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 10/23/02 episode:

October 23, 2002: Apple did have 3.8% market share last quarter in the U.S., Quark has not pulled out of the UK, and Canadian teachers can get Mac OS X for free. Meanwhile, Apple lays off a "very small" number of workers, and we've got an airtight alibi in case anyone suspects us of perpetrating the Great Apple Sticker Car Heist of 2002...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3793: Slippage Of The Pink Type (10/23/02)   Okay, it's official: we're really sick of this whole "struggling economy" thing. And it wasn't any one thing that finally pushed us over the edge and suddenly, bam, we were sick of it, but rather a slow realization that, even to drama hounds like us, the magic is simply gone...

  • 3794: Can't Pin It On Us, Copper (10/23/02)   File this scene in the "Preemptive Quickie Denial" category. Faithful viewer Peter Chastain forwarded us a Wired article about a poor woman whose car was broken into by some malfeasant who took nothing but a shoulder bag (which was later found discarded and unmolested in a trash can nearby) and-- drum roll, please-- an old-school rainbow logo Apple sticker. Actually, the woman describes it as a sticker, but we strongly suspect that it was actually a vinyl logo cling; if it had been a sticker, it would probably have been on the outside of the vehicle and there for the taking, making the smashing of a window somewhat gratuitous...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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