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May 17, 2002

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Burrow into The Gay Blade’s enclave. The Spork Boards

Given his own storied saga of political exile and personal redemption, The Gay Blade never blanches at an opportunity to support the cause of refuseniks bravely holding out against the strictures of demagogic regimes left, right or center.

Imagine this utensil’s excitement, then, when he was finally granted diplomatic clearance to travel to the sun-kissed People’s Republic of Cupertino; to meet with Apple’s disenfranchised Mac OS 9 minority; and to hear first-hand reports of their forced platform exodus, mandated by Jefe de la Revolución Steve Jobs in a strident six-hour address to a guyabera-clad sea of Mac OS X apparatchiks during this month’s Worldwide Developers Conference in the central soccer field of neighboring San José.

Addressing a crowd of Classic Mac refugees (huddled in the parking lot of the North Blaney Ave. 7–11 beneath a crude Janus-faced banner fashioned from Wet Wipes and Slurpee-tinted Mylanta), the Blade boldly erected his platform for political and social change.

He cited the “one geek, one GUI” principle codified in Article 123 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

He called for a cross-platform team of observers to ensure that the trad-Mac clan (which anthropologists assert pre-dates the Mac OS X junta by many years) be allowed to click and drag through its ancient rites in peace and security.

And—before the Mothership’s storm troopers descended upon the gathering, swinging one-button mice with the crippling force of LED-illuminated bolos—the Blade even went so far as to hint that the Mac OS 9-observant population make common cause with software diasporates claiming allegiance to Amiga, BeOS and even the elusive COS.

¡Viva Jef Raskin! ¡Tenemos y tendremos el Platinum Finder!

Jumping Jaguar, leaping lizard

Meanwhile, of course, the army of the oppressor continues its inexorable march forward: The Blade has received deep dish on the delivery schedule for Jaguar, the next-generation Mac OS X release officially unveiled at the aforementioned WWDC.

While Generalissimo Jobs’ pronouncement that the big cat will spring in “late summer” prompted some wags to speculate an eleventh-hour arrival date of Sept. 20 or thereabouts, the Blade’s Prætorian Guard is predicting a much more aggressive release schedule: The final candidate will rear its head during the last week of June, they aver, and the shipping version should put in an appearance at July’s Macworld Expo/New York – presumably alongside Apple’s next major round of desktop hardware.

In addition to the imminent Mac OS X 10.1.5, the current, Puma generation may well include a 10.1.6 release; however, any interim goodness to hit the market won’t erode the stone face into which the Jaguar release date is etched.

Open architecture

Speaking of the intricacies of Apple product marketing, the Blade gathers that the name of the company’s new rackable server hardware (Xserve, pronounced ZHO-shervé in keeping with standard Nahuatl pronunciation conventions) was arrived at after some deep alchemical analysis of the best way of combining the chocolate-’n’-peanut-butter tastes of “server” and “Mac OS X.”

Hence, sources with an unobstructed view of the inner workings swear, one of the initial names on the examining table was ServeX—that is, until some bright bulb noticed the gynecological overtones when that handle is spoken aloud.

Jinkies! That’s cold.

Put down the speculum and step away from the server! The NMR Report will plumb your Mac depths in exchange for souvenir rats; belly up to the Blade’s bar now.

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