Presenting: Wiggly iMacs (3/28/99)

Face it: the iMac isn't just a computer... it's a full-fledged phenomenon. We've seen the iMac's immediately recognizable contours appear in a number of nationally syndicated comic strips. People dressed their kids up as iMacs for Halloween. There's something about the shape of the machine, its elegant curves and mix of textures, the whole "iMacness" of it all that's absolutely archetypal. Mark our words: someday you'll awaken from a daze to discover you've been sculpting iMacs in your mashed potatoes only hours before the human race establishes contact with a visiting alien race who will arrive in big, glowing, iMac-shaped ships. Heck, we wouldn't be surprised to hear that someone had just discovered cave paintings made millions of years ago that depict primitive man worshipping a delicately curved mound of blue and white, which bestoweth knowledge while it intimidateth not.

Don't believe us? Well, that's your prerogative, but how else can you explain last Friday's iMac sculpture contest at MIT? After being tipped off by faithful viewer Andrea Parent, we eventually stumbled across a CNN story which tells how Apple and the school co-sponsored a contest to see who could build the "most realistic" iMac out of-- and we swear, we are not making this up-- Jell-o. There are photos of a couple of the entries, which illustrates that while Jell-o may possess the ideal translucency index for an iMac sculpture, it lacks the structural integrity necessary to do justice to the iMac's subtle curves. On the other hand, when you sculpt a Lime iMac, you get a Lime iMac.

Sadly, the article makes no mention of what, if any, prizes were bestowed upon the creators of the most realistic gelatinous iMacs, but we assume that real iMacs may have been offered in exchange for the jiggly ones. For future competitions, we admit, we're hard-pressed to come up with a better medium for an iMac sculpture contest than Jell-o. Perhaps Jolly Ranchers? Now that's a challenge.

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The above scene was taken from the 3/28/99 episode:

March 28, 1999: Sears: it's not just for cheesy PCs anymore, if rumors of imminent iMac offerings are true. Meanwhile, those wacky engineers at MIT work to perfect the ultimate Jell-o iMac, and the government prepares to propose that Microsoft auction off Windows or make it open-source...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 1425: Translucent Side of Sears (3/28/99)   Many people had their doubts when it was first unveiled, but with seven and a half months of sales history behind it, few will argue that the iMac turned out to be a phenomenal success. PC Data's monthly sales statistics have shown that the iMac has managed to stay in the top five list of computers sold at retail outlets ever since it first hit the shelves last August-- a feat made all the more remarkable by how few retail outlets actually sell the things...

  • 1427: Settle THIS, Buddy (3/28/99)   The "Redmond Justice" hiatus is still weeks away from conclusion, as Microsoft and the government try to hash out a settlement that would cut the trial short. But there's good news for entertainment junkies hooked on the courtroom drama: neither side seems to be trying very hard...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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