Eh, What's Another Month? (8/29/03)
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Seeing as we're heading into a long weekend, we figured you could use an extra dose of angst to carry you through 'til Tuesday, so don your crash helmets and make sure your wills are up to date (you did leave everything to us, right?), because what we're about to tell you will may well make your brain broil with the utter shock of it all. Ready? Get this: some dual 2.0 GHz Power Mac G5s are going to be a little late. Yes, we know it's the biggest surprise since the Luke-I-am-your-father thing, but please, try to keep your sizzling grey matter off the carpet. At least until we can buy stock in Bissell.

It's like this: several shellshocked AtAT viewers have written in to inform us that last night, their dual G5 orders (mostly placed within minutes of the system's debut at the Apple Store back in June) slipped from an August 29th ship date all the way down to September 26th. From this we can come to two conclusions. The first is that we can't believe so many of you are getting dual-processor G5s. We hate you. We hate you a lot. The second, of course, is that at some point last night, Apple suddenly said, "gee, there are about 60,000 preorders to ship by tomorrow, and it looks like we've only got about... (mumble mumble... carry the 1...) ...two. Guess it's time to tack another four weeks onto those ship dates." (MacMinute doesn't infer why the shipments have been delayed, but confirms that the delays do exist.)

This is not to say, however, that Apple won't keep its promise to ship the dual G5 by the end of August; it will indeed ship "the dual G5," just not all of them. We won't be terribly surprised if a press release pops up even over the weekend to confirm that the company has "started shipping" the heavily in-demand powerhouses. What the revised September 26th ship dates do mean, though, is that Apple's official statement about two weeks ago that it was "on target to ship all orders for G5 machines this month" has flown clean out the window, and we just gotta say, it's a mite alarming that even some of the very first orders placed over two months ago still won't ship for another month yet.

Or will they? At least one customer, writing to MacNN, reports that his ship date did indeed change from 8/29 to 9/26 last night-- and then mysteriously changed back to 8/29 after midnight Cupertino time, as if nothing had happened. Ooooooo. Maybe it's a poltergeist. Maybe it's the ghost of the horribly-dismembered web gnome who accidentally leaked the G5 specs exacting his vengeance. Maybe Apple's secret experiments in time travel are causing eddies in the space-time continuum. Maybe it's just interference from the space ship of a couple of aliens who swung by to see if Steve Jobs wanted to hit a kegger over in Alpha Centauri. We may never know.

We've got one more possible explanation, however: Apple is shipping all G5 backorders by Monday, but it's stretching out reported delivery times to account for its new shipping company. AtAT sources report that, in an effort to lower operational expenses, Apple has signed an exclusive three-year contract with George Express, which put in the low bid for the account. The extra shipping time allotted to G5 deliveries is meant to account for the fact that it's going to take George an awful long time to deliver all those G5s on the handlebars of his Schwinn after school. If you've got a G5 on order, keep one ear open-- George has baseball cards in his spokes, so you'll hear him coming!


 
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The above scene was taken from the 8/29/03 episode:

August 29, 2003: The summer Macworld Expo lives-- and it lives in Boston, albeit sans Apple. Meanwhile, long-suffering G5 customers report the sudden addition of four more weeks to their delivery times, and some guy dons a turtle suit in hopes of landing Apple as a corporate account...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 4174: When Slim Chances Get Fat (8/29/03)   Wow, now this one actually is a shock: faithful viewer Garrett tipped us off to the fact that IDG World Expo has apparently concluded that "in-depth study" of the merits of Boston vs. New York as a venue for next summer's Macworld Expo-- er, sorry, Macworld CreativePro...

  • 4176: Invasion Of The Turtle-Men (8/29/03)   Before we depart to prepare for the various and sundry solemn rituals of the hallowed Labor Day Weekend, we thought we'd leave you with an ultra-concentrated infusion of surrealism to help you cope with your AtATless existence for the next three days...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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