7 , 2000
But Steve Jobs would have his revenge. He would delete all references to ATI in his keynote address at Macworld. That would show ATI. But what about all the consumers who read the premature announcements? He'd get back at them by grossly misrepresenting the availability and quality of the new products. That would teach them.
Now there was but one loose end to tie upthe leaker. But how to target a person or people who were invisible to the Apple security team? A sweeping round of layoffs? Sacrificing employees at the annual Apple Solstice Gathering? No. It must be something bigger, something that would send a message to everyone in the world: a lawsuit against potentially anyone in the world. An unknown person. An invisible person. A gremlin wrenching apart the delicate machinery of Apple corporate.
I must say that I sympathize with Apple, for I, too, am visited by invisible people in the night who steal my own trade secrets, such as my hair-care regimen, my classified designs for nanoguerilla insurgents and my notebook containing the secrets of successful sardonic writing. Invisible people are a real threat.
I'm also visited by the invisible people who steal Apple's secrets. These ones, code-named John Doe 1 through 25, are constantly relaying information to me about Apple's future product releases. Being a high-minded journaliste in the classical sense, I, of course, do not report these secrets. But lately these invisible people have become insistent on the point. They're desperate to see Apple's secrets circulated over the Web. They've even threatened to go inside my head and make me do bad things if I fail to report unannounced Apple products.
I hate to tarnish this otherwise heartfelt editorial with such trade secret disclosures, but what am I to do? What would any man do? Here, dear reader, against my will, are Apple's top 5 forthcoming product announcements.
1. At the end of the current generation of iMacs, Apple will announce new iMacs with new colors, faster processors and better graphics. RAM will remain the same. The colors will include various mixtures of red, blue and yellow. (An alternate plan includes mixtures of cyan, magenta, yellow and black.)
2. The G4 will be replaced by the G5. Then a G6. Apple will skip the G7 owing to superstition and will come out with a G8.
3. OS X will be followed by OS Y, not, as expected, OS XI.
4. Following the successful design of the new mouse, the company will release a clear, optical keyboard with a single button.
5. The next iBook will actually ship with a 20 MHz 68020 processor, less RAM, a smaller monitor and a stiffer keyboard. It will remain orange-colored.
I feel a little bit dirty for reporting this to you, but that's what the invisible people can do to a man. And that's why we shouldn't be criticizing Apple for its seemingly insane behavior over product revelations. Constant vigilance is the only defense against the invisible ones. I should know. I've been there and back, and the journey nearly destroyed me. We can only lend our prayers of support to Apple in its own struggle with all the John Does out there who would dare to guess at what color the next iMac will be or what shape the next G4 will take. God speed, Steve Jobs. God speed.
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