The Mac Set

Archive 2

Only Available In QuickTime

In just 5 days, over 3.5 million people downloaded the recently released trailer for the eagerly awaited Star Wars movie from Lucasfilm--Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

If you're one of the people who have already downloaded the trailer, you helped create the biggest Internet download event in history.

What's that? You haven't downloaded the movie trailer yet? Well, what are you waiting for? The trailer plays great on iMac:

(And my brother helped.)

Macintosh Bounces Back, In Gelatinous Manner

March 26, 1999.

BOSTON (CNN) -- The latest iMacs do more than exhibit stylish colors. They wiggle, jiggle and bounce, especially when dropped from the second floor.

Budding scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology discovered these and other unique properties while researching the delectability of desktops, taking part in a contest Friday to build the most realistic-looking iMac possible made out of Jell-O.

The main trick in the event, sponsored by the school and Apple computers, was finding enough structural support to keep the sculpture together.

What the Idiots Say

"All the iMac can do is sustain the Apple cult a little longer. It's not going to bring new people in."

- PC analyst Seymour Merrin of Merrin Information Services Inc,
10 August 1998.


What the Facts Show

Where iMac buyers are coming from.

Famous Hobbit Actor Uses Mac

24 July 1999.

Elijah J Wood, officially confirmed to have been asked to play Frodo in the upcoming Lord of the Rings movie being filmed in New Zealand, uses Macintosh! He is also reported to be a Christian. (He needs better taste in mouse pads, though.)

iBook Announced

24 July 1999.

The funkiest computer company in the world (Apple Computer Inc) has just announced (at the recent MacWorld New York) the funkiest laptop/portable computer in the world. The iBook has a battery life of six hours, and has the option of wireless connection to the Internet. At present it will come in just two colours - tangerine and blueberry - and is due for release in September.

From MacOSRumors:

Using "Save And Power Off Now," an iBook or other Open World Mac can complete the next boot in a matter of less than ten seconds. The Startup Screen and Extensions Loading displays are skipped, as they signify boot stages that are bypassed after a Save.

Contrary to the apparent belief of some non-industry journalists, the iBook uses a standard 300MHz copper-interconnect PowerPC 750 processor. Because it is the least powerful copper G3, it is also the coolest -- the iBook uses, and needs, no fans. Many Expo attendees report that iBooks that had received very heavy usage not only lasted throughout the entire show on one battery charge, but they also felt barely warmer than room temperature.

iBook Prices Inconsistent

5 August 1999.

Apple NZ received over 500 orders for the iBook before even announcing the RRP of NZ$4269. Compare that price to a blue and white G3 mini-tower, priced at $4129. That's a whole $140 less. (These prices include GST.)

Why is it that the iBook and the entry level blue and white G3 mini-tower both have the US price of US$1599? (Considering the mini-tower is much heavier and would thus cost much more in freight - and $800 for freight seems a bit excessive.)

"We've also had a number of enquiries from PC dealers asking if they'll be able to sell the iBook - but we'll be sticking with our existing channel for the time being." - Apple NZ General Manager Paul Johnston.

New Zealand will get its first stock in the second week of October, but Paul Johnston doesn't expect to be out of back order until early December.


1 September 1999.

For the first time in history, a personal computer has been classified as a weapon by the US government. With the power to perform over one billion calculations per second, the Pentagon wants to ensure that the new Power Macintosh G4 does not fall into the wrong hands. As for Pentium PCs... Well, they're harmless.

Think Different.

G4 Prices Inconsistent

1 September 1999.

Apple NZ seems to think that they can charge anything they like for these supercomputer G4 things. (They're probably right, but that's not the point.)

Product US Price
NZ Price
B/W G3 300MHz $1599 $4044
B/W G3 350MHz $1599 $4129
iBook $1599 $4269
G4 400MHz $1599 $4483

So just what's going on here?


Sinterklaas Correction

9 September 1999.


A very kindly Dutch visitor to The Mac Set has pointed out that the picture I featured a while back of Saint Nicholas using an iMac can't be from "Northern Scandinavia" since the graphic is named sinterklaas.jpg, and Sinterklaas is actually the Dutch name for Saint Nicholas. Therefore, I officially announce the picture to be from the Netherlands, not from any part of Scandinavia. My Dutch informant writes:

Scandinavia only includes Greenland, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

... the Netherlands... is the only place were we celebrate Sinterklaas (December 5th, we also have Santa Claus (see the sim. in name..) but we call him "Christmas man". So the kids have two great feasts in December.

Oh to be a kid in the Netherlands in December. Other background info I dug up:

The feast is celebrated on the evening of December 5, "Sinterklaas" on his horse and his helper "zwarte piet" go over the rooftops to the houses to bring gifts for the children who have been good.

Why 5 Tanks?

9 September 1999.

Please note: The conclusion this report reaches is pure speculation. Some of the information used in reaching the conclusion may be true.

Motorola is rumoured to be making bundles of 350MHz G4 chips. The problems are:

  • Apple doesn't have a computer with a 350MHz G4 - the mini-tower desktop machines start with a 400MHz G4.
  • Only one of the four upgrade card manufacturers who have announced G4 upgrade cards will be using 350MHz chips, and even if all four did, it would hardly make a dent on the number that Motorola are making.
  • 350MHz G4 Powerbooks from Apple? No doubt before long, since the 350MHz G4 would be the coolest-running G4. But Powerbooks are still not really a very big seller (from the raw number sold, not the popularity thereof compared to other laptops).

My advice: Hold off on buying that iMac for just a little while as this is a strong possibility for their destination. So why five tanks? Click here for a pop-up window to find out the future of iMac advertising.