Who Stood To Gain? (9/13/00)

About that flood-- you know, the one that evacuated the Apple Expo show floor on the night before opening when the sprinklers submerged half the venue (including a sizeable chunk of the Apple booth) under two inches of water? According to MacCentral, the sprinkler system "went off without warning" and "was not set off by a fire in the hall." Hmmmm. Furthermore, we can't help but notice that the damage should have been considerably less severe, except that "the building engineers had difficulty turning off the water." Sprinklers that go off for no reason and then can't be turned off? You don't have to be paranoid to realize that something sinister's at work, here. (But it sure helps.)

Clearly, some agency is out to hobble the show-- or at least Apple's participation in it. Perhaps Steve should drag out his enemies list to ferret out a suspect or three. Was this the work of rogue protesters disappointed at the cancellation of the planned keynote interruption? Did anyone happen to see Bill Gates wandering backstage with a wrench? (Sure, the Microsoft booth was affected, too, but it's a small price to pay for the smiting of one's enemies.) Or perhaps it was a more "inside" job-- we notice that the booth of wholly-owned Apple subsidiary FileMaker Inc. is dry as a bone. Are we witnessing the first phase of some bizarre scheme to get Apple back into the red so it'll sell FileMaker off to another company? After all, FileMaker has been displaying some very Microsoftian leanings lately, with changes to its product's interface, licensing terms, and a focus on the business world. Anything's possible.

Oh, wait-- never mind. We just received word from a source at the show that the cause has been found. Some lackey at the Apple booth was setting up a Pentium III system for a side-by-side speed demo and left it turned on; the 24,000 BTU of heat being kicked out the back of the thing understandably tripped the sprinkler mechanism and caused the downpour. But was it an accident, or did Steve order it done on purpose just to generate some joke fodder? According to faithful viewer David Bismuth (reporting from the show floor), Steve first mentioned that nobody could claim there'd been "no leak" at Apple Expo Paris, and then said it was "logical" that they'd had water damage, since Apple was about to introduce Aqua. Tsk, tsk... two inches of water, all for the sake of a couple of lame jokes. Hopefully it was all in the delivery.

SceneLink (2546)
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The above scene was taken from the 9/13/00 episode:

September 13, 2000: The public beta is finally here-- and it's even more expensive than most people expected. Meanwhile, the new PowerBook is still MIA, but the iBook gets some seriously cool specs and some startling new hues, and just who was behind the mysterious Expo flood that crippled half the show floor?...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2544: Happy To Be Screwed (9/13/00)   See, here's the thing; we want to be sourpusses about how this whole Mac OS X public beta spiel played out, but we're having a tough time staying angry. And that's kind of odd, really, because there are definitely reasons to complain...

  • 2545: The Tradition Continues (9/13/00)   Undeniably, the Apple Expo in Paris has been suffering a few setbacks. Between the planned Stevenote protest and a Paris taxi strike threatening to make transportation a nightmare, we thought the Apple Expo's prospects for success looked dim last week...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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