The Dutch Conundrum (12/18/01)
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Heaven knows it's not any great risk to predict a new iMac at next month's Macworld Expo; between the fact that Apple hasn't fundamentally overhauled its consumer desktop for over two years now, the inventory-clearing iMac promotion ending on December 31st, and the reports of massive flat-panel iMac orders leaking out from one of Apple's Taiwanese manufacturing subcontractors, the oddsmakers aren't exactly calling it a "long shot." But with the latest chunk of evidence to emerge, the Vegas odds of a new iMac not being introduced are now on par with the odds that anyone as goofy-looking as Tom Green would be so mind-numbingly oblivious of his aesthetic situation as to dump Drew Barrymore. Like that would ever happen.

Um, bad example. But the incomprehensible vagaries of Hollywood personalities aside, the fact remains that every indication points to the unveiling of a new iMac in less than three weeks' time. And here's the latest dirt: apparently Apple is a little looser with the juice when it sends out press invitations over in the Netherlands. Faithful viewer Bas Jansen tipped us off to an IDG News Service article which quotes the Dutch invite as referring to Apple's upcoming consumer product as "innovative, revolutionary, and different," as well as "powerful, user-friendly, and eye-catching." Granted, those terms could describe any number of new products, but unless Apple is pulling another iPod with its use of the word "revolutionary," our money's on a spiffy new iMac.

Apple Netherlands (which we are trying very hard not to refer to as "Dutch Apple") is apparently a little nervous about having sent out such a provocative invitation; "We have already been too open, judging by the interest this is generating." What, like Apple didn't think that its more tenacious fans would jump on top of the merest hint just because it's all the way over in the Netherlands? The general manager admitted that the Dutch invitation was "more candid than those sent out in other countries," and for that, we're all grateful. Hey, can anyone find out if maybe the Apple Bulgaria invite just happened to be even more forthcoming? For all we know, it said "Flat-Panel iMac, January 7th. Be there." Now that's candid, baby!


 
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The above scene was taken from the 12/18/01 episode:

December 18, 2001: The AtAT staff receives a divine vision of Expo goodies to come-- or needs a CAT scan, we're not sure which. Meanwhile, Apple's press invite in the Netherlands hints at a "revolutionary" new product ready for the Expo, and Adobe's own CEO admits that Photoshop for Mac OS X is still three to six months away...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3459: Soothing AND Precognitive (12/18/01)   So there we were at the mall (not a mall, the mall-- show some respect), drowning amid a sea of desperate shoppers and practically choking on the stench of fear. Normally we can handle the crunch of holiday shopping better than most mortal beings, but this year we let our guard down just for a second and were badly trampled by a marauding band of frothing Xbox-seekers following up on a hot tip about a new delivery at K*B Toys...

  • 3461: Just Two More Quarters (12/18/01)   Meanwhile, topping the list of long-awaited products that won't ship in January is none other than-- insert trumpet fanfare here-- the Carbonized version of Photoshop. While the web has been abuzz with reports by both beta testers and (cough) "beta testers" that the latest prerelease version of the software is both rock-solid and extremely lickable under Mac OS X, we've also heard that the product is still no further along than mid-beta, and as such, it's not shipping in three weeks, no way, no how...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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