Speed. Drama. Speed. (3/17/98)

So today was the day of the big keynote, and while it was entertaining and enlightening on some points, for those of us who were hoping for some big announcements, it was a bit of a let-down. (You can see our mostly-unedited notes from the last half-hour of the webcast if you like, or if you have some time on your hands, you may even want to listen to the keynote itself. And for a real nostalgia blast, check out our notes from the last Jobsian Seybold keynote. Groovy.)

The only new machine announced today was the 300 MHz Powermac G3, which appeared on the pricelist over the weekend. Following the keynote, the new system appeared at the Apple Store, and its new components (300 MHz G3, RAID kit, DVD-ROM drive) showed up as build-to-order options. Apple's press release on the new machine is here. No sign of the new Powerbooks, the NC, or Artemis-- though Jobs made the worrying statement that "Apple has not built a great consumer product in the last several years, which is bizarre. You're going to see that change this fall." Fall?! We can only hope that that's a very conservative estimate, Steve, because that sounds awful late to us. We agree that "Apple is uniquely positioned to be in that space," but the low end won't wait forever.

As for the word of the day, that'd be speed. For those graphics professionals who doubted Apple's word that the G3 is really faster than the Pentium II, Steve held a little side-by-side "bake-off." In Photoshop and Director tasks, the 333 MHz PII system from Compaq was beaten by a much-cheaper 266 MHz G3 Powermac. It was then trounced by the new 300 MHz G3 system, and then stomped all over by a blistering 400 MHz copper-chip prototype. So much for the Bunnymen.

But the biggest news came after the keynote, during the question and answer session. When questioned about the Columbus project, Steve let slip that "it's anti-gravity technology. Get 300 miles per gallon." What, you thought that was a joke? That's just what they want you to think...

SceneLink (543)
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The above scene was taken from the 3/17/98 episode:

March 17, 1998: Keynote Day has come and gone, leaving a blistering new G3 in its wake. Meanwhile, rumors are flying that Columbus is all an elaborate hoax foisted onto the gullible public by Apple, and if you're shopping for a new monitor, you may just want to take out a small loan when you see Apple's new Manta...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 544: Believe the Lie (3/17/98)   Okay, let's say, just for the sake of arguement, that you don't believe that Columbus is really anti-gravity technology, and that Steve was just keeping mum. Have you fallen prey to the latest damage control rumors?...

  • 545: Sleek, Curvy, Must-Have (3/17/98)   While the G3 300 was the only new computer to be unveiled during the keynote, we're happy to see that Manta, Apple's new flat-screen LCD display, was finally announced, even though it won't be shipping until next month...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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