New iMacs: So I'm Not the Only One

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Date: Monday, February 1st, 1999, 00:00
Category: Archive

(drwill) We all expected new CD-RW iMacs but we got really side-swiped by Blue Dalmation and Flower Power, didn’t we? It’s also pretty entertaining watching you guys post your thoughts in the reader feedback threads. Ranging from “eye-jarring” to “once again pushing the design envelope”, the general consesus among readers and a lot of people is the general first-flance reaction of “huh?” I believe not even Steve Jobs’ Reality Distortion Field can save this one.

Although we’ve all lost the office pool already against relative unknowns, Blue Dalmation and Flower Power, the big question in everybody’s mind is why Blue Dalmation and Flower Power. The move from colors to patterns had to happen since Apple did already use quite a few, if not most, of the primary colors in previous revisions. So why Blue Dalmation and Flower Power of all possible infinite combinations of colors, swirls, and patterns? Nobody knows except Steve Jobs, who probably selected and okayed them. Obviously, I’m baffled that Apple couldn’t find something more tasteful. I’m not saying that they’re completely bad choices, but better ones could’ve been made with more mass appeal. Hell, Flower Power is practically a repainted Snow iMac. One way or another, this revision is bound to turn heads at the computer store.

The more important question is if Blue Dalmation and Flower Power will reinvigorate iMac sales, or just be another Cube fiasco. Obviously, Apple is gunning right for the consumer (I’d love to see this in any office other than the Phish fanclub) and especially aiming for grandparents, baby boomers, Phish fans (noted already), and children who know how to manipulate their parents into buying expensive things for them on a whim. Here’s my prediction: Blue Dalmation and Flower Power sales will be flat while Graphite and Indigo will rise in popularity. Help us all if Blue Dalmation and Flower Power catches on and somebody applies them into cellular phone faceplates and toothbrushes. At least we still have Graphite and Indigo, and I’ll fight to the death to keep these two flavors alive over our new psychodelic friends.

Another thing that disturbs me about these new iMacs is the lack of DVD-ROM drives. Not even as a BTO option. Sure, DVD-ROM software is non-existent, but there is no greater joy than watching my Rage Against the Machine DVD while trying to do real work. DVD or CD-RW, tough choice. I hope some third party comes out with something to fill the void though.

Did you also notice that the low and middle-end configurations only ship with 64MB of memory? Sixty-four gets you nowhere nowadays. You can maybe bootup, launch Internet Explorer and Outlook Express, and play a few MP3 files but that’s about it before you run out of physical memory (okay, I’m sortof exaggerating). And Mac OS X, the OS that Apple is aiming at servers, professionals, and consumers all at the same time, requires at least 128MB. Virtual memory for the masses, I suppose.

Well, I feel a little bit better now after my rant. What have we come to the conclusion of? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. We’ve learned a few things though, or at least infer:

  • Apple is good with primary colors, but not patterns.
  • Apple believes that there is enough market share in Phish fans to steal from Dell.
  • Macworld Expo New York 2001: Leopard print, flannel, hearts, teddy bears, Jerry Garcia.
  • iBooks: Camoflouge patterns to avert thieves.
  • Steve Jobs in suit, only because he had a job interview or funeral to attend to right after his Keynote address.

These are probably the last iMacs anyway, so let’s enjoy it while it lasts. Until then, who shall join me in a fight to end patterned tyranny?

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