The World Dodges A Bullet (3/15/04)

Sorry, folks; the dream is over. You will surely recall that Apple won't be attending Macworld Expo Boston this July, and with Steve a no-show for the keynote slot, that leaves some pretty big New Balances to fill. Back in January, we, your friendly neighborhood AtAT staff, offhandedly volunteered to pick up Steve's slack. This was widely misinterpreted as an offer to pick up Steve's slacks, which may have led to our having to take an embarrassing and expensive cross-country trip to a Cupertino dry cleaner's if not for the happy circumstance that Steve mostly wears jeans. A few people, however, not only understood our offer, but also wanted to take us up on it. Sadly (or happily, depending on your perspective and tolerance for pain), none of those people was an IDG executive-- or someone with dirt on an IDG executive-- who could get us hired for the gig.

And thus was born what has been referred to in furtive whispers as the "Jacknote petition," an online initiative started by a faithful viewer who intended to collect electronic signatures from the unsuspecting masses in a misguided (but darn thoughtful) attempt to get one of us up on stage that July morning. At last check there were signatures of 1,227 similarly misguided (but darn nice) individuals amassed in a fairly impressive wad of support for a keynote that, assuming the summer Expo survives Apple's absence in the first place, would surely end the show in a cataclysmic fireball of oblivion for all eternity in all infinite parallel universes ever ever ever.

But fear not, gentle souls, for faithful viewer Michael Yee informs us that IDG has issued a press release announcing the fate of the keynote-- or, as it is now apparently called, the "feature presentation." Because instead of a traditional guy-in-a-turtleneck-talking-at-you sort of thingy, the presentation will be a panel discussion-- otherwise known as several-guys-not-necessarily-in-turtlenecks-talking-at-you. About what, you ask? Well, since Apple couldn't muster up much in the way of a 20th birthday for the Mac, IDG decided to do it instead: Expo attendees will get to see "The Macintosh at 20-- A Celebration of 20 Years of Innovation." David Pogue will be hosting, and the panel will consist of members of the original Mac design team (such as Jef "Yes, One F" Raskin, Andy "Feld, Not Field" Hertzfeld, and Bill "No Clarifying Nickname" Atkinson) spinning anecdotes about the good ol' days and offering perspectives on what a long, strange trip it's been.

Interesting? Probably. A worthy replacement for the traditional Stevenote? Eh. Maybe. We, at least, are looking forward to it.

So are we bitter about not scoring the gig? Nah-- as far as we're concerned, the less public speaking we attempt, the better for everyone within earshot. However, we are a little surprised about the outcome of this whole thing. As far as we can tell, this marks the first time in the history of the Internet that an online petition has failed to effect its intended change. Somebody alert a panel of experts; there's grant money in this, somewhere...

SceneLink (4570)
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The above scene was taken from the 3/15/04 episode:

March 15, 2004: Apple sells 50 million songs and the press is all over it as a "failure." Meanwhile, 67 MB of Mac OS X 10.3.3-y goodness hits the streets, and instead of a Stevenote, this summer's Expo will have a "Feature Presentation"...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 4568: Jeez, Crack A Book, People (3/15/04)   Hey, everybody, it's time to check in once again with the official iTunes Music Store download count-- at least, Apple says it is, and who are we to argue? The last time we heard any official sort of tally was back in mid-December, when Apple revealed that it had sold 25 million songs, at a then-current rate of "almost 1.5 million songs per week."...

  • 4569: Just 67 MB Of Yawnsville (3/15/04)   Uh-oh, now the rumor mill's in trouble. You know how things have been kinda slow lately with the Apple-flavored drama, yeah? And how most rumors sites have been filling space with blow-by-blow accounts of every single new build of Mac OS X 10.3.3?...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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