Much Ado About Bupkis (11/20/02)

And that, kiddies, is why grizzled veterans of the harrowing rollercoaster ride known far and wide as the Apple Rumor Twisty-Turny Death Plunge™ rarely ascribe anything other than entertainment value to fifth-hand rumors whose original source is credited as "word at the show." We speak, of course, of the most recent "Apple switching to x86" rumor to come whistling down the pike, i.e. some people's expectation that a collaboration between AMD and Apple was to be announced during AMD CEO Hector Ruiz's COMDEX keynote yesterday. That deafening lack of follow-up you hear echoing across the 'net comes to you courtesy of what appears to be a yawning void of anything even remotely Apple-flavored in said presentation. Sorry, sports fans, but let's face it: this really wasn't a horse most people would have bet on.

In case you're still clinging to one last shred of hope and you insist on analyzing the content of the Ruiz keynote for any hidden Apple clues, a decent place to start is Jim Thompson's article from The Daily, as kindly pointed out by faithful viewer PMSG. For what it's worth, we're still trying to figure out which of the AMD announcements was supposed to be so "shattering." Perhaps it was the appearance of Slash, former axe-man of Guns 'n' Roses, to belt out (shudder) "Knock, Knock, Knockin' on 64"-- which, we imagine, was one of those rare moments that would have actually shut up Beavis and Butt-head and left them staring on the couch in wide-eyed incomprehension.

Or was it the demonstration of the world's first "digital guitar"? Or the announcement of a 10,000-processor AMD-powered Cray supercomputer designed to model and test America's nukes? Or even the onstage conversation between Ruiz and R2-D2? If it isn't any of those, about all that's left is AMD's partnership with the China Basic Education Software Co. and the Chinese Ministry of Education, which intends "to link all schools in China by an 'Internet-like' network by the year 2010." And while we're certainly intrigued by the announcement of AMD's new 'net substitute "I Can't Believe It's Not The Internet!™," we're less "shattered" by the idea than "amused." Or possibly "peckish." (We skipped lunch.)

But like we said, there's nary an Apple crumb to be found. If you're still convinced that there must have been some secret message about x86-based Macs to be decoded from Ruiz's presentation (and you don't mind using RealPlayer or Windows Media Player instead of QuickTime), feel free to watch the webcast endlessly while scribbling crabbed conspiracy notes in crayon. And, uh, you'll be sure to let us know as soon as you've found something, right?

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The above scene was taken from the 11/20/02 episode:

November 20, 2002: Surprise, surprise, surprise-- all that talk of an Apple-AMD announcement at COMDEX turned out to be nothing. Meanwhile, Brown University's daily paper scoops the world on an Ellen Feiss interview, and the Segway is finally available for pre-order-- will buying one put you in Steve's good graces?...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3852: A Second Helping Of Feiss (11/20/02)   Fame's a goofy thing, is it not? Take, for example, the phenomenon of Ellen Feiss, an Apple switcher who has worshipers all over the world based entirely on half a minute of camera time. Thirty measly seconds of rambling about half a paper getting chomped on by a wayward Wintel, and suddenly the girl's an international superstar-- with web sites devoted to her, articles about her in such notable publications as The New York Times, even lookalike contests and Feiss-o-lanterns...

  • 3853: Salvation: Pre-Order Now (11/20/02)   Back when it was still a top secret mystery product known only by the code names of "Ginger" and "IT," investor Steve Jobs called its advent "as significant as" that of the personal computer, and the product itself so insanely great that "if enough people see the machine you won't have to convince them to architect cities around it..."

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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