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I never promised you a Rose Garden

March 16, 2001

Disorderly transfer of power: After its unceremonious collapse this month, the last oleaginous scraps of The Gay Blade’s former Western White House at 301 Howard St. have been sawed into bite-size pieces, thoroughly degreased, and sold off to souvenir hunters and the morbidly curious.

Now, this privatized implement has hit upon a scheme that taps the discretionary powers of his former post while raising money for his current efforts as a private citizen: selling pardons to those miscreants and ne’er-do-wells who most seriously offended the body Mac during the Blade’s tenure in the Knife drawer.

The burrow has already received payment (in the form of cash or barter) to exculpate such prime offenders as the Apple Fax Modem, the Mac IIvx, GeoPort, the “Tommy the Tooth” Power Mac G3 for the education market and QuarkImmedia. (The Blade is pleased to report that the payoff for Microsoft Word 6 alone is sufficient to finance that sauna for the Blade’s coterie of troubled urban youth.)

Holy papal indulgence, Jean-Louis! Can the P.M. Cube Memorial Library be far behind?

Out of Africa

Speaking of monum ental erections: Administrations may rise and fall, but Big Blue just keeps on pounding sand.

Now it can be told: The bedouins of IBM Corp. are hard at work on a successor to its 750cx, the PowerPC G3 variant included in the latest iMac and iBook models. While the current line tops out at 600MHz, the new chip – code-named Sahara – will range from 700MHz to 1GHz.

According to the Blade’s native guides, this oasis of silicon delights will pack 512KB of on-chip L2 cache with cache locking; eight instruction and eight data BATs; a full 60x bus interface with parity and improved pipelining; a 60x bus frequency of up to 200MHz at 1.2, 1.5 or 1.8V (or 150MHz at 2.5V); and a 21-by-21mm, 300-ball CBGA with 1-mil pitch. (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam! The Blade is glad he had his harem pants altered this week.)

G3 enthusiasts seeking quick relief of their thirst for speed are advised to suck a pebble, however: While IBM should be opening the caftan this month on alpha samples rated at up to 850MHz and distributing beta samples in August, it won’t be delivering the goods to manufacturers until the second quarter of 2002.

Finally, the Blade must disclose the imminent passing of a venerable member of the PowerPC tribe: According to Red Cross representatives, IBM is preparing to shut down production of the PowerPC 603e, the grizzled chip that drove a fleet of Performa models during the British colonial period. Mac camp followers are advised to pay their respects before August 31, when IBM ceases taking orders before pulling the plug Dec. 31.

Got some influence of your own to peddle? Remit a Mac industry tip to The NMR Report, and a trophy mole rat could be yours!

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