But Wait; It Was A Holiday! (4/20/04)
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What do you mean, "where were we yesterday?" We told you, it was Patriot's Day. No, seriously-- cross our hearts and hope to die, Patriot's Day is an honest-to-goodness holiday 'round these parts; maybe it's because it commemorates the Battle of Lexington and Concord, and Lexington just happens to be right across the street from us. Whatever. All we know is, it's a real holiday with real days off, and there's no trash pickup or anything. It's traditionally celebrated by running a marathon. (Well, unless you're us, in which case it's celebrated by walking back home from Trader Joe's-- but it's all uphill, and we went the steep way.)

So imagine our surprise when the reports turned out to be true: as faithful viewer mrmgraphics was first to point out, Apple really and truly did introduce new PowerBooks and iBooks yesterday, despite the fact that dozens of its customers would be too preoccupied with running twenty-six miles in unseasonal heat (or shlepping a bag of hamburger buns and a carton of chocolate soy milk back home from an alternative grocery store) to pay much attention. Go figure. What were those PR people thinking? Seriously, what's next-- dual 3.0 GHz G5s unveiled on Take Your Dog To Work Day? The mind reels.

But hey, they're here, and Patriot's Day is now just another memory, so we suppose we should recap these PowerBook changes. First and foremost: no, they aren't G5s this time around. (Apple wants to hold the announcement on those until Christmas Day.) As expected, these were just minor speed bumps intended to freshen up a product line that may have been looking a little stale lately. Accordingly, Apple's press release says that the 12-inch PowerBooks now run at a zippy 1.33 GHz, the mammoth 17-incher runs at 1.5 GHz, and the 15-inchers run at either or, depending on how much you're willing to spend. The SuperDrives are now 4x, all PowerBooks now come with Bluetooth and AirPort Extreme built-in, and the new graphics subsystem is a Radeon 9700 (or a GeForce FX Go5200 for the 12-inch models). Oh, and at the high end of the spectrum, it looks like prices dropped by Bennie or two. Sadly, the 12-inchers still don't have the funky backlit keyboard, but at least they now have 60 GB hard drives instead of 40 GB ones.

And let's not forget the iBook: a second press release notes that iBooks now come in 1.0 and 1.2 GHz flavors (meaning that Apple's entire Mac line-up is now 1 GHz or faster, so we can finally wave bye-bye to the whole "MHz" measure) and SuperDrives are finally a build-to-order option-- but only on the 14-inch model. Otherwise, though, nothing appears to have changed; RAM, hard drive, and graphics are the same as they were in October; you can apparently now add twice as much RAM as before, but the 'Books ship with the same ol' 256 MB. Prices are right where Apple left 'em, too. But then again, that's not terribly surprising, given how well iBooks sold last quarter; Apple probably figured that it shouldn't mess with a good thing (other than cranking up its clock speed a few hundred more cycles per second).

Then again, faithful viewer Kevin Hughes noticed that, as of broadcast time, the Apple Store made reference to the iBook's "brilliant CRT," so maybe there are some significant changes to those puppies after all. True, you only get thirty seconds of battery life, but at least you build upper body strength lugging it from place to place.

And that's that. New product intros on Patriot's Day; will wonders never cease? We guess that Apple just isn't hep to all our goofy little holidays out here in New England. That's okay, though; besides, if you think Patriot's Day is an odd one, consider that our city workers get Evacuation Day off, too. And we swear, the fact that it happens to share the same date with St. Patrick's Day is a total coincidence.

Oh, and if you're wondering, Evacuation Day is traditionally celebrated by getting falling-down drunk on green beer. Now excuse us, but we have to go ice our grocery hands before the tendons swell.


 
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The above scene was taken from the 4/20/04 episode:

April 20, 2004: Apple intro'd new PowerBooks and iBooks-- while we were busy celebrating Patriot's Day. Meanwhile, the AirPort Base Station learns a couple of neat new tricks, and a Microsoft director of Windows Evangelism decides to make his Sony VAIO look as much like a Mac as possible...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 4642: No, Honestly, We're Serious (4/20/04)   Okay, so it's NAB week, and since Apple's all about the electronic media and broadcasting market, we know we're supposed to be all tingly about any new NAB-launched Apple products right now-- products like Motion, which faithful viewer Elliot Jordan brought to our attention a couple of days ago...

  • 4643: Pigs Look Great In Lipstick (4/20/04)   Quick question for you all: does anyone else think it's a little creepy that there are Microsoft employees making their Wintels look like they're running Mac OS X? Yeah? Okay, so it's not just us. Good...

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