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ATPM 5.06
June 1999




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Apple Cider: Random Squeezings from a Mac User

by Tom Iovino,

Use the Force, Tom

Oh, yeah, May was a monumental month for Tom Iovino.

First, my wife and I held our son’s belated first birthday party. We had to postpone it from his real birthday weekend because he caught the chicken pox back in early April. There’s nothing quite like watching a one year old scratch incessantly for about a week.

Second, and more important for the average reader of About This Particular Macintosh, Star Wars, Episode I, the Phantom Menace opened. Yeah, it’s not like we’ve been waiting since 1983 to see another Star Wars movie. Sheesh, Mr. Lucas, I hope you don’t wait as long to put out the next installment.

And, finally, the biggest one, I went out and bought a brand new Blueberry iMac.

I know, welcome to the wonderful world of G3, Tom. And, while you are at it, could someone please hand me another heaping helping of crow?

After all, it was nary a year ago that I published my diatribe railing against the whole idea of the iMac. And, I even swore to myself when I published that rant that I would avoid the iMac like the plague.

But, then, things changed...

First, you get a lot more bang for your buck these days. I got one of them brand spankin’ new 333 MHz iMacs with the 6 MB of VRAM. When I unpacked the sucker, I cranked up Nanosaur, the game Apple includes with the system software, and just gawked. The mist effects were stunning, and the speed at which the game played was very satisfying.

Of course, coming from a 33 MHz LC 580, just about anything would have been a huge speed improvement.

Second, I liked being able to buy this faster computer for less than the original iMac cost. Even though it was only $100 less, still, that’s $100 in my pocket, which I could use to buy other flowers for my wife, who had to put up with me sitting in front of the new iMac for many hours while the housework piled up and my son needed to be picked up and held.

Finally, yeah, I have to break down and admit it, the bad boy looks cool.

So, in a feeble effort to entertain you, and to tie my purchase into the merchandising blitz the new movie has started, I have prepared the following:

* * *

A long time ago, in a metropolitan area somewhere in the southeast...
[Cue the dramatic score.]

G3 Wars

Episode I: Tom Finally discovers the power of the PPC.

While the rest of the Macintosh Community has plowed forward, reaping the benefits of R & D at Apple Computer through the 601, 603, 604 and G3 chips, Tom has languished in the backwaters of the land of the pre-PowerPC chips. His LC 580, struggling to keep pace with the new and improved programs requiring beefed up processing power, is showing its age.

All the while, the Dark Side, through the efforts of friends and family, has been enticing our young-but-starting-to-bald hero to switch platforms and pay homage to the Dark Lord of Redmond, Washington.

Scene I

The hot, barren, weed-choked wasteland of Tom’s front yard. He is doing yard work while his lovely bride, Rhonda, and their one-year-old son, Dominic, recline in the shade.

Tom: Rhonda, it sure is hot here. And I wish it would rain. Oh, and I’m not looking forward to sitting in front of the old Mac any more watching the silly watch spin waiting for our ISP to serve up our e-mail.

Rhonda: Stop being such a wuss and keep pulling those weeds.

Dominic: Goo.

Scene II

Later that night, Tom is sitting in front of the aging LC 580, struggling with the mass of twisted wires running to peripherals and watching the watch hands spin as the aging ‘040 processor merrily chugs through instructions.

Tom: This sucks. I wish we could get a new computer.

Disembodied Voice: Tom, use the Force.

Tom: What? Who was that?

D.V.: Tom, this is Steve Jobs. I am contacting you via mind waves to let you know that you can get a kick-butt brand-new Blueberry 333 MHz iMac at the local computer superstore for $1198 with 6 months same as cash financing.

Tom: I have got to lay off the pepperoni pizza just before bed.

Scene III

At Tom’s Brother-In-Law’s house. Tom and his Brother-In-Law are drinking beer and watching some random sporting event.

Tom: I dunno. It was like some strange disembodied voice was telling me to go get a new iMac. I even think it told me to get the blueberry one.

B-I-L: Ha! Don’t you know that Apple is going to go under any day now? Only stooges would buy an Apple product.

Tom: Yeah, I know. You’ve been telling me this every day for the past 5 years. It still hasn’t happened.

B-I-L: Yeah, but this time I really, really, really mean it!

Tom: Sure you do. What about this new iMac thing? They’ve been selling really well.

B-I-L: I don’t care if the company’s stock has more than doubled, and iMacs are selling like hotcakes. The company is doomed, I tell you! Doomed! Get a PC!

Tom: (Standing up abruptly) Ha! You must be an agent for the dark side! I knew you had to be!

[Begin exciting escape sequence where Tom attempts to leave Brother-In-Law’s house while managing to smuggle out several beers.]

Scene IV

Tom driving home from work one night.

D.V.: Tom, this is Steve Jobs again.

Tom: Oh, hi Steve. Ya know, people are going to start thinking I’m crazy for hearing your voice in my head.

D.V.: Ahh, don’t worry about it. You know, there is a computer superstore less than 3 miles from where you are. Why don’t you trust your instincts and go and pick up and iMac?

Tom: Uhhh, sure!

[Tom, driven by some unseen force, changes direction and heads to the computer the superstore.]

Scene V

At the computer superstore.

Tom: Excuse me, sir? Can you tell me where I can get a Blueberry iMac?

Sales Guy: Why don’t you try one of the new fancy-schmancy PC’s we sell? I hear they are just about as easy to set up as an iMac. And, don’t you know, you just can’t buy any software for the Mac platform?

Tom: Uhhh, can you tell me where I can get a Blueberry iMac?

Sales Guy: Didn’t I just answer that question?

Tom: OK, can you tell me where you guys put overflow PC products when they don’t go to your back storage room?

Sales Guy: (pointing) Back in the corner over there.

Tom: Thanks.

[Tom follows the sales guy’s directions and comes across a huge stack of iMacs. He hoists one into his cart and proceeds to pay for it. Comical scene of Tom trying to stuff large iMac box into small sports car in parking lot.]

Scene VI

At computer desk in house. Tom’s lovely wife and charming son looking over his shoulder as he drools watching the iMac strut its stuff.

Tom: Wow, this is the greatest thing ever. I’m glad I listened to the Disembodied Voice of Steve Jobs in my head and took his advice. Things just seem to fly on this new computer, plus, all we have going to the wall is a power cord and a modem cable. I feel like a Jedi Knight with a brand new light saber that actually works.

Dominic: Goo.

Rhonda: Well, look here, Apple Jedi, your son has a smelly diaper, and it’s my turn to use the new iMac. So, I suggest you use the Force and get a new diaper on this child, while I monkey around on the new computer.

The End

Who says this scripting thing is hard? Now, I can do it in less than half the time on our new iMac!

Apple“Apple Cider” is Copyright © 1999 by Tom Iovino,

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